Plantronics Voyager 510-USB
- Multiple Bluetooth pairings, Answer desk and mobile calls, Comfortable to wear
- Difficult setup, Limited headset features, background noise audible
The Plantronics Voyager 510S package offers the freedom to answer calls to your mobile and desk phone. While extremely comfortable to wear, this unit does tend to pick up background noise.
Price$ 329.00 (AUD)
If your next phone call could just as easily come from your VoIP service as it could your mobile, Plantronics has the cure for what ails you. The Voyager 510-USB Bluetooth headset can be connected to your mobile phone and PC (using the supplied USB adapter) simultaneously, letting you streamline all your calls into one versatile headset.
As far as Bluetooth headsets go, the 510-USB is a lot larger than the latest units, putting ergonomics and comfort above fashion. We have no complaints from our end, as its around-the-ear design fits snugly and securely, and we found the muted two-tone grey colour scheme to be more discreet and appealing than most other units we've reviewed.
Often, the test of a good headset is whether you can get it out of your pocket and fitted on your ear before the phone stops ringing, and the 510-USB passed this test with flying colours. It can be easily adjusted to sit on either ear by swivelling the hook and rotating the boom mic, the latter motion also ensures the mouthpiece is as close to the action as possible.
Setting it up with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone is hassle-free. Simply configure both devices to pairing mode, enter the pincode on your mobile, and that's it. The answer/end call button on the outer edge of the earpiece is easy to press, as are the volume up and down buttons situated on the curve. The only let-down is the stiff power button with little to no tactile feedback.
Configuring the 510-USB for use with a PC is about as straightforward as it gets. Included in the package is a USB Bluetooth adapter that doesn't require any drivers for Windows XP to recognise it. The system automatically downloads the relevant files from the Internet and the adapter is even preconfigured so you don't have to pair it with the 510-USB to get the two talking.
To get your VoIP software interacting with the headset and adapter, however, you need to install the PerSonoCall application from the included software CD. Plantronics claims this is compatible with most Softphone applications. We tried it with Skype and found it to work just as advertised.
Call quality is good for a wireless headset. Callers couldn't tell we were using one, but audio isn't quite on par with the clarity you'd get from a phone earpiece. Range, which is the distance you can travel from the connected device before dropping the signal, is advertised as 10 metres within an office environment. We found call quality to crackle and distort after 15 metres in the GoodGearGuide office.
Unless you're a telemarketer or customer support technician, the six hours of talk time (with 100 hours of standby time) should be more than enough to get you through the work day. The 510-USB comes with a simple desktop stand for docking the headset and this can be hooked up to the supplied USB cable or AC charger, either of which charge it while connected to a PC or powerboard respectively.
With Bluetooth headsets for mobile phones averaging around $80, the 510-USB's asking price is steep. If you're regularly juggling between VoIP and mobile calls, however, the wireless convenience may be worth the premium.
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