Most helpful critical review
157 of 163 people found the following review helpful
Better and worse than the Voyager 510
on August 5, 2009
*** UPDATE 2: My replacement Voyager Pro broke right at 6 months. This time, instead of the rubber wire sleeve separating, the plastic microphone swivel broke. As before, Plantronics sent me a no-cost replacement.
I would like to address some of the feedback I have gotten on this review.
First, indicators. Yes, the Pro does indicate a charging state, and the light goes off when it is finished. I was used to the 510, which did the opposite.
Secondly, comfort. Everyone has different ears, and mine fit the 510 better than the Pro. I know this because I replaced my old 510 with a new 510, which I use with my laptop when working alone at home. Both the Pro and 510 are capable of connecting to two devices simultaneously, but each always tries to connect to the last thing it connected to, and I want a headset that always connects to my phone when I turn it on, so I grabbed a 510 for some ridiculously low price, and occasionally wear both at the same time. The 510, even straight out of the box, fits my ear better. Perhaps that is why my Pro keeps breaking. ***
*** UPDATE: As happened to another reviewer, mine broke in under 6 months. The flexible rubber bit cracked and eventually separated completely, right at the top of the ear, exposing the wires. Having long ago tossed the receipt, I thought I was out $100. But I called Plantronics, and they told me to mail it in for a replacement. A week after I dropped it in a first class mail envelope, a full retail Plantronics Pro box arrived at my door. I am hoping this one lasts longer than the last. ***
My Voyager 510 (v1) lived a long life. It was comfortable enough to wear for 8 hours at a time, which I often do while shooting pool. It worked very well with my Motorola RAZR (v1) for four years. It had good range, great battery life, and two annoyances. First, it had an extremely bright LED talk indicator that could not be turned off. This was changed on later versions of the 510. The second problem was wind/ambient noise. The 510 seemed to amplify everything, so unless I was in a quiet, windless environment when I used it, it was difficult for people to hear me.
I was very excited when I read the reviews of the upcoming Voyager Pro, and bought one the day it went on sale (sorry, Amazon, but Best Buy had exclusive marketing that month). The Pro looked like a better version of the 510, and in a couple of ways, it is. I like the audio cues that tell me the battery is low. The noise reduction is very, very good, although this seems to be at a slight cost to the fidelity of calls not placed in a noisy environment.
Nevertheless, this headset has flaws I cannot ignore. First, my RAZR refused to stay connected to it. I assume this was because the Pro uses Bluetooth 2.1, while my ancient RAZR was stuck at 1.2. The RAZR would complain of weak Bluetooth signal, then drop the headset. This immediately ended the call unless the phone was open, which rather negates the point of a headset. I bought an iPhone, which solved the connection problem altogether.
The second thing I note is that I can never tell when the Pro is finished charging. The 510 would let me know by lighting up the room with the brightest LED I have ever seen. The Pro gives no indication whatsoever.
Third, I have noticed, as have other reviewers, that the microphone catches in my beard. It doesn't actually pull hairs out, but it does tug a few times a day. It is a very minor annoyance.
None of these are reasons for me to give this headset anything other than 5 stars. But comfort is another matter. When I saw the design, I figured this headset would be as comfortable as the 510. For me, it is not. I can still wear it for a few hours, but my true test is a day-long session shooting pool, which involves a lot of moving around and changing head positions, not to mention challenging the battery life. My ear simply hurts if I wear the Pro all day. I tried switching the eartips, but none give me the comfort I had with the old 510.
That brings me to one final annoyance. I have tried wearing the Pro with bare eartips, and found it immediately uncomfortable. The foam covers are nearly impossible to get on, and very easy to pull off. Even the act of removing the headset from my ear can pull the foam cover off, unless I am careful. This was never a problem with the 510.
Pros: Great noise reduction, can pair with 2 devices at once, nice audio cues and battery life
Cons: Less comfortable than the Voyager 510, no full-charge indicator, poor eartip covers, does not play nicely with beards