Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500 Headphone: Is it Sweat-proof?

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500 Headphone Black

You might typically associate Plantronics with communication headsets.

Founded in 1961, the company boasts that when Neil Armstrong stood on the moon and communicated back to Earth in 1969,  he did it speaking through a Plantronics headset. We’re going to assume for a second that you’re not planning a moon landing but that doesn’t mean that choosing a sweatproof headphone isn’t a big deal.  

Sweat is corrosive and during a workout, we sweat A LOT. Moisture forms on the cushions before seeping into the internal electronics of your cans. No surprises as to what eventually happens: sweat kills your headphones.

Most headphones aren’t sweat-proof.  For example, The Bose QuietComfort 35 IIs isn't designed to be worn in the gym.  It’s easy to assume that we have to wear earbuds or earphones during a workout, but they aren’t suitable for everyone. Some people find them uncomfortable and some people find that in-earphones fit too loosely or that they fall out too easily.

We’re big fans of wearing on-ear headphones during exercise and the Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500 headphone has been designed with the gym-user in mind and includes a water-repellent coating, so are these headphones worth taking to your next workout?

The Backbeat Fit 500 has a battery life of around 18 hours.  It’s nothing too special, sure, but it should see you through enough sessions before you need to recharge. There’s a 3.5mm jack included, too, for when you’re out of juice.

The one concern we do have about on-ear headphones is that they can create a pinching effect on the ear that can become uncomfortable during longer workouts. The good thing about these is that there’s memory foam padding on the cushions providing a decent level of comfort whilst allowing for a secure fit.

Plantronics Backbeat Headphone Box

Controls on the ear-cup allow you to easily skip tracks, control volume and take calls without having to fiddle around for your phone.

Fed-up of your connectivity dropping out? It could be time to switch to the Fit 500. Sound Guys make a valid point when they ask what do you expect from a company that specialises in business communication products? The 10-meter Bluetooth range offers near-perfect connection.  It means one less thing to worry about when you’re working out, and if you’re running it’s one less thing to fiddle about with mid-stride. If you’re jogging with wired earphones and an armband, the Backbeat Fit 500 could be the affordable jump to Bluetooth headphones that you’ve been waiting for.

These aren’t noise-cancelling headphones and as they’re on-ears, the noise-isolation will be limited and that could be a deal-breaker for you, but according to the Gear Diary review, these are actually alright at blocking ambient noise.

Sound quality is decent and certainly good enough to get you through a sessions target of kilometres of kilos.

The important component of the BackBeat Fit 500 Headphones is that they have a water-repellent coating, making them particularly good for those who of us who exercise outside regularly. Nano-proofing sweat resistance will help protect the cushions from your corrosive sweat, too.

Frustratingly, the earcups don’t fold down which makes transporting them a little less easy than we’d like especially if you’re switching from the house to the car and to the gym and back again.  

Ultimately, the Backbeat FIT 500s aren’t a bad shout for a gym headphone.  Much like the UA Sports Wireless Train Headphones Project Rock Edition, they’re designed with the gym in mind, these are sweat-proof and hard wearing BUT there’s always a compromise with sports headphones: something has to give in order to make them gym-ready.

There’s a huge range of headphones that can tailor to the type of gym and music experience you want:

For noise-cancelling headphones in the gym, we’d recommend the Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless and heralded them as the ‘best noise-cancelling headphones we’ve seen’.

For comfort during exercise, we’d recommend Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones.

For battery power and fast-charge function for your workout we’d recommend either Beats Studio3 or Beats Solo3 headphones.

But of course, sweat and headphones don’t mix and that’s why companies like Under Armor and Plantronics have developed sweat-proof cans.  Our solution (if gym-ready headphones aren’t for you) is to pick the headphone YOU want and THEN make it gym-ready.  There’s a really simple and effective way of protecting headphones from moisture damage: use sweat-proof headphone covers.

Ultra-Stretch, MAX-DRI™ + Machine Washable fabric wicks moisture from the headphone cushions.  It keeps makeup stains off, too, and could help reduce the risk of inner ear infections. EarHugz comes in a range of awesome designs and they fit most brands including the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500, Bose, Sony and Beats headphones.

£1 from each sale goes to support the Mental Health Foundation, too.

By adapting your current headphones (or the headphones you want) to your gym routine, you can make the most out of your headphones and your workout.


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