Headset review: Plantronics v8200 UC

Another headset review coming up. This time it’s the new Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC, a boom less headset for the business market aimed at the productive worker needing a headset to block out unwanted noise in an open office environment.

The Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC is such a headset. It’s delivered in a soft pouch together with a USB Bluetooth dongle(always use it when connecting to your PC/Mac), a USB charging cable and a mini jack cable for those times when Bluetooth cannot be used(in flight mode for example). The headset is available in two colors, black(the one showed in this post) and white. It has a quite nice finish with leather and aluminum, and no microphone boom.

The boom less construction is surprisingly effective, and both audio quality during conversations and the reduction of background noise is quite good. The callee is not able to hear any noise in the background when making a call, even in a quite noisy environment. The ANC has two settings when turned on, that is Medium and High. With my limited hearing I’m not able to separate the two 🙂

There are also functions for open mic, mute etc. all controlled from the buttons on the headset. When playing music, you can control play/pause, skip forward and backward etc. Incoming calls are prioritized, and answering calls are done with the buttons on the headset or by the auto answer function if the headset is lying on your desk. This is one of my favourite features with Plantronics headsets designed for UC and certified for Skype for Business. The proximity sensors allows for automatic features as ANC on/off and automatic pause of movies/music and answer/mute calls when the headset is put on or taken off. The automatic disabling of ANC when the headset is not used also acts as a power saving feature.
There are however something to bear in mind when it comes to proximity sensors and machine connectivity. As mentioned earlier in this post, the USB dongle has to be used when connecting to a PC or Mac. That being said, I’ve experienced differences between Mac OSx and Windows operating systems when it comes to operating the headset. Specially the Mac OSx seems somewhat limited in regards to controlling playback of music from the headset. I’m sure this is a problem related to the operating system API and not the headset as it works fine in a Windows Client.

When it comes to playing music or watching movies using this headset, it delivers very good sound(at least in my opinion). When using the BT dongle that comes with the headset, I’ve not experienced any problems with audio playback. Some people has experienced audio delay when streaming audio over Bluetooth, but this is not my impression. I’ve tested audio streaming both with USB dongle on my MacBook and with my iPhone and experienced no audio delay.

The Plantronics Voyager v8200 UC is in my opinion a very good all round headset which delivers excellent performance both when used as a productivity headset and as an entertainment headset streaming music and watching movies. It’s a very good alternative to the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC, which in my opinion has been the best UC headset on the market up until now 🙂

Advertisements

Headset review: Jabra Evolve 75 UC

After a long time without writing anything, I thought it would be nice with a review of a new headset I got to try out.

Previously, I’ve linked to Staale Hansen’s review of the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC headset. This headset is, in my opinion, one of the best UC headsets on the market.

My review this time will be of the Jabra Evolve 75 headset, which is Jabra’s alternative to Plantronics Voyager Focus UC and a step up from the Jabra Evolve 65 which I wrote about in an earlier post.

The headset comes in two different variants, one with just the headset and the other with a USB desk stand for charging the headset. The Jabra Evolve 75 is certified for Skype for Business and has passed Microsofts test regime for UC headsets(or should I say IC headset (intelligent Communications)). It has ha quite nice “pouch” to cary it around in, which is kind of a hard case which keeps the headset in place and has a little pocket in the lid for the USB cable. It also has a small slot for the USB dongle(which you would want to use together with your PC/LapTop/Mac as this is automatically paired with the headset to give you all the softphone features).

Using the headset is quite easy. The button for power on/off and bluetooth pairing is located on the same earpod as the microphone boom. The boom auto-mutes the headset when you raise it to an upright position and it’s beeing kept in place by a small magnet. The power switch can be somewhat difficult to locate when wearing the headset, as it is quite small. On the other earpod, the buttons for listening in(disabling the ANC) and ANC on/off are located.

The mute button on top of the right earpod also allows for interaction with Siri(on iPhones). Press once, and Siri pops up on your phone asking what she can do for you 🙂

Press volume up/down simultaneously will turn on and off the Busylight indicator located on each of the earpods. This is one of the features of this headset that I like and miss with other vendors.

The Jabra Evolve 75 has the possibility to connect to two different Bluetooth devices simultaneously, giving you the option to stream music and answer calls on your preferred device.

All in all, Jabra Evolve 75 is a very good UC headset. Compared to the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC, it has some limitations and some advantages. The clearly visible Busylight beeing the one feature which I miss with the Voyager Focus, but the lack of smartsensors that are a very nice feature with the Foucs puts it in a 2’nd place in my opinion.
One example: On the Jabra Evolve, The ANC has to be switched off manually in order to save battery power. If you leav it on, it will consume your battery even if the headset is not used.

When it comes to audio playback and noise cancellation, both headsets are quite good and my ears are not in a state to be able to separate one from the other 🙂

Lync Conference 2013

Last week I was fortunate enough to be part of the very first Lync conference hosted by Microsoft in San Diego, CA.

The conference was all about Lync and Lync systems. Packed with session for technical, sales and business people, it was a huge boost for the Lync community.

With the launch of the new mobility client on all major platforms and live demonstration of A/V on all clients, the Keynote on tuesday was a big success.

An even bigger high was the introduction of Lync Room Systems(http://blogs.technet.com/b/lync/archive/2013/02/19/the-lync-room-system-lrs.aspx), which will make a big impact in meetingrooms accross the globe in the time to come. From Polycom, Smart, LifeSize and Crestron, the LRS will certainly make an impact on end users in regards of utilizing meetingrooms in a more efficient way.

Another key feature in Lync 2013, is the ability to communicate with Skype clients. The feature will enable Lync users in corporate networks to collaborate and communicate on a B2X level in an even larger scale than with Lync 2010 and Msn/Yahoo/AOL.

The last feature of Lync 2013 that I would like to mention, is the new XMPP service running on all Front End and Edge servers. This will allow for Lync to federate with other XMPP partners without having to deploy a dedicated GW on the Lync side(still need the GW on federated systems depending on the solution deployed).

Stay tuned for more updates to come 🙂