Santa Cruz CA-based audio communications vendor Plantronics has announced the Voyager 5200 and Voyager 5200 UC, the newest models in their Voyager line of noise cancelling phones aimed at people on the go. While the 5200 is the consumer model, the 5200 UC is the commercial one, aimed at a specific subset of the road warrior market.
“The Voyager 5200 looks a lot like the Legend but it is a new product within the Voyager family, which, has its own unique focus,” said Lars Ahntholz, Manager of Marketing Communications and Program at Plantronics. “The Legend has been the workhorse and number one seller, but it is really for mobile people with more of a regular routine. The Legend is for people who tend to move through more predictable places where they take calls. It’s these people who have more irregular and unpredictable environments that the 5200 is aimed at.”
“A recent study by Citrix said that more than 60 per cent of people now work outside of the office, and a subset of those will sometimes find themselves in very demanding and very noisy environments,” said Robert Manassero, Product Marketing Manager at Plantronics. “Not only is this distracting, but it can hurt your professional persona when you have to talk on the phone.”
Accordingly, the 5200 and 5200 UC are more ‘rugged’ than the Legend. While the Legend has four levels of Windsmart technology to reduce wind and noise, and three microphones, the 5200s have six levels of Windsmart and four microphones.
“These make the 5200 more ideal for people in changing environments like field workers or commercial drivers, who are professionals at what they do, but who don’t necessarily have an office to go to,” Ahntholz said.
“In addition to the increase in the number of Windsmart levels and mics, there is a major change in how everything is incorporated,” Manassero stated. “There are major things that are different in the product. This includes the way the mics sit along the boom, and the way the new proprietary wind-cancelling algorithm works to mitigate wind noise and background noise.” The aerodynamic boom lets wind slide past without creating turbulence, while the boom’s windscreen acts as the first layer of protection for the mics. Each mic is then further sheltered in a ‘wind box.’
“We also learned from customers about the Legend, and made some changes from this one,” Manassero added. “We repositioned the microphone buttons on the top, and moved the button on the boom to activate the single touch mute system.” There are three different layers of failsafe to alleviate ‘mute anxiety’ – fear of talking with mute on while being unaware of the fact – including a dynamic mute alert which gives you a voice prompt if you try to speak while on mute.”
Significant changes have also been made to the case, Manassero said.
“The old one was more of a plastic hard shell, while this one has a grippy surface,” he said. “We also listened to requests and have enabled the case to charge the headset through a micro USB. No proprietary charging cables are required.”
“The 5200 also has smart sensors in it, so it’s aware if its being worn, so it can do a better job with call routing,” Ahntholz said. “For example, putting it on your ear will answer an incoming call, and taking it off will reject a call. This further improves overall user experience.”
“It is also able to wirelessly update firmware, which is new for Voyager,” Manassero said. “IT is now okay with people controlling and updating their firmware themselves, and this ensures they are capable of updating it.”
Other notable features are, in conformance with several other Plantronics products, a Bluetooth range of 30 meters or 98 feet, three times the standard range of 10 meters or 36 feet. A mobile phone app also will ‘find’ a misplaced headset by sending an audible tone to it.
Voyager 5200 is available in the U.S. now and worldwide starting in July2016. Voyager 5200 UC will be available in the U.S. in May and worldwide in July. With the consumer product, the headset and charging case are sold separately, and are typically bundled with the UC commercial product. The commercial product lists for $USD 219.99.