You can read my summary at the bottom of this page.
Probably the most important aspect of any audio device. The call quality on the Plantronics Voyager Legend is really good. You can listen to the voice quality samples below and judge for yourself.
Script: “Smart Sensor technology reacts when you put the headset on, letting you quickly take a call without a click. If you’re already wearing it, Voyager Legend announces who’s calling and waits for you to say “Answer” or “Ignore.” Simply tap the voice command button and ask to check battery level, connection status, and more. With technology this nimble, Voyager Legend is the first truly intelligent Bluetooth® headset.”
For information on the setup used to do the recording, just see the audio test setup page.
There are two things to bear in mind here that can greatly influence call quality. The first thing is the quality of the Bluetooth connection from the cell phone to the Bluetooth headset. Although Bluetooth theoretically has a range of up to 10 meters, any obstacles such as concrete walls (which contain wire mesh) or electrical interference from other devices can cause problems. The biggest problem, though, is caused by the cell phones Bluetooth antenna. See my Bluetooth Range section for more information on this. The second thing that influences the call quality greatly is the quality of the audio components used in the headset. The speaker has to be loud and clear and the microphone should pick up your phone while filtering out unwanted sounds.
Call quality score: 9/10
The Legend is very comfortable to wear on both ears. Most of the weight sits behind the ear while the slim boom points forward on its own. It doesn’t rely on a tight fit to keep it in the ear. The headset has been slimmed down a lot and this adds greater comfort. You can wear this headset all day and not be irritated by it. Even wearing glasses or a baseball cap with the headset is not a problem.
The ear tip is a comfortable fit although the tips on the Voyager Pro UC v2 were a little softer. If you have the older model then you can keep and use the ear tips with the Legend.
The boom is just the perfect distance away from my cheek but may not adjust out enough for people with very puffy cheeks. This should be tested before buying if possible.
Comfort score: 9/10
The sleek design is a great improvement over the Voyager Pro+ V2
Plantronics changed the design of this headset to make it look a little sleeker and slimmer. The “back end” has been slimmed down a lot which is great for people with ear “flaps” close to their heads. This is where the battery is and Plantronics have managed to increase battery life while slimming down: nice one!
The call and voice buttons are easily accessible and have a nice pressure point to them. The power button is great because its a proper switch. The previous model, Plantronics Voyager Pro, had a push button which had to be depressed for 2 seconds. This made it difficult to turn it on fast and to determine whether it was actually on. You had to hold it up to your ear and depress the power button to hear the status message. The Legend solved this by using a switch which shows a green indicator when the headset is on. Side-note: The advantage with the Pro UC v2 was that you could actually quickly pick it up, hold it up to your ear, press the button and check the battery level. You have to be wearing the Legend to check the battery level due to the sensors all around it. It can be tricked into thinking it is being worn by grasping the “tail” with four fingers to simulate a large surface of skin but it’s not that easy to do.
The boom has been redesigned to be a thin protruding samurai sword shaped construction. Compared to the Voyager UC v2 its way thinner and less obtrusive. This certainly makes it easier to feel less of an idiot when wearing one of these while walking through the supermarket.
Design score: 9/10
Three microphones cancel out background noises
There are three microphones on the Voyager Legend, one of them recording your own sweet voice and transmitting it to the other person. The other two microphones are for noise and wind cancelling. Listen to the sound samples above and judge for yourself.
I can say that when I’m in my car I’m constantly asked where I am because there is absolutely no background noise at all. Even on the motorway at 60 mph with the window open. So for windy weather it seems to be great. It’s a different story with irregular noises like banging pots and pans or running taps. People keep asking me to stop doing what I’m doing because it’s annoying them.
Noise cancelling score: 7/10
The battery in the Plantronics Voyager Legend is big enough to get through a working day with a whopping 7 hours of call time. The standby time is 11 days. I can confirm both of these specifications as being approximately correct. With the UC-Model, you get the Portable Charge Case which has its own battery. The case not only keeps the headset safe from knocks and being squashed in bags but the integrated battery adds leaps to the overall battery life. I use the headset a lot for calling and streaming audio books and I can go a week before a have to charge the headset. I just put it in the case and both are charged. Its a massive improvement over the previous model and a deal breaker for me. At the moment I use the charge stand on my desk when I’m not using the headset and the battery level is constantly at 6-7 hours left.
Battery life score: 10/10
You can speak to your Legend and tell it to do things like “call 911” or “call Mum” or “answer” or “ignore”. These are only available when the headset is set to the English language and even then they just don’t work. Saying “call John” starts the thing calling some random numbers in the phone book and you have to be very quick to cancel the call. It just don’t use it. Answering a call using the voice command “answer” sometimes works but it’s more like pot luck .
