Today i was looking through the plethora of Lync certified bluetooth devices i have and also carry from site to site as part of my daily job of a UC consultant. It got me thinking that others could benefit from a rundown review of what each bluetooth headset can offer and which out performs the other.
So for this blog post im putting up for review the following UC certified Bluetooth headsets i carry.
(Left to right) Sennheiser – Presence, Plantronics – Legend, Jabra – Motion
For this evaluation I’m going to split the review into three distinct categories, plus an overview and Pricing guide. The three categories are (Sound, Functionality, Usability)
Ok lets start
- Sound – The sound and audibles from the Presence device is simply the best out of the three devices without any doubt. I’ve used this in the car, a full office of talkers and it never misses a beat. Sennheiser are seeing this headset as part of there premium range of headset and i can understand why. The call quality is great, using it both via a SIP trunk and connected via a Media Gateway for Lync calls it out performs the rest.
- Functionality – Sadly although it has three microphones to which it automatically chooses the best to suit the noise tones at the time of the call the Presence does lack some of the other features that both the Jabra and Plantronics have to boot. The Presence is capable (and ive tried it) of a call range of 25 meters from the PC attached mini USB dongle without any sound breakup. It also boosts the best of breed battery life at 10hrs talk time.
- Usability – I personally find the Sennheiser ear piece uncomfortable for long periods of use, and also the boom arm is very short so i do find myself talking louder. The microphone on this device is ultra-sharp and with the combination of talking louder and the sensitive microphone, i have been asked on many occasion to reduce the sound levels while on a call. :I
- Unbiased Verdict – if you wanted a headset for pure sound quality then i would stop reading any further within in this blog as the Sennheiser Presence is the device for you. However in the modern age of people wanting more, the presence does lack some of the now standard features what the other devices have. Thats said will i stop carrying the device anytime soon? no… it will be in my bag for tomorrows engagement.
- RRP – I don’t believe it has been announced yet but i would be guessing around £149 to match the other vendor offerings.
- Link http://en-us.sennheiser.com/presence-uc
The release date for the Sennhieser Presence is August 2013
- Sound – This headset has been around now for a few months with me personally seeing it for the first time at the UC Expo in London in March 2013. On the Plantronics stand at that time i thought the sound quality was good in such a well attended arena. Its probalbly worth saying the sound isn’t as clear and sharp as the above Sennheiser presence device. I sometimes find and think on the accumulation of the poor bluetooth range and sound, people often ask me to repeat myself (even today a colleague stated she could not hear me and i was only a distance of10ft away from my machine at the time of that call)
- Functionality – This is the big dilemma with doing this review each devices is the best in each catorgary. The Plantronics Legend has lots of functionality which i love to use and now just take it for granted until i plug in one of the others. The functionality which i think is worth a mention with the Legend device is….
- Pick up to answer – You don’t have to wear the headset all the time and when a call does establish you simply pick up the legend and place on your ear. The device has a sensor which tells it when its picked up and it automatically answer the call for you.
- In case charging – So you can imagine you have used the device for calls throughout the day and the last thing you want is a dead device for the following day to come!? the neat thing about the Legend is it has a little battery cell within the carry case so once you’ve finished with it for the day you put the headset back into the case with the assurance that tomorrow it will have another 7 hours of talk time ready for you. (Also the case is magnetised so that ‘everything sticks’ so that little micro usb dongle will never drop out of the case while carrying.!
- If you are a desk user the Legend headset also comes with a little magnetic desk stand so at the times when you aren’t using it, between calls you simply place the headset onto the stand for quick contact charging.
- Plantronics has also placed within the device the ability for future tech upgrades to the software and rest assured they are coding some good updates for come.
- Caller announcement (telco dependant), the headset will tell you whos calling if you have their name in your address book.
- Usability – At this moment i would say the Legend is my headset default and i use it most days (this might change with more use of the Jabra Motion <1 week old>). Its shape and design suits me. The ear piece fits well with no outside noise leakages when in a call. If there is any real criticism about the legend it would be the bluetooth range and the battery could be better. Plantronics states the range to be 20 plus meters be ive found this to be a lot less, even in a open office. The battery life is 7 hours compared to the 10hours of the Sennheiser Presence.
- Unbiased Verdict – It hard to fault the Legend really. it does everything you would want from a headset. Like I’ve mentioned above the Legend is my current driver of choice.
- RRP – £129.
- Link – http://www.plantronics.com/uk/product/voyager-legend
Jabra Motion – The newest ‘released’ kid on the block
- Sound – In my opinion the sound quality just falls short of the Sennheiser Presence, but still its very ‘very clear and near on perfect. One of the pros to this headset is a feature which the headset will adjust the headset speaker and earpiece sound based on the surroundings your in.
- Functionality – The Jabra Motion is up there with the Plantronics Legend AND better for tricks and features. so to mention a few..
- 100 meters bluetooth range.. 5 times further almost than the other two devices
- NFC technology. Put the headset next to a NFC compatable phone to pair. Simple idea but will be never used in my opinion. <gimmick>
- Pick up to Answer.
- Voice Control (Answer and End) if the headset is being worn at the time of a call.
- Boom arm open/close to answer/end a call
- Custom Fit ear pieces. The Motion is the only headset to offer this.!
- Usability – As stated earlier in the posting, I’ve only had the Motion for less than a week so i cant honestly say ive put it through its paces, that said its been faultless to date. I like the ear pieces and the device sits nice on my ear. It terms of the tech, i personally don’t think the voice control will be something i would use AND the NFC option is just a joke.! (how many times do you need to pair your headset to your Mobile? Once!!). One dislike is the bulky hardcase it comes in? i wonder what the designer was thinking (or not thinking) when he/she created it. Again the Jabra Motion comes with 7 hours talk time.
- Unbiased Verdict – First impressions are excellent for the sound quality and also the wearing of the headset. The only reason why i didn’t use it today was that it was out of battery so i opted of the Legend which had a full 7 hours battery time due to the case. Like other UC Consultants i spend time in server rooms and telecoms rooms and the motion is ideal for taking a call when away from my PC.
- RRP – £149
- Link – http://www.jabra.com/products/wireless_headsets/jabra_motion_uc_series
This is a hard one, as it is really horses for courses. Not one headset outperformed the other. To rationalise my opinion i would say the following
– If you are a person who wants the best sound quality then in my opinion the Sennheiser Presence is the best
– If you are a person who spends hours on telephone and wants comfort with the assurance that the headset is always charged then the Plantronics Legend is the one.
– If you are a person who wants a comfort fit with good sound quality and a long range of connectivity then the Jabra Motion is the one
For me the headset i always look for first out of my bag is the Jabra Motion and the Plantronics Legend as both of these suit my work life.
Thanks for reading.
Update: 22nd August 2013
Please see later review of the Sennheiser UC Presence Device, as the above review was using a early version of the headset and now recently Sennheiser kindly sent me the rtm version which is excellent and is my preferred headset of choice. link is https://northernlync.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/lync-2013-sennheiser-uc-presence-full-review/