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Plantronics Voyager Pro review: Plantronics Voyager Pro

Plantronics' headset design harks back to days when Bluetooth headsets were big and bulky, but it works well.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman
3 min read

8.8

Plantronics Voyager Pro

The Good

Good noise reduction. Comfortable fit.

The Bad

Enormous retro design. No A2DP support.

The Bottom Line

Plantronics' headset design harks back to days when Bluetooth headsets were big and bulky, but it works well.

Design

The Voyager Pro is promoted by Plantronics as its most advanced headset yet, so it's interesting to note that the design of it couldn't be more retro. If you were fitting out a movie scene that called for a character to be wearing a Bluetooth headset, you'd fit them with the Voyager Pro. It's big and very distinctive, with that mix of social awkwardness and looking like you work in a call centre neatly encapsulated in the small boom mic and huge earpiece that resembles mid-1970's hearing aids. The boom mic swivels horizontally and vertically, meaning that despite its size it can be worn in either ear, which is a nice design touch.

Features

Like many other Bluetooth headsets, the Voyager Pro's big selling pitch is in its noise-cancelling abilities. Plantronics labels its noise cancelling technology as AudioIQ², and in combination with in-built wind filtering on the boom microphone, the claim is that the Voyager Pro will deliver the crispest and least interrupted speech possible. It'll pair with multiple phones, and Plantronics rates the battery on the Voyager Pro as good for up to six hours of talk time with up to five days of standby operation. When the battery is low, you'll get two types of audio warning; a low tone and a spoken instruction letting you know it's going flat.

One feature that we've seen on a number of recent Bluetooth headsets that the Voyager Pro lacks is A2DP support. Sure, a business-centric headset isn't likely to pitch specifically to the music crowd, but it'd still be a feature we'd figure you'd include in a headset that you claim pushes "the limits of headset technology".

Performance

Large headsets are usually a pain to wear, and we were ready for the Voyager Pro's large size to present a significant quantity of earache. Surprisingly, it didn't, with a very comfortable fit just with the supplied medium-size ear buds. We wore it for several hours, and while it wasn't as discrete as many other headsets, such as the Jabra Stone or Jawbone Prime, it was easily as comfortable to wear.

Pairing with multiple headsets was simple enough. We managed to pair automatically with an iPhone 3GS and HTC Desire in our tests. The real test of any headset, however, is call quality. The Voyager performed well in our tests for regular calls, and we'd expect it to. With Plantronics' claims around its noise reduction capabilities, though, we put it to the same test that we used to tax the Jawbone Prime: by setting ourselves up near an iMac playing loud rock music at full blast.

The Voyager's performance with that kind of noise was very good, but it's worth noting that it wasn't quite as good at eliminating outside noise as the Jawbone Prime. Our call recipients could still make out that there was background noise present, whereas with the Jawbone they could only hear us talking. In most realistic situations that's likely to be enough for your calls to get through. Just like the Jawbone, there's nothing implicit in the Voyager Pro's design that cancels the noise at your end, so we still struggled to hear the other end of the call when making really noisy calls.

We commented in the review of the Jawbone Prime that its style wouldn't suit everyone. It's not terribly corporate looking, and if that's important to you, the Voyager Pro fits the bill nicely.