Plantronics Voyager 5200 :: They hit it out of the park. Again.

by Volker Weber

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The new Voyager 5200 promises protection from wind noise, and boy does it deliver. I tested this today on my bike. At 25 km/h you were unable to hear any wind noise at all at the other end of the phone connection. It sounded exactly like it would if I were inside an office. You could attend a conference call on your bike. How does it deliver that? It has a redesigned microphone boom with four protected microphones and software that detects and eliminates this particular noise. In addition to all the other noise cancellation the previous models provided.

This is my third installment of the Voyager series, not counting the Focus and the Edge. I started with the Voyager Pro, which was replaced with the Voyager Legend, and now the 5200 Series. The Edge is a very comfortable and small device, but I found out that the classic Voyager design renders better sound quality. Only by a small margin, but it is noticeable in dictation.

This Voyager over-ear design is a winning formula, that Plantronics can only improve in small steps. The Legend gave us a dock connector for quick charging inside a case or on a dock. But it lost its microUSB port so you always had to have either the case or a small connector. The new 5200 Series has both:

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That means you can buy the bare headset without case and still be able to charge everywhere. The case has grown considerably from the Legend. Like the older model it protects and recharges the headset and has a place to keep the BT600 USB dongle, which presents a sound device to your Mac or PC without pairing the headset to the Bluetooth stack in the operating system. You won't have to reconfigure your softphone when connecting the headset.

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The new feature for this case is a desktop dock. Take the headset out, close the lid, connect the case to microUSB so it recharges the case battery. And then place the headset between conference calls into this dock, like you see in the first photo.

Should you buy a Voyager? If you spend a lot of time in phone calls and conference calls, by all means, yes. The headset connects to both your pc and your smartphone at the same time. Software ties into your softphone and provides call control and presence information. It has sensors that know whether you are wearing the headset, which lets it switch from and to your smartphone without any interaction on the screen, just by putting it on your ear or taking it off. Should you buy a 5200 series if you already have a Pro, Legend, or Edge? Probably not, unless you have this specific wind noise problem. But connect your older headset to Plantronics software and see if you have an update waiting. Plantronics is one of those companies that improve their products in the field.


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You don't see these devices on the street. They just look too dorky. If you are serious about phone calls or conference calls, you should not care too much about the looks. You should not have to hold a phone to your ear.

Comments

Hi Volker

I am curious about how well this device sit on your ear when you also wear your glasses. I have stopped using earphones with behind the ear hooks because they would always have issues with my glasses.

Tinus Riyanto, 2016-06-20

Which one would you choose: Voyager 5200 or Focus?

Martin Schönlechner, 2016-06-20

Depends on what you want to do. Focus is great for isolation in busy offices and for listening music. 5200 if you wear it for hours on end and do NOT want to be isolated from what is going on around you.

Focus is way louder in your ear(s) if you need that. It feels weird at first to have the other people in a conf call sitting inside your head. I find it easier to put Focus on your head than 5200 on your ear.

Volker Weber, 2016-06-20

Tinus, sorry I missed your questions.

Yes, the headset interferes with glasses. I have no difficulties since my glasses are super thin titanium frames and always very well fitted. You wear the headset "over" your glasses. They would be uncomfortable over Wayfarers.

For a super light and comfortable headset, you may want to check the Voyager Edge. It only sits inside your ear, so it does not interfere with your glasses. It looks like it may fall off any second, but I never lost one. Since it has a three microphone boom, it also provides excellent noise cancelation.

I always go back and forth between three Plantronics designs:

- Focus with n/c both in- and outbound
- Edge for its low profile
- Pro/Legend/5200 for a light headset with super sound

Volker Weber, 2016-06-20

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