If you’ve ever had a job that required you to wear a headset, chances are you know the name Plantronics. What you might not know is that Plantronics acquired Polycom, the company globally known for its excellent line of audio and video products.
With this merger came a new name. Plantronics is now known as Poly. So it appears that the Plantronics name has now been officially retired. It’s now Poly going forward. New name, but the same great products and now you’re seeing new audio and video products under the Poly badge which can be attributed to their alignment with Polycom.
- Can we expect to see the high quality Plantronics headsets as in the past?
- With the merger with Polycom, will they be as good?
- Will the new Poly company focus more on the audio and video products, and place less emphasis on wired and wireless headsets?
In my opinion, the new Poly company has actually improved the products they’re releasing which includes audio, video and yes, their signature headset products too. The blending of these companies seems to make a lot of sense, and I’m liking the products they’ve been rolling out recently.
In this blog, I’ll provide you with my top 5 Plantronics, well, Poly headsets for 2021. Finding the best headset for your specific needs can be a challenge given there are so many available options.
Though these 5 models are my personal favorites, what’s best for you might be different from those that I highlight in this blog. The best way to know which headset model is right for your application is to have a conversation with one of our Headset Advisors. We can match the perfect product for your needs.
Before I disclose the 5 best Plantronics headsets for 2021, I did want to let you know that I recorded a Youtube video where I cover this exact topic. In my video I show each of the products, discuss their features and what I like about them.
I also do a live demo of each model and compare the sound of each microphone. Make sure to check it out so you can see and hear these headsets for yourself.
If you do, and if you like the content, make sure to hit the like button, and if you’re not already a subscriber, do us a huge favor by subscribing to our channel. It helps us to be able to continue producing video content like this one, and thanks in advance.
If you’re still reading this, then come along as I showcase what I feel are the top 5 Plantronics, there I go again, I mean, Poly headsets for 2021.
Why did this model make my top 5 list?
I like the fact that the Poly Blackwire 8225 is a plug and play headset. This is appealing to a lot of people because of its simplicity. After all, who doesn’t like receiving a product and being able to use it by simply plugging it in? I’d say most people. So, ease of connectivity is one of the things I like about this model.
The Blackwire 8225 is a wired, over the head, double ear headset. As long as you have a USB port on your computer, this headset will work. You don’t have to think about compatibility, pairing, battery charging, etc. Again, simple, and sound for both ears to enjoy.
The Poly Blackwire 8225 has a feature you don’t commonly see on wired headsets. This feature is Active Noise Cancellation, or ANC for short. What is ANC? Simply put, it’s an electronic feature that reduces or helps to eliminate unwanted background noise for those wearing the headset.
This aids concentration and helps you to avoid being distracted by the noises going on around you. The 8225 has this feature, and it gives you the option of turning it on or off, and when on, you can adjust it to medium and high settings, depending on how much noise you want to eliminate.
As with many Poly headsets, the Blackwire 8225 sounds good. Poly does a good job to provide solid audio on their headset products. The Blackwire 8225 is further enhanced by having the noise reducing feature referred to as “Acoustic Fence” technology.
This feature elevates noise cancellation to an even higher level. Noise cancelling microphones in business headsets is pretty standard these days. However, technology such as Acoustic Fence isn’t common at all. I might even go so far as to say it’s fairly rare. So, to have this feature on a wired USB headset such as the Blackwire 8225, is impressive.
Oh, and by the way, this feature works very well based on my tests. The benefit of this feature is your callers will hear you, and not what’s going on around you (think dogs barking, children crying, lawnmowers, coworkers talking, etc). Useful feature? Absolutely!
Though this isn’t an uncommon feature, it’s nice that the Blackwire 8225 has it. It not only has the normal adjustments such as volume adjustment, answer/end call, and mute, but it also has the ANC feature located on the inline controller which makes it convenient to locate and use.
Like many headsets, the Blackwire 8225 allows you to make adjustments to the headband for a custom fit. It also has numbers associated with the adjustments so finding the right number that corresponds to your exact fit is easy. I guess you could say it’s as easy as 1,2,3.
