Testing headphones for Teams use: Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC

I have written a few headset tests earlier:

Poly / Plantronics headsets had been missing from my personal hands-on experience but I had heard lots of good about them. When I finally got my hands on to one set a month ago I decided to give it good testing time. Due to world situation (Corona-virus) I wasn’t traveling but working from home gave me good experience how Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC headset relates to Jabra Elite 85h. They are similar in build and share the purpose.

Voyager 8200 UC and Jabra Elite 85h

A short comparison list:

Voyager 8200 UCJabra Elite 85h
Battery promise20-24 hours (apparently ANC off)36 hours ANC ON, 41 hours ANC OFF
ChargingMicro-USBUSB-C
Get 5 hours with 15 minutes charge time
Charge time: 2.5 hours
Microphones4 (two dual-pairs used for ANC & calling ANC)8 (6 used to calling noise cancellation, 4 used to ANC)
DongleYesNot included (get one from different Jabra headset or buy separately)
Bluetooth4.15.0

Of course there are a lot more of features on both headsets. In short if you work from home they both work. The ANC works like it is supposed to. You want to install the Plantronics Hub for Voyagers and Jabra Direct for Elites to keep your headset up to date and connected.

What I didn’t do with Voyager is a connection to my mobile phone. This made this headset actually more reliable out of these two – these haven’t failed me once so far while I have had some issues with Jabra Elite 85h. However, I have identified is that since I keep on switching between both devices Jabra eventually gets into a state where it & Teams needs a reboot. I don’t have this issue with Voyagers but on the other hand I don’t use it in a same scenario and make it easier for the headset to have only one connection.

The user interface of Voyager is again a new one for me. Instead of lots of soft and small buttons it does have a physical power on/off and other buttons. Read the manual. I really like the way Jabra’s power on/off is when I twist the cups to sides compared to “old style” physical power slider. I keep forgetting to either turn these headsets on or off. Setting ANC level is easy, but using any of these headsets requires me always to take off headset and look what the controls are.

Voyager has a super-quick sensors for determining if the headset is in use or not. When I take off headsets the Spotify pauses very quickly.

And finally – Voyagers are extremely comfortable to wear. I had them on for TeamsFest which meant I had them on around 12 hours with short breaks between sessions. Headset didn’t get any sweat on cups and I no issues wearing them all day.

My cons of Voyager 8200 UC

While these are a really great headsets there are still “features” that are not into my liking. Listing a few important ones for me:

  • Real usage battery time is roughly 12 hours with ANC on. It barely lasted to the end of TeamsFest and was warning me about running out of battery. I didn’t expect this short real use time. This alone is one reason why these won’t be my traveling headsets.
    For comparison: Jabra Elite 85h lasts for me between 20 and 30 hours, I haven’t had a need to push it to the limits and record time. 20+ real time usage hours is what I am really happy with (with 15 min quick charge adding several hours of usage time).
    During normal working days this usage time means I have to remember to plug Voyager to charging at the end of the day.
  • Flashing dongle. Yep, it pulsates. Yes, it is really annoying. Luckily I was able to plug it into my Surface Dock USB and hide it behind screen. However the light indicator then lost purpose (muted or not).
  • Micro-USB charging. This is a yet another reason for my why this wouldn’t be my traveling set. My phone and table are both USB-C devices and I would have to switch to different cable if I wanted to charge these. And these do need more charging than other headsets.

Microsoft Teams and Voyager 8200 UC

I used headset mainly for two purposes: Teams meetings and listening to music. For Teams meetings these worked flawlessly. As I stated earlier I didn’t have ANY hickups with these but I don’t have Voyagers connected to my mobile phone either.

When using Dongle the connection works very well and I can even work around at home a bit. Roaming range isn’t 30 meters but it covers some other rooms. Use of dongle is recommended – and it was easy to switch between different headsets: take off one dongle, plug in another.

Nobody was saying any complains about my voice when I was in Teams meetings using Voyagers. Background noise was also well enough filtered out.

Voyagers are Skype for Business certified but in real use with Teams they work very well.

Some positives & overall

Voyager came with a pouch instead of a hard case (like Jabra). Pouch won’t protect them as well, but it also weights less and doesn’t that that much space. There is also a zipper pouch that can be used to carry cables (Micro-USB & audio cable), instructions and the dongle.

It is super-easy to see which is the Right and which is the Left cup when you are putting these on.

I was very happy how Voyagers sounded from music to meetings. Listening to my own TeamsFest session I noticed that the voice was different compared to some webinars where I used Jabra Elite 85h. It was like a bit muffled / more deep. However, this can the result of packaging and are not directly comparable. Both sound excellent but different.

I didn’t test the headset outside at all, so this review should be thought from “home/office worker” perspective.

Voyager 8200 UC is a great headset with few cons that may or may not matter to everyone. Over-the-ear structure is great and it super-comfortable to wear 10+ hours – beating even Jabra Elite 85h in comparison. Battery life and some details make Voyagers feel a bit old-fashioned compared to super-modern Elite. .

I got Voyager 8200 UC headset from Plantronics Finland for testing. There wasn’t a requirement to write a blog post about these but of course I wanted to share my experiences.

4 thoughts on “Testing headphones for Teams use: Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC

  1. Great info – thanks! I’m a big fan of Jabra but see many colleagues using the Plantronic 8200 UC, or maybe we should say Poly now when they have merged. I however wonder if the Jabra 75 boom mic makes any difference on filtering out noise arround you into the meeting since many of us work in an open office, coffeehouse etc.

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    1. Most likely it does a big difference – especially on noisy environments – since the headset “knows” it’s mic is close to mouth -> it can filter out other noises more effectively. I have tested Jabra Elite 85h (no boom mic, but it uses multiple mics) in more difficult places and it has worked extremely well there. As I only used Voyager at home so far I can’t tell how it performs in a really noisy place like cafeteria.

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