The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 5100 are the latest on offer from the company,cheaper than Airpods that tech people keep comparing all earbuds too and need to stop and look sleek, As I have said before Airpods are not a benchmark for true wireless and they are overpriced.
The design I like on these and the fit too, A bit loose for me with the medium tips which is my normal fitting but with the larger tip they where fine, They offer some passive noise isolation but not the best out there they are not ANC but this is nothing new as ANC is only starting to trickle down into True Wireless earbuds now and a handful of pairs only offer this,but the fit is fine but I would not recommend heavy exercising with them as they have that slight looser fit but this is just my ears and we dont have the same as mine,they are light compared to others out there too which is something to keep in mind.
They look generic to an extent but they have a nice stealthy look in the Black and people will ask what earbuds are they if they are into them as often the case happens with me. The build quality is good too and they do not have that cheap plastic look. These come with a charging case which is the norm but charged via Micro USB and have no wireless charging so the next time around I do hope this is addressed.
The functions are not shy either and there is an app to help you change things about and one very important feature for me was to ability to change the primary earbud which is not seen too often, I cant recall a pair where I could do so yet and I like this as the primary is typically set by the manufacturer out of the box then again many true wireless do not come with an app either.
Controls are sensitive on my findings but a bit of muscle memory is all that is needed like with any true wireless the difference here is with the app you can change things around with the MY TAP feature which is beneficial if anything, You have the physical buttons to do all the work and there is a haptic element here for volume which allows you to move your finger across the top of the left earbud to change it which is going to fine for some and not for others, If you are custom to this you will be fine but blindly navigating any earphones or headphones is not an ideal situation. There is voice prompts on many features here too which I like and I find this really handy.
The usual skip tracks,play and pause features are here and volume control and call scenarios and of course you have voice assistant present, The app as mentioned has some additional features including find my headset, but there is no music equaliser here and cant fathom why not,they have the app and if they have an EQ this would be a game changer for the company,having said that like I said already many True Wireless do not come with an app.
The sound quality over is good and I would best describe it keeping it simple as well balanced,not as loud as I would like but that is my personal taste and the bass is not as deep as others out there but again that is subjective,I have my taste, I like loud and I like bass but for the average listener who is not a real audiophile will be just fine with what is on offer here with good highs,lows and mids, good on instruments and genres and I found very well listening to You Tube and Netflix and whilst on those topics there was no latency seen here. Calls are great on these and they do work individually ( ie either side can be left in the case with one still in use) which is a bonus and a feature left out quite often. Battery life was consistent with their claims give or take 15 mins here and there, this would also differ on longevity with volume levels which for me is mostly the highest at hand.
Finally, One issue I had was with connection on Bluetooth, This will not apply to all though I am in a new build house and when I walked upstairs break up was constant which I found odd, but this is down to materials,some earbuds do this and some do not but walking out my back or front garden was fine with around 30-40ft and no problems,the same applies though with WiFi in new builds and mobile signal, I am going to ask the builder what materials are used which might be helpful for others going forward.
Overall the question is are they worth the spend, the answer is yes i short for what is on offer here,good build,great overall balanced sound, nice looks and the app, The app does give you more options but the lack of an EQ is something they can address and make things better for everyone, No wireless charging case and USB-C are not really deal breakers for me but it is something that we need to see addressed overall in the industry and people will talk about it all the time but as it stands we are talking earbuds here and not smartphones but USB-C will only become a standard when the companies catch up.
- True wireless design
- Noise-canceling mics and WindSmart
- Rich, immersive sound
- Long-lasting comfort
- Smart sensors
- 6.5 hours of power
- Portable charging case
- Sweat and water resistant
- On-ear controls
- My Tap
- Single or dual use