Plantronics has long been known for its quality Bluetooth headsets, not only because of fit and feel, but also because of its patented AudioIQ technology that helps reduce background noise. However, with more advanced headsets such as the BlueAnt V1 in the market, it needs to amp up its offerings to remain competitive. Enter the Plantronics Voyager 835. It's the first ever Plantronics headset with dual microphones, which help in enhancing your voice while reducing background noise. This results in excellent audio quality, and it's indeed one of the best headsets in Plantronics' lineup. The Voyager 835 is available for $119 MSRP, but its street price may drop to about $99.
The Voyager 835 is aimed at mobile professionals, and its design reflects that. Measuring 2.1 inches long by 0.6 inch wide by 0.4 inch thick, the Voyager 835 has a long slender profile that is not at all showy. Wrapped in black plastic, the Voyager 835 is downright inconspicuous with its rather boring business-like design.
On the front of the Voyager 835 is the multifunction button in the form of a recessed dot toward the top of the headset. Underneath it is an LED indicator, followed by a recessed strip that also houses the first of two microphones. The second microphone is located at the bottom of the headset. The volume buttons are on the right side, and the charger jack is on top. We had no trouble pressing the buttons, though we did think the volume keys are on the small side.
Flip the headset over and you'll find a rubberized ear tip as well as a flexible translucent plastic ear hook. The ear tip is meant to fit snugly in the ear, with the tip acting as an anchor within the outer folds of the ear. It takes a little while to fit it in, but once we did, it did stay there quite securely. According to Plantronics, this snug fit leads to all-day comfort, but we did wish there were different sized ear tips for a more customized fit. We should also note that the ear hook is not optional, but you can twist it around to fit either ear.
As far as features go, the Voyager 835 is pretty basic. You can answer and end calls by tapping on the multifunction button, and you can also check the battery power by holding down both the multifunction button and the volume down button for about 2 seconds. (The more the red LED flashes, the less battery it has.) The Voyager 835 supports last number redial and voice-activated dialing as long as your phone supports it. It also has the capability to transfer calls from the headset to the phone and vice versa. One great feature is that the Voyager 835 supports multipoint pairing, meaning it can connect to two Bluetooth devices at one time.
We tested the Plantronics Voyager 825 Bluetooth headset with the Apple iPhone 3G. Thanks to the Quickpair process, the headset goes automatically into pairing mode the first time it's turned on. Call quality was very good, because of the aforementioned AudioIQ technology and the dual microphone digital signal processing that eliminates background noise--one microphone captures surrounding noise while the other microphone focuses on your voice. Since the mics are omnidirectional, we didn't need to properly align the microphones to our mouths like with the Callpod Dragon V2, which is a good thing.
The addition of Windsmart technology is also very helpful in windy situations. We tested ours in front of a regular desktop fan, and were still able to communicate to our callers, albeit with raised voices. On their end, callers said our voice sounded loud and clear, but with a slightly tinny and hollow quality. That said, overall sound quality was still quite impressive.
The Plantronics Voyager 835 has a rated talk time of 5 hours and a standby time of seven days. It comes with an in-car charger plus an AC charger.