BY JASON HARRIS, REVIEWS EDITOR
With the proliferation of Apple AirPods, we’re seeing wireless headphones everywhere. Wireless earbuds are usually more convenient because they generally sound good for music or call performance, enabling you to not fuss with wires, and with the added bonus that they can be concealed if you have longer hair.
AirPods are generally great for music, however, these and other wireless earbuds simply aren’t very capable when it comes to making phone calls. This is because of a lack of all-day battery life, mics that can’t pick up the user’s voice effectively or a lack of noise cancellation, resulting in the user not being able to hear callers.
Luckily, though, there are some great options — for the last two weeks I’ve been trialing the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC headset, and I’m happy to report it’s a fantastic option for office workers who need to stay connected.
While devices such as Apple AirPods are meant for listening to music and light calling, the Plantronics 6200 UC headset is an all-day office-focused powerhouse designed for call quality, whether you’re making calls through a dedicated office phone, your mobile phone, tablet or computer. The noise-cancellation is perfect for open offices and the four-mic array ensures your callers can hear you loud and clear no matter where you’re located.
First Impressions and Unboxing
Plantronics, with the boxing and packaging for the 6200 UC, makes it apparent right up front: this product is a premium one.
The headset is well-built and the kit comes with:
- Wireless charging base
- Premium carrying case
- USB dongle that’s required for streaming audio from your computer
- Different sized ear tips to accommodate your ear (These are flexible and comfortable.)
The 6200 UC is a neckband-style set of headphones, with a halo-shaped neckband that’s flexible with a matte finish that rests on your neck. Out of the neckband come the two comfortable-tipped earbuds that go in your ears. The ear tips rest in your ears for a more secure fit — which is comfortable for all-day use.
To connect this headset to your computer, you can use the included BT600 USB adapter. You can charge the headset using the charging base accessory that plugs into any open USB port. You can also simply use any microUSB charging cable.
Buttons, Features and Controls
The headband is full of controls that span the left and right side of the 6200 UC unit.
The most used button is the multi-function button on the right side that handles playback, track advancement and call management. Users can advance tracks by pressing this multi-function button multiple times, and can hang-up calls by holding down this button for two seconds. Plus and minus buttons on the outside handle volume control. Also on the right side is a small power/pairing button. Switching over to the left side, and there’s a large red button that allows you to mute your mic, and a slider that controls active noise cancellation (ANC).
It might seem like this headset is complicated with multiple buttons — and admittedly, it does take some getting used to. This learning curve happens fast, and I’m glad Plantronics placed the most commonly used controls (call management and mute) in easy-to-reach spots. I also really enjoy that the neckband vibrates when I have an incoming call — so if I’m away from my computer or phone (maybe at the printer or talking to a coworker in their office/cubicle), I can receive alerts to incoming calls with ease.
Performance and Call Quality
We’ve established that the Plantronics 6200 UC is packed with features that will lead to a great call performance —- but how does the headset actually perform?
Let’s talk call-quality — the 6200 UC is packed with a four-mic array that’s supposed to focus on your voice, even in a busy/noisy environment such as outside on the street or in an open-office. I tested the headset in a moderately busy coffee shop, my open office and walking down a city street — and in each environment, my callers reported my audio to be clear. The one exception was on the sidewalk, as callers did have minor trouble hearing me in the midst of car traffic and asked me to repeat myself only a few times, but this will likely be corrected with a future software update.
One facet of the Plantronics 6200 UC I enjoyed most was having active noise cancelation. It’s ideal at canceling out low-frequency rumbles you hear in the office such as HVAC units, the nearby copier and your office chitter-chatter. The units’ ANC isn’t as effective as my Bose QuietComfort 35 is — but great for improving my caller’s voice quality when in a noisier place.
My favorite feature of the 6200 UC is mute detection. If you’re on a call and you’ve muted yourself and you start to talk, the headset will say “mute on” in your ears to prompt you to unmute yourself, so you can ensure you’re heard on the call.
For music-listening quality, the Plantronics won’t satisfy many audiophiles. I found the bass to be lacking while listening to tunes and the mid-ranges were weak as well. Treble noises sounded fine, so I’d describe music playback as OK but not great. It’s apparent this headset is meant for phone calls….and it does those extremely well.
Battery life is insane on the 6200 UC — logged at 16 hours for music playback and 9 hours for talk time. I found these numbers to be true to what I experienced in testing. Also, the Bluetooth range is advertised at 90 feet, however, I found 50 feet to be a real-world range when music or calls would start to cut out.
There’s one appealing feature I discovered but didn’t get to test out — if you’re calling into a conference room with multiple mics around the room, you can hear your callers in surround sound, as if you’re in the room, on this headset. So cool!
The Plantronics 6200 UC ticks so many boxes for office workers, no matter where their office takes them. These include:
✅Amazing battery life
✅Fantastic call performance — both for you and those you’re calling
✅Music playback that keeps you going between calls
✅Long-range Bluetooth that lets you walk around and stay connected
My favorite aspect of this headset is that it perfectly complimented my workday —- from calls on my mobile using the ReachUC app, to calls on Skype, Slack, Zoom and my office ‘phone’ via my computer and listening to music on my mid-afternoon walks. The Plantronics 6200 UC went with me the entire time and lasted for half a week between charges, which is a huge asset.
*Like all products Jason Harris is reviewing, this device is available in the SkySwitch store, accessible through the SkySwitch Reseller Dashboard.