Plantronics has a repute for churning out well-made, dependable hands-free Bluetooth communications gear that drivers and company I.T. varieties adore. Its headphones and earphones, nonetheless, are inclined to fly beneath the radar of most music lovers. It’s a disgrace, as their client audio gear not solely sounds nice (for the worth) but in addition comes filled with options usually reserved for headphones that price considerably extra. As such, I anticipated nice issues from Plantronics’ first stab at a pair of true wi-fi earphones, the BackBeat Fit 3100.

After every week of testing I can inform you that, whereas the corporate bought a fantastic deal proper with these earbuds, there’s nonetheless room for important enchancment.

Design

The scale of the Match 3100 make them look heavy. This can be a deception: Choose up one of many earbuds and also you’ll uncover that, regardless of their beefy, rugged construct, they’re fairly mild. The big, rubberized ear caps that include the headset’s batteries and electronics have an IP57 score. So you possibly can count on them to face as much as mud and even take them swimming (though you won’t hear a lot music). Want to clean mud or grime off of them after a exercise? No downside.

That the Match 3100 have been designed with athletics in thoughts is evident to see. Smooth, pliable silicon ear hooks be sure that the earbuds will keep connected to your cranium as you navigate extremely technical path runs or cycle down metropolis streets. Plantronics’ Ambient Conscious ear suggestions all however cast off the passive noise blocking that almost all different true wi-fi earphones aspire to. Supplied you’re not listening to your music at a daft quantity, you’ll all the time be capable to hear what’s occurring on the earth round you. That’s necessary for staying protected whilst you’re out for a jog or sharing a fitness center with others. Sadly, the earphones don’t ship with a second set of ear suggestions. For those who occur to lose one, you’ll should contact Plantronics for a alternative.

plantronics backbeat 3100 case Plantronics

The Match 3100’s zippered charging case is exclusive, however might have long-term sturdiness points.

The Match 3100 battery case, for higher or worse, is exclusive among the many ones transport with true wi-fi earphones. The place most corporations depend on a mechanical latch or magnets to maintain their circumstances closed when not in use, Plantronics has opted to make use of a zipper. The upside of this design is that, ought to the case ever get dropped, there’s no method that it may fly open to ship your earbuds skittering throughout the bottom. The draw back is that the zipper Plantronics has employed is of middling high quality. I discovered that the zipper pull was simply bent, and whereas opening or closing the zipper, I famous a few spots that gave a small quantity of resistance. Neither of those flaws recommend long-term sturdiness. That mentioned, the remainder of the case appears sturdy sufficient and will defend the earbuds within it from informal abuse.

Plantronics claims that the Match 3100’s battery case can present two further fees, which is sweet, as you would possibly want them: whereas these earphones are marketed as having a 5 hour runtime, I discovered that they averaged round three.5 hours, per cost. It’s best to know that some care is required whereas inserting the Match 3100 again into their case: in the event that they’re seated within the flawed place, they gained’t cost.

Usability

The Match 3100 don’t have essentially the most intuitive management scheme that I’ve examined, but it surely’s not the worst, both. Each earbuds have massive, clicky buttons constructed into their finish caps. The precise earbud’s button affords customers observe controls and the power to simply accept or finish telephone calls. The left earbud’s button is capped with a contact panel: a fast contact of the panel decreases the amount, a protracted press will enhance it. By Plantronics’ free BackBeat Match Companion app, it’s potential to customise the left ear cap click on—in idea. I attempted and failed a number of instances to get the app to acknowledge my pair of Match 3100s, even though the earbuds have been related to my iPhone 7 Plus and labored in each different respect. I tried to pair them to the app on an iPhone SE and OnePlus 6t, to make sure it wasn’t a problem with my handset. After checking with each the iOS App Retailer and Google Play Retailer, I discovered that many different Match 3100 have been having the identical challenge. Given the worth level of those earbuds, it is a tough challenge to miss.

Throughout the week that I examined these earphones, connectivity points turned one thing of a theme. Past the failures in attempting to get the Beat Match Companion app to pair with the earbuds, I additionally skilled frequent Bluetooth connectivity hiccups anytime I wore the Match 3100 outdoors of my house. A automotive passes by as I stroll down the road: hiccup. Placing my telephone in my left jacket pocket within my proper: plenty of hiccups. Utilizing them in a crowded espresso store whereas I do a bit of labor… properly, you get the thought.





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