Today, more than ever, we all find ourselves with an increasing need for headsets that work with computers and mobile devices. And, there are many who have a preference to certain brands based on past familiarity or success with a brand.
It’s not uncommon for someone to have a preference for a Plantronics (now called Poly) wireless headset. When you combine the need for a headset that works with a computer and mobile devices, with preference for Poly, it can easily lead you to a couple of models; the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC, and the Poly Voyager 4220 UC.
In this blog, I’ll do a comparison of these two popular models, and rate them in a few key areas. These areas include:
- Ease of Use
- Speaker Quality
- Wireless Range
- Microphone quality
But, before I jump into this comparison, I’d like to let you know that I recorded a video review of these two products. In that review, I not only compare them in the categories noted above, but I do a live microphone test to see how they sound, and how they both do to remove unwanted background noise.
A lot of people prefer to watch their content rather than read it. If you’re one of those people, then make sure to check out my video. I’ll include it immediately below for easy access
If you’re still reading this, then let’s get started on my wireless headset comparison.
Voyager Focus 2 UC - 10
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC received a perfect score for design. This headset is modern, artfully designed and skillfully manufactured. The Focus 2 UC allows you to position the microphone on either side, where other headsets limit you to one side only.
Many people have a preference as to which side the microphone is located, and with the Focus 2 UC, you have a choice.
The headband is uniquely designed which aids in comfort, as well as visual appeal. The ear speakers provide sufficient movement to allow it to conform to the contour of your head and ears.
The buttons are logically placed for easy access, and easy to learn their functions. Buttons include volume up, volume down, microphone mute, microphone unmute, Active noise cancellation on, power on/off, micro USB port for charging.
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC is designed to mute the microphone if the headset is taken off. If listening to music, and the headset is removed, it pauses the music. Music and voice is resumed by placing the headset back on. A very smart, and useful design.
As headsets go, there normally isn’t a lot that differentiates them. The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC does set a new standard for design, comfort and functionality.
Though the Voyager 4220 UC is part of the Poly stable of headsets, it takes a second position behind the Focus 2 UC in terms of design. By saying this, I’m not meaning the 4220 is lacking in design.
What I am saying is the 4220 is a nice headset, that’s well designed, but when compared to the Focus 2 UC, it requires a score beneath that of the Focus 2 UC.
Maybe comparing these two headsets isn’t fair because the Focus 2 UC is a new headset where the 4220 has been around awhile. Still, they both are used with computers and mobile devices, so a comparison isn’t unreasonable.
The 4220 has a nice padded headband which is a nice design feature that aids in comfort for those using it. Not all headbands are padded, and not all have as much of it as you’ll find on the 4220 UC.
The ear speakers swivel which allow them to conform to the wearer's ear and head contours. This speaks not only about design, but comfort as well. If you’ve watched any of our videos, or read our other blogs, you’ll find models being reviewed that lack ear speaker movement, which isn’t a great design as it requires the individual to conform to the headset’s lack of movement rather than the headset adapting to the headset wearer.
On the Voyager 4220 you’ll find the typical buttons found on most wireless headsets. These include, volume up, volume down, microphone mute on, mute off, power, Micro USB charging port.
Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC - 10
You’ll have to look far and wide to find a wireless headset that comes close to rivaling the Focus 2 UC for comfort. From the moment you put it on, to the end of a long day in the grind, you can’t help but appreciate how comfortable this headset really is.
Poly did a great job to make the headset lightweight and comfortable. The ear speakers pivot which allows it to conform to your ears and head shape. This seemingly small feature may seem insignificant, but when it comes to comfort, having adaptable ear speakers means a lot.
The Voyager Focus 2 UC has a unique comfort feature in the headband. Typically, headbands are made of metal, but can be wrapped in plastic or a rubber type material to help make it more comfortable.
Others will place a cushion around it for added comfort. Poly, with the Focus 2 UC, has taken this to another level. Though the Focus 2 UC has a metal headband, as you’d expect, it matches that with a very soft headband cushion that is suspended and provides movement much like a shock absorber does for a car.
The result is a plush, soft wearing experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
Comfort matters when it comes to selecting a headset. Whether you use it for short periods of time, listening to music, or maybe you’re a power user where you use your headset all day long. No matter what your uses are, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC delivers comfort you’ll appreciate.
