A notable player in the mobile headset/headphones space for quite some time, it’s only just now that Plantronics is getting into the true wireless game with the recent announcement and release of the BackBeat FIT 3100. Even though many rival players have been established for quite some time, it’s going to be interesting to see how Plantronics’ first stab in this category compares against the competition.
Being in the BackBeat line and looking at their design, they’re definitely targeting active users more than anything else. We especially dig the iridescent accent color which can appear green, blue, and even red depending on the angle. The sporty style of the design is made more poignant by the rubbery lined ear loops that help them to stay fastened to our ears, as they’re both sweat- and water-resistant to handle the most gruelling of workouts. At first glance, we were skeptical about their fitting, seeing that the rubbery material was extremely flexible, but they surprisingly stay in place.
Interestingly enough, Plantronics designed them to keep users aware of their surroundings – so they technically sport an open ear design. This means that we’re able to hear the ambient noise around us, which is achieved through the Always Aware ear tips, which can’t be replaced and are available in one size. Due to this, it felt as though the ear tip with the left earbud never seemed to stay as snuggly in place as the right one.
The earphones have touch-sensitive controls that respond to single or double taps, and it’s nice knowing that we can customize their functions through the accompanying BackBeat app. This portal also allows for other functions, such as helping us to locate the earbuds by sending audible tones to them. As for the included battery charging case, there’s nothing terribly new with it, as it simply stores the earbuds and charges them when they’re not being used. However, it lacks some of the more advanced functions that other battery chargers offer – like sporting a built-in USB port to charge other devices. In terms of battery life, the earphones are rated for 5 hours of playback, with an additional two charges with the battery case.
The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 aren’t for everyone. Yes, they’re geared towards fitness fanatics, but you have to bear in mind that they allow ambient sounds to enter – rather than blocking them out. Sporting a price tag of $150, they’re right in that sweet spot with other contemporary true wireless earbuds.