Bluetooth headsets of the past had one purpose – to liberate your hands while on a call. This proved essential for many professions because it allowed you to continue on a task while taking important calls. You could type and talk, game and gab, chat and drive. However, if you wanted to send a text message or an email, you'd have to stop whatever you were doing, pull out your phone and type in your message. The Plantronics Voyager Legend takes the hands-free philosophy to the next level.
Bundled with the Vocalyst app, you can use your voice to compose text messages and emails or post updates to social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. In addition, you can use your voice to control your phone and other Bluetooth compatible multimedia devices. Combine this comprehensive hands-free performance with the best battery life, a moisture resistant coating and great audio with triple-mic noise reduction technology and the Plantronics Voyager Legend is clearly the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner for the best Bluetooth headset.
When considering a Bluetooth headset, sound quality is paramount for both you and the person on the other end. On your end of the call, the Plantronics Voyager Legend uses a 15.4 mm wideband audio driver. With wideband audio, you'll hear a natural and clear voice because the frequencies that the driver reproduces are much closer to the frequency range of the human voice. This means that the audio has rich lows and shiny highs to complement the mid-range frequencies for high-definition audio.
The audio quality for the person on the other end of the call is a lot more complicated. Plantronics uses a three-microphone system with an internal 21-band equalizer to remove background noise. We tested this noise cancelling technology by carrying a conversation next to a busy street with a breeze. During an hour-long conversation while standing next to a busy road, the person on the other end never once complained about the noise. In fact, he was shocked to learn that the whole conversation occurred next to noisy traffic.
After audio quality comes the interface – how you answer, ignore and end calls. Most Bluetooth headsets require you to hit a button on the device to answer, end or ignore a call. The Voyager Legend has smart sensors that automatically answer incoming calls when you put the headset on and ends the call when you take it off. However, you can turn this feature off if you prefer to manually answer and end calls by pressing the Call button on the boom microphone.
If you wear the headset all day, the Voyager Legend will read out the caller's name, as long as the number is in your contact list. If the caller isn't in your contact list, the headset reads out the number. If you want to answer the call, you just have to say "Answer Call." If you want to ignore the call, you say "Ignore Call." The same goes for ending a call – "End Call."
However, these voice commands are just scratching the surface of what you can do with a headset that has the Hand-Free Bluetooth Profile. HFP gives you a lot of control over accessing the various functions of your phone through voice commands from your headset. Additional Bluetooth profiles – A2DP for music streaming and AVRCP for interacting with multimedia devices – allow you to use voice commands to control any device paired with your headset.
The Voyager Legend comes with the Vocalyst mobile app so you can vocally compose text messages, emails, status updates, reminders and text documents. You simply talk and it converts what you say to text for a totally hands-free mobile experience. The app can also read aloud your incoming texts, emails, twitter feed, status updates and favorite news articles. Combining the Vocalyst app with voice commands means the only time you'll need to touch your phone is when you plug it into a charger.
The Plantronics Voyager Legend has the best battery in our review. With seven hours of continuous talk time and 11 days of stand-by time, you can almost talk through an entire workday without recharging. In addition, the hour-and-a-half recharge time is the shortest charge time we tested.
The range for this headset rates at 33 feet, the most common range for Bluetooth 3.0. We found the rating to be accurate in terms of connection. However, the audio quality started to drop significantly after 18-20 feet.
The Voyager Legend's design is bulkier than other Bluetooth headsets with most of the weight placed in an over-ear hook that resembles a hearing aid. At 0.63 ounces, it's the heaviest headset in our review. However, because most of this weight is on the backside of the over-ear hook, you never have to worry about it falling off. It has one of the best fits for a Bluetooth headset.
The boom microphone adjusts up to 140 degrees. A pivot near the base of the speaker allows you to swivel the earpiece from one side to the other so you can wear the Voyager Legend on either ear. It also comes with three different sized ear buds so you can find the best fit.
One of the comfort features that makes this the best Bluetooth headset is the P2i nano-coating, a military grade, water resistant coating that protects this headset from moisture like sweat and rain. This is the best Bluetooth headset for taking calls on an afternoon walk through a downpour during rush hour.
For protection and on-the-go charging, you can purchase a charging case. This case acts as both easy and secure storage and a mobile charging unit. A battery in the case holds an additional 21 hours of talk time for your device. This is great if you spend your day on the move. When your headset starts to run low, you don't have to hunt for an outlet where you'll have to camp out until it charges. Instead, you just place it in the case and it charges as you go.
The smart sensors coupled with voice commands makes this the easiest headset to use. Pairing the headset with a phone is as easy as telling your phone to search for Bluetooth devices. There isn't any setup or installation. Once the device pairs to your phone, you can take or receive calls, give voice commands to stream music and more. The most difficult aspect of using this headset is remembering the voice commands, but these are quickly mastered.
Plantronics' product support is extensive. The support page includes helpful downloads, an online community of other users, a glossary of terms, PDFs of user manuals and a FAQs page. If you can't find the answer to your question or issue, you can talk directly to customer support or send them a message. The customer support team promises to respond to your questions or concerns by the next business day; however, each time we sent them messages, we received a response within a few hours. The only support option missing from the Plantronics website is online chat. This is disappointing because online chat is the easiest and most discreet way to communicate with support representatives in real time.
The Plantronics Voyager Legend is the best Bluetooth headset because it combines high-quality audio and noise cancellation with the most comprehensive hand-free control. With moisture protection and a secure over-ear fit, you don't have to worry about missing your important calls.
High-definition wideband audio and noise cancellation allow you to have clear conversations even in noisy environments. Voice commands and the Vocalyst app make for a comprehensive hands-free Bluetooth experience.
The device is bigger than most headsets.
The Plantronics Voyager Legend is the best Bluetooth headset because it combines high-quality audio on both ends of a phone call, comprehensive hands-free control over multiple devices and moisture protection from sweat or rain.