Technical Review

A day-to-day office user of the 8200 headset, here is what our Director, Chris had to say about the technical side of the device:

Sound Quality: 8/10 

The closed ear design of the Voyager 8200 physically blocks out a large amount of background noise and there is a 2 setting active noise cancellation system for really noisy environments. Overall the performance is very good, the treble is crisp and there is punch at the low end when needed. Given where the Voyager 8200 is priced and pitched it makes sense to compare it to its commercial headphone rivals. Against the market leaders the Voyager 8200 stacks up well for audio performance the one noticeable difference is that the active noise cancelling is not as polished or aggressive as the market leaders. As Plantronics get more experience with ANC I’m sure that polish will come. 

 

Microphone Quality: 7/10
There are beam forming microphones on the ear cups of the headset, this is a relatively recent innovation and to be honest I was not expecting great things however the performance has been very good! In a noisy office I am intelligible and understood, on conference calls there are no complaints. In very noisy environments the technology falls down a bit, on the bus ride to my local station the noise of the bus was unfortunately too much for one caller to understand what I was saying but that is a very extreme environment for any headset. Having listened to recordings at present a traditional boom microphone performs better than the beam forming mic on the Voyager 8200 but I would not let that put you off, compared to other brand leading commercial headphones the microphone performance is leaps and bounds ahead of what is out there today. 

 

Durability/Quality: 8/10
The overall feel of the Voyager 8200 is of a quality product, from the faux fur lined bag that it comes in to the leather feel ear cushions I don’t doubt it will last a long time. During my time in having one it was not treated with any great respect and still looks new which is surprising given its white! 

 

Design: 9/10
Button placement for me is always a key factor in design and it feels like how you use the Voyager 8200 has been well thought out. The mute button on the bottom right ear cup and the tactile volume control are all nice touches and overall the 8200 fits together very well. 

Connectivity: 9/10
With a USB dongle, Bluetooth and 3.5mm connectivity the Voyager 8200 has got you well catered for connectivity. The 3.5mm jack is especially useful as one place you will certainly want to use the Voyager 8200 is on a plane and the cable means you don’t have to Bluetooth to your personal device and can hook into aircraft entertainment if need be. In my time with the Voyager 8200 the Bluetooth connection was very good and didn’t let me down once. 

 

Battery Life: 9/10
The battery life was very good and at least on a par with the Voyager 8200 commercial equivalents, I used the Voyager 8200 for about 20 hours without charging and when I did need to charge the recharge time is quick. My only complaint is that the recharge cable is a little short which makes it very difficult to charge the headset and use them at the same time, however as it is a micro USB charging cable finding a longer one is simple. 

 

Suggested use case:
If you are looking for a good quality set of headphones that you can use at home or at work then the Voyager 8200 is a great fit. The USB dongle means that for the all the business softphone platforms out there the 8200 will work with full functionality and the direct Bluetooth or 3.5mm jack means when you take the Voyager 8200 home you will be able to use it as you would any other set of headphones. 

 

Executive Summary/Overall: 8.5/10 

This is one of the first true crossover (Used at work and in private life) devices that Plantronics have brought to market and it does what it says on the tin. The Voyager 8200 is a very solid proposition and before you leap out and get a new set of active noise cancelling headphones from one of the big players I would strongly urge you to consider the Voyager 8200 as an alternative. 

 

Part number Tested: 208769-02 

IT services in reading

Chris Watling

Director

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