Hong Kong Tech Phooey

a tech junkie from Hong Kong

Unboxing and Review on the Plantronics Voyager 855


855a.jpg

Further to my last post, Plantronics Voyager 855AIQ iPod Limited Edition (works for iPhone too), I finally got hold of the Plantronics Voyager 855AIQ Bluetooth headset.  Will be showing some unboxing pics and share with you all some of my insights after using it for 36 hours.

The specification

Weight: 15 grams with stereo cable
Pairing: QuickPair™ technology for one-touch initial pairing
Controls: Volume, microphone mute, call answer /end, voice-activated dialing, last number redial1, track forward/back, pause/play
Range: Up to 33 feet (10 meters)
Wireless Compatibility: Bluetooth (v2.0) + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) Compatible with most Bluetooth enabled phones from LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and others.
Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP Headset (HSP v1.1) and Hands-free (HFP v1.5)
Power: Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery
Battery life: Up to 7 hours talk time /6 hours stereo listening/160 hours standby time from a single charge

The parts

855b.jpg

Full set includes the quickstart guide, the USB charger, the AC charger, two sets of ear loop stabilizers (comes in 2 sizes), 4 pairs of ear buds (of different sizes as well), the headset itself, the stereo plug-in cable and a nice little pouch.

The headset

855j.jpg

Wearing method 1: without the ear loop stabilizer.  Since I’m so used to wearing these Bluetooth headset with the ear loop stabilizer attached to it, I was kind of afraid that if I didn’t, it would fall off pretty easily.  For the Voyager 855, since it comes with 4 different sizes of ear buds, once you find the pair that gives you the perfect fit, the Voyager 855 can actually be worn without the ear loop stabilizer and it fits pretty nicely.  Only downside, the voice will sound a bit muffled if the boom is not extended.

855f.jpg

The boom extended during call for optimal voice clarity.  By sliding the boom, you can receive or end a call and it does gives you that trekkie look.

855g.jpg

Wearing method 2: with the ear loop stabilizer.

The ear buds and the ear loop stabilizer

I mentioned that the ear buds and the ear loop stabilizers came in different sizes, let’s take a closer look.

855e.jpg

855d.jpg

The USB charger

855c.jpg

The USB charger is bendable and is really cool.

The audio sound quality

After trying it out on different genres of music, podcasts and video podcasts, I can say that the sound quality is not bad at all albeit the bass is a bit weak when listening to some of my rock tunes.  The vocals do stand out fairly well.

As for call quality, this is where we have been getting mixed reviews.  A number of local forums reported that when using the Voyager 855, the user can hear very well but the other party would find that the call quality unacceptable.  Well, I tried it out extensively yesterday in different testing environments such as the train station, the shopping mall and on the street and the results indicated that there are some static interferences experienced during calls; echo is a bit high and the wind noise reduction was basically non-existent.  Plantronics earlier models have windsmart technology (Voyager 510) or the windscreen (Voyager 520) but the Voyager 855 replaced that with the new AudioIQ noise reduction technology which is not quite up to standard according to the test results.  But when tested in a quiet environment such as the office, the echo is a bit less and the call quality improved. 

The conclusion?

Well, would I be recommending it?  The answer is I am not sure about it yet.  The design, the light weight and the comfort of wearing it are all major pluses but if a Bluetooth headset cannot perform its utmost important task, i.e. having decent call quality, I will put the decision on hold until more testings are conducted.  I will have to take a few more days testing it out with different phones and see if it is just a problem with the phones I used in terms of pairing and compatability (iPhone and HTC Touch used in testing).  Will report back so stay tuned. 

For more info on the Voyager 855, see the following link -

Data Sheet
User Guide

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December 12, 2007 - Posted by | Accessories, Bluetooth, Gadgets n Gizmos, Mobile Phone, Music, My Gears, Review | ,

14 Comments »

  1. I also have a 855AIQ and I use it with my 838Pro, the other party reported that the volume is too low, hard to hear what I said. I feel very down when they ask me to stop using this expensive handfree. I am thinking about should I go to the shop and ask for a replacement or send it back to distributor for repair.

    Comment by Cola | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  2. I fell you totally. Well, to start off, the headset you bought function both as a headset for phone calls and a stereo headset. The call quality may not be so good, but still usable. Unless there’s a return policy from where you got it, you’re pretty much stuck with it as I don’t think they can repair it (they see nothing wrong with it), just hope for a factory recall, LOL. As for a stereo headset, it functions pretty well, so it’s not a total loss.

    I was just using it during lunch just now, watching podcast over my iPhone and I really enjoy the light weight and comfort. For me the call quality although not exceptionally good, but ain’t that bad. I suspect it performs differently with different phones. Try it out with other Bluetooth phones.

    Comment by hongkongphooey | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  3. Can 855AIQ perform as both bluetooth handsfree and A2DP headset WITHOUT the attachment to the other earpiece (i.e. using the device stand alone)?

    Comment by MCfishfish | December 13, 2007 | Reply

  4. Yes you can use the Voyager 855 both as a handsfree and as a A2DP headset without the stereo plug in cable.

    Comment by hongkongphooey | December 13, 2007 | Reply

  5. Do you mean listen to the music with only the main body? Yes, it can, of coz you will lost the stereo.

    Comment by Cola | December 13, 2007 | Reply

  6. Today, I try pair it with my new G900, the call quality still bed, The Audio IQ seem not to lower the background noise but only lower my voice.

    Comment by Cola | December 13, 2007 | Reply

  7. Thanks. On the other hand, I am using the 665 AIQ with my TYTN II. Different model but the same AIQ technology. The party on the other side has no big complaint about the background noise when I am walking in the shopping mall but hardly to hear my voice. Hence I think the AIQ just lower the sound transmited. When I am driving, that’s perfect.

    Comment by MCfishfish | December 14, 2007 | Reply

  8. Hi
    I have a iphonw will this work with that, also will I be able to listen to music aswell?
    Thank You

    Comment by Mandip Sandhu | December 18, 2007 | Reply

  9. Yes if you get the iCombi AP21 to work with it.

    Comment by hongkongphooey | December 18, 2007 | Reply

  10. i searched everywhere but i cannot find the USB charger like yours anywhere. i can see that its a free gift.. but can you tell me .. if anyone wants to buy it .. where they can find it

    Comment by Burhan | July 20, 2008 | Reply

  11. Didn’t know the USB charger was a free gift, mine came as a package.

    Comment by hongkongphooey | July 20, 2008 | Reply

  12. [...] on.  As for headphones, I used my Bluetooth dongle (icombi AP21) most of the time together with my Plantronics Voyager 855 or Philips SHB7100 Bluetooth [...]

    Pingback by My iPhone 3G Review - Part 1 - The Lag « Hong Kong Tech Phooey | August 1, 2008 | Reply

  13. Have you found a company that sells replacement of the black foam earbuds?

    Comment by marc | September 26, 2008 | Reply

  14. [...] my iPhone 3Gs, been wanting to get a new pair of Bluetooth headset to listen to my podcasts as my Plantronics Voyager 855 finally gave up on me (the connection on the detachable earpiece cable worn off), though still work [...]

    Pingback by My Gears + Review – Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 on iPhone 3Gs « Hong Kong Tech Phooey | July 28, 2009 | Reply


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