Review: Plantronics Voyager 520 Bluetooth Headset
The Plantronics Voyager 520 is the follow up to the very popular Voyager 510 with newer features and better technology. The Voyager 520 is targeted at the user who is looking for supreme comfort and solid sound quality. It maintains professional styling and ease-of-use to provide the user a great Bluetooth headset. How does it perform? Does it measure up to the uber-popular Voyager 510?
Read on for the rest of the review!
Let’s put it this way. The Voyager 520 isn’t the most stunning Bluetooth Headset you’ve ever seen. There are headsets that are smaller, sleeker, and use better colors. The headset is fairly large because of the locked-in, large ear loop. The front face of the Bluetooth Headset looks overly-complicated, with harsh lines, multiple patterns, and different colors.
Don’t get me wrong, the Voyager 520 is most definitely not an ugly headset—it’s just not the prettiest one either. The Voyager 520 looks like the Bluetooth Headsets of yore, more professional and business-like than sleek and stylish.
However, styling and design issues aside, I was amazed at how comfortable and light it felt when worn. The large ear loop rotates nearly 360 degrees and is made of a softer, silcone-esque material. It is likely one of the better, more comfortable ear loops on the market. You’ll barely notice it hanging on your ear
Also, the earbud of the Voyager 520 is unique because it sits soft in your ear canal. As opposed to a lot of classic earbud designs, the Voyager 520’s earbud sits naturally in the ear because of its almost funnel like shape. The earbud is the best compromise of in-ear designs and classic ear phone designs.
When you’re wearing the Voyager 520, the comfortable ear loop and the even more comfortable ear bud makes the headset essentially unnoticeable. Some headsets may be prettier but few even come close to the superb fit the Voyager 520 offers.
Syncing with the iPhone is a cinch. Plantronics chose to implement a multifunction button that doubles as a volume switch. I found the button to be easy enough to hit but switching the volume up and down proved to be more cumbersome. I accidentally ended a call when trying to turn up the volume.
As I mentioned before, the Voyager 520’s fit really stands out. Even after wearing the device for hours, my ears were perfectly fine and I didn’t feel the need to remove the device. Typically, my ears need a break when earbuds are lodged in but the unique design of the Voyager 520’s earbuds made it a joy to wear.
The incoming sound quality is rock solid. Because of the funnel shape of the ear bud, incoming callers were clear and pronounced. It felt like I was getting the best of both worlds—in-ear sound quality but classic ear phone feel. Also, Plantronics uses AudioIQ to smarten the audio, getting louder in noisier environments and softer in quiet surroundings.
Outgoing sound quality is also good. Though it does pick up some background noise, it wasn’t enough to be bothersome to the caller. Callers felt that I sounded clear with no digitization and preferred the headset to many competitors. In quiet environments the headset’s performance was simply stellar, callers never even imagined me being on a Bluetooth headset.
Talk time is 8 hours, which should be plenty for most users. You’re also able to pair to more than one device, which is definitely convenient. Unfortunately, the Voyager 520 uses a proprietary AC adapter.
The Voyager 520 really surprised me. When I first saw the headset, I was expecting middling performance and an uncomfortable fit. I could not be more wrong. The fit of the Voyager 520 might be best in class—it hangs light on your ear yet sits naturally in the canal. Also, the audio quality ranged from decent in noisy environments to simply superb in quiet surroundings. Though I still have a few quips with the design and styling, honestly, it’s closer to being pretty than ugly while still remaining professional. I think the Voyager 520 should be seriously considered by any potential headset user and should be considered a steal for the price!
- Very, very comfortable fit
- Smart Ear Bud Design
- Solid Audio Quality
- Good Battery Life
- Average Styling
- Fairly Large
- Weird Charger