With the wireless neckband headphones becoming increasingly popular in the market nowadays, Plantronics has rolled out their BackBeat Go 410 headphones which are versatile and alluring to people who’d like to experience the advanced technology of wireless headphones
, without the often overwhelming bulky design. These small, lightweight wireless headphones are convenient for a number of different activities, and they will provide a comfortable and seamless listening experience, especially during long flights and while using travel pillows. The flexible neckband will conform to the shape of your body, providing sufficient stability for most activities you set your mind to. This is a pair of headphones that will especially thrill commuters and frequent flyers, as well as regular consumers. That being said, this pair of wireless headphones isn’t made for any sort of vigorous exercise which entails jumping, sprinting
, doing explosive compound movements, HIIT or weightlifting, because the neckband will bob up and down along with you, instead of remaining stable, and it will probably slide down your neck during some weightlifting
exercises in the gym.
The right earbud wire of the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 features three buttons; the center button is the multifunction control button in charge of pairing, playback, power, as well as activating Siri or Google Assistant – these functions all depend on how long you press the button. The two buttons on the top and bottom of the multifunction one are the volume up/down buttons, which are also used to switch tracks. Again, this functionality depends on how long you’re pressing the buttons. However, this is a risky move, given that it’s not unusual to accidentally skip a track when you only want to increase the volume – especially until you get used to using the headphones. There are also two functions that are accessed by combining the available buttons. Press and hold the multifunction and volume up buttons for 2 seconds, and you’ll activate ANC while doing the same with the multifunction and the volume down button activates the Smart Magnet function, which we’ll discuss in detail below. Don’t worry about distinguishing the right earbud – you’ll identify it in a heartbeat due to the fact that it’s painted in vibrant red color.
On to the microphone! The good news is that it works. The bad news is that it’s not that good. Its performance is average at best, meaning that yes – people will probably understand what you’re saying 90% of the time, but the sound that’s recorded will be burdened with muffled sounds and noises. However, it’s still better to have a microphone than to omit it completely from the headset.
There are two main advanced features worth mentioning about the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 headphones. The first one is the Dual-Mode Active Noise Cancelation. With it, you’ll be able to choose between ’High’ and ’Low’ modes, depending on how much of the environment noises you want to tune out. The small microphones on the earbuds will capture the outer noises, process and invert them, infusing them into your playback, effectively eliminating most of the outer noises. Plantronics claims that their ANC reduces the noise by 20 decibels. While you’ll be able to hear some of the airplane noise even in ’High’ mode, you’d be surprised at the amount of noise that will be completely dampened, allowing you to still immerse yourself in the music. The ’Low’ mode if equally as effective, with the intensity naturally being lower – this is the mode you’ll probably most often use while walking through town or commuting. Especially because the ’High’ mode can produce a slight hissing noise (think the hissing you hear when in a completely silent room) when used in relatively quiet spaces. Switch between the modes in order to avoid these small unpleasantries.
The other advanced feature is the above-mentioned Magnetic Sensors function, which is ingenious in its simplicity and is currently in the patent-pending phase. Basically, each earbud has a small magnet in it, so that you can snap them together. This action will be recognized by the headphones and it will cause the Bluetooth connection and the ANC to instantly shut off in order to save energy. Conversely, both of these functions are automatically turned on again, once you unlatch the magnets. However, you can deactivate this feature, which will result in the earbuds snapping together without bringing the ANC or Bluetooth at a halt. One side effect of the magnetic earbuds is that they will attract paperclips and other small metal objects they come in contact with, which is more amusing than irritating most of the time.
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 are your typical consumer-approved headphones when it comes to sound quality
. While it’s in no way lacking, and the end result is well-balanced and susceptive to the ear, these headphones would have to try harder in order to satisfy the nuanced taste of any audiophile. Luckily for them, they have no interest in doing that, and they are more than pleased with being a solid and exciting choice for your average listener, albeit a little too artificial at times. There are only two EQ settings: ’Bright’ and ’Bass’. Given that the headphones are already more inclined to accentuate the treble, most users will opt for the bass EQ preset, that will balance out the harmony and dynamics of the headphones. However, some users have reported that listening to music in this mode will tune out most of the discreet high notes, making the audio less crisp. This is up to the personal preferences of the listener, of course, but most people are satisfied with the pleasing sound quality that the ’Bass’ mode offers.
The lower registers are clear and emphasized most of the time, but if you’re listening to a song that has a lot of drums in it, the lows can become a bit blurry-sounding and overpowered. Another thing to note is that the sound quality you get with the BackBeat Go 410 increases if you turn the ANC off because, with this feature on, the headphones will put a lot of focus into lowering the complexity of the sound while making it a bit harsher and piercing. This isn’t that bad of a thing, given that in noisy environments, you could really use some added sharpness to the sound.
The Plantronics has covered all the basics and then some, ditching the vanilla Bluetooth 4.1 and replacing it with the Bluetooth 5.0, which offers a strong, consistent and reliable connection with a wireless range up to 98ft or 30m. With this type of connectivity, you won’t experience any loss of sound or streaky audio signal. Additionally, Plantronics
has included their standard 2-device simultaneous connectivity, making it possible to pair your headphones to two different devices at the same time and stream content from either one of them.
