Need a powerful set of headphones to get down to business, but don’t like that boom mic in your face? Plantronics is introducing a new headset today that cuts the boom mic without cutting voice quality on your end. It’s called the Voyager 8200 UC, and it’s now the fanciest business headset Plantronics has to offer.
The Voyager 8200 UC look more like a classy set of well-padded headphones than a business headset, but the distinction is irrelevant — they’re meant to be both. They’re wireless up to 98 feet thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, and feature the best audio quality Plantronics has to offer, both from the stereo drivers and the microphones.
It’s the microphone array that really stands out. Plantronics managed to do away with the boom mic by using a total of six microphones, three on each side. Four of those are for your voice — they form conical beams right down to your mouth, bringing in the sound of your voice while ignoring background noise. Additional signal processing then helps weed out any background noise that does filter in. That system is why, despite the lack of boom mics, the headset was able to secure Skype for Business certification.
The other two microphones are for active noise cancellation — they’ll help to block out background noise you might be hearing. The headset is capable of total cancellation and partial cancellation — the latter for times when you need to hear a little background noise (maybe an airplane) or if the pressure caused by active noise cancellation gets to be too much for your ears.
Active noise cancellation and Bluetooth connectivity require battery power, but Plantronics does say the Voyager 8200 UC should last about 24 hours. Nice little features like automatic pause when you take the headset off helps preserve battery life, too. Should the battery die, the headset can still be used with a 3.5 mm audio cable.
Plantronics has also added some neat alert features. The headset will (try) to read off the names of callers when you get an incoming call, but the real lifesaver might be mute alerts. If you try to speak into a muted mic, the headset will let you know before that genius idea gets spoken out to the aether and subsequently forgotten.
The Voyager 8200 UC will also work with Plantronics Manager Pro, which can be used by IT staffs to monitor the quality of calls and Bluetooth connections. If they notice a problem with a headset, the staff can replace a faulty headset or identify a source of interference faster.
The Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC will become available in the United States later this month for $380, with a global rollout planned later this summer. The headset will come in black or white.