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Getting better - Step by Step
on September 21, 2012
UPDATE (Oct 2013)
Thought I'd add to my experience a year on from the last review.
It seems the headsets dont hold up like they used to. I had 3 of these - all of them have died on me. Let me explain -
1. Each of them start with the same issue - callers on the other end say I sound like Im really far away. The only option is to turn off the headset and use the phone instead.
2. Calls randomly drop off from the headset and transfer back onto the phone
3. Battery life has dropped over time.
I wish this experience was just me - but its happened to my wife's headset as well. After replacing my own with a second unit - I've come to the conclusion that these headsets dont hold up in the long run.
Hope this helps someone out there.
I've owned Plantronics headsets all the way from the glorious Discovery 640 days; moving on to the 975, Voyager PRO +, PRO UC+, UC V2 & M50.
I work as an IT consultant and attend many conference calls through the work day and sometimes require 2 headsets to keep going - Not that I'd like to; but even the best battery life these headsets offer fall short sometimes.
For anyone coming from a Platronics Voyager Pro series line of headsets :
Feels much better this time around. Im sure there are a few out there who may have this problem - the tip at the end of the boom mics of previous Voyager Pros use to shaped like a bulb (sort of...) and since the tips are made of metal - its easy to dent them if you accidentally place a heavy object on it. I've managed to do this on two of my headsets cos I threw them in with my laptop charger while getting into flights. The headsets continue to work fine - but the body is damaged. The Legend headset addresses this issue by giving the boom a smooth psuedo-cylindrical design
The call button has moved to the back of the boom mic as well - takes some getting used to; but better cos I dont accidentally end calls when trying to adjust it on my elephant ears.
The Volume control has been changed to give a more 'toggle/rocker' like feel as compared to the old headsets where the volume buttons used to be flush with the piece that goes behind the ear. You can be rest assured that you'll be doing volume control a lot more efficiently with the Legend
I'm not sure if this applies for everyone; but the reduction in size and weight of the new headset is definitely a blessing for those (like me) who wear glasses.
Ear Gels - Same as before; this is one aspect I dont really like about plantronics headsets cos they never seem to fit snug in your ear. While they more than make up for this flaw (in my opinion) with excellent volume levels and clarity; I wished they would come out with a design thats close to the in-ear buds you get on stereo headsets these days - they could just copy the earbuds on their own new Backbeat Go models.
Mute button - finally. The bottom of the boom mic comes with a dedicated button you can use for voice commands. This button can also be used to control Mute On/Off while on a call. This is a HUGE improvement as compared to Plantronics old approach where you'd have to press both the volume control keys to mute on/off. I'd never get it right most of the time cos of the issue with the buttons that sit flush with the headset (refer comment on that above) and I'd have to control mute from my handset to achieve this.
SMART APPS -
The apps that come with the headset arent much to brag about. The battery meter for one; is now available on Android. This used to be an iPhone exclusive feature.
Voice based answer/rejection of calls - This is 50/50. I found that I had to yell "ANSWERRRR!!!" at the headset for it to pick up my voice and answer a call for me. This is really strange cos this headset now comes with 3 microphones instead of two and still cant hear me??? To validate this further - I tried speaking to the caller at the same raised pitch I used to "answer" the call and they said I was talking way too loud or seemed agitated. Makes me think this is a software issue then - cos the phone can definitely hear me; it doesnt seem to process the actions well enough.
Smart sensor - Works much better that the original Pro UC +. The original went bad so quickly that Plantronics pulled it off shelves before ppl knew it and replaced it with V2. I've had them replace my headset because of the sensor issues on the original. They launched the Voyager PRO HD next - which was actually the stabilized version.
BATTERY LIFE - Offers the best battery in the market in my opinion. I've tried to wander off to other brands to check if I were missing on something and I've tried headsets from Motorola and Jabra. My most recent test was the Motorola Elite Sliver cos I wanted a break from the boom mic and thought the simple behind ear-concealed design was an excellent idea. I returned it in a week cos I faced issues with dropped calls, callers asking me to "speak up", faster battery drain, etc.. Granted that it did come with a charging case, but the charging case didnt hold that much charge either and drained itself pretty quickly if not used. So I went back to my UC V2 and waited till this one came out. Ive been using it without re-charging for two days and I'm at 50% - o I believe the 7 HR talktime claim.
Charging - the proprietary new charging connector by Plantronics may send a lot of loyal customers in the opposite direction. But I genuinely believe they did this out of consumrs best interest cos of the really tiny usb ports. Like I said, I need upto 2 headsets on some day and plugging it in for charge is one of the many things I do while multitasking and I really do feel relieved when the headset latches itself to the magnetized charger. I do agree with other reviewers that it is a concern as well cos you're now stuck with a single cable and cannot charge as easily with just any micr0-usb cable as before. You can love it or hate it - its purely a consumer thing.
Bluetooth 3.0 - they've advanced on the tech here; so it should instantly improve on call quality and battery consumption. The call quality has always been solid for me on all previous Voyagers - so I cant say its improved much - but I wouldn't doubt it either. Most mew smartphones come with Bluetooth 4.0 nowadays - that means lower energy consumption. If Plantronics were to integrate this and launch a flagship that looks like the Motorola Elite Sliver, sound like the Plantronics Legend, weigh as much as the Plantronics 975 - I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
But like I said - they prefer to get better; step by step.
Hope this helps someone out there.