Plantronics Voyager Edge Review
As a top-of-the-line model, the Voyager Edge packs quite the feature set. It supports Bluetooth 4.0, though you can also pair up through NFC, but the important thing is that either is a seamless process. Voice commands are activated by pressing a small button near the microphone, and span from a simple “Call back!”, down to checking your remaining charge and pairing status. Best of all, any upcoming calls activate the headset's voice listening feature, and let you accept or reject calls by simply saying “Answer!” or “Ignore!”.
The Edge is also advertised as HD Voice- and A2DP-compatible, though both these settings are only available through the Plantronics Hub app, which is a massive disappointment. For starters, the app requires Android 4.4 KitKat or higher, but more importantly – we couldn't even download the application as it was listed as unsupported in our country. That's weird, considering we tried to install the app through an US-based Google account.
Now, if you have any experience with Bluetooth headsets, you'll likely already know that a sacrifice in call quality is, inevitably, a part of the deal. Unfortunately for the Voyager Edge, however, we were a little surprised, and not in a good way. The Edge's in-ear speaker is medium loud, and call quality is just poor at max volume. Toning loudness down helps, but we still encountered grow-ly voices that only exhibited key traces of their actual, real-life tonality. The Edge's microphone is worse, but also similar in the way it twists your voice. The other side reported a rather bass-y output, and tonal information is just irrecoverably lost. We were also a bit disappointed with the noise-canceling capabilities of the Edge – we've definitely seen better.
All of this adds up to poor overall call quality, and even though we're far more lenient with Bluetooth headsets, we were still expecting more. For example, we had the cheaper, $99 Plantronics Voyager Legend at hand, too, and that one comes with a significantly better microphone, and even the earpiece is a notch better.
As far as cool and flashy gizmos go, the Plantronics Voyager Edge is right up there. The bespoke design speaks volumes about the priorities of the California-based company, and we definitely liked what we saw. The Edge is well-crafted and distinguished, but not overdone. It's also a pleasure to wear as it's lightweight and provides a reassuring grip without forcing you to wear the clunky earloop.
Unfortunately, at $129.99, we expected more out of the headset, and almost exclusively in the call quality department. Quite frankly, if you value proper voice transmission over style, you'd be better served going for the cheaper, $99.99 Voyager Legend – its microphone is miles ahead, while the in-ear speaker also performs a tad better.
- Great design and build
- Responsive and easy-to-find buttons
- Eartips make for a secure, but hassle-free fit
- Call quality is just average
- Android app allows for more features, but it's not available in every country, and requires the latest Android 4.4 KitKat
1. georgew (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)
Looking around for a stylish but high performance bluetooth headset. Initially thought this Voyager Edge would be the ideal product but am now having second thoughts after reading this review? Anyone else tried it and agreed with the call quality?
I'm willing to pay high end price (circa $150) for one and the only ones I have in mind is the new 2014 Jawbone Era or the Voyager Edge. Which do you think is better?
4. glhaldeman (Posts: 2; Member since: 06 Apr 2014)
Check out additional reviews by CNET or PC Magazine.
12. dgduris (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Sep 2014)
I have used everything from the first Jabra in the States to all of the Jawbones, a couple of Plantronics and the Bose BT II.
My third Jawbone Era was starting to act funny - as all the rest have seemed to do between 10 and 14 months of age - so I naturally considered the new Era. I have a consulting business that is done in large part over the phone and my cell is the phone. So, how I sound to the person on the other end of the line is of supreme importance.
Short story: the Edge sounded better to my testers - one great client, two brothers and an 84 year-old mother - than either the New Era or the Bose II. On MY end, it doesn't sound as quite as good as the New Era and not really in the same league as the Bose. That is from both office and car.
The fit is good. It doesn't feel as secure as either the Bose or the Era but it has not fallen out and it certainly isn't as fussy as the New Era about placement or, frankly, perspiration (I have found - with years of experience - that a sweaty face or a sweat-coated Jawbone Nub renders the thing nearly useless).
I like the fact that the Edge announces caller name without me having to program it in and that I can answer or reject a call by simply saying "answer" or "reject" or just putting the thing into my ear. I really like having a volume rocker too - nothing much worse than asking someone to repeat what they just said because you were cycling your Jawbone's volume.
