Plantronics is a relatively new brand when compared to LG and Samsung. I remember LG making Bluetooth headsets in bulk; they are a good lot. But to be honest, headsets are not LGs specialty. However, if you are still interested in reading a LG HBS series Bluetooth headset review, I wrote one a long time ago.
I also reviewed Plantronics the last time when I got my hands on the M165 headset. One of the readers asked me through the comments section if Plantronics M165 is better than those headsets that don’t come with an over the ear support loop. If you are facing the same dilemma, here’s an insight on how I responded to her question.
As I hold the Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth headset, it is as if the experience is entirely different. The sound cancellation has improved, there is longer battery life, the ear support section is more sturdy, and yet, flexible, etc. In all instances, I was satisfied and concluded that Voyager Legend outperforms its $71 price tag related frustration.
Wait, you said something about discussing issues Voyager Legend headset issues, didn’t you?
Yeah, the issues part is discussed in a separate section of this article. There are known, and perhaps, unknown issues concerning Plantronics Voyager Legend headset. Most of these issues were reported by users, while others are very new to me because I haven’t really detected them in newer models. If you ended up with a faulty battery, or a Bluetooth headset that does not work as advertised, you can always contact Plantronics for an RMA.
Issues and Hands-on experience with Plantronics Voyager Legend headset:
I’d say that the noise isolation factor of this Bluetooth headset is far superior to any other brand. Noise isolation matters to you because of the appended reasons:
- When you are working on site
- When you are working in a room with server racks and cooling fans
- Areas where other people are talking a lot
- Users on the go on day-to-day basis
- Construction site or an office with open cubicles. Stock market offices will also be an example where Voyager can lend some help
Considering the aforementioned reasons, the noise cancellation effect comes into perspective more clearly. Other things, such as battery life and extended warranty have a major role to play, but if the noise isn’t being isolated, your listeners will have a hard time keeping up with the conversations.
“The newest headset in the Voyager family, the Plantronics Voyager Legend delivers unsurpassed audio clarity and all-day comfort.”
Before Voyager Legend series, I owned the Voyager Pro+ and Jabra SP700. On a side note, Jabra products are cheap, but they are not usually targeted to mainstream users. They come with common features, but something not too fancy to catch the eye. For instance, when you need to be on the phone via your Bluetooth headset longer than the 6 hour time span, this is where Jabra can sometimes fade on battery performance.
Don’t get me wrong; even Voyager Plantronics headsets also give up on the 7 hour talk time mark, but I didn’t encounter such issues. Other users at Amazon, who already purchased the older batch of Voyager Legend, did mention its “weak” battery life. Granted that you have an extra charge unit available, you can resume your phone calls from where they left off.
Common issues with the Voyager and Legend product lineup are known as:
- When the battery life is about to die, the person on the other end of the call will feel as if you are speaking from a faraway distance. Your voice will sound weak and inaudible. In this instance, before the battery completely dies, you can turn off the Legend Bluetooth headset and resume the call through the mobile phone, without disconnecting it.
- Battery life seems excellent in the beginning, but continues to drop after 4 weeks in.
- Random call drops on Plantronics headsets.
- Ear gels/ ear pieces seem to wear out after a week or two. This is not much of an issue, if you are careful with handling your ear gels.
A particular snag with Voyager Legend is its new magnetized charger dock. The new model is not Micro USB port compliant, which is why a lot of people have been turned down. They think that Legend headset series has now become exclusive to one specific charging dock type. In normal cases, users could connect any Micro USB cable and charge the device easily, but things work a little different this time.
Even though the cable port issue is a bit of a setback, Plantronics actually introduced it after surveying the market. The new magnetized charger is made for the convenience of users. It latches on the charging port. Considering that you own a minimum of two headsets and you have to charge them throughout the day to keep up with your contacts, the magnetized charge dock removes the hassle of keeping a cable in your pocket.
Whether you love it, or you hate it, the choice is yours.
