Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 Review

The Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 Bluetooth headphones are a complete redesign of the popular BackBeat Go line. The upgraded headphones look better, wear better and sound better than their predecessor.

With a sealed design and small tabs that complete a good fit the BackBeat Go 3 headphones work well sitting at a desk or working out. Over the last week we put the new Bluetooth headphones through the paces at a coffee shop, our home office and on an impromptu 5K.

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At $99 for the headphones alone and $129 for a charging case that keeps your headphones safe and adds two more charges the Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 offers a lot of value for the price.

Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 review: impressive Bluetooth headphones.

Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 review: impressive Bluetooth headphones.

While the Jaybird X2 headphones stood out as a much more stylish option compared to the BackBeat Go 2, Plantronics’ decision to completely change the design pays off. These headphones do not look like a $99 pair of Bluetooth headphones. The copper and grey version we used really stands out as a stylish option.

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Enough with the looks? How do the Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 headphones sound? While listening to a range of music from Kaskade and Weezer to Jay Z and Kanye West the headphones sound very good. Even with the smaller size, Plantronics is able to deliver a fine tuned bass by delivering a very good seal in my ear.

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On Love Lockdown the Bass heavy song delivers an immersive listening experience despite the size of the headphones. While listening to Good Mystery by Amber Rubarth clear percussion comes through with crisp snaps and the headphones do a very impressive job of representing the wide sound stage with instruments to the right and vocals coming in slightly to your rear.

Switch tips to get a good fit. A great seal is essential for good sound.

Switch tips to get a good fit. A great seal is essential for good sound.

There are three earbuds that you can choose from to get a good fit. I need the largest size in both ears to get a good fit. The small tabs that stick up do a good job of keeping the headphones in place. While working in my office, cleaning the house or working in the coffeeshop the fit was perfect, isolating a lot of external noise by keeping a very good seal.

I had to adjust the left earbud twice while running a 5K on a bitterly cold April afternoon, but this is fairly common when I wear headphones that seal to your ear. The BackBeat Go 3 stayed tight, but sweat funnels into my left ear and ends up making the headphone wiggle enough to impact the sound.

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Plantronics told us that they engineer their headphones to fit 90% of ears, which my left ear obviously falls just outside of. I’ve run into this issue with almost every pair of in ear headphones that seal, even wired ones.

The good news is that the Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 headphones feature a p2i protective coating that keeps your headphones safe from sweat and moisture. After running three miles in the rain, the Go 3 headphones still work perfectly.

The headphones fit well and stay put when running, but I did need to adjust one side due to sweat.

The headphones fit well and stay put when running, but I did need to adjust one side due to sweat.

On the right side of the headphones is a small set of controls and a microphone that allows you to take calls. There are not sensors, or wind and noise cancelling microphones in this like in the Plantronics Voyager line, but it is OK for short calls. Controls are easy to use and let you use voice control in addition to controlling music.

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The Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 battery life is rated at 6.5 hours on a single charge, which is similar to what we’ve seen with the headphones. If you upgrade to the charging pouch you can charge the headphones two times on the go. There is a small LED to show how much power is in the case and headphone charging status.

The case can charge the headphones so that you have more power on the go.

The case can charge the headphones so that you have more power on the go.

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Plantronics delivers a stylish, comfortable set of Bluetooth headphones that sound better than what you get with your phone and are on par with competing products from Jaybird and others in this price range.