As a follow up to my review of the Motorola E815, I wanted to share the good experience I’ve had with the Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset. Not only does the Voyager 510 work well with my bluetooth phone, but it also works great with the bluetooth on my Mac when using skype.
Before I tried the Voyager 510 , I was skeptical that the sound quality of a bluetooth headset would ever be good enough to replace a wired headset. I had a little evidence to support this fact. For starters, I borrowed a friend’s headset, which I believe was the HS-850. I wrongly assumed that this top-of-the-line headset produced by Motorola would be the perfect match for my Motorola phone. Unfortunately, I found the audio quality was poor, with that tin-can sort of sound. People on the other end could hear me as long as there wasn’t any other noise around, but it all seemed very fishy. How the heck do those little mics work when they are so far away from your mouth anyways?
Enter the Plantronics Voyager 510 The earpiece is kinda like an ear bud, and gets pretty far into the ear canal. This configuration gets the sound a lot closer to the eardrum, and increases the sound quality quite a bit. Next, notice the long rubberized cushion that doubles as the battery back and the hanger-on-the-ear piece. I believe the large surface area of this part enables the headset to stay comfortable even after long periods of use. I’ve been on a few 3 hour conference calls with this headset, and never had the urge to rip the headset off my ear because it was painful. Finally, the mic is on the end of a small boom which seems to help a lot with sound quality for folks on the receiving end. Lyla has even told me that she thinks I sound better when using the Voyager 510 than when I use my cell phone alone. In fact, Lyla is getting a Voyager 510 for herself since she likes mine so much.
The Voyager 510 features “Multipoint Technology”, which is supposed to mean that you can pair two different connected bluetooth devices at the same time without too much trouble. I’ve been connecting the Voyager 510 to my Mac via bluetooth as my skype headset, and it’s been working pretty good recently. When I first started using the headset with my Mac, I did run into a few odd problems where skype wasn’t able to pair with the headset, but I suspect that was a problem that’s been resolved in a recent OS X update as it’s been working flawlessly recently. Remember those 3 hour conference calls I referred to previously? Those were all over skype. Not bad I say, not bad.
As glowing as my review here is, there are a few minor issues. I miss the way the HS-850 instantly connects to your phone when you open the headset. It’s also a little annoying that I have to use a separate charger for the headset. Some of the newer Motorola headsets allow you to plug into any USB port for charging, cutting down on the amount of stuff you have to carry with you when you travel.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. The Plantronics Voyager 510 does the trick.