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Plantronics BackBeat Go 2. Go back to the beat!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
WHY WIRELESS – BLUETOOTH EARPHONE

Since February 2014, I ran while listening to Sony NWZ-W273 so that I can focus to running and keep motivated with energetic track. However, W273 lack of integration with smart phone. It's a good mp3 player with acceptable sound but comfortable fitting. I tried stock Note 2 earphone while running and they keep falling from my ear, and the wire really distract me.

I use HIIT timer and Runkeeper while running to check my distance, speed, pace, and timer etc so I need a wireless earphone to pair with my phone. Before this, I ran while holding my phone with W273 at my ear. It’s really distracting because I need to check on the phone whenever I want to know my time and distance. And so my searching for wireless earphone begins.

After few days of searching, Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 and Jaybird Freedom Sprint got my attention. But in the end I pick PBG2 for few reasons. Take note! This is not why PBG2 is better than JFS so each product owner, seller and fan, don’t get me wrong. Comparison is done by online search and unbiased.


THE REASON

Main reason for PBG2 is because it’s cheaper than JFS in lowyat.net, plus PBG2 warranty covered by local distributor, MCM Company. So if there’s something wrong, I expect the warranty process will be faster. And from what I read, JFS micro USB charging port and cable is non standard. As for PBG2, it shares same cable with my phone and FiiO X3. Weight wise PBG2 is lighter than JFS, 5 ounces vs 12 ounces, based on Amazon website. Another thing that I like about PBG2 is smaller size from what I searched with Google images. Smaller in size yet looks more urban and modern.

But there are few things to be considered about JFS. For those who will use this earphone for daily usage, JFS got almost double of battery life of PBG2, 8 hour vs 4.5 hour. But I don’t need 8 hour because I simply use this earphone mainly for workout. Longest time I spent for workout is about 2 hour. Most of the time, I spent my time with Sennheiser HD 600, and Shure SE 215 LE. After workout, I just plug in at USB and charge until the indicator LED turn blue, indicate that it’s fully charged.

And in case you want premium and minimal design, I suggest JFS for the sleek look and better earphone material IMO but they are larger and noticeable on ear. I like the idea of the shell fully made from plastic. This is where I started to dislike PBG2, because of the rubber used for the shell. I dislike rubber coating/ surface and wasn’t expecting this just by looking at online photo. I thought it’s a combination of grey and black plastic. Sigh...


THE COMFORT ZONE

Ironically, I got knees problem and I can't try this earphone for my usual 5km run. Damn knees, it’s been 2 weeks of rest and still the pain is there. So I just ran for 15 minutes with this earphone for testing. I jump, shook my head and light jog but the earphone is technically clipped to my ear. It doesn’t fall off though I’m sweating and there’s no sound changed during activities. I prefer to wear PBG2 behind my neck but no matter how I wear it, cable microphonic still present. And the flat cable indeed tangles free.

I wear waist pouch when running because I dislike arm rest and having a big phone at my right arm seems awkward. From JF3 review, I read that some of the owner face audio cutting during workout due to disturbed bluetooth audio signal when they keep their phone in pocket or waist pouch. Fortunately my PBG2 is free from this issue whether I kept my phone in my pocket or waist pouch.

I spent about 30 minutes when I first receive this earphone just to figure the perfect fit. Fitting and positioning is very important or else, you will complaint little bass, piercing treble, and blanketed sound etc. I used the smallest earbud, it’s a bit larger, thicker and seems durable than W273 earbud. Overall, I still prefer W273 in comfort zone due to the fitting, softer and thinner earbud and no cable microphonic. Anyway, I have this idea to tie the cable with rubber band for reducing cable microphonic but never have the chance to try.


AUDIO PERFORMANCE

To be honest, my early expectation is muddy sound with bloated bass. But once I managed to find a good seal, I'm quite surprised with the performance and noticeably better than W273 in every aspect. Still my Shure SE 215 LE sound way better but however it’s not sweat proof and I don’t want to kill this earphone with my sweat and moist during workout.

The first thing I notice when I listened to PBG2 is clean sounding that it produced and this make vocal oriented song so enjoyable. It also sounds thin and slightly bright, however there’s no sharp or piercing treble detected from percussion and other even for bass oriented genre. Thin sounding is really obvious in fast music that involves distortion guitars, tambourine, drum cymbals, and other percussion such as heavy metal and EDM. Sibilance detected in few track but it’s not annoying enough to spoil my listening session.

I would say PBG2 got a small soundstage. For fast music it’s like watching a performance in a small jamming room where the vocalist is at the first row, guitarists at the second row and drummer at the third row but as if like the band perform just in front of you. It sounds engaging and energetic. For vocal oriented and live performances, it’s like watching a performance from the back row seat at the middle of the stage, only with a small soundstage. Good instrument separation where I can hear detail placement and positioning of instrument and singer especially in live performance.

The bass perform really well beyond my expectation, but a bit loose and would be better if there’s more punch in the mid low. It doesn’t overpower vocals or other instruments but I prefer if the drum sound at the same row with guitars, more energetic and more engaging. Of course the bass couldn’t go really low like a speaker or higher end earphone/ headphone, and I think it’s due to driver size limitation. Despite what other people say, the bass performance is enough to keep me pumped while listening to bass oriented music whether when I lifting weight or jogging. For reader to get some view of my bass preferences, Sennheiser Amperior is the perfect bassy headphone for me and Sennheiser HD600 got the perfect bass to my ear.


FINAL THOUGHTS

PBG2 really goes beyond my expectation. It sounds clean, thin with adequate bass amount and yet sweet mids. Most important, it doesn’t cause my ear fatigue. Having a small soundstage and highlighting vocal, along with good instrument separation, it’s totally a huge improvement from W273 and suit my needs. However I wish the bass is tighter, drum sound nearer to you along with guitars etc, a bit wider soundstage and more energy. It’s a worth investment of earphone if you need wireless, durable and urban design.


FINAL WORDS

To be honest, in real situation we won’t notice too much music detail during workout. We will focus on finishing the run or reps, catching our breath and sending the dumbbell/ barbell ass to hell. No matter what is the source, music definitely will pump me up as long I listen to the guitar riff and the heart pumping drum and bass beat. I listened to metal and hip hop song for strength training and HIIT but for jogging, I sometimes listened to acoustic song to get myself in mood where I ran peacefully.

I never try the mic because it’s impractical to answer a call and having a casual conversation during workout. If your girlfriend/ boyfriend called you during workout and insist to have a conversation, leave her while you can because she will bug you more than that! Soul mate will fully understand why their partner can’t answer call or reply text during workout, and gaming.
Edited by diaBoliQu3 - 6/22/14 at 10:29pm
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 

Edited.


Edited by diaBoliQu3 - 6/14/14 at 10:15am
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