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Four years after its introduction, the Plantronics Voyager 510 still remains one of the most popular Bluetooth headsets Plantronics has ever released. Despite its outdated design and the many more advanced headsets that have come along to replace it, it seems as if the Plantronics Voyager 510 has earned itself an incredibly loyal following primarily because of two things: unbeatable sound quality and comfort. It's one of a few headsets that prize both incoming and outgoing call quality, and even though it's big, you can wear it for many hours without a lot of discomfort.
However, Plantronics hopes to remove the Voyager 510 from the bestseller list with the introduction of quite possibly its best headset yet, the Plantronics Voyager Pro. The Voyager Pro makes no pretensions of its origins with a design straight out of the '90s, complete with a large swiveling boom mic reminiscent of telemarketer headsets. However, the sound quality simply cannot be beat; it's even better than the Aliph Jawbone 2 in our tests. It's also one of a few headsets that can really tackle wind noise without a noticeable loss in voice clarity. And at $99.99, we think the Voyager Pro is definitely worth the money.
If you place the Voyager Pro side by side with the Voyager 510 you will notice the two are nearly identical in terms of style. The whole thing measures 1.8 inches wide (though it's about 4 inches with the boom mic extended) by 2.3 inches long by 0.4 inch thick. Indeed, the Voyager Pro won't win any design awards with its large battery pack that wraps around the back of the ear, and its big swiveling boom mic that is not at all discreet. The Voyager Pro means business and it looks the part.
Despite its bulk, we found the Voyager Pro really easy to wear. Just place the battery pack around the ear, fit in the earpiece, and you're good to go. The arm that extends from the battery pack to the earpiece is very flexible and sits comfortably around the ear, even when we're wearing eyeglasses. The earpiece is covered in a soft rubber ear gel that sits very comfortably in the ear without going too deep in the canal. The Voyager Pro comes with two different size ear gels plus a couple of foam ear bud covers as well.
Extending from the earpiece is the swiveling boom mic. It can be swiveled up to a more compact position, or swiveled out so that the mic is closer to your mouth. You can also rotate the earpiece so that it fits in either ear. The power button is all the way at the back of the battery pack, so you have to reach behind your ear to get to it. The volume rocker is far easier to access, as it is located on top of the headset, at the top part of the ear. The call button is located behind the earpiece. At the tip of the boom mic are two die-cut WindSmart screens that act as a physical barrier against wind noise. A small LED indicator sits above the multifunction button.
We paired the Plantronics Voyager Pro with the Apple iPhone 3G. We tested this in a quiet environment, in a moving vehicle, on a crowded city sidewalk, and right in front of a fan to test the wind noise resistance. We were blown away by the sound quality of this headset in almost all environments. In the quietest environment, we came through loud and clear with a natural sounding voice. Inside a car and on a crowded street, the sound quality is still clear and crisp, with the slightest bit of echo and background hiss and a less natural sounding voice.
The real difference was when we tested the headset in front of the fan (at both low and high speed). Though callers could still hear the wind (they said it sounded a bit like crumpling paper), our voice still came through loud and clear. We tested this for ourselves by calling our voice mail, and indeed, this works. You might have to raise your voice a little to be heard better, but we just spoke in a normal tone and our callers could still hear every word. Indeed, it seems that Plantronics' Audio IQ2 and noise-cancellation technology really does work as advertised.
As for incoming call quality, that was very good as well. Our callers sounded loud and clear with hardly a trace of static or background noise.
The Plantronics Voyager Pro has typical features such as the capability to answer, reject, and end calls; call waiting support; last number redial; call mute; and it has multipoint, which means it can connect up to two devices at once. It has a rated talk time of 6 hours and a rated standby time of 5 days.