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Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (2017)
Sony MDR-1A (2014)
See Top Ranked Closed-Back Headphones

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (2017) vs Sony MDR-1A (2014)

Analysis:

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (2017) makes for a good, if unremarkable, Closed-Back Headphone for people with a $85 budget.

The Sony MDR-1A (2014), however, is merely mediocre at its $239 asking price, when compared to similarly priced products, and won't satisfy the needs of most people.

In either case, we suggest that you first take a look at some other options at the $85 and $250 price points before committing to one of these - it's likely that you'll be able to find some better alternatives.

If you're still interested in learning more about the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (2017) and Sony MDR-1A (2014), however, we wrote a summary of what we could find about them:

Two highly trusted sources that perform well-thought-out in-depth testing consider the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (2017) to be a great product - it earned the "Best bang for your buck" title from SoundGuys and "Best headphones for workouts" from Wirecutter (NYTimes) in their respective Closed-Back Headphone roundups, which is a good indication of it being a notable product.

Moving on to the Sony MDR-1A (2014): it was unable to reach the very top of any roundups from sources that conduct reliable and unbiased testing. Nonetheless, it still managed to impress reviewers from a number of such sites, like PCmag, CNET, TrustedReviews, What Hi-Fi?, and Rtings, enough for them to include them on those lists.

We conducted an analysis of all of the review data that we could find on these two products. First, we focused on sources that tested and rated both of them, like PCmag, and learned that they all showed a preference for the Sony MDR-1A (2014).

Then we took a look at the highest review scores that these two Closed-Back Headphones received. We found that the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (2017) managed to earn a rating of 8.6 from Runnerclick, whereas the Sony MDR-1A (2014) got its highest, 10, score from reviewers at Pocket-lint.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Closed-Back Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Closed-Back Headphones being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (2017) and Sony MDR-1A (2014) managed averages of 8.0 and 8.3 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (2017) vs. Sony MDR-1A (2014) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
PCmag
Rtings
CNET
TrustedReviews
What Hi-Fi?
Lifewire
Runnerclick
MakeUseOf
Tech. Specs Comparison
Plantronics BackBeat FIT 500 (2017)
$69
Sony MDR-1A (2014)
$239
Noise-cancelling
No
No
Wireless
Yes
No
Higher than average expert review score
7.5
Overall Avg. for Closed-Back Headphones
8.0
Avg. Review Score
Score
Higher than average expert review score
7.5
Overall Avg. for Closed-Back Headphones
8.3
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best workout headphones: Hit the gym a little harder” 
Last updated: 16 Dec 2019
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Also great
in “The Best Workout Headphones” 
Last updated: 8 Jul 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best bang for your buck
in “Best running headphones of 2019” 
Last updated: 28 Oct 2019
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best headphones for workouts
in “The Best Over-Ear Headphones” 
Last updated: 22 Oct 2019
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Bluetooth Wireless Headphones” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Recommendations
No Data

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