The Blackwire 8225 has a microphone boom arm that is bendable. Though this sounds pretty vanilla, you’d be surprised to know that a lot of headsets come with boom arms that are rigid and not bendable. Why is having a bendable boom arm important? Microphone positioning makes a huge difference on how you sound.
If the boom arm is located too high, too low or too far away from the corner of your mouth, your callers will struggle to hear you clearly. Therein lies the importance of having a bendable boom arm. It allows you to position the microphone properly (about 2 fingers width from the corner of your mouth is ideal), which gives you optimum sound.
Finally, because the Blackwire 8225 is a wired headset, there are many who feel that wired headsets simply sound better than wireless. Sound quality is clearly subjective, so you may agree with this, or you may not. In either case, the 8225 does sound good.
There is a scaled down version of the 8225 in the 3320 model, but one of the features you’re sacrificing for the lower price is no Active Noise Cancellation. If this feature isn’t all that important to you, then you’ll want to check out the Poly 3320 model in order to
save a few dollars. Speaking of money, the Blackwire 8225 has a suggested selling price of $189.95, where the 3320 carries a price of $54.95 and is regarded as a budget headset.
Want a discount on this headset? Make sure you use coupon code BLOG
Not everyone wants to wear a headset over their head. This can be for a variety of reasons; it messes up your hair, or maybe you don’t like the way it looks (think McDonald’s drive thru), or for some, wearing things over the head can cause migraine
headaches, and nobody wants to go home at the end of the day with one of those. Fortunately, there is an alternative in the Poly Voyager 5200 UC.
The Poly Voyager 5200 UC is designed to be used with a computer, via the included USB dongle, or via Bluetooth if the computer is Bluetooth enabled. It can also connect to a table or mobile phone via Bluetooth as well. If you think about it, this compact, on-ear headset provides you with a variety of ways you can use it.
What do I like most about the Voyager 5200 UC?
Small & lightweight
I like that this headset is small, lightweight and pretty discreet. It doesn’t have the look and feel of a traditional headset. Instead, it sits comfortably around your ear with your choice of ear bud sizes (small, medium and large). All ears aren’t created the same, so it makes sense to include ear tips that accommodate different sizes of ear openings.
In terms of the weight, the Voyager 5200 UC weighs 20 grams, or about 0.70 ounces. Comparing this weight to a common household item, it weighs about the same as 3 sheets of paper. If you can imagine that, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s light, very light. And, when it comes to comfort, especially for on-ear style headsets, weight plays a key role.
USB dongle, check!
It’s nice that this headset comes with a USB dongle, the BT600. Most Bluetooth earpieces don’t offer this, and there are benefits to having it. For example, when connecting to a computer via Bluetooth, you can have irregularities in your signal.
It may come across loud and clear, or there may be occasions where the signal becomes a bit degraded which may cause the audio quality to suffer. Having a USB dongle, sometimes referred to as an adapter, it helps to provide a more stable audio connection which is a benefit to you in that you have a better audio experience.
The USB dongle can also provide you with enhanced wireless range as well as remote call answering for compatible applications such as Microsoft Teams, RingCentral and others.
The Voyager 5200 UC uses an omni-directional, four microphone array, teamed up with noise cancellation and six layers of windsmart technology for helping to tame wind noise if you’re outdoors, or room noise if you're inside.
The Voyager 5200 UC also has SoundGuard hearing protection to help prevent hearing damage if you were to experience sound spikes while using the 5200 UC. This could be
from an unexpected feedback tone, a fax tone, or other potentially damaging sounds. You can rest assured that the 5200 UC will help you stay safe.
When you add all these things together, you end up with a lot of technology packed into a small headset footprint, all designed to make you sound good, and allow you to safely hear well too.
Talk time & on-the-go charging
When you use the Voyager 5200 UC, you get a compact on-ear headset that pumps out up to 7 hours of talk time. This is normally enough battery life to get most people through a full day, even a busy one.
