- Multipoint technology, pair up to eight devices (two simultaneously)
- Class 1 Bluetooth range of 30 meters
- Dynamic mute alert
- SoundGuard DIGITAL technology
- Disappointing microphone quality
- Active noise-cancelling struggles with midrange and high frequencies
- Active noise-cancelling eats into battery life
If you’re looking to cancel out the office air conditioner or the din of your daily commute, the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC can help. Active noise-cancelling easily combats low-pitched frequencies, and as far as sound quality goes, vocals are pleasantly emphasized.
You wake up, look in the mirror and think, “I’m a working person, who needs a pair of headphones that will work for me.” There are numerous headsets that you could choose from, but you want something that’s as versatile as you are. Looks like you’re in luck; the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC headset fits in at home, in the office, at the gym, on the train, and in the coffee shop.
Who are these for?
To be frank, these are for anyone jaded by sub-par Bluetooth connectivity. If you fall into this camp, stick around. As per usual, Plantronics sets the bar for office communication technology and general connection stability.
- Office managers. Plantronics’ Class 1 Bluetooth implementation allows for up to 98 feet of travel, which means that your employees will be able to run to the water cooler without disconnecting from their calls. Additionally, the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC are certified for Skype for Business. The active noise-cancelling is great for nearly eliminating room ambience, and there are both included and additional software options to improve functionality.
- Desk jockeys. If your office space doesn’t provide Bluetooth-enabled headsets, the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC is a great option. Aside from the aforementioned features, the headset alerts you to when you’re speaking but unwittingly muted. It also vibrates when receiving incoming calls, even if your device is silenced.
Inside the no-frills packaging is a soft-touch, zippered carrying case that contains two extra pairs of ear tips, a micro-USB cable, a circular charging cradle for docking the headset, and a wireless USB receiver. It’s worth taking a step back to appreciate the carrying case, because yes, it’s that nice. Molded to the shape of the Voyager 6200 UC, the patterned interior resembles the bodysuit armor in Black Panther.
Build & Design
The flexible neckband structure is lightweight and comfortable, and a rubberized coating creates just enough friction to prevent it from sliding around. Our version is black and orange—or is it a poppy-red? Either way, the alternate colorway option is sand, which could have just as easily been called “egg yolk white.”
Though I’m not yet wed to Bluetooth headphones, the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC are well-designed. An elevated multi-function button enables virtual assistant access, and my collarbone accidentally pressed it if my coat was zipped all the way up, pushing the neckband inward. Above are the volume buttons, which are easy to depress. A voice prompt notifies you when the volume is maxed out. To enter pairing mode, push the power button up for two seconds. From there it just takes moments to form a cogent connection.
Opposite of the multi-function button, an orange button toggles wide-band audio and stereo support. In plain English, this means that users with a compatible device can manually toggle HD voice. Further up the neckband is the active noise-cancelling switch. More on it its effectiveness in the Sound Quality section, but it does a solid job blocking out lower frequencies.
Looking fly as a pair of Jordans, the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC headset sports a black and orange-layered grille. Not only does it manage to appear simultaneously professional and dope but the microphones are omnidirectional, so they should effectively pick up your voice while lessening background noise. (More on this later.)
As we now know, prolonged subjection to loud audio is a surefire way to induce early-onset hearing loss. Plantronics combats this by implementing SoundGuard® DIGITAL, which protects listeners against anything exceeding 118 dBA. They also feature G616 anti-startle. This detects and mitigates sporadic, sharp increases in signal level, so if a loud pan pangs next to your head, the earphones will attempt to counteract it.
Plantronics combats this by implementing SoundGuard® DIGITAL, which protects listeners against anything exceeding 118 dBA.
Additionally, IT management can take control with Plantronics Manager Pro. This is sold separately and allows for IT departments to oversee and manage Plantronics-supported devices. They can remotely initiate firmware updates and gain insight from acoustic event-reports, device usage, and more. Plus, without any appended expense, clients can download Plantronics Hub for Mac, PC, iOS, and Android-enabled devices to customize voice prompt, volume, and general device settings.
Charging via micro-USB or cradle requires one and a half hours to top up the 350 mAh lithium-ion battery. Once ready, the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC provide 16 hours of playback, nine hours of talk time, and 14 days of standby time. That’s right, these can self-sustain for an entire Shakespearean fortnight. When active noise-cancelling is on though, the battery is undercut to 10.5 hours of playback time. To get a battery readout, just hold the power switch up for two seconds.
Reliant solely on Bluetooth 4.1, a 3.5mm headphone jack isn’t an option here. Clear voice prompts make the initial and subsequent pairing processes a cake walk. It takes all but ten seconds, max, to complete. Plantronics sensibly enabled SBC and Qualcomm’s aptX Bluetooth codecs. This is ideal for hitch-free communication, as the aptX codec is low latency, removing perceptible audio-visual lag.
