"Great sound. Nearly perfect with only small flaws."4.0 starson by mjrei1
Pros: - Crystal clear sound
- Good battery life
- Great call quality
- Superb control feature set
Cons: - Difficult to get "perfect fit"
- A little large to be considered discreet
Summary: I feel like a stereo bluetooth junkie (or just bluetooth junkie for that matter) as I've bought dozens of headsets and still own ten or so that sit around as I try the next big thing. That said, the Backbeat 906 is mostly a great headset. Nearly perfect, but lacking in some arguably small areas.
Prior to the Backbeat 906 I've been using the Jaybird BL200 which is another very good but not perfect in-ear design stereo bluetooth headset. I've also had several other stereo bluetooth headsets but looking like I;m wearing earmuffs in the summer is not my idea of good design.
Both the Jaybird and Backbeat use over the ear earbud designs with a connecting behind the neck wire. The Jaybird is far and away the most discreet bluetooth I've ever used or seen. It literally looks like a standard earbud. That is the only aspect of the Jaybird that I like better than the Backbeat.
The Backbeat ultimately has a lot going for it. Here are some of its strong points:
First: 7 hrs battery life playing music or talk. So far 7 hrs seems about right. To me this is huge. What's the point of going wireless if you're limited to 3-5 hrs.
Second: Sound quality is great. The open ear design still lets in some ambient noise which has advantages in traffic or conversations. But the open design still manages to pack a loud punch soundwise. These are some of the loudest headphones I've had, bluetooth or not. Also the sound quality is crystal clear on the high ends. The bass is better than average for an open design and with the bass boost activated the combination of just enough bass with crystal clear highs is actually quite impressive. (I'd give the sound quality a 4.5 out of 5. 5 would be a little bigger bass. Bass is not missing, just not as strong as the high end.)
Third: Control features are second to none. This headset feels like you've just turned your head into a remote control. There are about 10 (maybe more) controls easily executed while wearing the headset between 3 buttons. (There is a 4th button on/off which tells you battery level but you can't use while wearing the device.)
Fourth: The call quality and call features are great. It performs up there with some of my favorite bluetooth earpieces. Callers sound great (both ears) and indoors or out it seems as though everything I say is being heard on the other end of the call.
So what's not to like? Only a few small gripes in my book. The very thick behind the neck wire sometimes gets in the way of my collar which tends to knock the earbuds out of place. Then an even smaller gripe: While they are comparatively on the small side, the earbuds stick out of my ear just a little more than I'd like. Not bad just not as discreet as I'd like.
So far this is my favorite stereo headset. I can live with my small design quibbles because the sound quality and overall performance is so good. I do find them comfortable and for the most part secure. Again, the fit is good, just not perfect. For now I've retired all other headsets for the Backbeat. A solid 4 star performer.