- Excellent sound quality
- Decent battery life
- Premium price
- Review Price: £95.16
- Dual-mic noise cancellation
- Full AD2P
- 6-hour talk time
- USB Bluetooth dongle
- Charging over micro USB
The headset works with mobile phones, Bluetooth-enabled media players and computers, thanks to the bundled BT300 USB dongle. This comes ready-paired with the headset so getting it working with a desktop is as simple as plugging the dongle into your computer.
The Plantronics Voyager PRO is adorned with four multi-purpose buttons. The power button sits on the back of the earpiece, nearby your earlobe when worn. A lengthy press on this button puts the headset into pairing mode, required when connecting to new devices.
On the top of the earpiece are the two volume buttons. An extended press on both together acts as a play/pause signal when streaming music, or mutes the microphone when making calls. The last button sits on top of the earbud, and is the most important of them all, used for taking calls and reconnecting with a device, should you lose the connection.
Any part of the Plantronics Voyager PRO that connects with your ear is made of a soft rubbised material, rather than plastic. This makes the earpiece comfortable to wear for long periods. As part of our testing we spent several hours wearing the headset, streaming podcasts from an iPod Touch. It aced this comfort test, causing no pain or discomfort – hardly any fatigue whatsoever. The main body of the earpiece is hard plastic under the rubber coating, but the arm that holds the bud onto your ear is very flexible, like cartilage rather than bone, therefore putting little pressure on your ear.
Three rubber buds of different sizes are included in the package, along with foam jackets to put on each for an extra comfort boost. They rest on your ear canal rather than plunging into your ear like a noise-isolating IEM earphone, so your ability to hear what’s going on around you isn’t reduced too much when you’re not taking a call.
The Plantronics Voyager PRO’s lightweight frame doesn’t constantly remind you it’s on your ear, but everyone around you will spot the headset from a mile off. It’s fairly large, sticking out a way behind your ear, and the black and silver microphone arm is chunky too. Build quality is great, but this headset’s not as stylish as the top-end models from Jabra.
There’s a micro-USB slot on its bottom, used for charging its battery using the supplied charger. UK and European plugs are included, handy for those who fulfill the fast-living stereotype of the Bluetooth headset user. There’s a leather-effect carry case in the box as well, which holds both the earpiece and USB dongle. The non user-replaceable battery lasts for a claimed six hours and takes around an hour and a half to charge – strong figures given the noise cancellation going on behind the scenes in this headset.
The level of comfort is a boon, but sound quality is what makes the Plantronics Voyager PRO worth its asking price. It’s far better than most budget or mid-range models, with a beefy bottom end that’s far removed from the reedy sound we’ve heard from some lesser headsets.
In use out and about, this product’s advanced features come to the fore. In addition to the microphone that’s responsible for recording your voice, the Voyager PRO is equipped with two extra microphones that sense ambient noise and eliminate it using advanced noise cancellation. The signal is processed at both ends too, improving quality for both the caller and the person on the other end of the line. Without being able to be in two places at the same time, like Marty McFly from the Back to the Future movies, we can only comment reliably on the caller’s experience, but here the Plantronics Voyager Pro succeeded completely. Calls came through loud and clear even on a noisy commuter train.
We tested the headset with a variety of devices, including the Android-powered HTC Legend, the Windows Phone 7 LG Optimus 7 and Apple’s iPod Touch. The Bluetooth connection with the HTC Legend was unreliable, prone to failing whenever there was much movement, but we’ll attribute this to the phone rather than the Voyager Pro as it was faultless with the other devices. The range is excellent too, with the signal remaining clear for more than 15m, and a simultaneous connection with a phone and PC is possible.
It has no problems streaming audio other than calls too, and while the single-speaker earpiece isn’t all that satisfying when listening to music, it’s perfect for speech-based radio, audiobooks and podcasts. Any media playing is stopped when your phone gets a call too, obviously – and picks up again afterwards.
The Plantronics Voyager PRO can also sense whether it’s on your ear or not. Put the earpiece in while the phone’s ringing and it’ll automatically take the call – a feature that worked perfectly in our tests. However, if you’re not too enamoured of this feature, you can switch it off.
There is a slight learning curve to this headset, thanks to its standard multi-tasking buttons, but you’re eased-in gently with voice prompts. If you max-out the volume control, a nice American lady tells you so. She also gives you a heads up when you switch the headset on or off, and lets you know how much talk time you have left on start-up.
The Plantronics Voyager PRO isn’t quite as stylish as the Jabra Stone or the Aliph Jawbone Prime, but it offers better sound quality than the Jabra and more features than the Jawbone. As such, it wins our recommended seal of approval.
The Plantronics Voyager PRO is a quality headset that’s worth paying its premium price for. Its noise cancellation is effective, and overall sound quality is beyond reproach. The only drawback is that it’s not as stylish as some rivals.
Score in detail
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