Plantronics rounds out noise cancelling office portfolio with first wireless stereo UC headset

The Voyager Focus UC becomes the top of the line model in Plantronics’ noise cancelling office products line. It also features Dynamic Mute Alert feature, which senses and alerts users when they are trying to talk when muted.

Voyager Focus UC

The Voyager Focus UC

In February, Santa Cruz CA-based audio communications vendor Plantronics announced updated versions of four offerings in its office products line which featured noise cancelling technology that had been first developed in their consumer offerings. Today, they are announcing the Voyager Focus UC, a new offering that has this same technology, but which is a wireless model.

“This product completes the story of the February announcements,” said Jennifer Adams, Plantronics’ Director, Enterprise Solutions Marketing. “In February we introduced a corded model with active noise cancelling tech, and had previously has a wireless one on the consumer side. This is the first wireless noise cancelling headset for Unified Communications.”

All five of the noise cancelling headsets Plantronics has announced this year are designed for particular user profiles in the office. This one is targeted at what Plantronics calls the Connected Manager, an executive who is a little bit younger, who works from multiple locations in the office and many different devices. Plantronics estimates this market is 18 per cent of enterprise users.

“The device has an active connection to two devices at the same time – both the PC and the smartphone, with both devices having to be Bluetooth enabled,” Adams said. The Voyager Focus UC is Class 1 Bluetooth, so if the devices are enabled with Class 1 as well, the headset will work up to 300 feet away.

“This covers most office environments on the same level of a building,” Adams said. “People tend not to be more than 300 feet away from the phone.”

Adams said Voyager Focus UC becomes Plantronics’ best noise cancelling headset.

“The Voyager Legend was historically our best for noise cancellation, and this is 50 per cent better than that,” she said. The Legend is also mono. The Focus UC is stereo.

“Other companies like Bose make consumer products which are similar at the same price point, but they are really just music listening products,” Adams said. “This is designed as much for multi-media as music consumption, and provides a great audio experience for both, with up to 12 hours of talk time and 15 hours of music listening.”

The Focus UC also has a new Dynamic Mute Alert feature, which senses and alerts users when they are trying to talk when muted.

“This is an industry-first feature,” Adams said. “When you are on mute, the headset still listens to you, and when you start to talk, it tells you mute is on.”

Smart sensors also allow the headset to know when it is being worn. It automatically goes on mute when a user takes it off, and if the user was listening to music, the music is paused. Then when it is put back on, the headset unmutes or resumes the music.

The headset controls dynamically adapt to the user’s wearing style.

“There is a designated right and left for stereo, but people like mics on different sides – it’s about 50-50,” Adams said. “The headset knows what side the boom is on and moves the controls, and it’s all seamless for the user.”

The headset can also be set to allow users to listen normally when they aren’t on a call.

“Some people don’t like immersive headsets because they feel they are in a bubble,” Adams said. “The mute button can become an open mic button when you aren’t on a call, so you can hear just like you weren’t wearing a headset, and can listen in when you need to.”

Adams also said this product is designed to fit to the ear exceptionally well. Leatherette ear cushions wrapped around soft memory foam are designed to deliver all day comfort.

The Voyager Focus UC will go to market through the same distribution channels as Plantronics’ other office products. Availability is scheduled for mid-July, and the pricing will be $USD 299.