Jul 19, 2015

Plantronics BackBeat FIT Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the Plantronics Backbeat FIT headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I love music. I mean that in a general sense. I just always have. I love to play it and I love to listen to it. It should be no surprise that I love listening to music as I run. I actually went for a long while without music, but found that I missed it. Music helps relax me much in the same way that running does, so they really work in tandem. This made this next product so much sweeter to test out as a BibRavePro. This is my experience with

Plantronics BackBeat FIT Bluetooth Headphones

Since I love music and running with music, I've been thinking of investing in a pair of bluetooth headphones for a while. Every time I'd go to an expo, I'd check out the different options. When I'd be at Best Buy, I would browse the section of headphones, but I could never settle in on a pair. The problem is I could try them on, hear how they sound, and feel how they feel on my ears, but until I get running, I'd have no way of knowing if things would annoy me. I'd look at pairs, and not really want any that were the harder plastic with some larger weight on the back. Sure, they feel fine, but would they weigh down after a couple hours? I was also unsure if I cord hanging down in the back would annoy me as much as the front. Then there is the battery life concern and they absolutely need waterproofing. As I said, I've fully considered this and was ready to invest in a pair. I don't mind paying money for something good that will get a lot of use, but I always want to be sure it's worth the money. Enter the fortunate case of BibRavePro having headphones to review and the Plantronics BackBeat FIT.

How do they look?

Let's start with the little things and build to the important sound factor. First, opening the box, they just look good. That's not really the deciding factor, but it's important. The pair I received was black with a neon green. The headphones go up and over the ear then around the back. They have a rubbery feel to them with an IP57 rating for waterproofing, thanks to a "P2i nano-coating is applied during the manufacturing process, resulting in invisible liquid repellent properties". As a safety feature, the even have a reflective finish. Every little bit helps.

They also come with a reversible carrying case. Why reversible? Well, one side was black and the other became a bright matching green armband. While I already have an armband for my phone that I love, I like the idea of this design and took it out for a run. It had some good no slip grip and stayed in place, but I did feel a little sweatier in that it didn't quite breathe as well as my current brand. However, you didn't but the headphones for the armband, and it worked quite well. I did have one issue however concerning the armband when I started my run. I put my phone in and went out running only to have the sound break up a lot unless I turned it forward on the band. This felt odd for bluetooth that can go 33 feet. I took my phone out and flipped it upside down, and magically, no more problem. I'm guessing maybe my key that I put in the inside pocket of the armband played a factor. After that, the sound quality was fantastic. Chalk one up to the oddities of technology.

A photo posted by John Wickee (@rgrdisney) on

How do they feel?

One of the more important factors are how they feel in your ears and on your head. If I'm going to spend several hours running for a half marathon or full marathon, they need the battery life, sure, but if they hurt your ears, it doesn't matter how long they last. These feel nice and light on my ears. They have a really comfortable fit. They only have one set of eartips, but the size was not problem for me. They even allow for a 20 degree of adjustment to make sure the angle in comfortable. They were even comfortable my sore ears. "Sore ears?" you ask. "How does that happen?" Well, at home I have a 1 year old who likes to tug on your ears when he gets tired as if he rips one off it means no bed time. You'd be surprised how much your ears can just hurt. And he's sneaky too about getting ahold of them, but I digress. Despite all of this, they felt good in my ears. As mentioned, one of my worries is whether a cord around the back would bother me. I found with these, on my run, I didn't even notice it was there until I actively thought about it. With the rubbery finish, it gives them a little structure, so it's not like a lose cord hanging down. It doesn't bounce around or even reach my neck unless I'm looking up. All around, the stayed in place great.

A photo posted by John Wickee (@rgrdisney) on

How do they sound?

Now the meat and potatoes of this review dish. How do they sound? In short, superb. They have a really solid sound to them. They can output some good volume, so I had no problem hearing my music running down the side of a busier road but they also include a really nice safety feature. The design of the eartip allows for some outside noise to get it, meaning you're more aware of your surroundings and safer. It's not too much to take away from the music though. It's a good balance in the design. The headphone sound isn't just "good while on a run" good. I'm listening to some Spamalot on them as I write this, and the sound is still great.

The controls are pretty simplified, two large buttons (play/pause and call) on each ear and two small buttons on the top of each side (volume and power). The simplified scheme works well and is easy to control on the run. I use two things usually on a run, either RockMyRun or my own library in Google Play Music. Using RockMyRun doesn't really require controls, so I used my own library. It was easy to play, pause and skip around my music.

The Takeaway

So what's the final takeaway? These are outstanding headphones. Look at my list of worries: comfortable, check. waterproof, check. battery life, check. sound, check. I was looking for a while for a pair to invest in. This pair would be the pair I would buy. That's a biggest vote of confidence I can give.

One additional factor for you in my takeaway. On two runs of the same route, my run with the new headphones was 40 seconds per mile faster than with my old wired ones. Coincidence? I'll let you decide.


Like the sound of these headphones? Want a pair for yourself? Well, on this week's #bibchat, we'll be giving away not 1, not 2, but 3 pairs! Come by on Tuesday July 21st at 9pm EST to join in the chat and have a chance to win. I can't guarantee you'll win, but I can guarantee you won't if you don't show up. Plus, you can interact with me and inevitably talk food, no matter what the topic.


Do you love #bibchat? Do you review races on BibRave.com? Want great perks like this? Then check out the application for becoming a BibRavePro. And when you're filling it out, tell them I sent you.


  1. What devices do these sync too? I've been wanting to get some blue tooth headphones (actually bought some for my husband) but they seem to all only sync to i-phones and I don't have an i-phone.

    1. Thanks for the reminder. I meant to write about that and I will need to go back to update later. I use Android (Nexus 5) and they sync great. I haven't installed any of their apps, because they have poor reviews on Google Play, but the only one I would have considered useful to me was one to update firmware, but was too buggy for my liking based on the comments. None of them were necessary. The built in bluetooth pairing was enough.

  2. Great review! I need these! I will def be coming to #bibchat tonight with the hopes of winning one! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Glad you liked the review. Best of luck and see you at #bibchat!