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Gadget Guide #1 - February 2006 - Plantronics Bluetooth Headset Continued

By: James Bannan | Guides | Posted: Feb 21, 2006 5:00 am

How we tested


The best way to test a device like this is to use it every day for a while. I replaced my existing wireless headset at work with the Voyager 510SL and got stuck in.


My first impression was that the headset is amazingly comfortable. I've used BlueTooth headsets before, and while the small size and clarity of audio was impressive, I always felt that it was about to fly off my head. Not so with this unit - the battery and the majority of the controls are on the section which fits over the back of the ear, which gives it enough counterweight to the earpiece and the microphone boom. It's snug and very secure. Big thumbs up.


The other problem I noticed using previous units was that on answering a call, the headset took too long to connect back to the base station, making answering calls increasingly frustrating. There is a slight lag with the Voyager - and this is a problem with all BlueTooth headsets - but it's pretty quick for it not to be annoying, and it plays a series of small blips in your ear to let you know when it's connecting, and then connected. Strangely, the wait is much less annoying when you're kept informed as to what's happening.



To get the full test, I also paired it with my Nokia mobile. Pairing the two devices was effortless and worked immediately. When the mobile rings, the ringtone is played in the headset. You have to use the mobile keypad to answer the call, but then the audio is routed through the earpiece. When you're on the mobile and the deskphone rings, the incoming call is heard over the top of the mobile conversation, but if you press the call answer button it will cut off the caller on the mobile.


Range from the deskphone worked as advertised - 10 meters and no more. My office is in an area with 2.4GHz WiFi coverage, but the APs cause no noticeable interference. Physical obstructions like walls DO cause interference resulting in reduced range and audio clarity, but that's a problem with all wireless communication.


By the way, I gave my old wireless headset away. I'm sticking with the Voyager from here on in…


Final Thoughts


In short, LOVE IT. The Voyager 510SL is a sturdy and robust piece of hardware, and does precisely what you'd expect from a work tool. It works as advertised and it doesn't distract you with any shortcomings. It's more than just a trendy accessory; it's an invaluable asset to your working life.


- Pros


Headset is sturdy and comfortable


BlueTooth pairing is effortless and reliable


Audio clarity is outstanding


- Cons


Expensive (but worth it!)


Rating - 9.5 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Editor's Choice Award



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