Poly Voyager 4220 UC - 8
Though the Voyager 4220 UC scores less than the Focus 2 UC, that’s not to say that the 4220 is uncomfortable. Quite the contrary. The 4220 UC is a very comfortable headset as well. It has some of the features you look for in a comfortable headset.
The first thing is the weight of the headset. The Voyager 4220 UC weighs in at under 6 ounces, which makes it among the lightest headsets in its class. Weight matters when it comes to something you’ll be wearing on your head for hours at a time.
The second thing that helps make this a highly rated, comfortable wireless UC headset, are the cushions. First, you have generously padded ear cushions that help to pad the ear speakers as they rest against your ears.
In low end wireless headsets, it’s not uncommon to see insufficient padding on the ear cushions as a cost cutting measure. You won’t find that with the 4220 UC. The cushions are generous, and soft enough to allow you to wear the headset all day without discomfort.
Lastly, the ear speakers rotate to allow for a personalized fit. The ear speakers also move up and down for added adjustment. Finally, the headband offers a good amount of padding as well. It’s nice to have a generous amount of padding on the headband as it sits on your head for long stretches of time.
All in all, the 4220 UC is a comfortable headset that won’t leave you disappointed, or uncomfortable.
Ease of Use
Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC - 9
Right out of the box, the Voyager Focus 2 UC is easy to set up and use. It’s not complicated, and the dongle comes pre-paired so no special actions or effort required.
The Voyager Focus 2 UC has the typical adjustments you’d expect on a premium headset including volume up, volume down, mute on, mute off, power, answer/end and media controls as well. Additionally, it has smart sensor technology that helps to make it even intuitive.
For example, if you’re on a call, and you take the headset off, it automatically mutes the microphone. And, when you put it back on, it unmutes the microphones.
Also, if you’re listening to music and you take the headset off, it will pause the music automatically, and resume it when you place the headset back on. Smart sensors help to make this headset very user friendly, and simple to use.
Voyager 4220 UC - 9
The 4220 UC has been designed to be a simple to use, easy to understand wireless UC headset. It receives high marks in this area because I feel that it accomplishes that goal.
Like the Focus 2 UC, the 4220 has user controls that include volume up, volume down, answer/end/ignore, redial, track forward, track back, pause, play. And, for those using Microsoft Teams, there’s a 4220 UC version for you that features a Teams button for instant access.
The 4220 UC is easy to use and warrants the high rating I’m giving it.
Voyager Focus 2 UC - 10
The battery in the Focus 2 UC is rated to provide up to 19 hours of talk time, and up to 40 hours of listening time. By all measures, this is a substantial amount of battery power which helps to keep you engaged rather than recharging.
The other thing that justifies this rating in my mind, is the Focus 2 UC can also be used as a wired headset. Should you find yourself with a depleted battery, you won’t need to resort to a speakerphone, handset or anything else.
Instead, simply plug it in with the included Micro USB to USB cable and you can continue using your headset as it begins recharging. This is a feature not found on most headsets, even those considered high end, premium models.
Voyager 4220 UC -8
The 4220 UC offers a battery that’s rated up to 12 hours of talk time, and up to 15 hours of listening time. Though this is less than what the Focus 2 UC offers, it’s still very adequate for most anyone’s daily use.
After all, not many of us work a 12 hour work day or listen non-stop to our media for 15 hours straight. Even if we did, along the way we’d have to take a break where the battery could be recharged, extending our available talk/listening time.
12 hours of talk time, and 15 listening time is solid, and worthy of a solid 8 rating.
Voyager Focus 2 UC - 8
Features, sound and comfort are all great, and important, but the elephant in the room many times comes down to how much it costs. That can make or break it when it comes to selecting a particular headset for yourself or your staff.
The Voyager Focus 2 UC has a suggested selling price of $299.00. In my opinion, that’s a price I’d consider fair and reasonable given the many excellent features, comfort and sound quality it provides.
I’d be more inclined to give it a 9 or 10 rating if the suggested selling price were more in the range of $225.00 - $250.00. Still, it represents an excellent value, and well worth the money.
Voyager 4220 UC - 8
The 4220 UC has a lower price point compared to the Focus 2 UC. It’s not as new as the Focus model, but it still represents a good quality, excellent sounding comfortable wireless UC headset well worth the price. It has a suggested selling price of $219.00, and from all perspectives, is a good value.
