Review: Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset

voyager_855

With WWDC 2009 right around the corner, there is excitement in the air. The iPhone OS 3.0 software and a highly possible next generation iPhone are right around the corner. Now what does this have to with the Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset? The answer to that question is simple - A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). Finally A2DP is coming to an iPhone near you... unless you still plan on keeping that first generation iPhone. (Sadly, for A2DP, you guys will need to upgrade to a current 3G model or the soon-to-be-announced next generation hardware.)

So, iPhone 3G owners, what better way to get a jump on things than by picking up the Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset?! It is available in TiPb's sibling store WMExperts for a cool $69.95. After the break, a full review!

Design

The Voyager 855 consists of two pieces: a headset unit, which is where you will find all of your controls, and the detachable earpiece, which is what you will use to turn the 855 into a stereo headset - pretty crafty indeed.

voyager_5

The headset is sleek and stylish with its black coating with silver trimmed accents. The mic boom slides out to bring the microphone closer to your mouth. That not only makes it easier for the person with whom you are speaking to hear you, it's also a way to answer and end calls - more on that a bit later.

Next up is it's size. The Voyager tips the scales at mear .53 ounce (11 Grams) so it is surprisingly on the lighter side compared to other headsets available. It measures 2.25 inches by 0.5 inch by 0.6 inch. So again, not large by any means unless you have the boom extended. With the boom, look to add another inch or so to it's length. To get a better grasp on it's size below you will can see the Voyager next to the Jawbone 2 and Apple's no longer available headset.

voyager_4

Now if you are looking to get in on the stereo bluetooth action you will need the separate stereo plug-in cable with earpiece. It looks just like a regular earbud attached to an ear loop. To get stereo bluetooth you simply need to attach the ear loop with earpiece to the main headset. The stereo setup is meant to be worn with the cable resting behind your neck.

Also included in the box: ear loop stabilizer (2 sizes), sound isolating ear buds, micro USB charger, lanyard, and carrying case.

Usability

I've been using the Voyager 855 for about a week now and I will admit the sound quality is pretty good compared to other headsets I have used in the past. While the headset is not as clear as -- or does not boast noise cancelation like the Jawbone -- it does contain AudioIQ, which is simply a fancy name for digital signal processing or DSP. Without noise cancelation, loud conditions did create a bit of background noise but people I spoke with did not have any problems hearing me or vice versa. So overall the AudioIQ does it's job well. To make your voice heard even better you can also slide the boom down closer to your mouth. The boom can also be used to answer and end calls simply by sliding it out or in respectively.

The added bonus of the Voyager 855 is it's ability to turn into a stereo bluetooth headset by simply adding the stereo plug-in cable. The sound quality for listening to music was pretty decent as well. I have no complaints in that department.

voyager_11

The big question I always have when it comes to bluetooth headset is how comfortable is it to wear and how is the battery life? This headset comes with three earbud pairs in different sizes, allowing you to pick and choose the most comfortable fit for you. You can wear the headset with or without the included earloop, on either your left or right ear. So with that said, you should not have any issues finding the right combination that will comfortably fit your needs. Battery life was excellent. Plantronics claims 7 hours of talk time, 6 hours of listening time, and 160 hours of standby time. I've put it through the ringer this week and have had to charge it two times within the week with a good amount of usage.

voyager_31

Conclusion

The Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset, which is available in the WMExperts store for $69.95 is a fantastic deal. Not only will you be able to take full advantage of the upcoming 3.0's A2DP feature you get a very good overall bluetooth stereo headset.

Pros

  • Low price for what you get

  • Stereo Bluetooth

  • Fits comfortably

  • Great battery life

Cons

  • No noise cancelation

  • Micro USB charger

4 star rating

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

More Posts

 

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

← Previously

Confirmed-ish: Palm Pre Still Syncs with iTunes 8.2!

Next up →

WWDC Banner Revealed: One Year Later, Light-Years Ahead

Reader comments

Review: Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset

39 Comments

this is by far my favorite stereo headset. I'm definitely getting this when 3.0 is released. I wanted to get this last year but they told me at the apple store that the iPhone doesn't have A2DP.
Thanks for reviewing this

Didn't like it. Doesn't fit well in my ear at all. Return it the next day. Don't waste your money on this model, wait for the new version.

@LeQuang242, just because you had issues with it fitting in your ears does not mean it's a bad headset. I'm generally really picky on how my headsets fit and this one actually fit very well. Along with all of the different sized earbuds, most people should have an easy fit.

