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Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless vs. Plantronics BackBeat Fit

Dec. 14, 2015
Product Comparisons, Shopping
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In-ear headphones offer a crisp sound and a comfortable fit so you can rock out to your favorite tunes wherever you go. But laying down money on the wrong pair? That’s not music to anyone’s ears.

Before you buy, check out our comparison of two popular in-ear headphone models: the Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless and the Plantronics BackBeat Fit.

The headphones: At a glance

 Beats Powerbeats2 WirelessPlantronics BackBeat Fit
Price$199.95 from the Apple Store$129.99 from Plantronics
Find a dealGet it on AmazonGet it on Amazon
ColorsBlack, red, in-line white, black sport, blue sport, green sport, pink sport, olive drab, shock yellow, flash blue, siren redLime burst, electric blue
Wireless range30 feet33 feet
Hands-free call capabilityYesYes
DurabilityWater-resistantWaterproof in fresh water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
Battery6 hours per charge8 hours listen time or 6 hours talk time per charge
Buy on Amazon
Buy Beats
Buy Plantronics

The headphones: Up close and personal

Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

Powerbeats2NerdWallet takes you shopping: The Powerbeats2 Wireless in-ear headphones from Beats by Dr. Dre are so popular, they even made it onto Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things” list for 2015.

So what makes them so appealing? The product’s water-resistant/sweat-resistant design and no-slip-grip RemoteTalk controls make it easy for users to listen to music — and even take calls — while on the go or working out.

The Powerbeats2 feature a 6-hour rechargeable battery and can be paired with compatible devices via Bluetooth. This allows headphone wearers to listen to music up to 30 feet away.

The Powerbeats2 are available in a wide variety of color combinations and come with a hard shell carrying case. While the headset works with Android, Windows and Apple smartphones, note that the RemoteTalk feature is optimized for use with iOS devices, and functionality may vary by device.

Good fit for: Fans of the Beats music line who want a sleek-looking pair of headphones. With so many color combinations to pick from, you’ll be able to tailor your music to your personality.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit

BackBeat FitNerdWallet takes you shopping: The BackBeat Fit headphones boast many of the same features as the Powerbeats2. They have a thin, flexible design that wraps around the head. Designed for both exercise and leisure, the headphones are sweat-resistant, waterproof and include in-ear button controls.

The headphones connect to compatible smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth 3.0 and have a wireless range of up to 33 feet. One charge nets up to 8 hours of listen time or up to 6 hours of talk time. And they’re waterproof in up to a meter of fresh water, so you can rock out while you swim laps.

The BackBeat Fit comes in green or blue and has reflective coloring for safety while jogging at night. The headphones also come with a carrying case and armband.

Good fit for: Joggers and swimmers who want to combine functionality with affordability. The BackBeat Fit aren’t just less expensive than the Powerbeats2; they also boast a slightly wider wireless range. Choose these if you prefer the model’s wrap-around design (as opposed to the cable of the Beats version).

Before you buy

Regardless of brand, always check that your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth-enabled device is compatible with a given pair of headphones. You’ll want to be sure you can utilize the features that are important to you.

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Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @courtneynerd.

Image via iStock.