Monday, May 20, 2024

REVIEW | Poly Voyager enterprise Bluetooth headsets 

Poly, a brand known globally as a provider of pro-grade audio and video solutions and was recently acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP), last year brought to the Philippines two stereo Bluetooth headset products which were also released in international markets – the Poly Voyager Focus 2 Stereo Bluetooth Headset and the Poly Voyager 4320 UC Stereo Bluetooth Headset.  

The devices are part of the brand’s best-selling line of wireless stereo headsets designed for the enterprise market and specifically built to address the pain points of workers in the hybrid work setup. 

The difference between the two is that the Poly Voyager 4320 UC is part of the entry-level Voyager 4300 UC series while the Poly Voyager Focus 2 is the successor of the premium Voyager Focus UC launched way back in 2015. The Voyager 4300 UC series also includes the cheaper Poly Voyager 4310 UC – a version that delivers monophonic sound reproduction and not stereo sound.  

Poly Voyager Focus 2 Stereo Bluetooth Headset  

Price: P21,890 

The Poly Voyager Focus 2 was formally introduced in May 2021 as the brand’s answer to the demand for a smart wireless headset that can reproduce high-quality audio for teleconferencing needs, but as the same time is intuitive and easy to use.  

This model combines Poly’s own next-generation Acoustic Fence technology and Advanced Digital Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). In an earlier statement, John Lamarque, Poly’s vice president and general manager for voice collaboration and professional headset business unit, highlighted that the three levels of hybrid ANC installed in the Poly Voyager Focus 2 ensures that the user will only hear their call while the receiving end will only hear the user’s voice (hence the moniker “Focus”). 

Aside from the unit itself, Poly has also included a carrying case, a BT700 USB adapter, a charging cable, and a charging stand. The carrying case is convenient for workers who need to make calls on-the-go, while the charging base only takes a small amount of room which makes it suitable for tight workspaces.  

In real-world scenario, the noise-cancelling functionality of the Poly Voyager Focus 2 works effectively without being too overpowering in reducing background noise which sometimes results in some of the voice being cut off. The noise-cancelling also applies to the microphone and delivers crisp and clear voice.  

On top of its solid audio and voice pickup performance, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 has a lot more to offer in terms of convenience and smart features. There are instances where employees easily miss the icon which tells them if they’re on mute, but with the Dynamic Mute Alert feature, they can be sure if their microphone is active or not.  

Other convenient features that users can benefit from is the flashing ear cup indicator which lets other people in a call know when the user is busy, and while some enterprise headsets require a physical button so users can go on mute mode, the boom microphone of the Poly Voyager Focus 2 simply needs to be placed in an upright position.  

When unplugged, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 excels with its extended battery life. In our extensive tests, the model is able to provide up to 14 to 15 hours of continuous audio before requiring a charge. This means that the headset can power through a whole day’s work with leftover battery life after.  

Poly Voyager 4320 UC Stereo Bluetooth Headset 

Price: P11,298 

A little over half the price of the premium Poly Voyager Focus 2, enterprises who are seeking a cheaper but still capable stereo headset can take a look at the Poly Voyager 4320 UC, the pricier sibling of the Poly Voyager 4310 UC.  

Because of its affordable price, there are a few trade-offs when compared to the Focus device – a smaller battery, the absence of a charging stand option and LED indicators, and less customizable noise-cancelling.  

Similar to most of Poly’s enterprise headsets, the Poly Voyager 4320 UC has a range of 50 meters and multiple connectivity options. Unlike the Poly Voyager Focus 2, it does use a physical mute button which users must be wary to prevent unwanted sound pickup.  

Using two microphones, the Poly Voyager 4320 UC benefits from Acoustic Fence technology which reduces background noises via advanced echo cancellation techniques while retaining the user’s voice. Sadly, without the hybrid ANC seen in the Poly Voyager Focus 2, the cancelling performance can sometimes be a tad aggressive. 

Although it comes with a smaller battery life, the Poly Voyager 4320 UC can still last throughout a conventional workday without needing to be plugged in. Users must note, however, that the charging time may take up a little under two hours so they will need to remember to charge the model before use.  

Conclusion 

There’s no doubt that both the Poly Voyager Focus 2 and 4320 UC are excellent enterprise headsets primed for hybrid work use. While the premium Voyager Focus 2 boasts superb audio driver and microphone performance, the 4320 UC provides a more affordable proposition for businesses, albeit a few compromises. 

The timing of its local availability could have been better since the demand for audio solutions working at this performance level skyrocketed at the height of the pandemic. But nevertheless, even organizations returning to office can expect considerable value for the price of the Poly Voyager Focus 2 and Poly Voyager 4320 UC.  

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