I also like the charge case...not just for it's extra storage of electrons but also because it protects the headset from betting crushed in a soft bag or in my jeans pocket.
Downsides? I miss the Female British voice of my Era. The Plantronics voice is really overly synthesized - Plantronics should meet Cortana (the words and names Jen hasn't recorded yet). There are a lot of rings and beeps when a call connects but no audio cues when you are asked for a response - so the UI is a little inconsistent. You have to plug into the Plantronics Hub app to toggle A2DP on/off. Background noise isolation is good but not as good as the Jawbone - no surprise. But, I'm generally not calling from loud surroundings and my "testers" reported superior sound to the New Era from my office and my car.
So, a couple of weeks in and I like it...a lot.
2. RadioZero (Posts: 1; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)
i am in the same boat. i was liking this headset until i read this review. i need a nice headset and i am willing to spend for a quality unit.
anybody have anything positive to say about the Voyager Edge?
5. colbolt449 (Posts: 4; Member since: 29 Sep 2013)
Given that the original Voyager Legend sits most of its body behind the ear and is comfortable with unequaled voice quality it's difficult to justify the additional expense of this new device.
6. georgew (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)
Agreed, I've been told the Voyager Legend is unrivaled and should definitely be the one that I get if I'm going for quality. But as you said, most of the body sits behind the ear and that just makes it look like I've got a hearing aid.... Not exactly the most fashionable idea in the world
7. glhaldeman (Posts: 2; Member since: 06 Apr 2014)
The Voyager Edge has all the functionality of the Voyager Legend in a smaller form factor for those who prefer a different wearing style. The Edge includes the three microphones, the sensor technology, the voice commands and all that people have come to love about the Voyager Legend. It does have slightly lower battery life -- 6 hours as opposed to 7 hours with the Legend, but the charging case provides an additional 10.
(Disclosure: I work for Plantronics.)
8. georgew (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)
Thanks for being honest with the disclosure.
At the end of the day when I'm comparing these products, I gotta be realistic with my expectation. Seems like the Voyager Edge is not designed to be an upgrade to the Legend but more so for the Discovery, hard to keep all those awesome functionality seen in the significantly bigger Legend in such a sleek and smaller size. Plus if they did, it would have killed the sales of both Discovery and Legend.
Has any consumer actually used an Edge and wouldn't mind sharing the experience? My main concern is on call quality (both in and out) especially in noisy/windy situations, does it really hold up with the 3 microphones?
9. johnnull (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Apr 2014)
I am a storage engineer and I spend a lot of time in Data Centers. There is a huge amount of back ground noise in these facilities and I have found that I have no problems at all with callers hearing me or me hearing them. Crystal clear sound and the fact that I can accept or ignore a call by voice command means that when I get a call at a moment when I dont have a free hand it won't be missed. Overall I am very pleased with this product. 5 stars. A bit pricey but you get what you pay for.
10. georgew (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)
Just an update to my opening post. I have decided to go with the Voyager Edge and have been using it for the past week with very satisfying results! The design is sleek and device is easy to use, pairs incredibly fast and most importantly sound has been amazing, with the exception of when I was in extremely windy outdoor situations (but then again, I doubt 3 microphones was going to help with that situation!)
Overall very happy with it, can't really say if it's significantly better than the Jawbone Era since I haven't tried it, but I decided to steer clear of it after reading the amount of complaints on the Jawbone forum with people stating that even the old Era was significantly better than the new one.
11. laugher (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Jun 2014)
I am using the Voyager Edge and been using it for the past few weeks. Like georgew, the piece is almost invisible and I find myself forgetting its there. The pairing is instant as soon as I turn it on. I pair if with two phones and calls from both phones come through crystal clear.
I was able to walk away over 20-30 metres in an office floor space without any major wall constructs blocking the reception and without any loss in reception and quality. Outdoor quality seems fine and everyone on the other end of the call (or teleconference) was able to hear me crystal clear.
I'm extremely happy with it because I don't need to charge it except every other day or two and only charge the tear drop shaped base plugged into the USB port on my laptop. Charging time from empty to full took less than an hour from memory.