Voyager Focus 2 UC - 10
After extensive testing, I came to the conclusion that the Focus 2 UC needs to get a 10 rating. It performs well for business calls, giving you great voice sound quality, and noise reduction, but it also does a great job to deliver quality audio when listening to music and other audio applications.
Voyager 4220 UC - 8
The 4220 UC received an 8 rating because it lacked a bit on the audio for media applications. It performed very well for business applications such as softphone calls, video etc, but wasn’t on even footing with the Focus 2 when it came to the sound quality for music and media.
If your need is mostly business oriented tasks, then the 4220 UC would be a great choice for you. However, if you have an even mix of business and pleasure uses, then the Focus 2 model would likely serve your needs better.
Voyager Focus 2 UC - 7
The Voyager Focus 2 UC is rated up to 164 feet of wireless talk range. This puts it somewhere in the middle between the longer range wireless headsets, and those that offer 30-50 feet of range. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to wireless range is the methods used to determine it.
Line of sight is a term commonly used, and it means that in the original tests that were used to determine the wireless range, there were no obstructions between the base, and the wireless headset top.
Though this will provide you with a good idea of what it can do under ideal conditions, it doesn’t give you the best idea how it will do when you add in elevators, walls, desks, partitions, people and other barriers that reduces wireless range.
We normally recommend that you take the stated range, and divide it in half. That, we feel, is a more realistic estimate of the wireless range you’ll likely get.
Still, 164 feet (or about 82 feet), isn’t bad for a Bluetooth wireless headset.
Voyager 4220 UC - 6
By comparison, the 4220 UC has an estimated wireless range of 98 feet. If you apply my true range estimate calculation (reduce it by half), that puts the 4220 UC at approximately 50 feet. Clearly, this is less than what you’ll get using the Focus 2 UC, but pretty common to what other Bluetooth UC headsets offer.
Could the wireless range be better? Yes, of course. But, this wireless headset isn’t priced in the premium range, and as such, 50 feet of wireless range is about what you’d normally expect. The 4220 UC is receiving a 6 rating because the range could be better.
Voyager Focus 2 UC - 7
Voyager 4220 UC - 7
I gave the same rating to both of these wireless headsets. In terms of voice quality, both models performed well, and allowed me to be heard loud and clear. Where I did see a minor difference was in the area of noise cancellation. In my video, I did a sound comparison that included running a noisy blender next to me to see which model
handled that unwanted noise better. Initially, I thought the Focus 2 UC would come out on top. After all, the Focus 2 UC has a noise cancelling microphone as well as Sound Fence technology designed to eliminate background noise better.
Much to my surprise, the 4220 UC seemed to handle the blender noise a pinch better than the Focus 2. Even the voice quality was slightly better than the Focus, but in both cases, not enough to warrant a rating gain.
Both models will allow your voice to be heard well, and both models do a good job to reduce unwanted background noise. As noted earlier, I’d give the 4220 UC a slight edge here.
Voyager Focus 2 UC - 9
Voyager 4220 UC - 9
Once again, I’ve given both wireless headsets the same score. The Focus 2 UC, and the 4220 model are built well, and have a reputation for being stout enough to handle the rigors of daily use reliably.
In our business, we don’t see a lot of returns coming back for failures or breakage from either model. Both are built well with a fit and finish that suggests durability and longevity. After careful examination and a lot of pulling and twisting, I can’t find any weak points in either model that stands out as being vulnerable.
Adding up the scores, here’s how it totaled
Voyager Focus 2 UC scored 80 out of a possible 90 points
Voyager 4220 UC scored 71 out of a possible 90 points.
Based on the scores received, it’s easy to conclude that both models are solid. Both models are comfortable, and sound good. Both will give you ample battery life, acceptable wireless range, easy to use, good durability at a price point that’s very fair and reasonable for each model.
It’s hard to go wrong with the Focus 2 UC, or 4220 UC. Perhaps more than anything it comes down to two things:
- Is your use primarily for business, or is it more for entertainment? If it will be more used for business, then the 4220 UC would be a better choice. However, if you have a good blend of business and leisure uses, then look to the Focus 2 UC for a more appropriate solution.
- Your budget. How much you have to spend can help to point you towards one of these two models as their prices are different.