Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset Review

At present we are testing Plantronics Voyager 510 – a med-class Bluetooth headset in retro-classic style and a long boom microphone, equipped with a system against the wind interference with conversation sound – Plantronics’ WindSmart Technology. In fact this technology does not present anything revolutionary so long as it has already been used by other manufacturers, among them Logitech and Cardo in various models.

The design of the accessory is worth noting, since it resembles a last-century vintage model because of the fact that Plantronics technology was used in the highest level communications – in particular by the astronauts. Voyager 510 can be considered as a replica of a headset from the equipment of the first lunar expeditions – namely the one of Apollo 11 astronauts in 1969. The crew commander Neil Armstrong pronounced then his words that became historical – ‘One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ – in a Plantronics device similar in design to the nowadays’ 510.

The set of Plantronic Voyager 510 consists of:

  • Headset
  • AC Charger
  • 3 eartips with different size
  • User guides.

Voyager is big and for most of us it would seem unsightly, but it is a matter of personal taste. It looks more professional as a specialized conversation device rather than a fashionable accessory as most of the recent models (Plantronics 645, 655, Nokia BH-800). It is colored in the standard dull grey-and-black tonality. Its somewhat large size is compensated for by the fact that the main volume is entirely gathered in a module placed behind the cochlea during utilization. In this it resembles the M2500 model, reviewed by us a year and a half ago, as well as certain models of Jabra (BT250, BT500). However, its distinguishing mark is the long boom microphone. The latter has a small ‘hidden’ LED at the end and a sponge-like surface, in fact a very fine and dense net placed over the mike. Thus, as a hardware, it reduces a great deal of the moving air noise, the so called ‘wind' without the need to consume a lot of energy, as digital systems (DSP) do. Later you will learn more about the effectiveness of the former.

The 2.5-inch-long microphone can alter its height position by a movable arm, which makes it more accurately adjustable to different people and easier to place as near as possible to the consumer’s mouth. The arm can also be rolled horizontally for a even more precise adjustment to one’s ear or head. By turning the boom and the rear module you can easily switch from right to left ear – the headset can be used on both.

The keys are also placed one above the other, thus being functional regardless of the ear on which the set is being used. It is interesting to note that there is one more key than the standard number – apart from the sound rocker and the call button the set has a power/mute button which, in our view, does not make any sense. Part of its surface is in relief, but pressing it, even in off-the-ear position is very difficult and it can hardly be felt.

Unfortunately, the other buttons are almost as hard to press: the call key, situated at the rear of the boom microphone and nearly lacking any relief, is equally difficult to push and, what is more, the necessary effort leaves an unpleasant sensation in the ear where the device is. The semi-arc shaped sound control buttons, in our opinion, are not quite aptly placed at the upper part of the rear module. We would prefer them to be lower - even in case it led to their entirely vertical positioning. That would facilitate reaching them with a thumb. Naturally, it depends on the user, but we still do not consider this position most appropriate – in a size so big one would expect the best possible placement.
Despite the large dimensions, the ½ oz. weight is fully acceptable!

In case you have never used a device similar to this, most likely you will not be able to control it without looking through the user manual supplied in the box. Due to the fact that the ON button is different from the one for conversation managing, you will not be able to follow the ‘traditional’ procedure by holding the latter for a few seconds while not in use. Having worked with M2500, we solved the problem by a sudden deja-vu: you must push simultaneously the ‘call’ and ‘volume up’ buttons while in stand-by mode: this will instantaneously switch the set to the desired mode, indicated by a blue-green flash of the small LED.

Nearly all functions of the device are accessible via different kinds of pressing of the call button. A soft push will have no result whereas a two-second hold will turn on the phone voice recognition system. Two fast clicks dial the last called number. We are glad to note that an incoming call can be refused by only a two-three second hold of the same button – not the 8 seconds as with other models of the same manufacturer (645, 655). Muting during conversation is done by the specialized button, just above the sound control ones.

We were very pleased by the headphone – as someone put it: ‘Ugly, but the sound is as good as hell’. While talking the sound is incredibly strong and you will hardly ever need to turn the volume up to the end. Hearing is clear and problem-free. The other side can also hear you quite well but with a normal sound level – unfortunately the voice is slightly ‘blurred’ now and then, becoming a wee more unclear.

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The wind interference reduction system is very good – even a strong air-stream is filtered with ease. Despite the lack of DSP, it performs rather well at moderate noise levels – due to the long microphone placed next to the mouth.

The headset is easily inserted into the ear – you can do that effortlessly by one hand. The rear module must be lightly pulled to its place behind the ear and it will almost surely take the right position. The rubber bend is flexible enough and easily curved. The only inconvenience we encountered was the earpiece as in our case it was hard to insert it into the ear, even though we used the smallest size that was to be found in the box.

It is the earpiece that can cause discomfort while wearing the Voyager 510. Its large rubber surface adheres well against the outside of the cochlea, but the small headphone is an irritating factor for people with smaller ears. Longer wearing of the earpiece will not disturb you only in case the above mentioned part does not tease the ear.

If you select your Bluetooth headphone not solely by its design, but as a device to serve you well with its good sound, then 510 is a right choice. Despite being comparatively oversize (and a bit unsightly, perhaps), it offers a very good sound and handiness at a reasonable price.


  • The long boom microphone is placed near your face and the protective system at its end strongly reduces the negative interference of the wind with the sound quality during conversation.
  • High-grade workmanship, secure and convenient positioning on both ears.
  • Good battery performance in stand-by mode.


  • Huge size and considerable weight.
  • Buttons are hard and without response, and their positioning is not most appropriate.
  • It lacks a digital noise reduction system.

PhoneArena Rating:


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