The Plantronics Voyager Legend UC ($199.95 direct) Bluetooth headset is a deluxe version of the standard Voyager Legend, which is one of our favorite models. But in addition to working over Bluetooth, the UC version comes with a tiny USB-compatible receiver for hooking up to a PC or Mac for use with Skype, Avaya, IBM, and other UC standard VoIP clients. It’s a good choice if you make a lot of VoIP and cellular calls from your desk, and prefer a wireless, mono headset to something like the Plantronics Blackwire 720, which offers a more traditional stereo headset fit and a wired USB connector. That said, the Voyager Legend UC’s price gives us pause, the same way the two-year-old Voyager Pro UC did; the included accessories, while useful, shouldn’t double the price.
Note that there’s also a separate B235-M version of this product; that one is Microsoft-certified and optimized for use with Microsoft Lync 2010 and Microsoft OCS 2007 only. This review focuses on the standard Voyager Legend UC. In this short review, I’ll just focus on the differences with the UC model; for more on how the headset itself fits, works, and sounds, read our full review of the original Voyager Legend. With both models, the headset itself is the same.
The UC version of the Voyager Legend comes with a bunch of accessories. The biggest news is the tiny USB UC receiver, which plugs into a free port on your PC or Mac and lets you make calls with VoIP clients like Skype. Also of note is the small desktop dock, which also plugs in via USB and keeps the Voyager Legend charged, thanks to its nifty magnetic power connector not unlike the one on a MacBook Pro. (The original Voyager Legend also has this connector.)
Plantronics also includes a hard plastic carrying case with a smoked, translucent lid. The case holds the headset and the USB receiver. There’s a micro USB port on the side, so you can charge the Voyager Legend while it’s inside the case, which is a nice touch.
Otherwise, the Voyager Legend UC works and sounds just like the original, Bluetooth-only Voyager Legend we liked so much. Sound quality is exemplary in both directions, using both Skype and over Bluetooth. I tested the Voyager Legend when paired with an Apple iPhone 5. As with the regular version, the Voyager Legend UC is a little more susceptible to office fans and outside wind noise, thanks to its long boom mic which can “catch” the breeze and shift around a bit. Plantronics’ noise-cancelling circuitry is also still a small step behind what Jawbone has accomplished with the Era Bluetooth headset.
Plantronics also makes available Spokes, a free PC download that makes controlling calls from multiple sources easier. It installs a battery meter for the Voyager Legend UC in your PC’s icon tray, and updates your UC presence status whether you’re on a mobile call or a PC call—useful stuff to have on your PC.
All told, it’s tough to go wrong with the Voyager Legend to begin with. This latest UC version makes it that much tougher to resist, although I think it should cost $150, not $200. Working professionals looking for more range should have a look at the Plantronics Savi 440, which can travel four to five times as far from its source as the Voyager Legend.
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