Plantronics, the American company famous for supplying Neil Armstrong with the headset he used when walking on the Moon, has unveiled its play for a piece of the high-end headphones pie. Called BlackBeat Pro, these active noise cancelling headphones let the user tune out distractions while at work or travelling.
“Aussies love their music and want to be able to enjoy it on-the-go without any distractions,” said Plantronics ANZ national retail sales manager Peter Petrides.
“We created the BackBeat Pro so that users can immerse themselves into their music and block out the noise whether they are travelling, working, or simply relaxing. With up to 24 hours of continuous wireless use and active noise-cancellation, the BackBeat Pro can be used not only for music but also movies and calls.”
The controls of the BackBeat Pro are located on and around the headphones: the play/pause button is located on the exterior of one can, while there are dials around their circumferences to control volume, level of noise cancelletion and to move tracks forwward and backwards.
One of the niftiest features is that when you take off the headphones, sensors recognise this movement and automatically pauses playback. Put the headphones back on and playback starts again.
Petrides said the BackBeat Pro will initially be sold through mass retailer Officeworks, which has a strong heritage of selling Plantronics audio products to its prosumer and home office customer base; duty free retailer Tech2Go, which is perfect for attracting customers just as they are about to experience an jumbo jet’s engine noise up close and person; and Telstra stores, where it makes for a potential upsell with smartphones.
The plan in the medium term, Petrides confirmed, is to sell these headphones through the full consumer electronics channel, but it’s still a case of slow progress while the brand beds itself into this new product category.
Accessories include a travel sleeve, charging cable, and both Apple-specific and brand agnostic 3.5-millimetre jacks. Plantronics will compete in this high-flying category against brands such as Bose, Sennheiser, Beats, Soul and Sony.