EDITORS NOTE: This blog was updated on 4/20/2023. The update includes new images and refreshed content.
One of the most popular headsets that Poly, formerly known as Plantronics, has ever introduced was the Voyager Focus UC. That headset was wildly popular. And as they say, the best just keep getting better, and the Voyager Focus UC certainly is no exception because it received a refresh with the Poly Voyager Focus 2.
So what made the Poly Focus UC headset so popular?
- Great design
- Extreme comfort
- Excellent sound quality
- Stylish looks (well, as headsets go anyway)
- New technology features
Now that this iconic headset has been updated in the Poly Voyager Focus 2, what’s new and improved about it? Here's what you need to know.
1. More Active Noise Cancellation settings
Both the Voyager Focus UC, and the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC have Active Noise Cancellation, or ANC for short. This is simply an electronic feature that blocks room noise so the person wearing the headset doesn't get distracted. And when you’re not distracted, you can get more work done.
The Poly Voyager Focus came with ANC but only on and off. So when you want to filter out the background noise, you just turn it on, and whatever level of ANC it had is pretty much what you got. Maybe you'd like a little more, or a little less noise reduction, but with one level of ANC, there's no other optiion.
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC has more adjustability. You can turn ANC on high, or medium or turn it off completely. This way you have more control over the amount of room noise you hear. Some people get an odd sensation when too much room noise is filtered out. It can leave them feeling like they're in a sound proof chamber, which not everyone likes, so it's nice that you can throttle that back so you're not left with that sensation.
Both are good, but the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC is better simply because it gives you more options to control noise.
2. Longer Wireless Range
The original Poly Voyager Focus UC was stated to give you up to 100 feet of wireless range. The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC claims a wireless range of up to 164 feet.
We tested both in our comparison video, and the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC began to cut out at 50 feet, though it was still usable up to around 65 feet but really no further than that.
The Poly Voyager Focus UC began breaking up at the 50 foot mark, and the connection wasn't really usable much beyond that distance..
So yes, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC does give you more range, but based on our tests, not all that much. Watch our review video and see for yourself.
Wireless range varies from headset to headset, and from work environment to work environment. But in a general sense, it's wise to cut wireless range claims in half. If you do, you'll end up with a better, real world wireless range figure.
And by the way, the range you get on both of these models are pretty typical to Bluetooth headsets overall. So either of these Poly Voyager Focus headsets aren't sub standard in any way regarding range.
3. Longer Battery Life
The Poly Voyager Focus 1 provides up to 12 hours of talk time, and up to 15 hours of listening time.
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 gives you over twice as much talk time with up to 25 hours. This assumes that the Active Noise Cancellation and Busy Light features aren’t activated. But if they are, you still get up to 16 hours of battery life.
And if you’re listening to music, you can expect up to 40 hours of battery life, and 24 hours if you’re using ANC.
A full battery charge takes 2 hours.
So with the Poly Voyager Focus 2, you get a lot more battery life to talk on your voice or video calls, and more time to listen to your favorite music or podcasts.
4. Better Microphone
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 comes with multiple microphones, and the Focus 1 has one. The Voyager Focus 2 also comes with another thing not found on the Focus 1, which is Acoustic Fence Technology. This is designed to provide a higher level of background noise filtering which in turn gives your callers a better, more professional sound quality experience.
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 microphone mutes when you raise the microphone boom arm, and it turns back on when you return it to the home position. And if you mute the microphone manually, and forget that it’s muted, no worries because one of the smart sensors will give you an audible alert telling you that your microphone is muted.
5. Wired or wireless - you get both
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 gives you the choice of using it in wired, or wireless mode. Being that this is a wireless headset, some might wonder why you’d need to use it like a wired headset. One example of how that's useful is when the battery is in need of a recharge. Rather than having to wait a couple of hours for the battery to be recharged, you can simply plug it in and continue using it. Poly refers to this as “audio over USB” and it’s a standard feature on the Poly Voyager Focus 2, and not something you can do on the Voyager Focus 1.
This wireless/wired feature is one that we're seeing more often on new headsets.
6. Buttons are now in one place
On the Poly Voyager Focus 1, the control buttons are located on both ear cups. That changed with the new Poly Voyager Focus 2 because the buttons have all been consolidated onto one ear cup. This is helpful because you now have all the buttons located in one place rather than having to remember which buttons are on which side of the headset. A small detail perhaps, but details matter.
7. Smart Sensor upgrade, and built-in busy light
Though the Poly Voyager Focus 1 came with smart sensors, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 comes with more. For example, when you remove the headset the call will get muted automatically. The same if you’re listening to music. Audio resumes once you place the headset back onto your head.
As mentioned earlier, if your microphone is muted and you begin talking, the headset will alert you that your microphone is muted. That’s handy if you’re on a rant only to discover that your best take wasn’t even heard.
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 also comes standard with built-in busy lights that alert those around you whenever you’re on a call. This helps to avoid interruptions, which allows you to be more productive.
8. Desk phone connectivity now available
Both the Poly Voyager Focus 1, and 2 can connect to a computer, and to a Bluetooth device while remembering up to 8 connections. However, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 offers you the option to get the office version which includes a base unit, and provides connectivity to a desk phone, computer or Bluetooth device. This is an option that’s not available on the Poly Voyager Focus 1.
9. New Lower Price (and who doesn't like that?)
As of the time of this writing, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC has a new lower price of $219.99, and can be found here. If you’d like to see all the prices of the various Poly Voyager Focus 2 options, you can see them here.
Make sure to use COUPON CODE BLOG when checking out on our website.
10. Newer, better version of Bluetooth
The Poly Voyager Focus UC uses Bluetooth version 4.1 compared to the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC that uses Bluetooth version 5.1. Most of us would scratch our heads and wonder what's the difference. Well, if you're like me in that way, and you'd like to know the differences, here's an article by Namrata Gogoi of Guiding Tech that helps to break that down.
The key benefits to having this updated version of Bluetooth are:
1. Longer range
2. Better connection and transfer of audio
3. Less interference and less power consumption
4. Better integration with other Bluetooth devices
The general rule of thumb is the higher the Bluetooth version, the more enhancements and improvements you'll see. And when you have a full numeric uptick as in this case (going from v. 4.1 to 5.1), you'll get a more meaningful Bluetooth upgrade compared to going from say, version 4.1 to 4.4 for example.
So if you’re now using the Poly Voyager Focus UC, congratulations because that’s an awesome headset. But if you want to take that headset that’s overflowing with awesomeness to the next level, check out the Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC. This is a headset that will
- Kill you with comfort
- Have you sounding your professional best
- Remove more background noise for you, and your callers
- Give you a lot more talk, and listening time
- Alert those around you when you’re on a call so you don’t get interrupted
- Have more connection options; computer, mobile device and desk phone
- Give you one location for all the buttons for greater convenience
- Give you the ability to use your headset wirelessly, or wired
And I have to say, for the money, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 is a great value if you're looking for a highly professional, fully featured, super comfortable wireless headset.
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