They're very convenient -- the black 'squishy' foam attachments are the best -- like those foam earplugs you can get to filter out noise when sleeping.
'No noise cancellation' is mentioned as a 'con'. The microphone has great noise cancellation, the reviewer should hop on over to the product page and look at the features. It does an excellent job of filtering out background noise when I'm talking on the phone with it.

I've been using this headset for a while, and just updated my 3G iPhone to 3.0. The pause/play and volume control function as expected, but I am unable to go back/next in a playlist as described in the documentation. Anyone else in the same boat?

I recently bought on a recommendation from a friend...awesome. At only about $40.00 from a well none retial ecomm site.

Will this headset let you listen to music off the iphone without adding the additional cable to make it "stereo bluetooth"? I drive alot and I need to keep one ear free to listen to stuff around me...

Can't get any sound out of the earpiece opposite the one with the controls on it. Am i doing something wrong? Updated my iPhone to 3.0 last night........

@Robert: Yes, it will work with 1 ear. I bought the headset for $32 (Buy or Amazon). Works great and the battery life definitely last longer then the iPhone. The 3.0 OS easily recognizes the headset.
@LeQuang, there are 3 different ear buds which fits any individual. It was a matter of preference with you. I have Shure's SLC4 ($175 which I got for $75) and I prefer the earbuds on the Plantronics than the Shures.
Overall, I am rather impressed with the quality/audio.

thanx for ur input guys...I feel better now..just ordered from Amazon for $32 plus shipping...with a $30 credit if you open an Amazon credit card.

The plantronics site claims in the FAQ section, updated June 18th that this device will not work with the iphone. I also could not find anywhere on the page that said the device was A2DP. It says EDR and Bluetooth 2.0.
I've wanted this headset for a while, but I don't want to buy it if it is not going to work.
Can anyone who owns both this headset and an iphone verify that it absolutely does work?

This does work with the iPhone.
I bought this a couple days ago from Buy.com for about $32.
It paired up quickly!
I used the headset to listen to music. Sound quality is good!. Using the black earbuds gave the sound quality more of a bass boost IMHO. Nit pickers will probably not like it though.
The cons the reviewer mentioned, it does noise cancellation fine. And does a micro usb charger really deserve a Con?
As far as my Cons go, the second ear piece that is attached to an earloop. I wish they would make it detachable so another earloop can be attached to it. I found that the one attached to it doesn't fit to well with my ear.
I almost forgot!
It's awesome to use the ear piece to control the iPod. I really really like that!!
So far i'm the 855.
It's nice to have my iPhone hidden away in my pocket while listening to the iPod or Chatting away on a phone call! :)

Input Please! I just purchased a 3G S.
The 855 fits my ears great. They've worked flawlessly & completely with the Motorola Q9.
With the 3G S the stereo sounds great (the Moto S9's are better imho), and the phone answer button is working. I can't get Play, Pause, or Tracks to work. Has anyone else??? Are others getting at least Play & Pause to work?
Having to turn the screen on the 3G S & press play or pause is a real pain (and my battery life so far is rather dismall).
THANKS!

I purchased these to use with my 3G S and I'm finding that I get a lot of little skips in my music. Kinda frustrated. Anyone else experiencing this?

I recently got these to go with my 3GS and I'm also hearing little skips. Hopefully the issue is with the iPhone firmware, which can be fixed, and not with the headset.

I also have the 855 and an iPhone. I am currently running the full released version of 3.0 software.
When running with WiFi turned on in the Settings = constant stuttering with audio when the screen goes to sleep. Stuttering is so bad, you cannot use it. When you wake the iPhone, stuttering goes away, and crystal clear audio (until sleep mode again, of course).
When WiFi is turned off (3G/Edge)... the stuttering is not an issue when the screen goes to sleep mode. Crystal clear audio at all times
It seems that calls are not affected, only music/podcasts/steaming audio is an issue with the 855/iPhone/WiFi.

Gahh!
I am on the edge of my seat for this one.
I heard someone complain that the unit doesn't default to mono music when one earpiece is disconnected. Thats a drag - as music is not designed to be listened to on side at a time. (what you want is true mono - ie BOTH sides summed to ONE speaker..) If you DO just listen to one side of stereo music you risk totally missing parts panned to the other side..
Anyhow that is all moot for me - as I want it for listening to spoken word podcasts - which will be fine - (even if I am only listening to the left channel) and driving (I wouldn't want both ears blocked)
But the stuttering comments above have me scared..
Apart from that Its seems the perfect product for my requirements..
Anyone else get it working fine?

