Plantronics Voyager 510S

8 Nov 2005

Product: Bluetooth office headset
Price: €299 excl Vat
Here’s the breaking news: Plantronics, the headset maker that helped put a man on the moon is now in the healthcare business, whether it knows it or not. The company’s new Voyager 510S Bluetooth office headset has done more in two days for one of the most-lamented journalistic ailments, neck and back ache from crooking a phone in your neck during interviews, than a physiotherapist or chiropractor.

And apart from easing the life of a typical office worker, the company has pushed out the boundaries of technology even further.

The Plantronics Voyager 510S Bluetooth office headset effectively enables users to make and take calls from their desk phone via a wireless Bluetooth headset – so no more crooking handsets on your shoulder or trying to unravel phone cables. And because it is Bluetooth technology you can also take calls from your mobile phone.

The system comprises the Voyager 510S Bluetooth headset and a base unit that Bluetooth enables any desk telephone whilst also charging the headset. When paired with a mobile phone, calls can be taken from the landline or the mobile phone using a single headset.

The headset is extremely comfortable for all-day wearing, offers good sound quality and a noise-cancelling microphone for clearer voice transmission. The swivel boom allows use on either ear and folds away for easy storage. It offers up to six hours’ talktime and 100 hours’ stand-by time and weighs only 15 grammes.

I had the Plantronics Voyager 510S in my desk drawer for two days because of an initial reservation about trying to set it up without interfering with the phone system. My fears were unfounded. Within five minutes of opening the box the system was up and running and I was making and taking calls from both my desk and mobile phones like a child with a new toy.

The device worked very well during calls – everything was crystal clear – and the base station that can be hooked into the headset is a nice touch. You can wear the headset all day and when you leave in the evening continue to wear it when driving home to take calls on your mobile. So in effect you never really leave the office. Within the office the headset has a range of about 30 feet from the base station, which means you can wander anywhere in the building, attend meetings and still answer your desk phone.

It is hard to find anything negative to say about this device, except for a criticism I have of all Bluetooth headsets – a slight volume awareness of a machine running all the time, similar to a TV that’s on with the volume down. It’s a little distracting at first but you get used to it in no time.

In conclusion, the Plantronics Voyager 510S is a major step ahead for the company and affords instant flexibility and productivity benefits to both users and organisations that decide to deploy it. And, quite possibly, it could contribute to a reduction in claims by office workers complaining of chronic neck and back pain.

By John Kennedy