Plantronics BackBeat FIT vs. Powerbeats3: Best For The Workouts?

Plantronics BackBeat FIT

Love

  • The Plantronics sound good if you get the right fit. They’re on par with the Powerbeats3, but cheaper on Amazon.
  • I found these to be comfortable, but you can’t make adjustments, so they’re not going to work for everyone.
  • You’ll get about six hours of battery, according to my test.
  • They’re not noise canceling, but they don’t claim to be. I have no issue with this since noise canceling isn’t always what you want when you’re working out. Sometimes you need to hear what’s going on around you.
  • They’re waterproof up to one meter for 30 minutes. You can get soaked without a problem.

Hate

  • There’s no way to make adjustments. It’s one size fits all. If they don’t fit when you put them on, they will never fit.
  • Because of the unique and stiff design of the connector, they look strange, and it may cause an inconvenience. For example, if you wear a hoodie, the stiff cable will be in the way and the headphones may become loose and fall out of your ears.
  • The user interface is terrible. The buttons are hard to find (you can’t see them) and get stuck. For example, to play and pause, you tap the left side. Tap twice to go back, and three times to skip forward. But on the right side, it’s one tap to go back and two to skip forward.
  • I had problems where the volume would randomly get turned all the way down and get stuck there, and it wouldn’t return to normal without being restarted.
  • I don’t recommend these for phone calls. The mic is in a weird spot and isn’t of good quality. They’re not designed for calls, but the other headphones I reviewed do a better job in that regard.
  • These may not have the best longevity. A lot of users have complained that the blue coating wears off around the ear loops. Also, while the battery starts off strong, it seems to struggle to hold a charge longer than a few hours after prolonged use.
  • These use the Bluetooth 3.0 rather than 4.0. I struggled to pair these with multiple devices at once and, because of this, you can’t see how much battery you have left.

Powerbeats3 Wireless

Love

  • Powerbeats3 sound like a premium headphone, as they should. The bass can be a little heavy at times, and I found SoundSports to sound better, but overall, it’s a quality sound.
  • All Beats products have the W1 chip. The W1 chip works with Apple’s iCloud and makes switching between your Apple products seamless. As soon as your turn on the Powerbeats3, it pops up on your phone’s screen (with the exact battery life displayed). Click one button and you’re connected. You don’t have to go into the Bluetooth settings. This is a gamechanger.
  • The battery life is ridiculous! You get 12 hours of playback. No one other Bluetooth headphone is close to 12 hours.
  • There’s a feature called Fast Fuel that gives you an hour of playback with a five-minute charge.
  • Powerbeats3 are sweat-and water-resistant.
  • There’s a small piece in the middle of the cord to make it tighter, which sounds negligible, but it’s useful and better than any clip you’ll see.

Hate

  • I found these to be comfortable, but getting a proper seal wasn’t always easy. When I first tried these on, I couldn’t figure out why they sounded so poor. It was because I didn’t have a full seal. The seal is crucial for music to sound well. I had to go with the biggest pair of buds, and that gave me a seal 80% of the time.
  • I sold my Powerbeats3 after I finished this review, so I can’t speak to the longevity, but they seem to be breaking down. This should scare you, but my guess is that people were buying counterfeits from Amazon.

Which one is for you?

It’s a toss up if you’re deciding between these two brands (Beats vs. Plantronics).

Powerbeat3 have better battery and the incredible W1 Chip, but Plantronics is half the price.

If you’re going with something in the $150 range, check out Bose SoundSport Wireless headphones first. SoundSport headphones are my go-to workout headphones.