The Voyager 835 isn't Plantronics' first noise-canceling headset, but it's the first to sport dual microphones, which in addition to other technologies are meant to deliver clearer sound to callers on both ends of the line. For a slightly better price than its competitors (namely, theAliph Jawbone), this device offers good noise-canceling performance and boasts more-versatile charging options.
Design and Fit
Although it represents a milestone in Plantronics' line, the Voyager 835 has a lower-profile look than some of its siblings, such as the.Audio 920. Instead of a tapered, gunmetal body, the Voyager 835 has a rectangular shape, rounded edges, and is made of shiny black plastic. On the front is a pairing button set off by fine grooves, with the company logo on top. In practice, the button felt stiff when we used it to answer and end calls.
The headset has a metal rim, including two volume buttons and dual mics (one at the end of the boom, the other about halfway down). While far from ugly, it doesn't look the part of a high-end headset, as the Aliph Jawbone andMotorola Motopure H12do.
The Voyager 835 has a clear plastic hook that rotates to hug the ear, and a lip-shaped inner earpiece. Oddly, Plantronics doesn't include additional hooks or earbuds. That said, the headset felt comfortable in the ear. And what the Voyager 835 lacks in customizable ear pieces, it makes up for in charging options; it comes with an AC adapter and a car charger.
Plantronics uses a three-pronged approach to minimize the racket around you: in addition to the dual mics, which are used to separate your voice from ambient sounds, the Voyager 835 employs a proprietary DSP algorithm, called AudioIQ, which eliminates background noise and adjusts the volume of incoming sound. Finally, WindSmart technology works to cancel wind noise.
Both indoors and out, the volume was perfect on our end; just loud enough, but not uncomfortably so. When we placed calls from a quiet room and a busy sidewalk, our caller could hear us well. But when we called from outdoors, she found the background noise distracting. In contrast, when we made calls using the Jawbone--our Editors' Choice-winning noise-canceling headset--our callers said we sounded clearer and that she heard much less background noise.
Battery Life and Range
The Voyager 835 has a range of 33 feet. Although the connection was patchy by the time we got to 33 feet, we were still able to understand our caller. All told, we were able to walk about 45 feet away from the phone before our connection became completely garbled.
This headset has a rated talk time of 5 hours, which is pretty standard for a Bluetooth headset (the Jawbone has a rated talk time of 5.5 hours). On our tests, we left the headset on for an afternoon and overnight, and we were still able to use it the next day.
Plantronics Voyager 835 Verdict
In absolute terms, the Aliph Jawbone is still the best when it comes to removing unwanted sounds, and it has more style. However, Plantronics' Voyager 835 is sturdier and still offers good noise-canceling abilities. And when you consider that its list price is $10 less than the Jawbone and it includes a car charger, the value proposition is pretty good for people more likely to talk while driving.