Tablets like the iPad are great for consuming content, but it can be difficult to find a comfortable position or listen without bothering other users while confined to traditional wired headphones.
I watch a lot of TV shows and movies on my iPad and on various Android tablets, but until I was able to use a good set of Bluetooth headphones I left a lot of tablet functionality go un-used, or dealt with awkwardly pulling my tablet off its resting spot.
I’ve used the Plantronics BackBeat Go Bluetooth headphones for the past two months and have to admit it’s hard to go back to a wired pair of headphones when I’m using my tablet.
Picking up a good pair of Bluetooth earbuds like this won’t unlock secret powers for the iPad or Android tablets, but it will open up more uses.
Getting Work Done
I always listen to music while I am working. If I am trying to get work done on my iPad I pair the BackBeat Go bluetooth headset while using an iPad keyboard case. Wired headphones work fine here, but wireless headphones mean I don’t have to mess with a cable trailing near my keyboard or disconnect when I want to go get a refill.
Thanks to the Google+ app for iPad I can now participate in hangouts from the same headphones I was listening to. I have been using the iPhone Google+ app on the iPad, but now that there is a iPad app I think this will be more common. Additionally I can now dock my iPad in my TwelveSouth HoverBar off to the side of my desk to videochat with coworkers and with family, without being on a short cord.
I’ve connected my iPad to Google Voice with Talkatone, so I can even take calls to my Google Voice number on the iPad using the Bluetooth headset.
New Uses For My Tablet
Listening to music isn’t new, but I notice that I use the iPad more often with wireless headphones. Users who own a tablet but no smartphone should definitely invest in a pair of Bluetooth headphones. I found myself listening to Pandora, Rhapsody and Songza way more often, even while I was putting away dishes or working around the house. Wired headphones are not cut out for this type of use with a tablet, especially not with a huge tablet like the Toshiba Excite 13.
The BackBeat Promo video shows a few similar use cases, and the flexibility of wireless headphones.
Audible Audiobooks also found a new home on my iPad. I listen to these most often while putting away dishes or doing yardwork. There’s no way I’m going to carry my iPad around in a pocket or pouch while working outside, but if I set it nearby it can stream music and audiobooks to my headphones without disturbing my neighbors with Tyrion Lannister in the latest Game of Thrones novel. Trust me, the Game of Thrones books are best enjoyed without blasting the details to everyone nearby.
The headphones include a built in control, much like the standard iPhone headphones, so I can pause audiobooks and music without going over to the tablet as well as control volume.
As I mentioned, I use my iPad to watch a lot of TV and movies. Most of this happens while I wait to fall asleep at night. In this situation wired headphone cords aren’t too short, just too easy to pull my iPad off it’s perch and wake up my wife.
I’ve been using the Plantronics BackBeat Go Bluetooth headphones to watch several Netflix movies, The Daily Show on Hulu Plus and Netflix movies in bed and I enjoy being able to find a comfortable position without worrying about the cord pulling the iPad over.
Bluetooth headsets come with their own set of problems while in use late at night, like the worry that the sound will choose to blast out over the built in speakers instead of the wireless headphones. Fortunately this only happened once due to a re-connection issue. I thought these headphones would be perfect for listening to music while falling asleep, but apps don’t always turn off when Bluetooth headphones disconnect. When the battery died at 2AM music started playing from the iPad’s internal speakers waking us up.
Bluetooth headphones like the Plantronics BackBeat Go are a perfect tablet companion. The BackBeat Go headphones are much more comfortable than bluetooth workout headphones and deliver better audio than single ear headsets designed mainly for phone calls and listening to podcasts.
Battery life will limit the use of the BackBeat Go. Thanks to the minimal size battery life is only good for about 4 hours of listening to music or movies. This means it’s tough to leave home with just the headset and the iPad for a day of working in a coffeeshop or park, if I want to listen to music or video chat all day. For my at home use, battery life was not an issue, and the headset is easy to charge thanks to a MicroUSB charger.
Amazon sells the BackBeat Go Stereo headset for $77, a discount off the $99 suggested retail price.