If there's one industry more hectic than the automotive, it's got to be tech. Remember back when wireless headsets were a 'must-have' accessory for individuals always on-the-go? With the advent of smartwatches and in-car connectivity, it seems like ages ago already.
Truth be told, outside of secret service agents on the big screen, we barely see any of them in use anymore. But does the arrival of the Philippine Anti-Distracted Driving Act make Bluetooth headsets worth considering again?
We try out the Plantronics Voyager Legend headset to see if it can offer more than your standard in-car Bluetooth connectivity. Straight out of the box, the P4,795 unit looks promising: sleek design, a noise-canceling mic, seven hours of talk time, 11 days on standby, 33 feet of range, and voice-command capability. It comes with a USB charging adapter, a few extra earbuds, and several manuals.
Figuring out how to operate the device is pretty simple, despite the several booklets tucked inside the box. Turn on the unit and your smartphone's Bluetooth connection, and pair the two devices upon being detected. The device itself comes in an appealing matte black plastic, with a flexible neck leading to the clear earpiece and mic. The fit is snug, though takes a little getting used to if you plan on using it for extended periods.
There are several buttons and switches used to operate the headset: a call button (for answering and ending), mute button, volume switch, charging port and indicator light. Alternatively, you can answer and ignore calls by using voice commands like, well, 'answer' and 'ignore.'
You can also dial via voice command by holding the call button then saying 'dial' followed by the name of the contact on your phone—though we wouldn't recommend it. Several names we tried dialing via voice command failed to register with the device, sometimes resulting in wrong numbers. Major bummer.
Aside from design, where this gadget stands out is sound quality. At first use, the connection was a little choppy, though it could be due to poor service from the network provider. Past that hiccup though, calls were crystal clear. We didn't even have to turn the volume up to maximum despite the presence of several background noises. A few more features include the capability to answer a second call, call back via a double-tap of the call button, and streaming audio.
Verdict? The Voyager Legend offers excellent sound quality and battery life in a very attractive package. Unfortunately, utilizing its voice commands—which is vital if you find yourself behind the wheel—is iffy. Answering isn't an issue, but dialing can be tricky. Easy-to-pronounce names like John and Tracy are doable, but not all names are as straight forward. Dinzo turns into 'Denzel,' while Jaime has to be pronounced 'Jayme.' If all you need is to make yourself available to callers while driving though, the Legend is more than capable.