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Plantronics Voyager 520 review: Plantronics Voyager 520

Plantronics Voyager 520

Nicole Lee Former Editor
Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.
Nicole Lee
3 min read
The Plantronics Voyager 510 was one of the most popular Bluetooth headsets among our readers, and it's no wonder. The Voyager 510 was comfortable, easy to use, and had superior audio quality. But the Voyager 510 debuted more than a year ago, and Plantronics has decided it's time for a much-needed update. Enter the Voyager 520, a Bluetooth headset that leaves its predecessor in the dust. It looks drastically different from the 510-- it's an in-ear headset instead of over-the-ear -- but it is still a quality device that fits well and has even better performance. The Plantronics Voyager 520 is available for a rather affordable $99.95.

As we mentioned, the Voyager 520 has a dramatically different look from that of the Voyager 510. Going for a more contemporary look and eschewing the Borg-like design of the 510, the Voyager 520 has a simple tear-drop Bluetooth headset design. It is long and narrow, measuring about 2.5x0.7x0.5 inches and weighing close to 0.63 ounce. We can't say we're too thrilled with the style of the headset, since it does look a little conspicuous when you're wearing it, and the black-and-silver color scheme is a tad dull.


Plantronics Voyager 520

The Good

The Plantronics Voyager 520 is a very comfortable and lightweight Bluetooth headset with excellent call quality. It's also quite affordable.

The Bad

The Plantronics Voyager 520 looks a tad dull, and its volume toggle was a little tricky to use.

The Bottom Line

The Plantronics Voyager 520 Bluetooth headset has a comfortable fit, easy-to-use controls, and solid performance, all at a good price.

But the design isn't the important thing--it's the fit and comfort that count. And it's here that the Voyager 520 shines. Behind the headset is a simple in-ear earpiece that sits comfortably just inside the ear canal without any discomfort. The Voyager 520 also has an ear hook that's made out of a really flexible silicone material, and it can rotate to fit either ear. We were able to wear the headset for hours without any problems at all.

Probably our only real gripe with the Voyager 520 has to do with the multifunction toggle, which can be pressed down for handling calls, and acts as a volume rocker when moved up and down. Pressing it down was easy enough, since it juts out above the surface of the headset. However, toggling the rocker up and down can be a tad tricky. The switch often felt quite stiff, and sometimes our fingers would slip off the rocker when trying to move it. Above the toggle is an LED that glows blue or red depending on the function.

Unlike the Voyager 510, the Plantronics Voyager 520 doesn't come with too many extraneous accessories aside from a charger and a charging cradle. You can, however, purchase additional accessories from Plantronics.

We tested the Plantronics Voyager 520 Bluetooth headset with the BlackBerry Pearl. The pairing process went very smoothly, especially thanks to Plantronics' QuickPair system that automatically sets the Voyager 520 to pairing mode the moment it's turned on. Once it's paired, the QuickPair mode will remain inactive until the devices have been unpaired. Call quality was really good, probably thanks to Plantronics' AudioIQ technology that reduces background noise and enhances the sound of the natural voice. There was some disturbance in windy environments, but it wasn't too serious.

Other features of the Plantronics Voyager 520 include the typical ability to answer, receive, and end calls; last number redial; voice dial support; the ability to transfer calls from the headset to the phone and vice versa; as well as a battery indicator. You can also pair it with more than one Bluetooth device, then toggle between the two with the Voyager 520's MultiPoint technology. The Voyager 520 has a rated battery life of 8 hours of talk time and a promised standby time of 7.5 days.