One of the most significant tasks I have undertaken as my new role as an IT Manager has been upgrading my company’s outdated and underpowered telecom systems. After advancing both our internal and external ticketing/email systems with Zendesk, as well as building an entirely new VoIP network with 8×8, finding the hardware to accompany the freshly installed software was my next goal. As our company’s customer service department is one of the most vital sections of our multi-million dollar business, I needed to find a headset which would help take our customer interactions to the next level.
After spending many months reading reviews, testing products, and comparing prices, I finally found a headset which satisfies my somewhat particular requirements: the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth USB Headset. Our customer service agents are on the phone the entire day, taking calls, and placing orders in a loud and busy environment; due to this, they needed a headset which would reduce outside interference, connect to their PC, desk phone, and smartphone, and have the sound quality necessary to facilitate customer interactions in even the most difficult situations. The Voyager Focus headset features excellent stereo audio, high-quality noise cancellation, a boom mic, excellent battery life, and after a long shift, you forget you are even wearing it.
The headset market is saturated with low-production cost/high-priced products like the Beats headphones, which could be produced for as little as $14. The Plantronics Voyager Focus headset is an entirely different animal, built with high-quality materials and designed in a way that flexes its style and performance. Featuring a black and silver color scheme with red accents, the Focus UC utilizes a swinging 2-inch boom mic, which in turn, allows this headset to be reversible. My favorite aspect of the design of the Focus UC is how you control it. The voice-command button is easy to access on one of the earcups, and the other offers music control buttons and a volume rocker. As somewhat of a large person, I was worried about the inability to locate a headset which fit all head sizes. Thankfully, the Focus UC can accommodate many ear shapes and hairstyles, as well offer the user an unparallel level of comfort with its padded headband and earcups (which somehow don’t mess up my hair).
Finally, while the Focus UC isn’t foldable, it does fit neatly in the provided neoprene pouch. Also, the Focus UC allows for two paired devices at the same time, features a 30 ft. range before quality drops, and can hold its charge for around 12 hours. Speaking of charging, the Focus UC includes a USB-powered cradle that can plug into your PC or any USB charger, or via a micro USB cable.
While the main job of the Focus UC for us might be dealing with customer calls, I absolutely love the sound quality of these devices while playing music or games. I have yet to hear any distortion even while listening to bass-heavy EDM at max volume (don’t judge me). Plantronics is well known for its noise cancelation; this was proven to me within a few minutes of using the Focus UC. During the first time I used the headset, I merely flipped the ‘active noise cancellation’ switch, and the loud world around me faded into the abyss. The boom microphone performs flawlessly and also has a button to decrease its interference from outside noise.
Similar to all wireless headsets, the performance still isn’t what it is like when compared to wired headsets; however, the Focus UC still delivered a fantastic experience. The only complaint I have is the lack of a wired option. The Focus UC also has ‘smart sensors’ which will automatically pause your music when you take it off and resume when you put them back on (pretty cool, I must admit). Finally, the ‘dynamic mute alert’ of the Focus UC, like its name suggests, senses and alerts you when talk while the device is muted.
Overall, I was so pleased with the first Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth USB headset I bought, that I decided to purchase them for most of the company; although they have an MSRP at around $299.99, I found much cheaper sources. While somewhat costly, the Focus UC provides our customer service agents with the tools they need to succeed, and more importantly, delivers hard bass and clear highs to my music while I work (just kidding). Feel free to check out the product here.
Image and Content: Plantronics. (2019). “Voyager Focus UC”. Retrieved from https://www.plantronics.com/be/en/product/voyager-focus-uc.