The 5200 UC comes with a storage case that keeps the 5200 out of harm's way, and this same transport case can also charge the battery. So, when you need to recharge your headset, simply dock it to the case, and recharging will commence.
Oh, and as a final note on this, there’s also a spot in the case to store your USB dongle. As I’m sure you know, these USB adapters can get lost very easily due to their small size. So it’s nice to have a safe and convenient place to store it.
Buttons / controls
The controls on the 5200 UC are pretty typical to what you’d expect. Volume adjustments, mute, pairing, call control, power and redial. In terms of media controls, you have; track forward, track back, pause and play. The 5200 UC also has audible alerts to notify you of remaining talk time, mute and connection status.
Overall, the Voyager 5200 UC is a highly popular headset style that gives you a lightweight, comfortable option to headsets worn over the head. It provides you with a typical Bluetooth wireless range of up to 98 feet (though we estimate the actual range being closer to 50 feet), and a nice 2-year warranty.
Want a discount on this headset? Make sure you use coupon code BLOG
Remember, if you’d like to see and hear these headsets, check out my Youtube overview video.
The Poly Savi 8220 UC is an over-the-head, double ear wireless headset that’s designed for those who need a professional grade headset for use with a computer. It’s important to note that the 8220 UC doesn’t offer Bluetooth connectivity. This means that you cannot use the 8220 with a mobile phone or tablet for example.
For those who are seeking a wireless headset for Zoom, Teams, Meet, RingCentral type meetings, this is a headset you should consider.
What I like about the Savi 8220 UC
First and foremost is it’s a comfortable, great sounding headset that has Active Noise Cancellation, which isn’t all that common in headsets today. What is Active Noise Cancellation, or ANC for short you ask? It’s a feature that prevents you from hearing a lot of the sounds going on around you. It’s a feature that helps you to stay focused on your work so you keep productivity up, and not be sidetracked by distracting room noise.
There are other things that help to make this a wireless headset worth your consideration. For example, the 8220 UC comes with a USB dongle/adapter. Worth noting is the fact that it’s a DECT dongle, and not a Bluetooth one. Does that really matter in the big picture? It sure does. Here’s why;
- A DECT signal will give you much longer wireless range when compared to Bluetooth. You can expect to receive wireless range that’s about 3-4 times that of what you’ll get when using Bluetooth. So, if wireless range is important to you, and your need is for computer connectivity, then this is the headset you should have on your short list.
- Your conversations will be more secure. When compared to the security of Bluetooth, DECT will give you more security. We all want our conversations to be private and secure, and having DECT as your wireless platform will help to give you more safety, security, and of course, peace of mind.
- You can expect to have a more stable connection for more consistent call quality. Anyone that’s used a Bluetooth headset knows that the signal can degrade at various points when away from the desk. Some days it can be 20 feet, while other days it can be something else. Having DECT connectivity can help to smooth out some of this inconsistency.
- If you work in a crowded office, there can be headset disturbances created by having too many headsets in a confined area. This is referred to as “density” issues. When compared to Bluetooth, DECT is more forgiving in these environments. In most workplaces, you not only have Bluetooth headsets in operation, but other Bluetooth devices like wireless keyboards, mice etc. That only adds to the crowding issue and further complicates the problem. Much of that is resolved when using DECT, which is what the 8220 UC uses.
Noise cancelling microphone
The Poly 8220 UC features a noise cancelling microphone, and a bendable boom arm. Both features are designed to help you to sound great at all times. The noise cancelling microphone helps to eliminate a lot of the unwanted noise that may be present in your work environment. Your callers will hear you, and not the sounds going on around you. This gives them a much better listening experience and helps to keep everyone focused.
The estimated wireless talk range on the Poly Savi 8220 UC is up to 590 feet, or 180 meters. In countless tests we’ve done over the years, we’ve really never found a wireless headset that delivers the stated wireless range.