If you value stable connectivity before all else, Plantronics is the brand to keep tabs on.
Again, Class 1 Bluetooth range allows for up to 98 feet of movement. This works vertically and laterally, as I made sure to roam the putrefied stairwells of my apartment complex while testing the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC. Unlike other Bluetooth headsets, these, as the Pinterest platitude goes, “keep on keeping on” no matter the physical barrier. The nine other Bluetooth-enabled devices in my apartment also failed to pose an issue for the Voyager 6200 UC. Plantronics, props to you.
How about those mics?
Just like the infallible “first date, shoulder counting” trick, there are 1-2-3… 4 of them. The omnidirectional placement optimizes your voice and mitigates superfluous ambience. Initially, I was excited to use these; however, in a blind test, I was unable to tell the difference between the Bose On-Ear Wireless and the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC microphones. Bose uses a dual-mic setup, so there seems to be the disappointing issue of diminishing returns regarding mic quantity.
Multipoint technology—what does it do and how does it benefit an office?
It allows for the simultaneous connecting of two devices and pairing of up to eight, which sounds like overkill… until you remember that we’re in the Golden Age of Bluetooth. Naturally, it comes in handy when switching between the collection of company-provided and personal electronics.
Though the option for eight pairings is great, the most frequently used feature is the ability to simultaneously connect to two devices. Even as someone who works remotely from just a personal laptop and cellphone, switching optimizes workflow and efficiency. I no longer waste time trying to manually connect my devices to no avail.
Auditory masking is when our perception of sound is limited by other sounds.
Designed to be a versatile headset, the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC earphones can “go beyond the office.” Back in my hometown, where the noise level of the local commuter train easily rivals that of an underground rave, the headset is okay. As we’ll get into further down, the active noise-cancelling tames low frequencies with ease but falters with sharper sounds, such as the human voice. Passive noise isolation, however, performs rather well, assuming that you take a couple of minutes to find the appropriately sized ear tips.
With active noise-cancelling on, the sound quality dramatically improves. Though we could get lost in the thick of it, the gist is this: auditory masking is when our perception of sound is limited by other sounds. See, our brains only reserve so much bandwidth for auditory processing, so when we’re surrounded by noise, “unimportant” frequencies are filtered out. Thank evolution, because I’d much rather be able to hear a lion’s roar than a barista steaming milk.
How do the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC handle music?
Rather well. Sunday Candy by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment opens with a rhythmic, 80 bpm piano beat in the key of C Major. The Voyager 6200 UC appropriately separate major and minor keys, emphasizing the treble over the bass. The Voyager does a fine job reproducing trumpets without overpowering Jamila Woods and Chance’s harmonies in the gospel-reminiscent ballad.
For those without the time to listen to Sunday Candy, it’s an instrumentally busy song. The Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC careen through the overlapping claps, brass horns, piano, vocals, and percussion without creating musical bedlam. The treble is occasionally exaggerated as demonstrated by ringing chimes in the chorus.
As one would expect, vocals shine through in the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC sound signature. The song culminates to create unity between Woods, Chance, and the collective choir, and the earphones’ reproduction of the final bars are gorgeous. Chance’s voice appropriately echoes the choir without latency, and the reverberations act as a vocal transition into the following lyrics, rather than providing a delayed reproduction.
Active noise-cancelling or attempted noise-cancelling?
As we headphone enthusiasts know, active noise-cancelling technology can be hit or miss. On cheaper models, audio receives a lazy volume boost with a half-hearted attempt at blocking out ambient noise. That said, the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC’s performance is interesting. Their ability to lower an airplane engine’s roar to a low rumble is awesome. In fact, the headset’s general handling of low frequencies is superior to any active noise-cancelling that I’ve used. Unfortunately, there’s a “but.” There’s always a “but.”
But the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC are pushed as an office workhorse, and they can’t lower frequencies higher than a standard office air conditioner. Office chatter easily permeates the active noise-cancelling sound barrier. And if you find yourself seated adjacent to unruly children on a four-and-a-half-hour flight to L.A.—ha—just pop a Dramamine and call it a day.
If the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC were only available at their original price of $299, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend them. Fortunately, the price has since dropped nearly a whole Benjamin, making them worth it. Though the active noise-cancelling struggles to disarm daily chatter, it does a great job reducing room ambience, like air conditioners, refrigerators, and printers that hum in the key of E Major.
Extras aside, the dependable connectivity alone is enough to warrant purchasing this headset.
Again, if you’re an office manager with the financial liberty to outfit your office with the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC, their compatibility with Skype for Business, Plantronics Hub, and—if you’re willing to shell out cash—Plantronics Manager Pro make these the pick for office productivity. Extras aside, the dependable connectivity alone is enough to warrant purchasing this headset. And for the John Doe office worker, these are a great investment as well. The earphones—though there’s room for improvement with higher frequency noise-cancelling—are a splendid two-in-one option that performs well in a multitude of environments.