iOS

Overview of TWS Plantronics BackBeat PRO 5100 Headphones

They showed several new Plantronics models at the IFA, I was lucky to get EVERYTHING – we even made a video about true wireless sports, soon on the channel. Well, the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 5100 I immediately unpacked, charged, and began to use it as an alternative to AirPods. You know, a very good thing. Let me remind you that the company already had completely wireless BackBeat for an active lifestyle, but the PRO 5100 is a different thing. With these headphones you can drive to the gym, of course, but it is better to carry them in public transport, on the street, in the office, on a walk.

The prefix “PRO” appeared here not by chance: these are one of the few TWS-headphones, where great attention is paid to the quality of voice transmission. I understand that many people stopped talking on the phone, but some still have an hour, two, three, four endless discussions a day – and here the PRO 5100 could win the main prize or silver, if there was an award “Best TWS in Voice Quality”. I am impressed with the work of the company's engineers and want to share my emotions with you. Flew!

Design Features

In TWS-headphones it is very difficult to play with the design – in the end, they are practically not visible in the ears. Nevertheless, the design team did an excellent job, and the old legendary devices are guessed in the model. For example, I see continuity with the Voyager line here: perforation underneath, serious color, finish. Well done, nice to use.

The case is small, alas, but it uses a micro-USB connector. Guys, let's finish with this, in the yard, 2019. I can scold the product only for the old connector, everything else is very cool. The lid is opened by pressing a button, inside there is a light indicator, fixing the headphones is clear and simple.

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The stated operating time is 6.5 hours, the case gives 13 hours of operation (two full charges), there is a quick charge – after 15 minutes of charging, you can use the headphones for one hour. Good performance.

Passive noise isolation at a very good level, if you want to talk normally with someone, it is best to get headphones from your ears, otherwise you will constantly ask your interlocutor again. If you turn on the music, you can safely remain alone with your thoughts even in a crowded place, in public transport, in flight.

In general, nozzles here are a separate story. They are not made like everyone else’s, they’re not removed like everyone else’s, they’re not even packaged like everyone else’s: they are in a blister, like tablets. Only three sizes: small, medium, large. At first they came up to me, after a careful fitting I put the middle nozzle on the left cup, on the right big one. I also advise you to try on everything.

As for planting, there is no pain, there is no discomfort, nothing rubs anywhere. Headphones are cool to wear under a hat, they easily snap into place, easily come out. With positioning in the case, everything is also more or less clear. There are sensors on the cups: you pull out the earphone, the music pauses – you can configure it this way, you can do it differently. To configure, you need the BackBeat program, now I will tell you more about it.

Backbeat program

The BackBeat program is suitable for these headphones, look for it in the AppStore or in another store if you have an Android smartphone. Headphones are quickly detected, the operating hours of each cup are displayed in hours / minutes format, a bunch of settings, just like in the good old days.

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For example, here you can use the traditional control scheme: the right cup is responsible for Play / Pause, answering a call, and the left one is for adjusting the volume. Or you can activate the sensor on the left cup: one or two tapas, that is, two actions, you can choose the action yourself. For example, assign Siri to a single tap, and a double tap will launch a pre-selected playlist in Apple Music. Is it good? Yes, just fine.

And here the “main” headphone is switched, you can get a firmware update, there is a choice of language (Russian is supported), HD Voice is activated. A long time ago I did not see such an impressive list.

I will say this again: the buttons on the cups are exactly the buttons, they are well pressed, you do not need to press hard with your finger. But if necessary, the left button turns into a sensor. I have never seen such a thing.

But there is a bit of a strange moment. In the settings after connecting the PRO 5100, three devices are immediately identified: the main earphone, the left and the device called PLTBBPRO5100BLE. I understand everything, even Bose headphones are visible as two devices, but three why?

Sound

I have no questions about the sound quality. Those who want to hear the bass will hear them; those who want to hear the vocals will hear them. It is pleasant to listen to music of different genres, I enjoyed it. I repeat: play with the nozzles, this seriously affects the sound.

Immediately I will tell about the quality of voice transmission. Each headset has two microphones, they work together with a noise reduction system that can deal with office noise, wind, and other troubles. I must say, the PRO 5100 wins the fight – none of my interlocutors complained about sound quality, people's voices sound good, mine seems to be the same. In some TWS-headphones you generally try not to use this feature – here, on the contrary, I generally did not get them out of my ears.

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A little about DSP: the headphones use Qualcomm chip and Qualcomm Kalimba system. The specific name of the chip will not say, most likely one of these. I know that in Russia many people love Qualcomm products, it’s like “Made in Japan” as before, so I decided to say so.

Verdict

In retail, headphones will cost 12,990 rubles. This is essentially the price of AirPods, but what can Plantronics BackBeat PRO 5100 make you choose? I liked the working time, the fit, the excellent quality of voice transmission, good sound quality, ease of connection. There is Bluetooth 5.0, there were no glitches and other things.

Cons: some ambiguity with management. Still, sometimes headphones don’t understand double tap, with a long press the second ear turns off and then for some reason the sound goes only to the right channel. After typical manipulations from the “turn on / turn off / restart” series, everything returns to normal, but AirPods do not behave like that. And not defined as three devices.

Therefore, my advice is this: if you are an iPhone user, connect your headphones before buying, try, rate, then decide whether to buy or not. If you have an Android smartphone, most likely the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 5100 will please you – especially if you do not need sports, but are looking for a high-quality model for every day and talk a lot on the phone. I repeat, there are practically no competitors in the quality of voice transmission in headphones.

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Chief editor of the blogErika J. Wells .

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