REVIEW: Voyager Pro UC Enables PC, Cell Phone Communications with 1 Bluetooth Headset

 
 
By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2010-01-19 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Plantronics Voyager Pro UC provides heavy callers with an excellent way to use the same Bluetooth headset for both cell phone- and PC-based unified communications systems. eWEEK Labs tested the Voyager Pro UC WG200/B, which comes with an earpiece and a pre-paired Bluetooth dongle. The system is designed to work jointly with a Bluetooth 2.0-enabled cell phone or smartphone plus a Windows-based PC softphone via the dongle.

The Plantronics Voyager Pro UC provides heavy callers with an excellent way to utilize the same Bluetooth headset for both cell phone- and PC-based unified communications systems. This can free mobile users from juggling multiple headsets, while delivering excellent voice quality and distance performance along with reasonable battery life.

I tested the Voyager Pro UC WG200/B, which comes with an earpiece and a pre-paired Bluetooth dongle for $199. It is designed to work jointly with a Bluetooth 2.0-enabled cell phone or smartphone plus a Windows-based PC softphone via the dongle. This allowed me during tests to seamlessly use the same headset with both communications systems.

Plantronics also offers the WG201/B for use with Microsoft Office Communications Server systems. This iteration comes with the "Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator" wordmark promising performance and ease of installation.

The Voyager Pro UC is certainly not the smallest or sexiest Bluetooth headset around. Indeed, at just under 11 cm in length and weighing 17.5 grams, the device is larger than many competing consumer headsets. However, the extra length gets the microphone boom close enough to the mouth to provide excellent voice pickup, making the larger size worth the tradeoff.

For a look at the Plantronics Voyager Pro UC, click here.

The earpiece part of the Voyager Pro UC has four buttons: a power/pairing button and a pair of volume controls (that when pressed at the same time will mute the microphone) along the spine, and a call control button at the base of the microphone.

With the call control button, users are able to answer an incoming call no matter which phone the call comes into. The user will know which line is being answered because the earpiece offers a slightly different ring tone depending on the phone in use. Users can also mute the call and hang up from the earpiece.

The Voyager Pro UC is rated to work with many major unified communication softphones, including those from Avaya, Cisco Systems, IBM and Microsoft. When it comes to consumer communications systems, the Voyager Pro UC works with Skype (which I used for the bulk of my testing) and Google Talk.

PC users can also listen to music using the Voyager Pro UC. If a supported media player is being used (Apple iTunes or Windows Media Center, for instance), music playback will automatically pause when a call to the softphone is answered (although not when a call to the cell phone is answered).

The Voyager Pro UC will pair with a Bluetooth radio already in a laptop, but for performance, quality, ease of deployment and additional features, Plantronics recommends using the earpiece in conjunction with the pre-paired Bluetooth dongle. To use with a softphone, users need to install the included PerSono Suite 1.1 (which is available only for Windows-based desktops at this time), then insert the dongle into an open USB slot.



 
 
 
 
Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for eWEEK.com, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at agarcia@eweek.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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