The Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 are the mid-market answer to luxury, over-the-ear headphones for everyday use. These sleek headphones sport two active noise canceling features to compete with industry giants like Bose and Sony. After making a name for themselves with the BackBeat Pro 2, can Plantronics make lightning strike twice?
Design & Build Quality
The BackBeat Go 810 sports a clean, minimalist design that is somewhat evocative of competing Sony or Bose headphones currently on the market, and seamlessly combines style and durability. You will find these headphones come in three color varieties: Bone White, Graphite Black, and Navy Blue. Each sport gorgeous copper accents that are unique in their brushed, rosy finish, and set the BackBeat Go 810 apart visually from other competing headphones in the design department. Despite the build being primarily plastic, metal, and silicone, these look and feel very “premium”. The memory foam ear cuffs, which are similar to those found in Plantronics’ BackBeat Pro line, are covered with a faux leather fabric that is soft to the touch, comfortable, and easy to wear without discomfort for hours at time.
While the visual and tactile design of the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 is gorgeous, the configuration can be a tad creaky at times. That said, the build is very sturdy, versatile, and easy to adjust to your liking. The design could have used hinges where it folds to make portability even better, but the current option is still quite convenient. The headband design is a comfortable, yet clever callback to Plantronics’ BackBeat 500 series, and features a cloth-covered plastic headband with copper accents as opposed to the traditional stuffed padding found in most over-the-ear headphones. This proves just as comfortable and provides a no-slip, discomfort-free means of stability while in use.The BackBeat Go 810 comes with 2 active noise canceling options, a Bluetooth 5.0 connection with SBC codec that allows for connectivity to multiple sources, and, while such features as auto-pause or ambient mode would be nice to see, the beauty of these headphones is in their simplicity. These headphones, when taken fresh out of the package, come with a micro USB for charging, a 3.5mm audio cable, a mesh pouch for easy carrying and travel, and a QuickStart card with instructions on how to set up the headphones.
Buttons & Controls
The button configuration on these headphones is easily identifiable based on touch alone, and very user-friendly in nature. The ear cups swivel up to 90 degrees to the side for easy wearing around the neck when not in use or when taking a break from listening.The control panel on the left earphone has three buttons: forward, skip, and a multifunctional button that manages calls and media playback. The volume buttons on the side, when held down simultaneously for 2 seconds, cycle through the two ANC options available. The right earphone has the Bluetooth and power button, an EQ button that switches between two audio modes, and an LED. On the bottom of the headphones lies the micro USB plugin and an audio jack.The buttons produce satisfying, accurate tactile responses, and the Bluetooth connection pairs to devices quickly and easily with minimal setup. When toggling the Bluetooth button on, the BackBeat Go 810 headphones will show up in the available Bluetooth devices list as PLTBBGO810.
Comfort & Fit
While the build quality and slim design of the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 is good, it may not be as “premium” in feel as some might prefer, and certainly creaks a little bit more than most higher-end models would. However, these headphones are very secure and stable to wear, with no discomfort and an impressively sturdy frame despite its sleek, contemporary design. The volume buttons make an audible clicking sound upon pressing that is noticeable, but not distracting while listening.
The ear cups fit well over the ears and are very comfortable for hours-long wear without irritation or chafing, and the 90-degree rotation on the cups is perfect for wearing around the neck, though that rotation does not turn fully inward. The plush, soft memory foam is a very inviting cushion for the ears. The headband is very comfortable and highly adjustable, and presented no issues with slippage. The metal accents are sturdy and reliable in quality, and show no signs of flaking, chipping, or other damage, even after extensive use.While these do fold, the lack of hinges make it not as optimal as it could be for travel, but they are still incredibly lightweight headphones at a whopping 7 ounces, and very easy to transport. Overall, the BackBeat Go 810 is a very comfortable, sturdy model that, while not perfect, is excellent for day-to-day use.
Active Noise Cancelling
To make use of the Active Noise Canceling (ANC) features on the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810, you can either activate these settings manually on the headphones, or use the Backbeat app. The ANC comes in two settings: high, for low frequency sounds, and low, for more suppression of higher-frequency sounds. So, when in a crowded, noisy area full of high-frequency noise like talking, the low setting is ideal. The high setting is better for commuting and traveling, as it does a bang-up job of canceling out the low-frequency humming of trains, airplanes, and the like admirably.
