Poly Voyager Surround 80 UC headset
Diskidee Performance Rating
Diskidee Price/Performance Rating
- Comfortable to wear
- Hearing protection
- Excellent speech quality
We tested the HP Poly Voyager Surround 80 UC, a stereo headset with six internal microphones and active noise cancellation that you wear over the ear. So no annoying microphone bracket… But does this ‘boomless’ design work well? We looked into it.
The Poly (formerly Plantronics) Voyager 80 UC headset looks like a stylish stereo headset and can of course also be used to listen to music, for example.
But it is first and foremost a wireless business headset, intended for use in unified communication (UC) applications and for chatting in Microsoft Teams, Zoom and the main other certified communication platforms.
What is striking is the absence of a microphone bracket or ‘boom’. Six microphones are simply integrated into the earcups; with four other microphones that provide active noise cancellation or ANC. Such a ‘boomless design’ obviously increases wearing comfort, but is the intelligibility still sufficient? We looked into it.
The Voyager Surround 80 UC works via any Bluetooth connection, but an additional USB-C Bluetooth 5.3 dongle (Poly BT700) for PC use is included as standard. A USB-C to USB-A adapter is included.
If you have a BT Class 1 Bluetooth transmitter, the maximum range is thirty instead of ten meters.
The Bluetooth profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP and AVDTP and the AptX codec for hires sound are supported.
Two devices can be connected to the headset at the same time; In addition, up to eight devices are remembered by the headset. For example, you can quickly put a call in a queue or pause mode with the touch-sensitive zones on the right earcup.
You can charge the non-removable 1,100 mAh Li-Ion battery in one hour via the included USB-C cable, which gives you 24 hours of listening autonomy and 21 hours of voice autonomy. You will have to provide your own charger.
This headset can also be used without a battery. A USB-C cable with 3.5mm analog audio connection is included. Of course, they can only be used as regular headphones and you cannot have conversations with them.
The headset comes with a handy case with a special mesh pocket for the cables and connectors.
The full specifications can be found on Poly’s website.
Poly Voyager Surround 80 UC headset (© Poly; license: Poly)
Being continuously accessible requires a high level of wearing comfort. That’s also there: despite its fairly heavy weight of 275 grams, you can wear this headset for hours without any problems. The soft cushions and adjustable, soft bracket increase wearing comfort.
The microphones ensure clear sound transmission during telephone calls or meetings. The sound quality is also good, both for music and speech.
Our conversation partners could understand us perfectly and thought the voice quality was good. The comfortable ‘boomless’ design does not seem to negatively affect intelligibility.
Thanks to the ANC function, you can easily switch between two transparency modes: one for ambient sounds and one specifically for speech. This way you can still hear what’s going on around you if you want. That function works in the Poly Lens app, but also via the red ‘OpenMic’ button at the bottom of the right earcup. For short consultations or to walk safely on a busy road, for example, you do not have to take off this headset and you can simply open the microphone to hear the surroundings.
The word “Surround” in the device name is a little misleading in this context: it refers to the ability to activate ambient sounds via the built-in microphones, but these headphones do not have a surround sound function, as you might wrongly think.
Poly Voyager Surround 80 in Travel Case (© Poly; license: Poly)
The Poly Voyager Surround 80 UC is a great headset for the office, but it’s not cheap. It costs more than 300 euros (the variant with wireless NFC charging mode is even more expensive), which is more than some other noise-canceling headsets from well-known brands such as Bose or Sony. The noise cancellation is also not perfect, because you can sometimes still hear loud colleagues.
The smart sensors, with which, for example, a call is answered simply by putting the headset back on your head or a video is paused by taking off the headset, are more than a gimmick: this way you can quietly take off the headphones between two calls. so that your ears get the necessary rest.
The various protective measures are also positive. SoundGuard Digital protects you against loud sounds. Anti-startle ensures that you are not startled by a suddenly appearing loud noise.
Time-Weighted Average Noise allows you via the Plantronics Lens app (or the system administrator using the Plantronics Manager Pro software) to set a maximum average sound pressure level per day (e.g. a maximum of 85 dB(A) over a period of eight o’clock).
The Plantronics Voyager 80 UC headset achieves a functionality score of 83/100 and a practical test score of 80/100 in our test method. This results in a performance score of 81/100 and a price performance score of 60/100. (We updated the test method, taking into account recent technical developments; past results are therefore not comparable.)
If you’re looking for a wireless stereo headset with internal microphones, the HP Poly Voyager Surround 80 UC might be for you. It offers a good balance between comfort, functionality and sound quality, but it is on the expensive side.