Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 Review
Do you need a pair of sports in-ear earbuds? You may like the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 that has a lightweight yet portable design perfect for workouts and runs. Furthermore, with the small design, it fits comfortably in the pocket, plus it is waterproof at an affordable price. But if you are undecided if these in-ear earphones made for you read the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 review that follows here.
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Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 Pros and Cons
Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 Design
When you receive the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 earphones, it is in a clamshell box with the buds neatly tucked away. Beneath the molding, you find the USB charging cable with all the essential documents needed. While the Backbeat Fit has been around since 2014, it has gone through some vital upgrades over the years. You get more color options, but did they fix the problems found in the older versions? The fact is that the design has not changed much over the years. The ear tips are still not made to jam into your ears.
Therefore, you will not get a tight seal to keep outside noise out. The design lets in ambient noise to hear the traffic while you are biking or running. You get a firm silicon bud with a loop to keep the ear tips in the ear. The buds sit outside your ear, and we did find them comfortable during our jogs. On the back of the earbuds, you have a button to control playback. The headband consists of flexible rubber and conforms to your head. The texture feels lovely with a touch of reflective coating found on the earbuds.
Lastly, you can select your preferred color from gray, blue to lava black. Furthermore, the buds are IP57 rated, making them sweat and waterproof. Even the way you control the earphones improved as the left bud is touch-sensitive to control the volume. On the right bud, you have the physical button to switch the headphones on/off, pause music, track forward, and skip tracks, and more. On the other hand, you can use the My Tap function available in the Backbeat app to use the stopwatch or listen to your playlist.
Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 Performance
Compared to the Jaybird X3 sports earphones (8-hour battery use), the Backbeat offers up to 7-hours playback. So you can use it for a marathon while enjoying your music. One thing we did find annoying is that it does not have a battery charge indicator compared to the Jaybird. The only way of checking is via the phone app. Furthermore, while we did not have charging issues, individual customers had this problem—so if you do find issues with the battery charging, contact Plantronics as they honor you with a year warranty.
Is there a change in sound?
We found the sound average! You do get some excellent mid-range sounds, but it does have problems with the bass and treble. When listening to hype music, the bass tends to fade away in the background, making it hard to hear the rumble. Sometimes the treble sounds muddy and hearing instruments are hard. Furthermore, if you do have sensitive ears, you will hear a hissing noise that can become annoying. But do not get us wrong; it all depends on your hearing and taste.
You can still enjoy classic tunes when jogging. While the sound is not perfect, you can remove the ear tips for cleaning. On the other hand, the earphones equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 with a range of up to 33-feet. Moreover, you can only connect the earbuds with one device, and if you want to use two devices at the same time, we recommend the Jaybird X3 instead. What is more, it has a microphone but does not have noise cancellation.
Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 Specs
- Battery: 7-hours
- Color: Gray, Blue, Lava Black
- Cord Type: Bluetooth 5.0
- Extras: IP57 Certified with Built-in Mic
- Form Factor: In-ear
- Included: Charging Cable
- Noise Isolation: No
- Warranty: 1-year
- Weight: 1 ounce
Should You Buy it?
Yes, if you are an athlete who enjoys running or working out in the gym. The Plantronics Backbeat Fit 2100 has a simplistic design while the controls intuitive to use. Furthermore, the headphones comfortable and you will forget you have them on. On the other hand, it has a built-in strap that keeps the buds secure behind the ear. While the ear tips made of silicone and have an in-ear design, you will be safe on the road as it allows ambient sound. You can use the Backbeat Fit 2100 in the rain as it is splash-proof as well.
We found the Backbeat Fit 2100 good but not one of the best sports headphones for sound. We found the buds comfortable and did not fall out of our ears even with vigorous workouts. However, if you need fantastic audio, we recommend you look elsewhere.
But if you want a pair of affordable in-ear wireless earphones for working out at the gym, the Backbeat Fit 2100 is a comfortable earbud to wear. What makes the sports earphones so effective is that they stay secure in the ear and provide you with loads of safety on a busy road. You will be able to hear the traffic when running on busy roads. The controls are simple to use for tuning the volume, receiving calls, and more. Although for people with sensitive ears, the white noise can become unbearable at times. Therefore, we do not recommend the Backbeat Fit 2100 as casual headphones for blasting music.
Is Neckband Headphones Good?
