For the most part, the headsets we’ve seen from Plantronics this year have been aimed at gamers, but make no mistake, the outfit is still churning out Bluetooth earpieces for road warriors: the company just announced its fifth-generation Voyager headset, the Voyager Legend. In many ways, it’s an iterative product, with longer battery life (seven hours, up from six), and more mics (three instead of two). It also has an elongated windscreen and is 25 percent smaller than its predecessor, though Plantronics claims the in-ear fit hasn’t changed. Key internals include Bluetooth 3.0, not 4.0, and support for streaming over A2DP. All told, exactly what you’d expect from the latest and greatest BT headset.
But even more important than enhanced performance and a more compact design, the headset responds to voice commands in a smarter way. Say, for instance, that you receive an incoming call and happen not to be wearing your headset (maybe you took it out to charge). You can put the earpiece in and the headset will automatically pick up the call. Or, if you’re not wearing your headset you can have it route calls to the phone instead. As for answering calls, you can say “answer” or “ignore,” and you don’t even have to press a button to activate the voice recognition. The earpiece can also announce your caller’s name, so long as it’s in your phone book. Additionally, the headset responds to about 10 other commands such as “check battery” and “pair me,” but in these cases you do have to press a button first. Rounding out the feature list is a new Android-only Find MyHeadset app that uses tones and geolocation to help you figure out where you last saw your earpiece. The headset is available today for $100, and the company is also selling a desktop stand and charging case, both priced at $30.
September 18, 2012