Hello readers.  I hope this finds you well as always.  

In this post I’ll be reviewing the new Plantronics Voyager Edge UC USB Bluetooth headset.

As I indicated in my previous post, a Product Review of the Plantronics Blackwire C725-M, I have been using headsets now for 15 years.  I’ve used headsets for Avaya, Cisco and Microsoft UC from Live Communication Server (LCS) to Skype for Business systems and, in the case of Bluetooth headsets, mobile telephony.

The Voyager Edge UC is an all new headset from Plantronics which is very similar to the much loved Voyager Legend UC.  Plantronics are still selling both and probably for good reason, at least for now.  Since I have both it is an easy comparison.

Just like the Legend, the Edge is a monaural Bluetooth, dual channel earpiece with built in controls and a clever case that is also a rechargeable battery.  

Top to bottom: Voyager Legend Charging Case, Voyager Legend, Voyager Edge Charging case and Voyager Edge

The newer Edge extends the battery life when coupled with the charging case to 16 hours total (6 for the headset and 10 for the case) whereas the Legend offered 14 on top of the 7 in the headset for a total of 21 hours.  The case on the Edge also adds a nifty charge indicator for both the headset and the case.  A really nice touch.

 Voyager Edge charging case

The most noticeable difference is that the Edge is a lot smaller than the Legend.  This is because Plantronics managed to fit a better battery as well as all of the controls on the big end of the earpiece.

 Legend top, Edge bottom

The review – Plantronics Voyager Edge UC

What is it?
The Plantronics Voyager Edge UC is a USB Bluetooth Headset qualified for Lync and Skype for Business. 

Why do you need one?
If you use Lync or Skype for Business you need a headset.  This type of headset is for those of you that are always on the move.  It’s small enough to slip into your bag in the charging case and it will be there when you need it.  It is also dual channel so you can pair it with your mobile as well as the included dongle.  So it is perfect if you want to talk hands free while on the phone, whether your phone is Lync/Skype for Business or your mobile.

What else can it do?
As I said it is dual channel Bluetooth.  I have the Plantronics Hub installed on my laptop.  This useful application does everything from telling me when an update is needed to synchronizing presence to Lync when I answer a call on my mobile using the Edge.

I’ve used it for watching a TV show on a tablet and for multimedia presentations such as webinars.  This isn’t going to give you the totally immersive audio experience of a decent pair of headphones, but it does mean you can discreetly listen to something while still knowing what is going on around you.  I will say that multimedia audio is perfectly acceptable and even very good.

When I’m working away from my home office I use the Edge exclusively.  The main attraction for me is that I try to travel light to meetings.  My laptop could stop a train so I tend to leave it on my desk.  I take a Surface 3 everywhere.  I also have a small shoulder bag to keep it in.  Not a lot of space for big headset cases.  The Edge and case just slips into a pocket in the bag.

As with other Plantronics Bluetooth models such as the Legend you get voice control for everything from pairing to battery life and answering a call.  You also get contact directory lookup so the headset tells you who is calling if it recognizes the number of the caller.  And the Smart Sensor technology recognizes when you put the headset in and can auto answer a call and even place a call on hold when you take them off.

Are they any good?
In a word, yes.  As I’ve said, I have used the Voyager Legend for a few years and they are excellent.  This natural successor is equally good and in many ways better.  They aren’t just smaller than the Legend, but also pack in some really useful features such as the charge indicator in the case.  It is also packed with all of the great tech that makes me keep going back to Plantronics.  

I also love the evolution of the earpiece itself.  The new rubber eartip with earloop keeps them snugly and securely in your ear with comfort.  I often demonstrate these by putting them in my ear while shaking my head vigorously.  I haven’t been able to dislodge them yet.  And while the eartip with earloop is something all of the vendors have been adopting it is still a nice evolution.

Eartip with Earloop

They also sound good.  Received audio is very good.  They lack the warmth of a great binaural hi-fi headset, but everything sounds good.  I’ve polled a few people to see how I sound and all have given positive feedback.  Lync also has a handy feature that lets you check your call quality.  Essentially you call a service on the server which asks you to record a short message before playing it back.  Audio is very subjective, but to my ear I sound fine.  They also have some noise cancelling features that stop them picking up ambient noise.

What’s wrong with them?
Nothing as such.  But one thing I love about the Legend is the magnetic charging cradle.  This feature makes them perfect for a desk.

Legend in magnetic charging cradle

The Edge has no such option.  You can keep them in the charging case when not in use, but you have to forcefully remove them before putting them in.  Whereas the Legend makes it easy to simply lift off the cradle by the mouthpiece and place them over your ear to use or auto answer a call.  There is even a simple USB cable end for traveling with the same magnetic property.  The Edge can be charged by USB plugged directly in to the headset as well as in the charging cradle.

What would I change?
Even though I really like the magnetic charge cradle of the Legend it isn’t something that is necessary on the Edge.  Since they are so much smaller, logistically I’m not sure its possible without some kind of compromise.

The Plantronics Voyager Edge UC are an excellent addition to a huge portfolio of UC headsets from Plantronics.  They are a worthy successor to the Legend if that is the plan or just a great addition if not.  They are small, light and comfortable.  The new Earloop keeps them firmly in place while still maintaining comfort.  They produce and transmit good audio and are packed with useful tech.  

If you are looking for a good Bluetooth headset that you can use while traveling I would highly recommend these.  If you are also desk based a lot of the time you could also look at the Legend.

For more information about their extensive range of headsets for Lync and other products visit http://www.plantronics.com.   

Always choose qualified devices for Lync and Skype for Business.  For more information about qualified headsets visit the Solutions Catalog at http://partnersolutions.skypeforbusiness.com/solutionscatalog/personal-peripherals-pcs.

Thanks for reading.  

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