The Voyager Edge is a pretty sophisticated and stylish new Bluetooth headset from Plantronics; boasting the same hardware as the popular Voyager Legend. The compact design dispenses with the over-the-ear design, making the Voyager Edge is a discreet alternative, which we found to deliver exceptional call quality in addition to an impressive battery life aided by the accompanying carry case a that can be used to charge the headset on-the-go.
At just over 7 cm long and only 9g, the Voyager Edge is as discreet and lightweight as they come. Included in the stylish packaging are a choice of 3 gel-tips (small, medium, and large), which are straightforward to change. In the past bluetooth headsets with an in-ear design haven't always offered the most secure fit but worked well.
There is also a plastic ear-loop included, which although rather on the flimsy side and somewhat detracting from the overall minimalist design; can be attached easily enough and is comfortable to wear when used.
The small size of the Voyager Edge belies its impressive clarity and volume; and there was a discernible difference in audio when wideband was activated for HD voice. Plantronics have been pioneers in the field of noise-cancelling technology, and the Voyager Edge boasts 3 mics and 3 layers of wind protection; which coped well with the windy streets of Glasgow.
As with most Bluetooth headsets nowadays, the Voyager Edge supports A2DP for streaming music and audio other than calls. The quality is reasonably good for a single ear-piece Bluetooth headset, however, for listening to music you'll always be far better off going for a headset with 2 ear-pieces, such as the Plantronics’ Backbeat Go 2.
The pairing process is extremely straightforward, and is made even easier for NFC enabled smartphones (for which you can just tap and pair) causing no issues with either test phones (a Samsung Galaxy S4 and an iPhone 5S); and as it boasts multi-device connectivity, we were able to have it paired to both phones at once. And just like all the latest smartphones, the Voyager Edge includes some Smart sensors, which are put to use for detecting when the headset is being worn so you can answer a call simply by fitting it in your ear. Further advantages include the facility to control the Voyager Edge hands-free using voice commands, which faired well in English (and didn't struggle too much with the Scottish accent). There are a selection of other languages to choose from.
Battery Life & Range
The Edge is equipped with an in-built battery, which Plantronics claim will provide roughly 6 hours of talk-time and we found this to be pretty accurate with the headset lasting just shy of 6 hours when tested with an iPhone 5S. One of the main benefits of the Voyager Edge is the pretty neat carry case, which can also be used to extend the battery life by a further 10 hours. The case is a little too bulky to be carried around in a trouser pocket but is small and light enough to pop into a jacket pocket or handbag, and works well if you need more than a few hours talk-time in the course of your day.
The range quoted by Plantronics is the standard ‘up to 10 metres’, but as with most Bluetooth headsets the signal starts to deteriorate as soon as you’re a few metres away from your phone. From about 5 metres away, the audio became distorted and it was difficult to continue a conversation and the signal dropped completely somewhere between 7-8 metres.