Plantronics Voyager Legen Bluetooth Headset - Review

We were kindly supplied a Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset to review by Halfords UK, as part of their range of bluetooth devices for safer driving.

Overview:

The Plantronics Voyager Legend is a lightweight, intelligent, and stylish Bluetooth headset: compatible not only with mobile, but also static devices.

Impressive on a number of fronts, the device performs well in several areas; this being said, a known audio issue significantly influences the overall rating.

In terms of design, presentation, and available features, the Voyager Legend easily receives a score that approaches the 9/10 mark; however, this is significantly impacted by performance issues relating to audio quality, which appear specific to certain devices.

With this in mind, the scoring portion of the review has been subjected to two independent treatments: one concerning iPhone use, the remainder covering Android, and PC performance.

Features:

Offering seven-hours’ worth of talk time per charge; the ability to—simultaneously—pair with multiple devices; a range of useful voice commands; rapid-charging technology; ergonomic, and intuitive design elements; and solid product support, provided via the Plantronics Hub; the Plantronics Voyager Legend offers a number of high-quality features that justify its RRP of £69.99.

When the device is worn, calls, and alerts are transferred to the earpiece; when removed, primary control returns to the handset: removing the need for frequent pairing/un-pairing.

The magnetic, ‘snap-to’ charging cable communicates an air of style-meets-utility.

A ‘Find my Headset’ app is also available. When powered, the device can be tracked acoustically; when not, the Backtrack™ activity log system can be used to generate a list of search locations.

Weighing in at a mere eighteen grams, it feels unobtrusive; however, the silicone earpieces require a period of adjustment, and prolonged wear can prove painful:

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For business customers, dedicated enterprise software (Plantronics Manager Pro) is available. Designed for IT professionals, Manager Pro streamlines the tech support angle, consolidating user metrics, version, and update history, remote troubleshooting, etc.

Presentation:

Clearly, Plantronics have invested their attentions in questions of both ergonomics, and style. Several noteworthy—and yet subtle—features complement the user experience in understated, and often unnoticeable ways (e.g., earpiece rotation, which smooths the fitting process). Re positioning the device to suit a left, or right ear is simple, and intuitive. The build is both robust, and flexible: although prolonged wear may see a weakening of the membrane that connects the earpiece, and microphone to the battery, and transmitter-receiver:

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The packaging is neither wasteful, nor boring.

Connectivity:

Connectivity is both easy, and responsive. A connectivity demonstration is included in the video review (see below).

It should be noted that yesterday afternoon, the headset issued a clear shot of music, without warning. Customers who explore the Plantronics Hub settings, and establish connectivity preferences, are unlikely to experience this.

Audio:

For a video demonstration of the audio quality (when paired with a PC), see the end of the article. The latest firmware was installed prior to testing.

The audio quality is reportedly excellent for iPhone users, whereas Android, and PC users experience a ‘metallic’, ‘tunnel-esque’, or ‘robotic’ change in cadence, likely resulting from hyperactivity of the device’s noise cancellation feature.

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This, in fairness, doesn’t appear to be the fault of Plantronics, but rather to the manufacturers of the problem devices (e.g., here, a customer alluded—back in 2014—to a collaboration with HTC engineers, geared towards the development of a fix).

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An update was posted shortly thereafter, expressing frustration in the face of nil resolution.

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The final post sees one user claim to have fixed the problem using somewhat unconventional means:

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Scoring:

For reasons detailed above, the scoring section must be approached twofold:

For iPhone use, this product easily deserves a 9.5/10, as the audio quality experienced is equivalent to that which is advertised. In this context, the Voyager Legend is a viable contender.

For Android, and PC users, the audio quality borders on (if not outright crosses into) the unusable; consequently, the score falls to a 6/10. Given the unlikeliness of a fix, I would advise users of these devices to investigate other headsets.

Video Review: