If you’re someone who likes using a headset when working remotely, or on-the-go, then you’ve probably familiar with different makes and models of Bluetooth wireless headsets. Being hands free, and cord free when on calls is very convenient, and also helps to make you more efficient, comfortable and if on the road, safe.
Two names that are synonymous with headsets include Poly (formerly Plantronics), and Jabra. And when it comes to wireless headsets used with mobile phones, Jabra and Poly both make a model very similar to each other. Specifically, I’m referring to the Jabra Talk 65, and the Poly Voyager 5200.
To begin, as I mentioned, these headsets look pretty much the same. They’re worn over the ear with attached ear gels that insert into the ear. You get different sizes to choose from, so you can find the size that’s most comfortable. We all have different sizes of ears, so having the choice of different sizes is helpful from the standpoint of comfort, and sound.
In terms of weight, that’s another one of those things that make these headsets nearly identical because they both weigh 0.7 ounces. I’m no mathematical genius but I do recognize that’s less than an ounce, and because of that, it’s fair to say that these headsets are light.
I do find it interesting that the Talk 65 design pretty much mirrors the Poly 5200, and weighs the same. In any case, both of these headsets are lightweight, and by most accounts, comfortable.
Poly Voyager 5200 vs Jabra Talk 65 Video
Both of these headsets come with two microphones that are noise canceling. This is important to know because the microphone quality directly relates to audio quality, which is important to anyone who places value on having a professional sounding call.
A little bit later, I’ll comment on sound quality, but suffice it to say that Poly and Jabra are the two leading professional headset manufacturers in the world, and it isn’t common for them to provide sub-standard sound quality, so it’s unlikely we’ll be disappointed in how these two headsets sound.
Still, we tested both of them for how well they sound in a quiet room, and how well they sounded, and reduced noise, in a room with varying sounds such as:
- Office noise
- Dogs barking
- And of course, our tests are never complete unless we include our noisy Vitamix blender test
The results of those tests are upcoming.
These are wireless headsets, and because of that, once the battery dies, you’re pretty much dead in the water. That underscores the importance of having a decent battery, especially when you consider that this headset is normally used out of an office, and in many (or most) cases, no access to electrical outlets for a recharge.
So what do you get in terms of battery performance from the Poly 5200, and Jabra Talk 65?
The Poly 5200 gives you 7 hours of talk time on a single charge, but that can be extended to 14 hours through the portable recharge case.
The Jabra Talk 65 gives you a full 14 hours of battery life on a single charge with no charge case required.
At the end of the day, you get 14 hours of talk time from both of these headsets, but in my opinion, the Jabra Talk 65 is more convenient because there’s no need to pack around a headset charge case. As a result I feel that the advantage goes to the Jabra Talk 65.
In terms of the type of cable used to recharge the batteries, Poly uses micro USB, where Jabra uses USB C. A cable expert I’m not, but I do know that there are advantages in using USB C over micro USB cables with power and data transfer being two of those advantages. And USB C cables are becoming the new standard.
And while we’re still on the subject of batteries, when the batteries on either of these headsets will no longer take a charge, they can’t be replaced.
This means that when you reach that point, as all batteries will, you’re required to replace the headset instead of just the battery. And, a headset replacement is more costly than replacing the battery. This is something to be aware of if you have your eye on either of these headsets.
Wireless range - is there a difference?
Even though both of these headsets operate off of Bluetooth technology, there is a difference in the wireless range that they provide.
The Poly 5200 is rated up to 98 feet, and the Jabra Talk 65 is rated up to 300 feet. In both cases, you should expect to get less because you typically get about half the stated range. Even with that in mind, you can see that there’s a very big difference between these two headsets when it comes to wireless range.
So if you want the ability to walk away from the device that you’re connected to, to talk, or just listen, then hands down, the Talk 65 is the way to go. Simply because you get a lot more wireless range.
What about connecting to a computer?
Most computers these days are Bluetooth enabled. And, being that both of these headsets are Bluetooth, it means they’re able to be used with any computer that’s Bluetooth capable. With that said, the Poly Voyager 5200 comes with a USB Adapter, and because of that, it has some inherent advantages.
First, you may get longer wireless range over connecting via Bluetooth, and you should have a more stable wireless connection and better sound quality as well. You’ll also have compatibility with all the leading UC platforms such as Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, Zoom and others.
The Jabra Talk 65 doesn’t work with a USB Adapter which means it can only be used with a computer if it’s Bluetooth enabled.
