Review - BackBeat GO wireless headphones

BackBeat GO wireless headphones
BackBeat GO wireless headphones

BackBeat GO wireless headphones

(Plantronics, $149)

Reviewed by Chris Gardner

Here's another gizmo that comes in a large box but when you open it the product is tiny.

Plantronics BackBeat GO wireless headphones comprise two earbuds joined by about 56 centimetres of cabling which includes a 3 cm strip of on/off, volume and Bluetooth pairing controls and 29cm-long USB cable with which to charge it.

Thank goodness it comes with instructions, as this device is not at all intuitive.

First, charge the headphones by plugging the USB cable into the left earbud's USB port which is accessed by peeling back a rubber cover. Then plug the other end into a computer and let it charge for 2 hours. You'll know it's fully charged when the red light on the right earbud goes off.

Once it's charged you need to pair the headphones with your phone by holding the on/off switch for several seconds until the LED flashes. Then select PLT-BBTGO in the Bluetooth pairing setting on the phone.

It comes with several ear tips - I found the bulbous ones already fitted were too big for my small ear canals. So I switched them for a smaller pair from the box but neither they nor the option of no tips were comfortable for me.

But my ear canals are unusually small.

At first I thought the placing of the controls, about 6cm from the right earbud, was a bit odd. But then I realised the cabling is supposed to sit behind your neck and not in front of it. That wasn't obvious.

Having paired the headphones with my phone I quickly called Billy Joel's Pianoman up and had a groove.

So it's good for music.

But I didn't have much luck with making a hands-free call.

You're supposed to be able to ask the phone to call a contact after pressing the Contact button for a couple of seconds. I heard the phone respond to the button when I asked it to call a specific contact, but it told me that contact was not in my address book. He was. And the function works using the phone's built-in microphone, so I can only imagine that the microphone in the headphones wasn't up to the job.

The Hastings Mail