As the name suggests, a neckband headphone is a headphone that has two buds and a connecting cord. The cord rests at the back of your neck comfortably and has a minimal weight that is not noticeable. Neckband headphone allows you to connect to your devices through Bluetooth connectivity that has a Bluetooth function. Unlike the cabled headphones, neckband headphone hosts only a short cable that does not run to your pocket. There is no more wire tangling, which at times is annoying. Eliminating the long cord gives a neckband headphone convenience to use in your daily activities like working out or jogging. At no moment will there be a cable snag on an object resulting in them falling from your ears.
The neckband headphone has a design that creates that free movement since it has no cable for connection. There is no worry when wearing these headphones in activities that require a lot of movement. Their lightweight and less bulky appearance makes them a choice among many buyers. Below are some reasons that make neckband headphones popular.
1. Active noise cancellation
Active noise cancellation is a feature loved by many people. Not all headphones can achieve these capabilities. Most headphones with noise cancellation, come with a more significant design that covers your ears. Unlike neckband headphones, they achieve noise cancellation without that sophisticated design. When you need to listen to that music that helps you push hard when working out, headband headphones are the best suit. Listening to music is effective since there is no external noise that may interfere with the experience. When on that noisy street or bus station, external noise does not affect the music sound.
2. Convenient controls
In-line controls are a feature that has existed since a long time ago since the emergence of smartphones. With other headphones, you may find yourself fumbling down the cable in search of the controls. When controls are far from your reach, it is often to forget which button does what. As earlier said, the headband headphones are placed at the back of your neck. Since the headphones have built-in in-line controls, they are very near to your reach. The controls reach easily, and they have convenience in using to control music and receive phone calls. Easy control is through knowing the controls are usually on the right or left side of the headband.
3. Battery Life
Standard wireless headphones usually have a battery life of 8-10 hours and only if you have a genuine one. As you break downwards, a cheap headphone has a battery life of 4-5 hours. For all devices that have wireless connectivity, long battery life is always a consideration before purchasing. It is inconvenient if you require to use your headphones for long hours, but the battery life cannot serve your needs. Neckband headphones ensure that you enjoy music listening for long hours since it offers a 14-15hours battery life. It means that you can listen to music and receive phone calls nonstop for 14-15 hours on a single full charge. Neckband headphones become a choice even in your long travel since you require that fresh music.
4. Enhanced telephony
If you have used Bluetooth wireless connection before, it is at times to experience breaks. It is not when you unpair the device, but it disconnects automatically. The abrupt disconnection is a result of Bluetooth strength being weak or not of the required quality. Headband headphone is built with a strong and advanced Bluetooth connection that ensures no one-time disconnection. The Bluetooth also ensures that it connects with all your devices that have a Bluetooth connection.
5. Design and quality
The design of a neckband headphone makes it a better choice. It is through the buds having a fit in and hold in-ear and also interchangeable silicon tips. They give you a chance to select the right size that fits in your ear. Since you may require the headphones for a workout, they do not fall off because working out requires many movements. The quality which comes with neckband headphones is excellent. The interconnecting cable between the two buds is sturdy and of high quality. As you work out or jog around, it always involves a lot of sweating. Electronics are prone to damage from liquids, thus including sweat. You do not have to worry because some neckband headphones have a high-quality material make that is resistant to both sweat and water. During a chilly morning, just wear your headphones and let the music take control.
The main agenda of a suitable device is the variety of choices to connect. A headband headphone ensures that it connects to all your compatible devices efficiently through Bluetooth connection without disconnections. Neckband headphones are not complicated when connecting them to devices. It is just searching the headphone’s name on your phone in the Bluetooth list and connects.
The neckband headphone has an inbuilt mic in the in-line controls. It is not just a microphone, but the microphone has noise cancellation capability. The microphone allows you to receive phone calls at any place you are. The noise cancellation feature makes your voice loud and clear, and your caller hears you. You don’t need to remove your device from your pocket in fear of a weak voice being heard.
8. Great sound
A good headphone should deliver reliable and quality sound. Neckband headphones ensure they give you a great sound on any genre of music. Since they have a secure and advanced Bluetooth connection, the sound quality from your phone does not lose its quality.
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Neckband headphones are famous for the above reasons. They have a reduced size from wired earphones, which at times, are bulky in handling the wire. An all-around device that has many capabilities such as a neckband headphone serves you well in your music and receiving phone calls. The quality make of these headphones makes them a better choice for many people because they are not prone to damage from sweat and water. The headphones can be for working out, traveling, or using in your house hence giving them a broader platform for use. Long battery life and lightweight enable you to use these headphones for long hours. The above reasons are those that make the neckband headphone so popular.