So deciding on one over the other when it comes to connectivity, really comes down to how you intend to use a headset. If compatibility to the leading UC platforms is important to you, then there’s a clear advantage with the Poly 5200 UC. If, on the other hand, computer connectivity isn’t a big part of your daily routine, then either model should meet your needs just fine.
If you’re someone who wants to take calls using your voice, then the Poly 5200 UC has the edge over the Talk 65 because the Jabra doesn’t have that feature. With that said, the Talk 65 does allow you to access Google Assistant, Siri as well as get GPS directions.
The controls on these headsets are pretty similar.
The Poly Voyager 5200 UC has:
- Mute on/off
- Volume up, volume down
- Track forward, track back, pause and play
The Jabra Talk 65 has these functions:
- Volume up / down
- Mute on / off
- Power on / off
- Voice assistant
Sound Quality & Noise Reduction
As mentioned earlier, both of these Bluetooth headsets come with two noise canceling microphones. So on the surface, you could make the assumption that both of these headsets should sound pretty much the same. And, to a degree, they do, but not entirely.
In the Jabra Talk 65 datasheet, it states that the microphone is able to remove 80% of the background noise. There isn’t a readily available statement like this for the Poly Voyager 5200 UC, but I’d have to figure it’s in that same ballpark. With that said:
- How much background noise did they both remove in our tests? 2. How good was the voice audio quality?
- How well did they both do to maintain voice quality when the microphones were dealing with filtering out the background noise?
If I had to choose one over the other for sound quality, and noise reduction, I’d pick the Jabra Talk 65. I say this because when we tested the voice audio quality, noise reduction capability and voice quality with background noise present, the Talk 65, to me, sounded better, and removed more noise.
Sound quality is subjective for sure, but when I listened, and then relistened to both of these headsets in a quiet room, a room with different noises (office noise, dogs barking, and a loud blender nearby), the Talk 65, to me, just did a better job.
In saying this, I’m not trying to paint the picture that it was day-and-night difference better, but what I am saying is it just sounded better. After hearing them both, you may have a different opinion because as I said, sound quality is very subjective, but that’s my take.
The Poly Voyager 5200 UC comes with the downloadable Poly Hub software. This software allows you to customize your headset for audio preferences, turn on or off certain features such as voice answer or HD voice for example. You can even update your headset firmware.
The Jabra Talk 65 isn’t currently compatible with the Jabra+ software for this same customization, and firmware updating. It’s rumored that the Talk 65 may be compatible with this software in the very near future. Hopefully so, but we’ll see.
So what’s the verdict? Which one of these headsets is best?
This is one of those situations where I can’t recommend one over the other. Why? Because both of these headsets have certain advantages over the other, and considering those advantages as they relate to your specific needs is the only way you could pick one over the other.
For example, if you’re someone who wants the longest wireless range possible, then the decision would be easy because the Talk 65 gives you a lot more than the 5200 UC.
If you want as much talk time as possible, then the decision could get a little more difficult. Both give you up to 14 hours of talk time, but they give it to you differently. Jabra gives you a full 14 hours on a single charge, whereas the Poly Voyager 5200 UC gives you 7 hours on the initial charge, and an additional 7 hours when recharged through the portable charging case.
For me, I’d pick the Jabra simply because you don’t need to recharge to get 14 hours, and you don’t have to tote around a charge case. On the other hand, some might find the portable charge case handy in some instances. So as I said, making a decision based on talk time isn’t cut and dried as say the wireless range.
If you want to use the headset with a computer, and you’d like compatibility with one of the popular UC services like Microsoft Teams, RingCentral or others, then the Poly Voyager 5200 UC would be your best choice because it comes with a USB Adapter for better computer integration.
Both of these headsets are very good. Both are professional grade. And, as you’ve learned, they may look pretty much the same, but there are differences; some sizable, and others more subtle. One of those differences includes the price.
The Poly Voyager 5200 UC is $199.99, and the Jabra Talk 65 is $99.00. So, deciding which is best for you really comes down to which model has the feature, or features that best meets your needs, and which model best fits into your budget.
The truth is you can’t go wrong with either of these headsets. The Poly Voyager 5200 UC has been around for awhile, and it has been very popular.
The Jabra Talk 65, on the other hand, is a newer version of the 5200 that brings with it some enhancements such as longer range.
So once you have a good sense of what’s most important to you, you’ll find that choosing between these two headsets will become much easier.
Need some help or a product recommendation?
If the Poly 5200 and Jabra Talk 65 just aren’t the products you’re looking for, then make sure to contact us here at Headset Advisor so we can help.
So whether you just have a question, need a product recommendation, or would like some help getting your headsets up and running, we can help.