Are they a worthy affordable pair of wireless over-the-ear headphones?
While true wireless earbuds are all the rage these days. For under Php 6k, you can get a decent pair of true wireless earbuds that sound great, have a good set of features, and respectable battery life. However, there are some individuals who prefer over-the-ear headphones instead.
There are a few reasons why there’s a market for over-the-ear cans: aside from providing much better battery life, these type of headphones provide for a more spacious and expansive soundstage with their bigger drivers.
Plantronics’ BackBeat GO 600 is one of the many over-the-ear options out there. Priced at under Php 5k, this pair of cans is one of the more affordable options you can purchase locally. Does the BackBeat GO 600 offer good value for money?
The BackBeat GO 600 does not scrimp on materials despite its sub-Php 5k price. You get a matte polycarbonate outer shell adorned with Plantronics’ logo and a metal inner frame. You can adjust both earcups for a proper fit, and the BackBeat GO 600 is relatively light for a pair of full-size, over-the-ear headphones, weighing roughly 175 grams.
It comes in four color options: navy, grey, black, and khaki. Our review pair is in black, which comes with white and gray accent colors and an orange cloth tab on the right side of the headband.
The BackBeat GO 600’s memory foam earcups and soft leatherette outer layer make it comfortable to wear even for prolonged listening periods. You get the same leatherette material on the headband area, and the earcups rotate when you store them using the supplied pouch. However, the BackBeat GO 600 does not fully fold up, making it a rather bulky option for a pair of wireless headphones for your EDC.
Being an over-the-ear variety, you get passive noise-canceling with the BackBeat GO 600. While it cannot match active noise-canceling solutions, they can filter a good amount of ambient noise.
Instead of fiddling through with buttons, setting up the BackBeat GO 600 involves a switch. You flip the switch up to turn on Bluetooth and slide it up further to prepare it for pairing. Our devices detected the BackBeat GO 600 immediately, and the whole pairing process is hassle-free.
If you want the old-school wired approach, all you need to do is attach the supplied 3.5mm cable to the BackBeat GO 600 and to your device’s headphone jack. No need to flick the Bluetooth switch—using a wired connection does not consume any battery power.
On wireless mode, the BackBeat GO 600 can last up to around 18 hours at 70% volume. Juicing it up is done through a MicroUSB port found on the left earcup. The BackBeat GO 600 can connect up to two devices simultaneously, and its Bluetooth 4.1 connection is stable and reliable.
One of the things we hate about true wireless earbuds is the inconsistency of their touch controls. Fortunately for headphones like the BackBeat GO 600, you have physical buttons to control music playback and volume on the left earcup and an EQ switch button on the bottom of the right earcup.
All of the controls function properly when we played our favorite songs and playlists via Spotify. The EQ switch button has a cool feature: it doubles as a redial button when you press it twice.
Unlike most true wireless earbuds, the BackBeat GO does not have support for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
After using the BackBeat GO 600 to play tracks from Carly Rae Jepsen, Ariana Grande, Drake, and A$AP Rocky, we think that its overall sound profile is best for non-bass-heavy tracks when you choose the neutral EQ setting. Switching to bass boost EQ setting added more depth to the lows, though it is not as defined compared to more expensive wireless over-the-ear offerings from other brands.
Lack of bass definition aside, the BackBeat GO 600 performed better in the mids and highs—regardless of the EQ setting you are using. We think that its overall sound quality can be improved further if Plantronics has an app that lets you manually tweak the EQ settings.
Being a budget pair of wireless cans, the BackBeat GO 600 is limited to a custom SBC codec—you don’t get high-fidelity Bluetooth codecs like aptX or AAC, though it should not be a big deal for the casual music listener.
For Php 4395 (at Plantronics’ official Shopee store), the BackBeat GO 600 offers great value for money. You get plush memory foam ear cups that are comfortable to wear and do a decent job in isolating ambient noise, a highly functional set of physical controls, and a no-frills Bluetooth pairing procedure.
While you don’t get features like voice assistant support or aptX, the BackBeat GO 600 makes up for a good soundstage that’s great for a broad range of music genres. As of this writing, the BackBeat GO 600 is the only over-the-ear headphones that come with a sub-Php 5k price—most headphones at this price point are the smaller on-ear variety.