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Plantronics Voyager 835
Of the Bluetooth headsets we tested for our latest roundup, the Plantronics Voyager 835 ($120 as of December 1, 2008) is nothing to write home about: Basically, it looks like a plain black stick in your ear. Despite its boring design, its clear plastic earhook clamps over my ear nicely, providing a secure fit.
The Voyager includes a single earbud cover, but I found this was a smidgen too big for my small ear canal. The cover does have a spout-like tip, which helped anchor it. And the earhook's solid feel made up for the one-size-doesn't-fit-all earbud.
To turn on the headset or to start or end a call, you press the call control button, which is a narrow indented portion on the unit. Easier said than done, however; I fumbled around trying to find it initially. Ditto for the volume buttons. One side of the headset houses the volume up and down controls; the tiny "plus" symbol is only slightly raised, with the down button (with no marker) below it. Once I became familiar with the buttons' precise locations, my experience improved. Plus, I liked the solid feedback I got when pressing them.
Unfortunately, during some calls, recipients had trouble hearing me. My voice sounded either far away or hollow; other times, my voice broke up a bit. Occasionally, my voice came through more clearly--but it was never as sharp as the quality from its cousin, the Discovery 925. On the plus side, background noise was not distracting.
The $120 Voyager comes with a car charger, a terrific extra, but the device is still pricey, considering the limitations of the overall package: No ear wear alternatives and no USB charger.
A final quibble: Nearly every time I secured the Voyager on my ear, I hit one of the volume buttons, and it beeped. Mildly annoying.
(For more on selecting the right headset for you, see our Bluetooth headset buying guide.)
Plantronics Voyager 835
This slightly more affordable headset in the Plantronics family includes a car charger, but has inconsistent audio quality.
- Easy switch from right to left ear
- In-car charger
- Call quality inconsistent
- No earbud, earhook replacements
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