Back Bay FirstClass 70 review: budget buds that beat the big brands

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Back Bay FirstClass 70 successful beforehand of charging case.

Back Bay FirstClass 70

MSRP $55.00

“The Back Bay FirstClass 70 sound arsenic bully arsenic wireless earbuds that costs astir double nan price.”

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Comfortable fit
  • Big, bold sound
  • Very effective sound canceling
  • Good transparency mode

Cons

  • Middling artillery life
  • Many missing features
  • No companion app

We’re good into nan 2nd era of wireless earbuds, wherever caller features are perpetually added, including spatial audio, caput tracking, fittingness tracking, and overmuch more. But what if you want a group of wireless earbuds that present awesome sound and sound cancellation, pinch nary other frills, and for a reasonable price?

If you cheque retired our database of nan best headphones and earbuds nether $100, you’ll find respective that fresh nan bill. But moreover among this postulation of products, Back Bay’s caller FirstClass 70 wireless earbuds guidelines out. I’ve spent nan past 3 weeks pinch them. And while they deficiency a batch of bells and whistles — heck they deficiency almost each doorbell and whistle — I support grabbing them arsenic I caput retired nan door. Here’s why.

Back Bay FirstClass 70: design

Back Bay FirstClass 70 successful case, unfastened lid.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Henry Ford would beryllium proud: You tin bid nan FirstClass 70 successful immoderate color, arsenic agelong arsenic it’s black. And, for illustration that first Ford car that changed proscription forever, nan FirstClass 70 are a connection successful utility. They’re IPX5-rated for h2o guidance — conscionable capable to support them protected from everything short of a aquatics successful nan toilet. Their simple, stem-based style makes them look for illustration a cardinal different wireless earbuds (they punctual maine of JLab’s Epic Air series), and their charging lawsuit is arsenic free of adornment.

It’s nan clamshell creation that gives you easy entree to nan earbuds. The magnets successful nan charging sockets are beardown capable to support nan earbuds successful spot and easy align them erstwhile you driblet them backmost in.

Charging is done via nan included USB-C cablegram — there’s nary wireless charging.

Back Bay FirstClass 70: comfort, controls, and connections

Simon Cohen wearing Back Bay FirstClass 70.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The biggest use of a stem-shaped creation is that it tends to beryllium much comfortable for much people. (It’s nary mishap that Apple’s AirPods are each shaped this way.) If you’ve recovered stem designs comfy successful nan past, you’ll astir apt find nan FirstClass 70 are comfy, too. I’ve been capable to deterioration them for hours without complaint.

Back Bay includes 4 sizes of silicone eartips to thief pinch getting a bully fit. Normally, I’d urge going pinch immoderate feels comfortable. But I’ve recovered that pinch Back Bay earbuds, sound value tin beryllium hugely impacted by nan eartips you choose. Be prepared to effort different size moreover if nan default mediums consciousness OK.

Back Bay FirstClass 70 pinch accessories.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The FirstClass 70’s touch controls activity well. It’s easy to find nan touch aboveground (the circle astatine nan apical of nan earbud) and a confirmation reside aliases connection accompanies each gesture.

They can’t beryllium modified utilizing a companion app, because location is nary companion app. Still, they screen each of nan most-used commands: play/pause, skip forward, measurement up/down, telephone answer/end, ANC/transparency, sound adjunct access, and EQ mode. The only point missing is simply a skip backmost command. You besides don’t get deterioration sensors for euphony auto-pause.

Wireless scope and reliability has been very bully — good wrong nan 20 to 30 feet indoors that I’d expect from astir earbuds. Sadly, Bluetooth Multipoint is not available, truthful if you want to move devices, you’ll request to manually disconnect and reconnect.

Back Bay FirstClass 70: sound quality

Back Bay FirstClass 70 successful beforehand of charging case.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

If location was ever a clip erstwhile “cheap” earbuds could get a walk by only offering passable sound quality, Back Bay has closed that window. The FirstClass 70 don’t conscionable sound bully for nan value — they sound arsenic bully arsenic galore wireless earbuds that costs astir double their price.

Bass consequence is particularly beardown (again, eartip sizing is key), and I was impressed by nan width and solution of nan soundstage. Highs are clear, nan midrange possesses a bully magnitude of detail, and distortion is almost nil.

The sound signature useful pinch a wide assortment of euphony genres. Over my clip pinch these buds, I kept hitting Apple Music’s My Station, which does a really bully occupation of randomly throwing tracks together from genres I’ve listened to earlier — tons of aged favorites mixed pinch immoderate I’ve ne'er heard — and nan FirstClass 70 ne'er disappointed.

With nary companion app, location are nary EQ presets aliases manual equalizer control, but nan FirstClass 70 do person a bass-boost mode that tin beryllium enabled pinch a triple pat connected nan correct earbud. It decidedly delivers much debased end, but I recovered it to beryllium wholly unnecessary — nan default tuning has much than capable punch for my liking.

Back Bay FirstClass 70: sound cancellation and transparency

Back Bay FirstClass 70 successful case, unfastened lid, held successful hand.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The biggest surprise, considering nan FirstClass 70’s price, is their sound cancellation capability. So galore fund earbuds committedness to cancel sound and past utterly neglect to deliver. Back Bay’s declare of 98% cancellation of sound mightiness beryllium complete nan top, but these earbuds do a awesome occupation of filtering retired sounds. To get a noticeably amended result, you’ll request to walk AirPods Pro aliases Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds money ($249 to $299).

Their transparency mode is besides very bully — much than capable for being capable to perceive nan world astir you clearly. It’s little bully astatine keeping your ain sound sounding natural, but only nan very champion wireless earbuds excel successful this area.

My only disapproval is that nan long-press connected nan near earbud needed to move ANC modes cycles you done ANC on, transparency, and ANC off, without nan action of conscionable toggling betwixt ANC connected and transparency modes.

Back Bay FirstClass 70: telephone quality

Back Bay FirstClass 70 successful case, unfastened lid.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Calling connected nan FirstClass 70 is simply a mixed experience. On nan 1 hand, they do a very bully occupation of suppressing sounds astir you that would make it difficult for your callers to perceive you. But connected nan different hand, nan operation of microphone summation (which feels for illustration it’s group a spot excessively high) and nan biology noise-canceling algorithm creates immoderate distortion, keeping your sound from sounding wholly clear.

In quieter locations, these things are overmuch improved, but nan mic summation tin create immoderate unwanted sibilance.

Back Bay FirstClass 70: artillery life

Back Bay says you’ll get 5.5 hours of playtime pinch ANC disconnected (22 hours full pinch nan charging case), aliases 4.5 hours (18 hours total) erstwhile it’s on. Either way, playing euphony astatine louder than 50% measurement will trim these numbers further.

There is simply a quick-charge characteristic that gives you an other hr of playtime aft 10 minutes of charging, but nan FirstClass 70 won’t triumph immoderate awards for endurance.

In nan sub-$100 wireless earbuds category, nan much you save, nan much features you must springiness up. The mobility is, which features matter most? I’d reason that nan Back Bay FirstClass 70 nail nan ones that astir folks would put astatine nan apical of their list: comfort, sound quality, and sound cancellation. And for a group of wireless earbuds that only group you backmost astir nan value of a nighttime for 2 astatine nan movies, that’s a beautiful saccharine deal.

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