Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
Plantronics Voyager 510S
- 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$ 389.00 (AUD)
Picture this. You are walking towards the office kitchen when your mobile phone rings, so you simply press a button and answer it using the Plantronics Bluetooth Headset. As you finish that call, you hear your desk phone ringing in the background. Do you walk all the way back to your desk to answer it? No, once again, you answer it using the Bluetooth headset - simply by pressing one button.
The Plantronics Voyager 510 is a Bluetooth headset for your mobile phone that can also be paired with your desk phone, giving you complete handsfree freedom while on the road and in the office. This is because the Voyager 510 headset uses Bluetooth 1.2, meaning it can be paired with multiple devices simultaneously. At least, that is how the Plantronics Voyager is supposed to work, but the reality (as always) is a little different.
The Voyager 510 Bluetooth headset is like many other headset devices in the market today and slips comfortably behind an ear, with the boom microphone rotatable so it can be worn on either ear. Having tested a few Bluetooth headsets now, we can safely say the Voyager 510 is extremely comfortable to wear and conducive to long periods of use. The speaker fits right into your ear so the call quality is clear and Plantronics include 3 interchangeable ear pieces in the package.
There are just three controls on this simple to use device, a Call Control Button, a Volume Adjust button and a Power Button. The controls were faultless except for the Power button, which is small, hard to locate and very difficult to press. This also serves as the 'mute' button during a call and we had significant problems trying to use it. On the plus side, we really liked the fact that the 'Call Control' button is the side of unit (as opposed to the top) since it was very easy to access at all times. A flashing status indicator is installed at the base of the boom, so you can tell when the unit is on, in use or in pairing mode.
To pair the unit with your mobile, you simply hold down the Volume and Call Control button which places the unit in pairing mode. Using your phone, you then search for Bluetooth devices and pair them together. We had no complaints about using the headset with our phones - while not offering the advanced functionality of the Jabra BT800, all the basic functions such as answering/ending calls were provided, as well as voice dialing. Unfortunately, we couldn't call the last dialed number from the unit and we found that when our phone was on silent, the headset didn't pick it up. While Plantronics state this function is supported, neither of the two headsets we tested picked up the calls when our Nokia 6230 was on silent mode.
The key selling point of the Voyager 510S package is the included L510S headset system and HL10 handset lifter. The L510 unit sits on your desk and hooks up to your desk phone, allowing you to receive calls to that phone on the Voyager 510 headset. The L510 also acts as a charger for the headset and you simply pop the headset in the cradle to charge it.
The HL10 Handset lifter is actually fitted to the front of your phone and is used to manipulate the desk phone handset. When you get a call on your desk phone, you press the Call Control button on the 510 headset and this triggers the HL10 lifter to automatically lift the handset of the cradle, no matter where you are in the office. When the call is ended, the HL10 drops the phone back into its cradle.
While all this may sound very simple, the setup process is confusing to say the least. While for most phones, the out of box settings will be enough to get you going right away, we had quite a time trying to get everything working. This is because there are actually several switches, knobs and dials on the headset unit and the supplied manual was next to useless in directing us how to configure it.
For example, we were provided with just a picture illustrating where all the cables are plugged in. No instructions, no guide - just a picture. Now for many people, Bluetooth technology is still new and the deskphone support newer still, so a more comprehensive guide should really have been provided for this product. The other downside is hooking up the HL10 to the L510 and then to the desk phone does result in a lot of messy looking wired connections on your desk.
Despite the range being stated as 10 metres for this setup, we were actually able to get signals for desk phone calls at a distance much further than this, but they did deteriorate the further we got away and when obstructions (such as walls) were present. The boom mic is apparently noise cancelling, but those on the other end of the line did complain that background noise was clearly audible at a distracting level. The call quality is obviously no match for usual desk phone call, but was definitely useable and for most people, the convenience factor will far outweigh any small quality issues.
The Voyager 510S offers 6 hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby, which is adequate for most users.
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