The alerts on the other hand like “battery low” or “phone 1 connected” work fine. The caller identity doesn’t always work when it should. You usually have to look at the phone to see who’s calling which is a pity.
Voice commands score: 3/10
Okay. So as you all know, the range for Bluetooth devices is and always has been 10 meters. That means that if the headset is more than 10 meters away from the phone then there are no guarantees for sound quality. The range is, in my experience, greatly dependent on your phone. See the section on Bluetooth range for detailed information. In my test setup I use a Sony Xperia Mini Pro and the headset performs fantastically at 10 meters with thick concrete walls in between. I also tested it on a Galaxy Note II and an LG Optimus G. As I said it’s the phone you want to look at for good range. The Range on the Plantronics Voyager Legend UC is fantastic just like it’s predecessor the Voyager Pro UC v2.
No score for this section because it largely depends on your phone.
This headset is full of features.
- Smart Sensor technology
- Noise and wind cancelling
- Voice alerts
- Voice commands
- A2DP streaming support
- PBAP phonebook Access support
- Multiple pairing (two different phones)
- Bluetooth v3.0
- Optional accessories
Toggles and switches work better than buttons
The Smart Sensor Technology describes Plantronics’ patented sensors that know when you are wearing the headset. If a call comes in and you’re not wearing it then putting it on will pick up the call. This saves you having to perform the additional action of pressing a call button. If you are wearing it then pressing the call button will pick up the call. If you want to change to your phone then just take the headset off and the call will go to your phone. Audio streaming can be paused and continued by taking off and putting on the headset. The Smart Sensor Technology just works and is unflawed.
I took one point off for only being able to pair with two phones.
Features score: 9/10
The headset performs very well on all core tasks like talking to someone on the phone or streaming audio and having your hands free to drive or doing the ironing. There are no glitches or stability issues when doing this. It always turns on when it should and the overall behaviour is predictable.
Sometimes it doesn’t connect to the phone straight away if the Bluetooth on the phone was turned off. You have to turn off the headset and on again and it will pair. It’s a minor thing but means that if Bluetooth on the phone is off and you get a call then you have to turn off the headset first, turn on the Bluetooth on the phone (if it lets you into the settings menu while it’s ringing, which the LG Optimus G doesn’t so you have to pick up first and leave the person waiting) then turn on the headset.
The voice commands are just way too unreliable to even be included. Firstly they only work when the headset is set to English and secondly they just don’t work.
When paired with two cell phones and taking a call on phone 2, the headset will sometimes break the connection to the phone for no reason and out of the blue. It then has to be turned off and on again.
Going by priority of function the headset is quite reliable.
Reliability score: 7,5/10
This device has been built to last. The rubberized coating doesn’t show any signs of flaking or wearing after months of continual use. The boom is so quaintly designed but is rock solid and just oozes quality. Moving parts for example to change ears are solid and don’t wobble. The buttons and switches have great pressure points and work flawlessly. The proprietary charging connector is fantastic for just popping it in and out of the case or the docking station. Much better than having a Micro-USB port that has to be “plugged in” all the time. I personally always get these Micro-USB connectors upside down when inserting them.
Build quality score: 10/10
Some say that this headset is too expensive. It is pricey but look at what you get. A top-end wireless headset with a portable charge case and a docking station. All built to the highest standard. In my opinion it’s worth every penny.
Price score: 7/10
Total score 80.5%
The Plantronics Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth headset is a high quality wireless headset that will do it’s job of keeping your hands free while using your cell phone or smart phone. The call quality is fantastic and it sits nicely on and behind your ear with only a very slim boom protruding forward. It looks nice and has been well designed. It has refined noise cancelling capabilities with it’s 3 microphones and the battery will outlast any modern phone tenfold. The voice commands are a bit of a joke because they are too unpredictable but the idea is nice. It just needs lots of improving. The headset has a good range and is packed full of modern features, some of which you may never use like the multiple pairing capability. The headset does a great job on core tasks like connecting it to one phone and talking for hours on end. The overall build quality is exceptional and should last for years. Although the headset is not cheap, you do get a portable charge case and a docking station and for a device of this high quality the price is ok.
In my opinion it is an almost perfect headset. It works day in day out and causes no problems. You can use it in your car perfectly and while at home doing other things. I wouldn’t miss it for the world and rarely use the phone without it. I had the predecessor (Voyager Pro UC v2) for two years and it’s still going strong so I would expect the same from the Legend. I strongly recommend this headset to people who are serious about using their cell phone hand free.
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