What is a Neckband Headphone? How is it different from an earbud?
There are different categories of headphones on the market, and they are quite different from each other in terms of quality, comfort, flexibility, connectivity, and obviously, sound quality. Wireless headphones have been around for quite some time now, and there are different types of wireless headphones on the market.
Today, we’ll compare two types of headphones that are quite popular nowadays. At first, we’ll tell you what a neckband headphone is, and then we’ll talk about the differences between neckband headphones and earbuds.
What is a Neckband Headphone?
There are different types of wireless headphones in the market. By now, probably you already have seen earbuds such as the Air pods, that are truly wireless earbuds. These earbuds don’t have even the shortest piece of cable, and you only need to put them in your ear.
However, there is this type of headphones that connect via wireless, but the headphones aren’t separate. Instead, they are connected with a piece of cable. Usually, these headphones are designed in such a way that the cable hangs on the shoulder of the user, and that’s why they’re named neckband headphones.
Neckband headphones or earbuds, it’s evident that wireless earphones are the future. Till today, no headphone has been invented that can deliver high-quality audio as a wired audiophile headphone. However, the day isn’t that far when wireless headphones can deliver that power as well.
That’s why it’s important to know your headphones. And now, we’ll talk about the differences between neckband headphones and earbuds.
Differences between Neckband Headphones and Earbuds:
As we’ve discussed before, neckband headphones look like a pendant as they are worn over the shoulders. The headphones remain connected to each other, and there’s a central unit that hosts the pairing device and controller. The volume of both the headphones are connected at once, and there’s no way to control them individually.
In the case of earbuds, they aren’t connected through any cable, which makes them independent. This allows more flexibility when you’re using them. With earbuds, you have all the freedom. If you want, you can turn one of them and keep the other one switched off. Even if you’re using both of them simultaneously, you can control the individual volumes.
Connectivity and Pairing:
When it comes to connectivity and pairing, there are noticeable differences between neckband headphones and earbuds. As we’ve mentioned earlier, neckband headphones come with a single pairing device that allows the user to connect them with a mobile phone, computer, tablet, or even a turntable. Which means, both of the headphones will provide the output at the same time.
On the other hand, in the case of earbuds things are quite different. The earbuds aren’t connected and both of them have individual pairing devices. In the case of a lot of these earbuds, the phone or any device that’s in use is to be connected to the charger pouch, which is connected to the earbuds.
Again, there are earbuds that can be connected directly to the device. The earbuds definitely have the upper hand here as they can be turned on and off individually, as they have individual pairing devices installed in them.
Neckband headphones have the upper hand when it comes to battery life. As they are bigger than the truly wireless earbuds, they come with bigger batteries, which in turn provides more battery life.
Ture wireless earbuds come are generally more compact, so they will not last as long as the neckband headphones. However, true wireless earbuds come with a charging pouch. Usually, these charging pouches can offer one or two extra charges when you’re on the fly, which is very convenient.
If you’re opting for more expensive earbuds, you might get high battery life as well.
Which one Sounds Better?
When we’re talking about the differences between neckband headphones and earbuds, we must talk about the sound quality of these. Does one of them sound better than the other?
Not really. The sound quality depends highly on the sound driver used inside these headphones, and as both of them use wireless technology, there isn’t any difference there.
Here’s a fact. Wireless headphones usually don’t sound as good as wired headphones, and by wired headphones, I mean expensive, audiophile wired headphones. That’s because wireless technology can’t transmit high-quality audio, as the audio is compressed before it is transmitted.
However, if you’re willing to spend the extra dollar, you can go for the top-notch wireless headphones that offer true Hi-Res audio. However, these don’t really compete with the top-notch wired headphones, but they’re quite good. If you’re looking to cut the budget tight and want a good-sounding headphone, you better go for a wired one. Here, I must mention that a true wireless earbud and a neckband headphone shows little to absolutely no difference.
Which one is Better for Working Out?
Here’s the thing, you need a headphone with at least IPX4 resistance if you want to work out while having them on your ears. Otherwise, the sweat might harm your headphones.
There are other differences between neckband headphones and earbuds when it comes to workouts. A lot of people consider using neckband headphones, as they come with the extra protection of the band, while earbuds often fall off when the user is running.
There are a lot of differences between neckband headphones and earbuds. However, both are amazing, and you can look at the aforementioned factors before you buy them. Another thing is a lot of people choose between them according to their fashion taste. Each of these types can give you different looks. Now that you know the differences between neckband headphones and earbuds, and as you know their features as well, pick the one suitable for you!
