Plantronics is a long time player in this field and for years has had a great reputation for high quality products. Our office quite a few years ago were big fans of Plantronics devices since they came out with their first wireless headset. This device will set you back just shy of two hundred bucks retail but you can find it online for a lot less and purchase just the headset or the duo. No it’s not the cheapest but it’s probably the best on the market. So you’ll get your money’s worth and more. I absolutely love this headset for many reasons. It’s so comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing it. The over the ear design fits securely and comfortably and never came close to falling off my ear which is always a worry particularly with high end Bluetooth devices. It has excellent call quality for both ends of the conversation, and the battery life is great. The product comes with sensor technology that will automatically answer calls when it senses the headset against your ear.
The headset will tell you how much battery life is left with the press of the button. Other headsets can do that as well with voice control (Blue Ant). We tested the Jawbone Icon HD a while ago and while it’s a strong contender with its USB plug in and call quality, I still have to give the B230 Voyager Pro UC a huge thumbs up. It’s a power tool and it is business quality. Plantronics wisely chose to concentrate on call quality and obviously determined not to design the phone as an accessory to clothing. Instead they wisely retained the boom mike so that they could deliver professional results in simulating a professional environment wherever you are. You won’t find red, blue, green or purple…yet. For the moment it comes in the familiar trustworthy grey and black.
The USB adapter allows you to communicate directly with your PC. It’s compatible with Skype, Avaya, IBM, and Cisco softphones. Plantronics offers more features through additional software download available to enhance the product experience for each platform including their Spokes software which enables Remote Call Control features for softphones. http://www.plantronics.com/us/support/software-downloads/business-windows.jsp.
I used Skype for my test. Skype remained crystal clear and I could walk away from the PC for about 30 feet before I experienced being disconnected. In my case that was enough distance to grab a cup of coffee for long conferences! And yes there is a Mac OS X version. Softphone compatibility guide
A quick scan of user comments online indicated the sound quality on Voyager Pro UC is good for speech dictation. If you use speech dictation under windows or Nuance’s Dragon Dictation, you may consider this another great benefit for either the Windows or Mac platform. With a full charge you should get 6 hours of talk time. That almost gets me through most of the day when I’m using it as a replacement for a headset with the included USB adapter. The unit charges very quickly so you’re up and running again in no time. The smart sensor technology knows when you put your head set on an automatically gets ready to answer calls. Calls can also be transferred back to the phone. Included with the product is a one year free subscription to Vocalyst. Vocalyst is integrated into your headset. Pressing your boom mike connector will dial the Vocalyst assistant where you can initiate many activities by voice.
Vocalyst appears to be an OEM version of Dial2DO. This software gives you the ability to do a number of things with voice like send SMS texts, email, listen to Facebook, sports or top news stories. It’s a nice little bonus but you’ll have to upgrade to get more features. There are apps that do some of these like Siri or Vlingo but Vocalyst Pro has many more features for the moment — at a price.
B230: UC Standard version built for UC applications and softphones from Avaya, Cisco, IBM and more New Smart Sensor technology for a seamless and intuitive user experience