Voyager Legend Hardware: This time, the headset feels much better; the build quality is improved and there is a sense of sturdiness to it. I also noticed some remodeling at specific areas. When you look at the tip at the end of the mic/ speaking port, it has a cylindrical shape.
Older models of Plantronics Bluetooth accessories had a bulb like mic port. It was made of very light metal; you could dent it easily by dropping it, by placing a heavy object on it, or by pressure. The Legend series does not have that issue because the pseudo cylindrical mic enclosure provides more protection.
“And when you want to talk–it can even announce who’s calling and lets you say “Answer” to take the call.”
The Legend’s overall form factor is almost identical to the Plantronics Pro+ series. This time, instead of making the earpiece bigger, they shortened it. The specific part of the headset that coils at the back side of your ear is now comfortable and feels very light. After a few days of extensive use, you won’t even realize that you’re wearing the headset.
Button quality and placement: The voice command button has been moved on top of the mic area. The rest of the buttons, such as power switch, volume switch and etc are now on the rear side of the headset. I use the Legend headset on both my right and left ear – so when I am using it on the left side, instead of the right side, the controls placement changes accordingly.
The BIGGEST improvement is the inclusion of Mute button in the Plantronics Legend. I mean, seriously, there are times when you just want to mute the person, and this button comes off as an advantage to people who desired this function. Older models of Plantronics did offer the mute function, but it was not dedicated to one button.
For older models, you’d have to press two buttons; they could be both volume control switches to mute a call. The simultaneous button press would usually not go through because one button would be a little higher than the other one, and since the entire headset unit is sitting on your ear, you cannot see which buttons you are pressing.
In general, the buttons quality has improved too. Your sweat no longer clogs the tiny crevices around the buttons.
Plantronics Ear Gel(s): The ear gel is so-so in terms of quality. During excessive use, the gel will develop cracks in areas, and eventually, it will break off. Likewise, fitting can become an issue when your ears are not suitable to the gel’s shape. If Plantronics made the gel too flexible, it would then get stuck in your ear.
To best get used to the so called Bluetooth headset ear gel issue, you are going to have to buy new ones. If there is a way for you to connect in-ear ear buds with Plantronics, go for it. I am also trying to figure out a solution, but I have not been very lucky in this department. That being said, I do have a small ziplock bag at home where I keep all my extra ear gels and ear buds as backup. You should do that too.
Plantronics Voyager Legend application suite:
They call it “smart apps” for people on the move. The apps are not very good. I had to yell “Reject” and “Answer” many times for the sensor to detect the voice command. Again, this is a delicate issue, because Plantronics cannot make the sensor too sensitive to pick up on your voice command. If that was the case, then the sensor would also detect outside noise and interpret it as input.
On the contrary, the Legend Bluetooth Plantronics comes with multiple sensors, and when it can’t hear or interpret my voice inputs, what good are those apps for? On the bright side, if I yelled at the same voice pitch during an actual phone call, my voice is too loud for the person at the other end. It appears that I have to talk in my normal voice during calls, and sing my lungs out when I want the voice activated commands to work!
Voyager Legend battery life issues:
Finally, the favorite part of this entire review is the battery life section. Short battery life issues will definitely show up when you are constantly charging any device on half battery indicator. Let the battery life drain all the way down to 5%, and then charge the device to full limit.
Therefore, you will not face any dropped call issues with any number of Bluetooth headsets. If you are charging the batteries on daily basis, especially when you know that they have some juice left in them, you are actually decreasing the battery’s performance. Keep on doing this, and the battery will only last for 15 – 20 minutes.
In conclusion, people who complained about Plantronics Voyager Legend and Pro+ battery issues, they need to cut down on constantly charging the devices. To stay safe, buy an extra battery pack and replace the default battery with it. However, this time, do as I instructed in this article and your headset’s battery life will perform as advertised (7 hours/ 2 days talk time!).