Plantronics broadens headset use cases with three new series

The newly announced ones are the 4200 UC, aimed at the ‘corridor warrior,’ and the Savi 8200, which extends the range of the line that supports deskphones, mobile phones and PCs. They also recently announced the Elara 60 series, which is a mobile phone station.

The Savi 8220, part of the 8200 series

Audio productivity vendor Plantronics has announced three new headset series. The company targets its offerings to very specific use cases, to best fit individual environments. Two are being announced today. The new Voyager 4200 UC is aimed at the ‘corridor warrior,’ knowledge workers who want a more mobile option than their old corded phone, but who don’t need the full noise absorbing capabilities of the Voyager 5200, designed for people outside the office much of the time. The Savi 8200 is an extended range version of the Savi line, which provides multi-device connectivity that allows management of desk phone. PC, and mobile phone calls. Finally, the Plantronics Elara 60 Series, is a new category – a mobile phone station, rather than a headset – which was announced last month at Ignite. It features native support.

Plantronics designs its phones to fit very defined personas with set use cases, and these new models are consistent in that respect.

“While the Voyager 5200 series is for the mobile professional in and out of the office, the Voyager 4200 UC is more for office calls, the ‘corridor warrior’ market,” said Gavin Sear, Manager Global Product Marketing at Plantronics. “It’s really aimed at upgrades from corded phones, particularly as it isn’t a replacement for any cordless line. It is reacting to the trend for more mobility, even within the office walls, where wireless connectivity has become more important.”

While the Voyager 5200 is designed for immersive sounds so the user in a typical open environment like the street or an airport can conduct a call undisrupted by background noise, the Voyager 4200 UC is targeted at knowledge workers who don’t need the same amount of insularity.

“It is designed so you can hear what’s going on around you in the office, and gives an option of a single augmented reality headset so you can hear people, and don’t bump into anyone,” Sear said.

Sear noted that the Voyager 4200 UC also has features that aren’t really designed for the mobile warrior.

“It is our first headset with the for Business Open Office certification, and it comes with a long boom that you wouldn’t want to wear outside the office,” he said.

The Voyager 4200 UC series headset is also being sold at a very aggressive price point – to encourage customers to retire their cordless devices. They are available for order now, and will be shipping at the end of October.

The Savi 8200 is the other new series announced today. The Savi series is designed for multi-device connectivity with a base system that allows management of desk phone. PC, and mobile phone calls.

“The Savi 8200 is an extension to the Savi line, and not a replacement for anything,” Sear said. “It has an exended range of 590 feet to allow for roaming from the desk. It has also been enhanced with a stereo design, giving a choice of single ear mono, or stereo. We sell a lot of Savi into contact centres.”

The Savi 8200 Series also  include Active Noise Cancellation and a new close conversation-limiting feature to keep voices of co-workers in the office from being part of a conversation.

Both the Savi 8200 and Voyager 4200 headsets integrate with Plantronics Manager Pro, a subscription that is sold separately which enables central management and provisioning of these headsets with updates and new capabilities, and also provides data analytics on device usage.

The Savi 8200 Series headsets are available now.

The third new product, the Plantronics Elara 60 Series, was introduced several weeks ago at the Microsoft Ignite event. It is a new category of productivity solution – the mobile phone station – designed for the increasingly mobile-first worker.  The Microsoft connection is a native Microsoft Teams collaboration capability.

“Plantronics Elara is a mobile phone with desk phone-like capabilities, including headset, speakerphone, and handset options,” said Robert Manassero, Global Product Marketing Manager, New Business Models, at Plantronics. “It is designed for the mobile-first user, for people who use it for primary form of communication, but have been dissatisfied with mobile falling short in some places – battery life, keyboard with touch, or a speaker phone for collaboration. This is what the Elara 60 series solves. It wirelessly charges the phone, has a built-in dial pad, headset integration and native integration with Microsoft Teams.”

Manassero stressed that it isn’t a glorified dock.

‘We made sure that we aren’t just creating a dock here,” he said. It uses all the communication from the phone, allows for much simpler deployment and has deeper conversation reporting analytics with our software. It’s a much bigger story than a dock.”

The Elara 60 series will come in four models for different use cases, with three being wireless charging and one wired.

“It is in early access now and will ship in early 2019,” Manassero said. “We have had a very positive response to this since we introduced it at Ignite and many orders are coming in. The big problem will be filling all the orders, but it’s a good problem to have.”

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