Another ingenious aspect of the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410s is the (also) patent-pending dual-use charging and in-flight cable. This cable features the USB Type-A plug on one end, and the Micro-B USB plug on the other side of the cable that is about a meter long. By pulling the Type-A USB off, you’ll reveal the 3.5mm analog stereo plug, which enables you to use the long cord for wired listening in case of your battery running out. This is immensely practical and helpful, but it still needs improvement. For instance, if you thought you could just plug in the cord and save power by turning off the Bluetooth connection while leaving the ANC on, think again. The only way for wired listening to work is if the headphones are switched off, and as soon as you turn them on, they’ll instantly try to connect to your phone. So, while this 2-in-1 solution has some true potential, and would be especially useful on long, 12-hour flights, it won’t be that helpful in the airplane if you can’t have the ANC.
The first thing to note about the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 headphones is that they are very lightweight (although there are still some significantly lighter headphones on the market) and measure only 35g or 1.2oz. This increases their comfort levels from the get-go because it’s more than likely that most people will totally forget about 35 grams of anything being distributed around your neck. Additionally, the center part of the cable is positioned within a flexible and curved silicone band. The build of these headphones is very ergonomic, meaning that they won’t tug on your ears, and the earbuds, which use 10mm drivers, are small and easily inserted (you get three differently-sized pairs of earbuds), and light enough so that the silicone neckband leaves the impression of providing enough stability so as the headphones will remain in place.
There are only two colors in which the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410s come, but they are well-picket and look beautiful. If you’re a fan of classic colors, you’ll have Graphite (a dark grey) at your disposal, and if you’re fonder of softer colors, you can opt for the appealing Bone colorway (off-white). The only thing that stands out from this uniform look is the red paint on the right earbud – a practical solution that literally all headphone brands could incorporate into their products. The tip of the earbud is built so as to enter the ear canal ever so slightly, with another part of the earbud that remains outside, providing added stability. Additionally, you’ll get a drawstring pouch along with your purchase, which is well-blended with the vibe and looks of the headphones.
The brand claims that the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 headphones are sweat-resistant, which they are, judging from the experience of most customers, but it’s still intriguing that the headphones didn’t receive an official IP rating. As far as the build goes, these headphones are mostly made from plastic and silicone, which doesn’t exactly scream luxury to anyone, but it still manages to make the headphones soft, flexible and durable, regardless of the materials used. That being said, metal is metal, and plastic is plastic, so the BackBeat Go 410s won’t be able to compete with some more high-end headphones
on the market when it comes to their sturdiness. You can still expect them to last you a good amount of time, provided you treat them with care.
Ease of Use
The buttons on the BackBeat Go 410s are intuitively positioned and made so that it’s easy to reach them, making the use of these headphones very easy. Also, the multifunction and volume buttons combined controls are easy to memorize, so you won’t experience any issues in this regard.
You can also download the Backbeat app for free, which isn’t necessary, but it’s very useful seeing how the app will detect your headphones and unlock some app-exclusive features. These features include firmware upgrades, the ‘Find My Headset’ function, access to two EQ modes, as well as dual ANC modes. On top of that, the app will showcase how much battery you have left before you have to resort to the 3.5mm cable. On the miscellaneous side of things, you can also use the app to rename the headphones and access the online manual as well. However, you won’t be able to access the manual unless your headphones are paired with your phone, so if you’re experiencing connection issues, to begin with (although this isn’t likely), you won’t be able to access the manual through the app – you’ll have to Google it separately.
The battery capacity of these Plantronics
BackBeat Go 410 headphones is 180mAH, which enables you to use them for up to 8 hours with ANC and up to 10 hours without it. The brand has also stated that the ‘listen time’ of the headphones, without streaming media, is up to 50 hours. This means that you can use them for noise cancelation only, without music or any other playback, in order to dull out the environmental noise. If you’re short on time, you can plug the headphones to the charger for 15 minutes, which will provide an additional hour of playback time, while the full charge takes around 2 hours. Also, there is a DeepSleep mode available, which the headphones will enter after an hour and a half of inactivity.
It wasn’t that long ago that ANC headphones
were reserved for the top-tier products with corresponding prices. As with any new technology, this one is becoming more and more widespread, and consequently, cheaper, enabling some mid-level or even low-level models to sport it successfully. With the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410, you’ll get a pair of good-sounding headphones with decent ANC at a fraction of the price of some slightly advanced headphones. This is a rarity in the market not only because of the price but also because the ANC technology is usually (although not exclusively) seen in the over-the-ear type of headphones, making these stand out even more. At the price they come at, these are some of the best ANC wireless neckband headphones on the market at the moment.
● Flexible silicone neckband
● Easy to use controls
● Sub-par microphone
● Dual-Mode Active Noise Cancelation
● Magnetic Sensors function
● Good sound quality for an average consumer
● Bluetooth 5.0
● Very affordable
● Patent-pending dual-use charging cable
● Quality build, although the materials aren’t premium
● 180mAH battery
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 earphones
are very practical, comfortable and decent-sounding, and their ANC modes are more effective than what you’d expect from small earbuds. There are some clear drawbacks in these headphones, especially when compared to some models that are three times their price, but in their price range and category, they are one of the most affordable and versatile earphones around.