During the off season at the State Park I work at I listen to audiobooks while I work. It helps pass the time and keeps my mind active while I go about the routine chores assigned to me. I’ve tried many different earbuds and headsets, but I’m always up for trying something new.
BackBeat FIT – Wireless Headphones
Until now all of my listening devices have been wired, but today I tried out the Plantronic BackBeat FIT from Verizon Wireless. The first thing I noticed was the design. These are completely flexible to fit under any hat or cap I might be wearing. Plus the over-the-ear design means they stay put no mater how many times I have to bend over to pick things up.
Because it’s the off-season, contact with the public is limited. But in the past when someone approached for help I’d have to tell them to wait a second while I fish around in my pocket to turn of the audiobook I’m listening too. The Plantronic BackBeat FIT has a conveniently located pause button on the left earbud so it’s a quick click and I’m able to hear everything.
The headset is very simple to use and great sound. The headset talks me through the settings – “Power On,” “Bluetooth Connected,” and the battery status are all shared via voice so I don’t have to remove it or change settings on my phone. These aren’t noise cancelling headphones and they don’t block out the ambient noise, but they’re designed that way on purpose for safety. They let you be aware of your surroundings and any emergencies while still enjoying the deep bass music.
There is an app, though it’s not available for a Windows phone, which is what I’m using now. The app allows you to wirelessly update the headphones with automatic notifications when new firmware is released. I’ll have to connect the headset to my PC to check for firmware. The app also lets you see the battery level on your device. But I can access Cortana on my Nokia Ikon via the headphones to leave myself memos or to set up a reminder. I can also turn the volume up or down, skip to the next track, go back, pause, and I can make and take calls via voice activation also via Cortana.
BackBeat FIT – Made for Moving
These are made for runners, walkers, hikers, and anyone who works outdoors like me. They have a reflective finish so I can be seen after dusk and a rugged sweat-proof design with a P2i coating. The battery life is around 8 hours depending on the volume you select and it charges quickly overnight and is ready for the next day. It’s slated to do up to 6 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time and they go into a DeepSleep hibernation mode when they’re away from my phone to extend the battery life. They’re charged with a standard mini USB so I can even charge it in the truck if I’m expecting to be out longer.
I keep my Nokia Icon smartphone in my pocket, but the Plantronic BackBeat FIT comes complete with a neoprene armband for you runners. The armband is neon green reflective material and by turning it inside out, it converts to a black carry case with the straps and headphone tucked inside. It’s a smart, space saving design that’s well made and the sound is surprisingly good.