Plantronics Blackwire C725
For a corded over the head communications device, the Plantronics Blackwire C725 performed flawlessly. It was instantly recognized by the array of the Unified Communications devices tested making setup a simple plug and play affair. Sound quality was surprisingly good for more than voice making the Blackwire 725 an all around sound and audio device. The light weight, padded headband, and soft ear covers all but eliminated the fatigue of multiple hours of use. Plantronics history of products used in very noisy environments was demonstrated by the quality of their Active Noise Cancelling algorithms keeping everything crisp and quiet. The microphone was sensitive and clear making phone call quality exceptional while minimizing background noise.
The only item that distracted from this fantastic package was the size and weight of the inline control. It was a bit too heavy to just let hang as it would tug on the right side of the unit. However, the cord from the Blackwire 725 to the inline control is long enough to set it on the desk or using the attached clip, hook it to a shirt or belt. We are assuming this is the tradeoff for the light weight of the headphones and the superior noise cancelling, those DSPs have to go somewhere.
While we would have liked a more robust travel case and possibly use of aluminum construction for long term durability, these would add to the weight and cost. Neither took away from the quality feel and value the unit provided. Plantronics lists the MSRP as $179.95 for the Blackwire C725, on Amazon you can find it for $148.17 with free shipping. This is at the higher end of corded USB headsets which is reasonable given the ANC and quality of this combo UC / Gaming / Music headset. Because of the performance and richness of features we are giving the Plantronics Blackwire C725 an editor choice award for one of the best USB corded headsets for unified communications. This just replaced this reviewers daily use Plantronics Audio 655 for all things audio at the PC.
Legit Bottom Line: If your day runs from making work calls from your PC or other USB communication device to music and heated battles in your favorite FPS, the Plantronics Blackwire C725 should be at the top of the list.
Plantronics Voyager Edge UC
The field of Bluetooth earpieces is fairly crowded these days although during my global travels I am happy to see the trend of people with them hanging out of their ears during every activity is declining, but I digress. Plantronics sent Legit one of the best examples with a solid battery life of 6 hours talk, extended with the included battery dock to 16 hours. The sound quality was superb and the noise cancellation was excellent based on the feedback from those called from moderately noisy environments. The Plantronics Voyager Edge UC easily paired with the plethora of unified communication devices at our disposal and had no problem switching between them on incoming calls. The mute, answer, volume, and power buttons were easily found by touch and activated. The ability to control the sessions with your voice is excellent feature for when your hands are full of suitcases or holding your tablet. The included Bluetooth dongle and battery dock make this a well rounded package for those highly connected and mobile users.
The on ear arrangement was unique and, like most Bluetooth earbuds that use the ear for support, despite the low weight did become a bit uncomfortable after prolonged use. The comfort is very subjective so your experience will vary, and we can say that this setup was much more comfortable than the in-ear configurations that are so common. The only drawback to all this goodness is size. The Voyager Edge UC is not large, however there are much more compact Bluetooth units on the market that do not use the boom mic form factor. Arguably, most of them do not perform as well for callers on the other side nor have as long of a battery life so like everything, there are tradeoffs.
Overall this unit is on the higher end of the Bluetooth earpiece portfolio with an MSRP of $199.95 for the Voyager Edge UC, however we found it on Amazon for $150.74 with free shipping. Given the amount of extras that are included, the ability to make intelligible calls in noisy environments, the Plantronics Voyager Edge UC is an editors choice for Bluetooth UC environments.
Legit Bottom Line: If you spend a lot of time on phone calls in mixed environments the Plantronics Voyager Edge UC superior noise cancellation and ease of use should be one of your top choices.