Our normal rule of thumb is to take the stated wireless range and cut it in half. When applying this to the 8220 UC, it would suggest that you will receive about 300 feet of wireless range, plus or minus, depending on the obstructions between the host device and the wireless headset.
Still, at almost 300 feet of wireless range, that’s substantially more wireless range than any Bluetooth headset can provide. If wireless talk range is something that’s important to you, then this may be your next new wireless headset.
Bendable mic boom
The bendable microphone boom arm seems insignificant really, but in reality it isn’t. Where the microphone is positioned makes a huge difference in how you sound. Too far away and you sound faint, too close and you can sound distorted.
The ideal spot is about two fingers wide from the corner of your mouth. This is the location where the microphone is optimized. If you have a mic boom that’s rigid and can’t be adjusted, then you can see how this could be problematic. The 8220 UC gives you the needed flexibility to get the microphone where it needs to be.
Battery / Talk Time
The Poly Savi 8220 UC comes with a battery that’s rated to provide up to 13 hours of talk time, and the recharge time is 3 hours. I think you’d agree that this is a stout battery, and at 13 hours of talk time, able to give you all the juice you need to power your way through even your busiest of days. If not, you’re going to have to quit sleeping at the office, and get back to regular working hours.
As wireless headset batteries go, the battery in the 8220 UC is very capable. In particular if you’re looking at headsets used for business, and computers in particular. With a full charge, you can expect to have full use of your headset for a full day, even if you’re working overtime.
Recharging the headset
The Poly Savi 8220 UC comes with a charge cradle. Unlike the office version, the UC cradle provides a place to dock the headset, and charge the battery. No other functionality is available which differs from the office base.
Besides being able to charge the headset via the cradle, you can also charge the headset using the included USB C cable. So, you have a couple of different ways to recharge the 8220 UC.
If your need is for a wireless headset for use with your computer, and you want a great sounding, comfortable headset with ANC, and a noise cancelling microphone, you really need to consider the Poly Savi 8220 UC wireless headset. It has a suggested selling price of $339.95, and comes with a 2-year warranty.
This wireless Bluetooth headset was introduced to replace the former 4220 model. It’s an over the head, double ear wireless headset that gives you connectivity to computers and mobile devices.
What I like about the Poly 4320 UC
Though this is considered an entry level, or budget oriented wireless Bluetooth headset, it’s actually very impressive with its features, and designed for use with computers and mobile devices.
The 4320 UC uses Bluetooth version 5.2 which is the most up to date version of Bluetooth available today. It comes with a USB Bluetooth dongle, often referred to as an adapter. This plugs into the computer for PC connectivity, while connection to mobile phones or tablets occur via Bluetooth.
Fit and finish
The 4320 UC has a very nice clean look. The fit and finish is top notch which is impressive given it’s an entry level headset. Typically in low-end models, it’s easy to see how they’re economized in the type of materials used and in some cases, workmanship. You won’t see that in the 4320 UC. It looks very nice from the standpoint of the materials, as well as the overall design and fitment. My sense is you won’t be disappointed if you were to be the owner of one.
Wired or Wireless, your choice
The Poly 4320 UC gives you the choice of using it as a wireless, or wired headset. It comes with a 4.9 foot (1.5 meter) USB C to USB A cable. At the time when the battery in the headset needs recharging, you can use the cable with an AC power adapter, or you can plug it into a USB port on your computer and continue using it which Poly refers to as audio over USB. While using it, the battery is being charged.
This is a feature you won’t find on a lot of wireless headsets, even among those that cost much more than the 4320 UC. This is a feature that not only gives you more flexibility, but it’s really very useful in a practical sense.
Let’s be honest, when you put on a headset of any kind, among other things, you want to sound good, right? Of course you do. After all, what’s the point of wearing it if you sound bad? With that in mind, rest assured that you’ll sound clear, static free and have a nice professional sound when using the 4320 UC.
