Friday, 29 November 2019 12:53

VIDEO Interview: Plantronics' Peter Petrides proffers powerful, practical new range of wireless headphones and earbuds

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There has never been a greater range of true wireless earbuds available to consumers worldwide than now, nor have they ever been as powerful and packed with both useful features and ever better battery life. He's the latest range from Plantronics for late 2019.

Just in time for the end-of-year Christmas holiday shopping season comes the very latest headphones from one of the world's most respected makers of audio technologies: Plantronics, which recently merged with another legendary audio company, Polycom, to form "Poly", although the Plantronics brand is still alive and well.

Proof of Plantronics' legendary status is easy to find, with one incredible example being literally out of this world. Plantronics this year celebrated the moon landing along with everyone else, although in a much more intimate way than most, as Plantronics' headsets were used by the astronauts to communicate with Mission Control back on Earth.

Indeed, even Neil Armstrong's famous words were transmitted via a Plantronics MS50 headset: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Still, that was state of the art back in 1969, so what is the state of the art in 2019, 50 years later?

Well, Plantronics is calling them next-generation devices providing "all-day wear for those on the go, working out or just plain working", with these newest devices designed to meet the needs of more consumers, as well shortly discover.

The new additions to the Plantronics' all-new true wireless line-up are "the BackBeat PRO 5100, BackBeat FIT 3200 and BackBeat FIT 3150 – in addition to the BackBeat FIT 6100, a new over-the-head solution", featuring "legendary audio quality, reliable connectivity and innovative technology, as well as exceptional comfort, fit, durability and long-lasting battery life".

Peter Petrides, Director of Consumer APAC, Plantronics said: "People want to enjoy their music on the go. They expect an audio solution that fits in seamlessly with their lifestyle, whether they be at the gym, in the office, jet-setting or on their daily commute.

"The new additions to the BackBeat PRO and FIT families have been designed with all-day comfort and portability in mind, offering outstanding sound and voice quality for the most discerning listeners.”

Here's my video interview with Peter looking at each new model in the range, the article continues below, so please read on thereafter!

Brent Iadarola, Frost & Sullivan's VP of Mobile and Wireless Research said: "Frost & Sullivan’s research indicates the true wireless headphone market is poised for substantial growth, fuelled by expanded choice and consumer reliance on mobility.

"By intelligently pairing smartphone features, such as voice activation and command customisation, Plantronics is delivering a line-up of product-specific differentiators that will excel in the true wireless market.”

Plantronics notes that its true wireless earbuds are "extremely lightweight, and each pair comes with a compact carrying case for additional battery life on-the-go. The 'My Tap' feature, which is available through the BackBeat app, offers command customisation on all true wireless products. Users can begin their favourite playlist, set a timer, and interval train with a single tap."

The latest true wireless offerings include:

BackBeat PRO 5100:

"The first true wireless edition to the award-winning BackBeat PRO line, the BackBeat PRO 5100 earbuds are the smallest and lightest true wireless offering Poly has ever released. Designed for individuals on-the-go – specifically people who lead a connected lifestyle and need to maximise productivity while minimising the number of devices they carry.

"The BackBeat PRO 5100 features powerful stereo sound and premium call clarity in a sleek and discreet design. The BackBeat PRO 5100 is engineered for communications and entertainment: Complete with four noise-cancelling mics, exclusive WindSmart technology that tunes out background noise, and ultra-comfortable noise-isolating ear tips, each earbud can carry a charge of up to six and a half hours plus an additional 13 hours of power with the pocket-sized charging case."

BackBeat FIT 3200:

"For fitness enthusiasts interested in true wireless sport earbuds, BackBeat FIT 3200 offers maximum stability, with noise isolating ear tips to offer an immersive listening experience both in and out of the gym.

"BackBeat FIT 3200 is best suited for athletes who want a lightweight design that is sweatproof and IP57-rated waterproof with super-secure ear loops and comes with three ear tip sizes. 'Awareness' mode gives users the flexibility to hear their surroundings for increased awareness. Each earbud has up to eight hours of listening time, plus an additional 16 hours with the case."

BackBeat FIT 3150:

"The next-generation of the BackBeat FIT 3100, these true wireless sport earbuds are designed for outdoor fitness enthusiasts who enjoy urban running. The BackBeat FIT 3150 is also sweatproof and IP57-rated waterproof for extreme weather conditions, includes Always Aware ear tips that allow in ambient sounds for safer training, and boasts additional features that can be activated with on-ear controls.

"The BackBeat FIT 3150 earbuds and carrying case have enough battery life to fuel one week of workouts – up to 24 hours."

In addition to the growing demand for true wireless headphones, Plantronics conducted a recent survey and found that 65% of consumers carry one headset for fitness and use that headset for activities throughout the day.

Understanding that some users are looking for a single headset to make it through every part of their day, including at the gym, Plantronics latest over-the-head solution includes:

BackBeat FIT 6100:

For motivated athletes who appreciate multi-sport functionality, the BackBeat FIT 6100 over-the-head headphones are engineered for sport but designed for life. The adjustable sport-fit headband has an IPX5-rated water-resistant and sweatproof design, 40 mm angled drivers, and noise-isolating earcups with “Awareness” mode and up to 24-hour battery life.

Consumers around the world can choose from Plantronics’ latest edition of headphones to meet their personal style, preferences and desired experiences. These headphones offer the versatility, comfort and the premium audio quality Plantronics is known for at a competitive price.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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