What do you look for in a Bluetooth headset? Good audio, long battery life, comfort and style. Plantronics has a record of making quality products, and its newest headset, the Voyager Edge UC may just fulfill all of those criteria.
The Plantronics Voyager Edge UC is a smart Bluetooth headset. Smart can mean a lot of things, but in this case it means that it knows when you want to use it and when you don’t. Inside the headset is a sensor that can detect when you pick it up and put it in your ear. That sensor will trigger the headset to take over audio from whatever device it’s connected to over Bluetooth. So, you can start a call on your phone, then put the phone down and pick up the Voyager Edge UC mid-call—the switch will be seamless.
The regular Voyager Edge can do that, too. What sets this model apart is the UC bit—Unified Communication. An included USB dongle allows the Voyager Edge UC to work just as seamlessly with Skype and other VoIP programs, making it a formidable all-purpose Bluetooth headset in the office.
Now, let’s look a little closer. This is a great looking device. It has a sleek, classy design and is extremely comfortable. It comes with several sizes of silicone ear tips so you’ll have the perfect fit for your ear. There is also an optional ear loop for those that want it to feel more secure. We found that this wasn’t needed, since they fit snugly with just the ear tips. We could get into all the technical specs of mic and speaker, but the bottom line is that the sound is great! Voices are crisp and clear, and there are no complaints that we couldn’t be heard on the other end.
On its own, you get six hours of talk time from the headset, but when it’s used in conjunction with the charging case, the battery life improves to 16 hours. The idea is that when you aren’t actively using the headset, you can simply place it on the charging case. This worked very well and we were able to go several days without needing to recharge the case. Checking the battery time remaining in the case and the headset was super easy—we simply needed to swipe downwards on the indicators and one to three LEDs would light up, quickly giving us an assessment of battery life. It’s true that there are other headsets with bigger batteries that may give you a few more hours on their own, but they are also bigger and bulkier. We think battery life is a worthy trade off to get a smaller, sleeker headset.
Our testing was done using an iPhone 6 Plus and the initial connection was quick and easy. Each time we turned the headset on after initial setup, it automatically connected to the iPhone and gave us an audio confirmation saying, “Phone one connected.” The controls on the headset itself work well, although in order to access Siri, you need to press the center button for two seconds. This is uncomfortable and a bit awkward. But after a couple more seconds (which seems like an eternity), Siri does finally connect. Once connected everything worked pretty well. We did have an occasional issue when asking Siri to dial a number for you—the call would go through, but the audio would default back to the phone’s speaker, forcing us to manually connect the headset to continue using it on the call. We’re not sure if this is the fault of Apple or Plantronics, but it is very inconvenient.
There are a number of voice alerts and commands that you can use with the headset that are quite helpful, including “Answer,” “Call back,” “Cancel,” “Check battery,” “Ignore,” and the very important “What can I say.” You can also download the companion app, the PLT Hub, which you can use to check battery life and turn a variety of other settings on and off. There is also a handy little guide to help you learn what all the buttons and lights on the headset do.
Connection to our Mac using the USB dongle was seamless as well. However, the audio did not seem as crisp. That was a small price to pay for a pretty neat trick—the headset switched input source automatically when we received a call on our phone, then reverted back to our Mac when the call ended. This feature was implemented very well, and we never experienced any hiccups.
The Voyager Edge UC is an excellent little headset. It looks good, sounds good and has a great overall battery life. You can order it now from the Plantronics site for $199. However, if you don’t need the added UC features, consider the nearly identical and cheaper Voyager Edge for $129.
The Good: Looks good, great sound, charging case works well
The Bad: Siri connectivity is awkward, battery life not the greatest