Why people Use a Neckband Headphone Instead of Earbud?
We are sure that some of us must know an audiophile. They are your go-to persons for headphones and audio equipment recommendations. They take audio and sound quality quite seriously. Audiophiles are also very opinionated and they know what they like.
So when they say they like a particular headphone or form factor, you listen. Neckband headphones have always been popular amongst music lovers and audiophiles alike. So what makes them so beloved?
With so many innovations happening in the audio space right, the absolute sheer number of earbuds and wireless headphones, why are some music lovers are still adamant about using neckbands compared to their earbud counterparts?
There are perfectly good earbuds out in the market. Why are still not using them? Why people use neckband headphones instead of earbuds. That is what we are set out to find today.
What Are Neckband Headphones and Earbuds?
Before we take a dive into what makes neckband headphones so popular, let’s first look at what each form factors are and how they differ.
Neckband headphones are defined by them having a band across the two earphones. This connects them together. Some may have a rigid band with wires coming out of the ends and earphones attached to them. While some may have a single wire connecting the two earphones together.
Whether a rigid band or wire works best for you will largely depend on personal preference. But one thing is for sure, people love them.
Onto earbuds than. What are they? Technically earbuds are headphones that do not have to cushion on them. Think of Apple’s EarPods. These usually sit right outside the ear canal. Although, most people use the terms earbuds and earphones interchangeably.
Now, not having cushioning immediately puts earbuds at a slight disadvantage. Firstly, earbuds may not sit in place all that tightly. More on the differences a bit later though. Sound quality-wise, this will really depend on the quality and brand of neckband headphones and earbuds you use.
There are good and bad options on both sides of the camp. There are some key advantages that make neckband headphones just so much better though.
Why People Using Neckband Headphones Instead of Earbuds
What makes neckband headphones better than earbuds then? Why people using neckband headphones instead of earbuds? Well, there are a couple of reasons why.
Form Factor Preference
When it comes to choosing one over the other, it simply comes down to form factor for many people. Many music lovers and audiophiles alike, love the neckband form factor, and with good reason too. Neckband headphones sit comfortably on the neck and are great for working out. They are comfortable to wear. Since they have a neckband they are mostly intended to keep resting on your neck most of the time. This eliminates the need to put them inside your pocket or bag, essentially getting rid of tangles wired.
They aren’t as bulky either. If you have not used a neckband headphones before, looking at their pictures of them might make them look quite bulky. On the contrary. The bands are always slim and lightweight and make them easier to carry as well.
Perfect for The Gym
Everyone knows a banger track at the gym helps you to get in the zone. It is oddly motivating. That is why most people outright refuse to work out without music. If you are choosing the wireless route, you can either go with wired earbuds, true wireless earbuds, or neckbands headphones. Wired headphones of course have the extra hassle of dealing with the wire. That is the least popular choice. That leaves us with two options – true wireless and neckband headphones.
Although true wireless earbuds have gotten much better in fit recently, neckband headphones simply provide a level of security that is unmatched. You do not feat losing them while on a run or one of the earbuds falling off and getting lost. Neckband headphones are perfect for the gym in that regard. They can last as long as your workout as well.
Better Battery Life
Since neckbands have a larger space to work with, they usually boast better battery life overall. Now this will of course depend on the brand and model of neckband headphones you use. But in general, they last longer.
Superb Nosie Cancellation
Sometimes you just want to zone out the world and be immersed in your music – turns out neckband headphones are quite good at that too. They have very good noise cancellation that lets you enjoy your music with peace. Sony’s Sony WI-1000X Wireless neckband headphones are a testament to that.
Since most neckband headphones are in-ear designs, the sound signature and the general sound quality are better compared to earbuds that sit outside your ear canal. The seal of a cushioned in-ear neckband headphones provides for a richer and more immersive music listening experience. And at the end of the day, isn’t that one of the most intertie things?
They Look Cool
This one might be a bit polarizing. Neckband headbands just look downright cool. The band sitting on the neck effortlessly while you listen to your music without a worry in the world – that is the life. They are well designed and as mentioned before, come in different styles. You can either opt for a rigid band style or one with a wire between the earphones. They sound good and look while doing it.
Whether you go for neckband headphones or earbuds will ultimately come down to your personal preference. Despite some of the advantages of neckbands, many prefer earbuds for other reasons as well. Hopefully, this article will help you get a better grasp of just why people use neckband headphones instead of earbuds. At the end of the day, pick out the one that suits your needs and gives you the most value.
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