Plantronics seems eager to please all the music loving health junkies lately, and the Backbeat Fit 2100 serves as a testament to that fact. With the proud exclamation “Wireless Sport” right out on the box, the pair of earpods boasts it ultra stable fit, lightweight and waterproof body. But how well does it deliver?
The Backbeat Fit 2100 mostly consists of a thick rubber material which feels very durable. Considering the packaging proudly boasts “Built for Outdoors”, the device should be reasonably resistant to wear and tear.
The Backbeat Fit 2100 is also water (and sweat) proof with an IP57 Rating. While we did not actually try drowning the earpods in a pool, we believe that responsibly wearing them even during the most hardcore, sweat-inducing workout sessions or even under considerably rough weather, should be safe.
The earpods are connected together with a short rubber cord which is supposed to go over each ear and sit comfortably behind the wearer’s head. The earpods themselves are designed to rest right outside the ear canals to avoid sealing them in, as with most in-ear earphones. This is to make sure that a certain degree of ambient noise can be heard by the user, in order to maintain the “always aware” philosophy behind the device. And true to its word, even pumping heavy tunes at max volume failed to drown out the less subtle sounds of your surroundings. Needless to say, there is no noise cancellation feature, and while that may put a lot of people off, they are are not the crowd that Plantronics aims to please with this line of products.
The earpods themselves follow the idea of “one size fits all” but, similar to most products following that concept, they are more comfortable for some people than others, and I personally fall into the latter, with my ears feeling increasingly uneasy as I wore the pair during a half hour long commute. But surely enough, I never felt any risk of the earpods falling off by accident.
The earpods do allow users a decent bit of control with a button on the right earpiece and tap controls on the left. The tap controls needed to be set up through Plantronics Backbeat’s smartphone app, with users being able to short tap or hold in order to perform actions of their choice. The button on the right earpiece can be used to turn on the device, initiate pairing mode, play/pause, and turn off the device. The response of all the controls are anything but instantaneous as there are noticeable latency for pretty much every command.
While the Backbeat Fit 2100 can easily cater to fitness junkies, the same cannot be said for audiophiles. The sound is serviceable but not good enough to warrant owning it as your main device for listening to music. The highs are muddy and it often feels as if the drivers are easily overwhelmed by bass. The perpetual ambient noise helps to distract from the lackings in sound quality, while also diminishing the clarity of the sound even further.
The Backbeat Fit 2100 is a great pair of earpods for users who run or work out a lot, as it is durable, waterproof and almost certain never to fall off by itself. But all that comes with a compromise in sound quality, so sound enthusiasts should definitely steer clear. Additionally, the way the earpieces fit into the ear may not be of comfort to everyone, and Plantronics should consider additional accessories to allow more flexibility for users. Nevertheless, the device does what it aims to do very well, delivering a very simple, fuss-free experience.