I just got the 855 and it is sweet...great sound, feather light, fits just right, feels fine...everything except for the stuttering. Running a Xenon w/a 2 GB micro SD for extra memory. At times it will run w/o skipping at all. Other times it skips once or twice...other times it is a pain in the ass and unusable. Most of the trouble seems to happen when I'm hitting buttons on the phone (lock the phone, change volume, navigate to multi-tasking, etc.). Also, it seems to be really prone to skip when the phone is on my hip rather than sitting flat a foot away from me. Damn thing should be able to receive up to 30+ feet away, so I can't seen how having it on the hip below the ear I'm wearing it in should matter (or on the opposite hip). I'm going to keep playing around w/it over the next few days and then call the Help line and pick their brains as well as scour the boards. I don't really plan on listing to stereo music in the car (!) so the skipping isn't much of a problem there, and I can live w/having the phone act as a music player on the table in front of me at work or when reading. But, when out and about if I want to listen to music, I don't want the phone off my hip so i don't know if this will ultimately be workable.

I have an OS3.0 iphone 3G with the Voyager 855. The iPhone's AD2P update works well with this headset - even if only the main earpiece is used. For watching/listening to podcasts, the sound quality is just nice. However I'm having problems with making calls; the other party is just not able to make out what I'm saying clearly. I tested this on 3 different iPhone3Gs (including one unjailbroken device) and have the same problem.
Does anyone else have the same issue with this headset?

I have the iPod Touch 2nd Gen, and the iPhone os 3.0 Software for the iPod, does anyone know if this voyager 855 works with the AD2P iPod?

I will definitely agree with the statement below on this head set. I been using this with both (iPhone & MB) and it is one of the best I tried. Also Amazon is great to purchase from too as before mentioned!!
"I have one and am very pleased, since it’s multipoint it pairs with both iphone and mbp at the same time." - Daniel A. Johansson

These are the best i have seen for the a2dp on the iphone. The only complaint that i have is i get hiccups in the audio playback when i have the wifi turned on. When i am using my router it seems to have pauses which can be somewhat annoying. It must be some interferance with the bluetooth since both opperate on a close frequency. When i turn the wifi off it has no skips. So i guess i can live with it since pandora plays decently over edge network.

I have the same problem as Paul described. The 855 does everthing advertised except when pressing the up/down volume buttons it will not skip tracks forward or backward. I've tried two different headsets with the same result. So I'm guessing it has to be the phone. Anyone got any ideas?

I'm on my second one of these. When it works right, it is awesome. However, the second earpiece connection has constant contact problems, making that side cut out. I have to wiggle the plastic ear hanger that doubles as the connector/secondary earpiece, just to get it to actually work.

Oh, and to be fair, I should mention that I'm on my second one because I drowned the first one in a cup of beer when it fell off of my shirt collar, where I had it temporarily stashed, and into my cup.

I've been using this for a few days now, from amazon, very happy with battery life, signal range, comfort, audio quality. There could be slightly more bass, however the one thing I don't like (as stated by a few other people) is that I don't think the unit defaults to "true mono" when the second earpiece isn't attached. I believe you simply don't hear the music which is normally on the other channel... Only been using a few days, and this is the only downside, that I can see (or hear).

Thanks for sharing, i bookmark your site. What you wrote is great advice any way that you look at it.

I know this is going to sound a bit old fashioned but, I really like taking care hearing and whilst I do agree with the previous poster and I really hope I do not get shot down for saying this, but I believe it is important to take all things in moderation.

This internet site is really quite good, but for some reason it does not display properly when trying to view on my Nintendo Wii. If it helps, the console uses the Opera browser and am impelled to using the console for accessing the Net whilst my PC is away being restored.

This internet site is actually quite good, but for some reason it does not display properly when trying to view on my Nintendo Wii. If it helps, the console uses the Opera browser and am impelled to using the console for accessing the Internet whilst my PC is away being fixed.

My favorite feature has not been mentioned. When you have the larger plugs mounted and in both ears it almost acts as a sound isolator. I can ride my lawnmower and hear everything just fine. The engine noise is greatly suppressed and the audio is really good. Only problem is when you get a call, by relflex you answer and all they can hear is the lawnmower till you shut down.

I think I first came across your website via a link on Twitter.. I fancy the way you write and I am going to subscribe to read more whenever I can. Oh yeah, are you on Twitter yet?

Hi,I find that your site is incredibly informative and useful and we were curious if there is a possibility of getting More stories like this on your web log. If you willing to assist us out, we will be willing to compensate you... , Migdalia Weisbecker

Voyager 855 consists of two pieces: a headset unit and the detachable earpiece. My question is if I have attached the detachable earpiece, can I receive the incoming call while listening to the music and even while not listening to the music? Also can I dial outgoing calls in both the cases?

Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to say that I acquire in fact loved account your weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing on your feeds or even I fulfillment you get entry to consistently fast.