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Plantronics Voyager 835

Mon Nov 10, 2008 - 9:53 AM EST - By Neal Martin

Overview

Have you ever been using a Bluetooth headset with your mobile phone and walked outside, only to find out the other party can't hear you over the gusting wind and/or background noise coming from a busy street? I have and it's no fun, to say the least!

Well, Plantronics has heard the peoples voices and answered with the Voyager 835!

From the Plantronics Website:

In the car, on the street or at the airport, be heard above the noise with the Plantronics Voyager 835 Bluetooth headset. Dual-mic AudioIQ noise canceling technology provides clear sound by separating and enhancing your voice to minimize distracting background sounds.
Windsmart technology reduces the wind noise your callers would otherwise hear. A comfortable, contoured ear tip channels sound directly into your ear, so you can focus on what’s important—your conversation.
Plantronics QuickPair technology lets you easily pair your headset with your Bluetooth phone and multipoint technology lets you stay connected with two Bluetooth phones—like a PDA and personal phone— all from one lightweight headset.

Features:

  • AudioIQ technology uses two microphones to separate your voice from background noise so you can be clearly heard
  • Windsmart technology reduces the wind noise your callers would otherwise hear
  • In-car charger keeps headset ready for calls and within easy reach while you're on the road
  • Plantronics multi-point technology lets you stay connected with two Bluetooth mobile phones
  • Slim ear loop provides all day stability and comfort, even with eye wear
  • Comfortable, contoured ear tip channels sound into your ear
  • Plantronics QuickPair technology lets you easily pair your headset with your Bluetooth phone

I took the Plantronics Voyager 835 for a run. Read on!


Packaging and Features

The first thing I noticed when checking the contents of the package is that the headset didn't come with any documentation, other than a safety information booklet. I immediately browsed Plantronics Website and downloaded the user guide, though, and was off. I'm hoping it was a one-time packaging mishap and that the headset typically comes with ALL necessary documentation.

The 835 uses Plantronics QuickPair technology to simplify the Bluetooth setup process. The first time you turn your headset on, your headset automatically enters pairing mode for 10 minutes. Once paired successfully, your headset stays on for instant use. If no successful Bluetooth pairing occurs within 10 minutes, the 835 will power off and will repeat the 10 minutes pairing mode until it is successfully paired with a Bluetooth-enabled phone. I really like this feature, as it requires little or no effort on my part.

Plantronics also uses a technology they like to call Windsmart. Windsmart is designed to reduce the noise you'd typically have to deal with when using your headset while outside on a windy day.

The volume control buttons are on the side of the unit as pictured below.

The 835 features 5 hours talk time and a full week of standby time, not bad! The 835 won't weigh you down either as it weighs in at only .42 ounces. The 835 has a professional look to it. It has a polished black look with a complementary silver band. The earloop is clear plastic which allows the loop to almost disappear against your skin.


Charging the Unit

Plantronics included an AC charger and a car charger, both of which do an excellent job of charging the unit. An included USB charger would have been nice. In fact, it would be nice if all bluetooth headsets shipped with a USB charger. I've pictured the included chargers above.


Using the 835

The 835 has a plastic earloop which is designed to allow you to wear the headset on either ear. Changing ears is as simple as lifting and rotating the earloop. This is a nice feature, as my ear tends to get irritated if I wear my headset on either ear for an extended period of time - actually, as little as 3-5 minutes can cause me discomfort on almost any headset.

I also like the contoured ear tip because it's tapered - which allows it to fit into my small ear canals. Add that to the fact that the plastic earloop securely holds the headset to your ear and you've got a headset that you're not likely to drop.

As described above, the Voyager 835 features QuickPair technology and it went straight into pairing mode when I powered it on for the first time. My Treo 750 found the headset and I was paired and ready to go in less than 20 seconds!

The headset has two microphones to separate your voice from background noise so you can be clearly heard. Plantronics calls this AudioIQ. One microphone is on the front, along the ridge emanating from the LED indicator. The second is at the bottom, closer to your mouth - a larger microphone. I feel as though the background noise is less detectable when compared to some other Bluetooth headsets I've used in the past

Answering an incoming call is as simple as tapping the microphone icon on the front of the headset and hanging up is just as simple - tap the microphone once again. Should your call volume be too loud or too low, you can adjust the volume with the controls on the side of the unit.

Reading that the 835 incorporates Windsmart technology to reduce the wind noise, I headed outside where the wind was blowing - quite hard AND COLD! I asked my wife to call me and, sure enough, I believe the Windsmart technology actually did reduce the wind noise I would otherwise have had to deal with.


Conclusion

The 835 is lightweight and comfortable to wear. It's not as comfortable as the Bluetrek Metal I reviewed recently, but it has a nice feel to it nonetheless.

The Windsmart technology and the inclusion of the 2nd microphone would be a big plus for those of you living in a big, busy city. I live in a small town, but the wind is everywhere - so the Windsmart technology will surely come in handy on a blustery day!

On the down side, it really puzzles me why Plantronics didn't include a user guide. The safety booklet came in a big, silver cardboard envelope. A lot of trouble considering nothing but an almost pointless pamphlet was inside. Also, as previously mentioned, I wish Plantronics has included a USB charging cable as I don't care for units that require a proprietary charger. Many of the USB charging cables for Bluetooth headsets I've used are interchangeable, which is nice if I'm having trouble locating a particular cable among the MANY cables I have, LoL!

On the other hand, the car charger which is included swivels a full 180 degrees which gives great versatility for vehicles in which the charger/headset combination would otherwise be too bulky and would be obstructed by your dash, buttons, or other such obstacles. Thanks for that touch, Plantronics!

Overall, I give the Plantronics Voyager 835 a big thumbs up. Despite the lack of a USB charger, the features of the unit make for an impressive Bluetooth headset. Head over to the TreoCentral Store and pick one up for $99.95!





Treo accessory store

Criteria 

Rating

Design 5
Usability 5
Features 5
Cost/Benefit 3
Overall
(not an average)
Pros
  • Professional look
  • Windsmart technology reduces wind/background noise
  • QuickPair Technology makes for EASY pairing
  • 5 hour talk time and 7 day standby time
  • Cons
  • No user guide included
  • Does not include a USB charger (reduced my Cost/Benefit opinion)


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