To turn on ANC manually, it’s as simple as holding down both of the volume buttons simultaneously for 2 seconds. Simply repeat the process to turn ANC off. While the noise canceling is not of the same quality as higher-end models, it’s quite reliable and pleasant to have two settings that address different situations. High mode also works well for canceling out outdoor noises, while the low setting is perfect for peaceful, quiet listening indoors. A soft crackling sound can be heard when changing between the two modes, but it’s very slight and doesn’t impede or distract from the audio being played through the headphones.
As previously stated, the Backbeat app comes with 2 EQ presets for the BackBeat Go 810, and the differences between the two are more pronounced without active noise canceling. The modes, Bright and Balance, address treble and bass respectively. The Bright setting overemphasizes treble a bit, which may not be to some listeners’ liking, while the Balance setting basks in warm, deep bass. The loud, warm, detailed textures of music really come through most prominently with the Balance EQ setting and ANC enabled and set to high mode, as this corrects some minor bass and treble imbalances in the Balance setting when ANC is disabled.The audio quality on display is actually pretty comparable to the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 SE. Sound quality is very decent, and never became very harsh or unpleasant. The noise floor on the BackBeat Go 810 is rather high when streaming music, but the quality is quite detailed and pleasant to listen to. Obviously, it’s not the same as a pair of high-end studio headphones, but for everyday listening and enjoyment, these headphones are perfect for the job.If you want loud, comfortably warm sound with a perfect balance of highs, mids, and lows to keep you company, keep the ANC settings on high. Some may find the EQ presets lacking in customization options, while others who want to get right to listening without toggling tons of settings will appreciate the simplicity and ease of use of the audio configuration on the Backbeat app.
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 can supposedly last as long as 22 hours, but in reality, the results were even better: over 24 hours of battery life, even with ANC settings enabled for most of that time. In standard mode, these headphones are purported to hold as much as 28 hours of battery life.Battery is recharged via micro USB, but these Plantronics headphones will not need frequent charging by any means. The only downside is that the charging method doesn’t utilize USB Type C, but micro-USB is still a very accessible and reliable charging method, especially considering the incredibly long battery life on display. Charging to full battery takes about 90 minutes once battery runs out. And yes, these come right out of the box fully charged and ready to go.
The connectivity on the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 is, in a word, impressive. The energy-saving Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities allow these headphones to connect to multiple devices quickly and easily. Connection dropouts between paired devices don’t even start until around 50 feet away, so home of office use with paired devices usually several feet away from one another presents no problem. There are times when audio syncing with YouTube videos is slightly off, but this issue was fairly minor and did not occur when listening to music or streaming other forms of media.
Call quality and connection is also reliable, with incredibly crisp audio on both ends, even when outdoors. That said, make sure the active noise canceling is turned off during calls in order to minimize sound anomalies, such as echoing from the receiver, and the microphone amplifying ambient noise during a call. The HD Voice mode, easily accessible on the Backbeat app, also does wonders to improve call quality even further, and is perfect if you have to step outside to take a call or you happen to be somewhere crowded or noisy.
This fantastic new iteration of Plantronics’s quality BackBeat line of headphones is a sleek, slim, stylish, yet sturdy design with reliable active noise canceling options, warm and pleasant audio quality, and extraordinary battery life. Easy to setup and adjust to your liking, the BackBeat Go 810 is also easy to transport and carry, and more lightweight than many similar models on the market today. The soft memory foam in the ear cups and fabric-covered headband allow for easy listening with minimal discomfort.These headphones, while not ideal for the professional studio producer, are excellent for everyday use, whether you’re streaming video or music, or making calls. The Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is another great boon not often found in mid-market headphones, with its longer, more energy-efficient connection range, and ability to quickly connect to multiple devices with ease.The battery life, with its extensive 24 hours with ANC on, is a fantastic feature, and greatly reduces the need to charge these headphones frequently. Better still, the BackBeat Go 810 comes fully charged so you can jump right in to listening to your favorite tunes.The BackBeat app is simple and user-friendly for quickly adjusting settings to your liking. This ease of use plus the promise of future firmware updates, definitely up the premium-quality potential of these headphones even further.In short, the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 are one of the best mid-range active noise canceling headphones currently available, and are ideal for listeners who want a user-friendly, comfortable experience that won’t hog battery life or be inconvenient to travel with.