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TsooRad is a blog for John Weber. John is a Skype for Business MVP (2015-2016) - before that, a Lync Server MVP (2010-2014). My day job is titled "Technical Lead, MS UC" - I work with an awesome group of people at CDW, LLC. I’ve been at this gig in one fashion or another since 1988 - starting with desktops (remember Z-248’s?) and now I am in Portland, Oregon. I focus on collaboration and infrastructure. This means Exchange of all flavors, Skype, LCS/OCS/Lync, Windows, business process, and learning new stuff. I have a variety of interests - some of which may rear their ugly head in this forum. I have a variety of certifications dating back to Novell CNE and working up through the Microsoft MCP stack to MCITP multiple times. FWIW, I am on my third career - ex-USMC, retired US Army. I have a fancy MBA. One of these days, I intend to start teaching. The opinions expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone.

2015/03/09

Plantronics Voyager Edge UC

Optimized for Lync does not always mean optimized for your usage patterns, the size of your ear canal, or even how the buttons work with your fickle fingers.

You may need to try out quite a few to find what works for you.  Or, you can just trust me to guide you through the Bluetooth earpiece minefield.  After all, how I use my Bluetooth device is how everyone should be using it, yes?  And my ears and fingers are clearly the reference standard for all 6+ billion consumers on this planet. 

Well, they should be.  My momma says I am special.  My SO says my momma meant it the other way ‘round, but I am ever hopeful.

Into my life comes this Plantronics Voyager Edge UC, Optimized for Lync, and either a replacement for, or perhaps a new twist on my favorite, go to Bluetooth device, the Voyager Legend UC.

image

Last week I had something else plugged into my ear and into my work laptop (and Lync).  For the coming week I will be using the Voyager Edge UC.

Here is the official market-speak and feature set.

There is also some software that purports to be Lync/Skype compatible…

Software-enabled functionality

With Plantronics Hub, get the added value of:

  • Call control across multiple softphones
  • Battery meter conveniently displays headset battery life remaining in PC icon tray
  • Headset control panel allows for customization of settings, including call notification and related options
  • UC presence automatically updated when on a call; not only on PC calls, but also when on mobile calls (Microsoft Lync and Skype only)

Well, it does all that true enough.  I won’t ever use that stuff, but it might be the deciding factor for you.

SfB Link previously known as the Lync Link.

Inserting the USB dongle into my USB hub resulted in near-instantaneous connection.  There was some momentary confusion because my Calisto 620 also has a BT-300C-M dongle. 

image

But, the sharp-eyed reader will note the icons are subtly different – not to mention they have different name designations.  And you have to know that being SfB (Lync) kinda guy, I sat there in a call flipping back and forth between devices just to prove I could (and SfB could) do it.  After that period of insanity, things were copacetic and worked as expected.

Pairing

You can pair this earpiece to your computer and the phone at the same time.  Slick Willy never had it so good.

Battery Life

Only 6 hours.  Hmmmph.  If you talk for 6 straight hours, I suggest that you start looking for work as a talk show host. Me?  Being a tad more normal, I am more concerned with standby time, and getting a few conference calls worked into the day – and this unit seems to last well enough for that.  In a nod to the product team, there is only so much you can do to fit a battery into a device of this size.

Audio Quality

Audio Quality is standard Plantronics; that means it was well above acceptable if not setting the standard.

Controls

I think I am seeing a trend in the “ear-device” marketplace where everyone is trying to cram as much functionality as possible into a smaller package.  If it was up to me, I would  stick with a bit bigger size, and a bit bigger controls.  Having said that, all the controls worked as advertised.  I like the mute feature – nothing like getting yourself muted and the other end is none the wiser.  Makes getting coffee much easier.

Downloadable Software

Once paired with my iPhone, the AppStore offered me the Plantronics Hub software.  Handy.  And it sort of works.  I am not too much on fiddling with the settings – most times the defaults work just fine for me.  However, I can see where some of these changes could be for the better if that is your bent.  Should you really want to get fancy, you can download the Plantronics Hub software from here for your workstation/laptop.  2 of my other testers liked the options offered by the download.

Conclusions

I have to say that I will not be using this device in the future.  I found the controls difficult, and the fit in my ear was not the greatest.  However, in fairness, I passed this device to three other testers, and they all liked it.  So, it must be me, as usual, swimming upstream.

YMMV

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