Plantronics BackBeat 505 Wireless Headphones Review: The Average Joe of Audio
+ Battery life is good
+ Small and easy to carry around
+ Can connect to 2 devices simultaneously
- Audio quality is only okay at best
- Feels kinda plasticky
- Pricier than expected
- Can't fold
- Not comfortable for long hours of use
Our review of the Plantronics BackBeat 505 wireless on-ear headphones, a more affordable alternative of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. Could this be your next headphone?
In a world that’s becoming more and more mobile, we started to see less and less of wires in our usual gadgets, especially our everyday listening peripherals. Some of you may prefer headphones which look cool while others prefer earphones which are easier to carry around. What about those looking for something in-between? Today, we’re going to take a look at the Plantronics BackBeat 505 wireless headphones, which is supposed to bring the best of both worlds.
Unboxing the Plantronics BackBeat 505 Wireless Headphones
If you haven’t checked out our unboxing post from earlier on, you can check out our video just above here. We did have some extra details in our unboxing post as well so if you want to get up to speed with what we’ve done with the Plantronics BackBeat 505 wireless headphones prior to the review, you can check it out by clicking here.
The Plantronics BackBeat 505 is one of those headphones that look bigger in pictures but is surprisingly small when you see it in person. It’s a pretty simple-looking headphone with some on-ear controls that you can see on the left cup (previous song, play/pause, and next song), and the Plantronics logo on the right cup (PLT).
On the left cup, you’ll also have the volume buttons, micro USB port, and a 3.5mm jack. On the right cup on the other hand is where the power / pairing switch and equalizer button is located.
Aside from the metal construction connecting the ear cups to the headband itself, the Plantronics BackBeat 505 feels rather plasticky, with a bit of a rubbery touch on the plates of the ear cups where the logo and controls are located. It doesn’t make it feel super cheap or easily broken, and it can stretch a bit without the need to worry about damages unless you plan on doing some contortionist magic with the thing.
It’s worth noting that while you can turn the earcups so you can lay it flat on any surface or place it in your bag for easier storage, you can’t actually fold it. It’s a good thing the headphone is small so it shouldn’t take up much space but at the same time, it would make for a major plus if the emphasis of this headphone is something most people would want to easily bring anywhere and everywhere.
As for the padding on the Plantronics BackBeat 505, it’s comfortable to a certain degree. Most people should be able to wear it without damaging their ears but at the same time, long hours use will leave me feeling rather uncomfortable.
Plantronics BackBeat 505 Specifications
|Frequency Response||20Hz ~ 20KHz|
|Range||Up to 10 meters from Bluetooth Device|
|Battery Life||Up to 18 Hours of Listening and Talk Time on Single Charge|
|On-ear Controls||Play/Pause, Skip Tracks, Adjust Volume, Answer Calls|
Honestly speaking, I’ve always been more of a headphone person rather than an earphone person as I feel more comfortable and the listening experience for me has always been better. With the Plantronics BackBeat 505 however, I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I thought I would, and I have my reasons for this.
For one thing, the audio quality is only okay at best with a rather forward midrange but the bass is really weak and the treble often gets drowned by the lows. Also given the size of the headphone itself and mild clamping force, it’s to be expected that noise isolation isn’t great. To a certain extent, this is understandable given that it’s meant to be a more affordable alternative of the BackBeat Pro 2 but with this, I’d rather just wait it out and save up the cash to get the Pro 2 instead.
The Plantronics BackBeat 505 feels comfortable to wear and it’s very light, making it feel like you don’t have anything on your head… although somewhat conscious that you have something on your ears. However, it’s not really comfortable to wear for long hours as your ears will start to get warm and feel quite a bit of discomfort.
The buttons are easily accessible and I have no problems whatsoever with them. It takes a bit of time to get used to the placements of the switches and buttons but this is normal for all wireless headphones. Connecting to your device of choice is also very easy and straightforward whether you’re on Android or iOS. Your smartphones will remember devices that have connected to it before so the next time, it will automatically connect upon powering on.
The best part here is that you can connect it to 2 devices simultaneously, so if you need it to be listening to audio on one machine but still be kept on as a handsfree device for your smartphone at the same time, you’ll have no problems here. Speaking of which, using this as a handsfree device resulted in pretty good experience. I can hear the other person better than just using my iPhone 8 Plus directly, and the other person also said that they can hear my voice clearly. In other words, it does its job well as a handsfree kit.
The battery life that is being claimed here is up to 18 hours on a single charge and so far, it’s been pretty accurate. I don’t see myself charging it everyday and I was testing it by listening it to about 2 hours everyday, ending up by charging it about slightly more than a week later. Of course, you can always utilize the 3.5mm input on the Plantronics BackBeat 505 if you’re ever worried about low batteries.
Plantronics BackBeat 505 Verdict
The Plantronics BackBeat 505 wireless headphone is clearly meant for those who want to buy the BackBeat Pro 2 but can’t afford it. Problem with this is that I can’t seem to exactly justify why someone should buy this instead of just saving up for a better one, like the BackBeat Pro 2. Like, if you have no headphones to use whatsoever, I understand, but if you have an existing one and you’re just looking to upgrade, look elsewhere.
Especially when you consider that you can get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 for not that much higher than the Plantronics BackBeat 505, in which the latter is priced at RM499. With that in mind, I really don’t think I can give the Plantronics BackBeat 505 wireless headphone with an award.