Santa Cruz-based Plantronics released a few months back the VOYAGER 8200 UC Stereo Bluetooth Headset, and I couldn’t wait to give the headset a try. It hasn’t disappointed me. Its sound is stellar and far superior to what I’ve heard on other headsets in the same price range ($380 to $500). Since I’ve put it on and paired it with my devices, I’ve rediscovered the joy of listening to music in all its glory, not missing a note, modulation, tone, and harmony, and found myself walking, no, strutting down the street with a smile. And I’ve enjoyed what I wasn’t hearing. How so? There’s a switch on the left earcup that lets you toggle between two levels of active noise canceling, which provides you with exceptional sound quality while tuning out the street noise around you. Nice.
I tested the bluetooth headset for a few weeks while working at Cruzio co-working space which is basically a large room with tables aligned next to each other and offers little privacy. To amp up my game, I sat at the coffee shop counter a couple of times where the noise level was much higher than in the main workroom. The perfect setting to try out a noise-canceling bluetooth headset.
This premium headset offers a boomless design, dual-paired Omni-directional microphones with enhanced digital signal processing, two levels of ANC and smart sensor technology. It features business-grade audio, passive and active noise cancellation (ANC) for maximum focus. And it’s worth mentioning that even though you probably won’t get complimented for the way it looks on, it is quite comfortable and didn’t heat up my ears as some others have.
My callers reported hearing me clearly, and the background noise around me was muted. I couldn’t hear the street noise either. The Active Noise Cancelling feature is designed to filter out low frequency, constant noises such as fans, AC Units or engines but it won’t completely block all sounds, and you most likely will hear individuals sitting close to you.
Watch the video to better understand how the Voyager 8200 UC is made for enterprise-grade audio.
Well, that’s a snap. Insert the plug, turn it on, check your audio settings and voila! You’re paired with your device.
To be honest, there’s nothing remarkable about the way VOYAGER 8200 looks, and the company seems to have chosen function over design. The earcups are labeled L and R for left and right which may seem overkilled but seriously, are a godsend. I’ve wasted way too much time on other headsets figuring out which earcup was right or left. I picked the black headset and the faux wood in the middle of the earcups blends in. On the lighter headset, it looks a bit corny but the overall look of the white headset is elegant.
Expect 24-hours per charge which in my case means four days of listening to music, movies, and podcasting. Whenever you turn it on, you will notice that five blue dots light up to show you your battery life. If paying attention to blue dots isn’t your thing, a voice will inform you each time you turn it on. Plantronics’ material claims that it can hold a charge for several weeks even if you forget to turn it off. And if you run out of juice, plug the double-sided 3.5mm audio cord, which turns the headphone into standard headphones and requires no power needed.
The Voyager 8200’s soft fleece carrying pouch comes with two pockets, a large one to hold the headset and a smaller front pocket to carry the Micro USB charging cord and USB Bluetooth dongle for your PC or Mac.
Earlier I mentioned that there’s a voice that will alert you of your battery life status. It will also warn of a few other functions, such as whether you’re appropriately connected via Bluetooth to your PC or phone or when you toggle the noise-canceling settings, and also if your eardrums are about to burst from listening to your music on a super high volume. I would say all useful functions.
Another nice feature is a “hearing protection” which is described by the company “ it detects and eliminates any sudden large increase in signal level,” which are often startling and a cause for discomfort.
Plantronics lists VOYAGER 8200 UC Stereo Bluetooth Headset at the time of publishing as reduced to $379.95 from its regular price of $505.95.
Yes, it’s worth it.
Full disclosure: Plantronics provided me with a headset in exchange for an honest and objective product review.
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