Poly went to great lengths to provide a high quality microphone in the 4320 UC. As you’d expect, it has noise cancelling, which is pretty standard these days. However, Poly took noise cancelling to the next level by incorporating their patented Sound Fence technology, that’s sort of like noise cancelling on steroids. Simply put, it removes more unwanted background noise over models that don’t have this feature. This was very unexpected in a budget friendly headset.
Another surprise in the 4320 UC was that it includes SoundGuard hearing protection. Nobody wants to develop hearing issues when wearing a headset, and Poly has you covered here. You’re protected from unexpected sound spikes that can include things like high pitched static, feedback, fax tones and more. Nice touch for an entry level model.
Talk Time / listening time / recharge time
This is another area where the Poly 4320 UC shines. It comes with a battery that’s rated to provide up to 24 hours of talk time, and up to 47 hours of listening time. Compared to other models in this class, and higher, that’s pretty impressive. For many, this means that you may only need to recharge the headset once or twice a week rather than every day. Speaking of recharge, the battery takes 1.6 hours to recharge, and 15 minutes on the charger gets you 10 hours of listening time.
Poly states that the 4320 UC is rated to provide up to 164 feet (50 meters) of wireless talk range. Personally, I’d expect a range of up to 80 feet. I say this because in the many headsets I’ve tested, they typically provide about half of the stated range.
Range estimates are based on an “open field” which means there are no obstructions. In a real world work environment, there are many obstacles such as doors, walls, desks, people, windows and more. The more obstructions, the more the signal is degraded, which in turn reduces the wireless range.
Yet, for a Bluetooth wireless headset, 80 plus feet is decent, and clearly on par with other headsets, even more expensive ones.
Finally, if you’re looking for an affordable wireless headset for use with your computer and mobile devices, make sure to check out the 4320 UC. I really don’t think you can go wrong by placing this headset on your short list.
It doesn’t weigh much, just 5.71 ounces, which is equivalent to 6 #2 pencils or about the same weight as 12 tablespoons of water. Is the headset light? I’d say so.
With Active Noise Cancellation, Sound Fence, and SoundGuard all standard, it helps to make this headset a compelling consideration.
Poly’s suggested selling price for the 4320 UC is $229.95, and it comes with a 2-year warranty. See your price on our website here.
#1 Plantronics headset for 2021 - Voyager Focus 2 UC
I feel like I needed to insert a drum roll audio clip before making that announcement. Oh well, maybe next time.
There’s a lot to like about the Voyager Focus 2 UC, and little to nothing not to like about it. Poly not only knew what they were doing when they created this gem, but they hit a home run in the process. If I were to say that I like it, that would be a huge understatement. This thing is awesome, and it has an impressive features list that makes a lot of other headsets look on with envy, at least if that’s even remotely possible.
The Voyager Focus 2 UC is an updated version of the former Focus model, and though the original was good, the Focus 2 is even better. Here are some of the key reasons why I selected this premium wireless headset as my top Plantronics headset choice for 2021.
Who doesn’t want a comfortable headset if you’re planning on using one for awhile, maybe even a long while. When it comes to long term headset wearing, comfort matters, and Poly did a stellar job of making a headset that’s comfortable, lightweight and easy to wear for extended periods of time.
Suspended headband cushion - what’s that?
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC has a unique comfort feature that’s a headband cushion which is suspended. It has the ability to flex so that it conforms to your specific fitment requirements. It’s kind of like a shock absorber. It moves with you. This is a feature not found on other headsets, and a feature that does help to add to the comfort of this headset. Unique and really nice.
Soft ear pads - your ears are smiling
Ear pads are not all created the same. There’s a lot more variation in these than you might imagine. The size of the cushions vary, as do the types of materials used as the cushion, and the material that covers it. Some are doughnut shaped, while others aren’t. Some go against the ear, and others might go completely around the ear. Variations in ear cushions abound.
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC hit the nail on the head. The size of the ear cushions are just about perfect. They’re not too small, and they’re clearly not too large either. You might say they’re just right. They’re made of memory foam which is a high quality cushion material, and it’s wrapped in a nice soft, perforated leather type material. All in all, it’s very soft and comfortable against the ear. This matters if you plan on wearing the headset for extended periods of time.
