Plantronics has announced the Australian availability of its second generation BackBeat Go 2 wireless earbuds, with the device to go on sale from Sunday, 1 September.
The BackBeat Go 2 are wireless, stereo earbuds designed primarily for use with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet. The original BackBeat Go headphones were one of the first wireless earbud products on the market.
Plantronics says the BackBeat Go 2 headphones have improved audio over the original BackBeat Go model, include a new moisture-proof coating to guard against sweat, and offer a "DeepSleep" hibernation feature that keeps battery power preserved for up to six months between charges.
The headphones also include voice prompts to alert users about charge remaining, battery life, and what device is paired, and will now pair up to eight Bluetooth devices.
Plantronics Australia's national retail sales manager, Peter Petrides, says the company feels the BackBeat Go 2 headphones compare favourably against wired headphones in the same price range.
"We want there to be no difference between a wireless product thats $100 and a wired product that's $100, if anything we want this to be better."
"What we're trying to do here is set the bar for in-ear wireless headphones. There's not really huge amounts of competition in the space, yet, but we believe that everyone will eventually go to wireless."
"One question I always ask everyone is 'if you had a choice between wired or wireless, what would it be?'. There isn't a person who turns around and says they want wired. Everyone wants wireless."
Petrides says the key aspect of the BackBeat Go 2, aside from the wireless aspect, is the compact design.
"The whole aspect of this product is its miniaturisation. There is so much technology that's built into these two small earbuds to enable them not only to be wireless but to have noise cancellation, to have good audio, to have good RF, and also the sweatproof part of it."
"We look at what's going to come out eventually, and people are still releasing headphones with dongles built onto them and so much chunky things. We're the first company to find that solution and make it work well. We're trying to be the top tier of this wireless product category."
Plantronics will sell two retail packages of the BackBeat Go 2 headphones in Australia. The stand alone headphones will retail for $99.99, while a $129.99 option bundles a charging and storage case that increases listening and talk time by two full charges, or approximately 10 hours.
Plantronics will sell the BackBeat Go 2 through JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Apple Stores and other authorised retailers across Australia.
The company will also sell the headphones through Telstra and Vodafone stores, but Petrides says consumers still look to mass retailers first when buying headphones.
"History tells us that headphones, and the best experience for headphones, you're going to get out of a mass retailer. Until such time where a telco really drives that category for their business and makes consumers really aware of it, they'll be successful at it."
"There are major telcos who are really looking at that and wondering how they can get everyone buying headphones from a wall that's a quarter of the size of a JB."
Plantronics will sell both black and white variants of the BackBeat Go 2 headphones in Australia.