By Alan Pierce
Providing Classroom Resources on New & Emerging Technologies
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Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 Review (MSRP $99.99)
They first thing you notice about these earbuds is the fact that they come with a case that has a built-in battery charger. See photo 1. A finger press on the display will cause the display to light up one to three bars to tell you the remaining charging capacity of the caseís internal battery. To charge the earbuds you pop the cap open on the right earbud and attach the micro USB cable from the case. When the earbuds are plugged into this charger a press on the display will also show you, by one to three bars, the current charge of the earbuds. See photo 2. Obviously, these earbuds can also be charged without the case using the extra cable in the box that Plantronics supplied for recharging the charging case.
The wire that connects the two earbuds goes around the back of your neck and the control bar, with its built in microphone, is located 3 inches from the right earbud. To get started you need to pair it with your Bluetooth device. The first time these earbuds are used the pairing process will start automatically. You just need to follow the step by step instructions that are being given by the unitís built-in voice synthesizer. To Bluetooth to another device you will have to reset it to pairing mode. After you have paired it to a number of devices it is very simple to switch from one Bluetooth device to another. All control features are explained in the instruction booklet that comes with the BackBeat Go3. With these earbuds you can skip tracks, pause audio, answer phone calls, mute a phone conversation, and engage call waiting. Since my smartphone has active voice control I found that some of the above features could be controlled by verbal command. For additional control over the BackBeat Go 3 you should download its free app from the Apple or Android online store.
Reason To Drool
The most outstanding features of the BackBeat Go 3 are the built-in charger in its case and the information that it whispers in your ear telling you if it turned on, Bluetooth connected, battery level, and that it is properly shut off. The volume was also superior to many other earbuds that I have reviewed in the past.
Not So Cool
You can easily answer a call but the earbuds do not tell you who is calling by phone number, name, or unavailable; so you canít tell which calls to ignore. The app that is dedicated to these earbuds has a connection switcher but it doesnít have the special features found in the Jabra Assist app that lets you turn on the automatic reading of your texts, calendar, and emails.