Top positive review
310 of 331 people found this helpful
Slick design, lightweight, solid noise cancellation and easy listening
on September 24, 2011
In our era, the collection of matchbook covers from a thousand restaurants and bars has been superseded by the gaggle of abandoned and unloved Bluetooth headsets. My Plantronics Voyager 510, though, has seen a lot of Bluetooth headsets come and go in its time. For some reason, the 510 has remained my most often used BT headset, despite its very weird power adapter connector.
But the Plantronics Voyager Pro HD may be the new kid on the block and quickly become my go-to Bluetooth headset.
The Pro HD is a beautiful piece of design. It weighs practically nothing and the housing is perfectly designed to slip over and balance on your upper ear. I've worn it for several days now and, with one exception, have almost forgotten it was there. The exception is when I put on or take off my glasses - that requires some maneuvering simply because there isn't that much room between my skull and my ear. So I have to make sure everything is arranged just right.
Plantronics has winnowed down buttons and functions to arrive at an efficient and minimalist three buttons. The Power Button has three functions: 1) power on or off, 2) battery voice level alerts and 3) pairing activation. This last, after so many headsets that force me to remember arcane combinations of two buttons, is a blessing. Hold the power button down until the LED flashes red/blue and you're good to go.
The Volume/Mute Buttons also have three functions: 1) adjust volume level, 2) mute the mic (with a 1 second press of volume + and buttons) and 3) pause/play streaming audio. These buttons are generously sized and rise just a bit above the surface of the case for quick and sure operation.
Finally the Call Button allows you take or end a call, redial, initiate voice dial (if your phone supports it) and reconnect lost connections between the headset and device.
Set-up is dirt simple: hold the power button down for a couple of seconds until the LED flashes red/blue and pair I with your device. I paired it with my Lenovo laptop and Motorola Photon 4G phone in just a few seconds without hassle. The headset will support two device connection profiles.
The Voyager Pro HD is capable of A2DP so you can steam music, podcasts, GPS announcements and the like from a suitably equipped phone or other device. Remember, though, that not all phones and computers support A2DP. Mine do and the unit performed well with Pandora and other streaming audio. Volume could be higher but, frankly, if my hearing were better I probably wouldn't complaining. The headset, by the way, ships with a medium eartip installed and small and large ones in the box. I'm going to try the small eartip to see if I can get a better seal to block extraneous noise.
The microphone is supposed to be noise-cancelling and my tests to date indicate that it does a pretty good job. I tested it with a few online recording services, dictating to Audacity sound editing software and in chatting with people. The humans reported they could hear me clearly and I was, frankly, surprised by the clarity of my voice on the recordings. At some point, I will test it with Dragon Naturally Speaking to see how it works with voice recognition software.
The Voyager Pro HD has sensors and can recognize when the headset is being worn. This is pretty neat stuff. You don't have to keep the headset on your ear all the time. Leave it off and when you put it on to take a call, the headset turns on. Very neat! Likewise, if you leave the headset off and there is an incoming call, the headset will route the call to the phone.
As with many headsets, an incoming call stops audio streaming.
Battery life is excellent, in excess of four hours talk time and I don't know how long it will actually last in standby. Charging is via a standard microUSB port. Plantronics includes an AC adapter and a separate USB cable. Nice of them.
A one-year basic subscription to Dial2Do is included, under the Plantronics Vocalyst branding. Dial2Do is an interesting service allowing you to leave reminders, send and listen to emails and texts - if you pay for an upgraded subscription, post to Twitter and Facebook, connect to EverNote and a little more. It is a pricey service, so check it out thoroughly before you become too enamored of it.
Overall, this is a beautiful Bluetooth headset, not only in terms of the sleek and smooth design, but in the feature set as well. From the simple three-button operation to the excellent noise-cancelling microphone and the pretty good audio output. My favorite feature, though, is the weight and fit of the unit. I can put it on and wear it for hours without any discomfort. That, to me, is very, very cool.