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Plantronics BackBeat 903+ review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £47
inc VAT

Although the button layout and comfort aren't perfect, this is a well-designed and pleasant-sounding Bluetooth headset for the money

Plantronics’ BackBeat 903+ Bluetooth headset is actually developed by Altec Lansing, which Plantronics bought in 2005. It looks like it’s going to be uncomfortable, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that it’s actually very well designed and easy to wear. The ear buds rest just outside your ear canal rather than going in like earplugs, which we usually prefer. However, their position can be precisely adjusted to fit the size and shape of your ear; they can slide down to provide a fit for taller ears.

Plantronics BackBeat 903+

The backs of the headphones hook over your ears. They feel a bit bulky and we were worried that they might be insecure when we moved around, but they stood up to our stair running test without shifting. We found that we became used to them in a fairly short time, although they’re still a long way from being the most comfortable headphones we’ve used.

Overall sound quality was surprisingly good; the emphasis is on the mid-range, but bass and treble aren’t overlooked, giving the headphones a balanced sound that sounds good with any genre. The headphones support A2DP but not aptX, so there’s some loss of bass and treble detail, but we were nonetheless impressed by the their audio quality.

Plantronics BackBeat 903+ detail

Our biggest problem with the BackBeat 903+ headphones is their button layout. It’s easy to accidentally pause your music if you push the button on the outside of the earbuds while you’re adjusting them. The volume and track-skipping functions share buttons, so it’s easy to activate one when you intend to press the other. You can get used to odd layouts, but we’d rather not have to. The headphones also beep every time you adjust the volume, which seems unnecessary.

Despite a few niggles, these are among the best Bluetooth headphones we’ve encountered for active people, and they’re well worth buying if you want something a bit cheaper and more sweat-proof than the Sennheiser PX 210 BT headphones.




Typeneckband headset
Active noise-cancellingno
Power sourcerechargeable Lithium polymer battery
Plug typenone
Inline volumeYes
Cable lengthN/A
Extrascarrying pouch, mains charger, micro USB lead

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