Weight or weightless?
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC weighs a mere 6.08 ounces, or 175 grams. Needless to say this is on the lighter side for binaural wireless headsets. The weight of this headset is equivalent to about 6 standard pencils, or 12 tablespoons of water. I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds pretty light for a headset that’s packed with tech features. And, having a lightweight headset does help to give you a more comfortable overall wearing experience.
Comfort and everything else doesn’t really matter a lot if you don’t sound good. The last thing you want is for your callers to keep asking you to repeat yourself because they’re struggling to hear you clearly. That’s not going to happen with the Focus 2 UC.
Not only can this headset pick up your voice loud and clear, but it removes unwanted background noise at a much higher level compared to other headsets. Poly uses a proprietary technology called Sound Fence. This allows your callers to hear you crystal clear, and not the sounds going on around you.
If you want to mute the microphone, all you have to do is raise the microphone boom arm up, and the microphone is muted automatically. Return it to the normal position, and the microphone is unmuted. No fumbling around looking for the mute button. It’s quick and easy, and works flawlessly.
Battery talk time / listening time
The Voyager Focus 2 UC has a battery that provides a lot of talk time. You can expect to receive up to 19 hours of talk time, with the Active Noise Cancellation feature off, and up to 16 hours if using ANC.
Given the amount of talk time, most people would likely need to recharge the battery 2-3 times a week or so. A lot of other headsets require you to recharge the battery daily.
If your intended use is primarily listening to music and podcasts for example, the battery is rated up to 40 hours without using the ANC feature, and up to 24 hours with ANC activated. The amount of standby time is 30 days before recharging is needed.
The battery takes approximately two hours to receive a full charge.
Another feature that helps to make this headset cool, is it has smart sensors built into it. Here’s what these sensors do:
- Answer a call simply by putting the headset on. Once the headset is placed on your head, you receive the incoming call automatically.
- Remove the headset and your microphone is muted automatically. Put the headset back on, and the microphone unmutes.
- Remove the headset and the music you’re listening to pauses automatically.
- Place the headset back on to your head, and your music resumes.
Wired or wireless - your choice
The Voyager Focus 2 UC allows you to use it two ways:
- You can use it as a fully wireless headset with your computer or mobile device 2. You can use it with your computer as a wired headset with the included USB cable.
This isn’t a feature you’ll find on a lot of headsets. Some headsets do have it, but most don’t. Is it useful? I’d say so.
Consider for a moment that you’re in the middle of an important conversation, and you discover that your battery is dying. Let’s further say this conversation is taking place using a Softphone, and not on a traditional desk phone.
This feature will be very useful in this instance. You simply pause the call for no more than 10 seconds while you plug the USB cable into your headset, and then into the USB port of the computer.
Once you’ve made this connection, your call resumes. That’s a far better outcome than having to inform your caller that you’ll need to call them back once you get your headset recharged, or you scramble around trying to find another headset to use. Awkward, and counterproductive I’d say.
So the number one Plantronics headset of 2021 is:
- Comfortable - allows you to end your day with a smile rather than a frown 2. Picks up your voice well, whether indoors or outdoors - callers hear you loud & clear
- Removes unwanted background noise at a high level - makes your callers happy 4. Has ample talk and listening time - more using and less charging 5. Gives you the option to use it wirelessly, or with a cord - who doesn’t like options?
- Has a lot of technology features - makes for a cool headset wearing experience
The bottom line is this headset checks so many boxes that it nearly stands alone among all headsets, and not just those sporting the Poly badge. Do what you need to do to get your hands on one, because I’m betting once you do, you won’t want to go back to using your former model.
Here’s a Voyager Focus 2 UC full review video below for you to watch yourself and see if it lives up to the hype.
Want to give the Voyager Focus UC 2 a test drive for yourself? See your pricing on our website here.Thanks for reading this blog, I sincerely hope that you got some value from it. You can always contact us at Headset Advisor with any questions that you may have.