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Plantronics offers no shortage of Bluetooth headsets, and at $99.99, the Voyager 3200 falls right in the middle of the pack. It has a discreet, comfortable design, and offers solid noise cancellation. For the price, however, call clarity isn’t the best and battery life is just average. Ultimately, you’re better off paying less for the Explorer 500 or a bit more for the Voyager 5200, our Editors’ Choice.
Design, Pairing, and Battery Life
The Voyager 3200’s design is all about being unobtrusive, with its muted black and charcoal color options. Measuring just 0.7 by 0.1 by 2.8 inches (HWD) and weighing 0.3 ounces, it’s comfortable to wear and won’t draw attention like the large Voyager 5200. A model with a portable charging case is available for an extra $29.99, sold as the Voyager 3240.
As far as fit goes, you get three clear gel earpieces and a detachable ear hook. I found the hook necessary to achieve a secure fit, but you might be able to get away with just an earpiece.
On the headset itself, you’ll find an on/off switch, a pair of small but accessible volume buttons, a mute button, and a micro USB port for the included charging cable. The volume buttons right behind the earpiece are
In testing, we got 4 hours and 30 minutes of talk time, which is on the low side compared with the Explorer 500 (5 hours, 32 minutes) and the Voyager 5200 (5 hours, 16 minutes). If you opt for the charging case, it gives you an additional 10 hours of charge according to Plantronics.
Pairing the headset with other devices is easy. When you first turn it on, it immediately launches into pairing mode and all you have to do is go to the Bluetooth settings menu of the device you want to pair with. If you buy the charging case, it comes with a USB dongle that lets you use the headset with computers that don’t have Bluetooth. You can also pair quickly and easily via NFC. Once connected, the Plantronics Hub mobile app lets you configure automatic call transfer between different devices, monitor battery life, and customize alert settings and ringtones.
Performance and Conclusions
Call clarity is average at best. Voices come across robotic and grainy, though volume gets loud enough to be easily understood. It makes for somewhat unpleasant calls on the receiving end that aren’t nearly as rich and crisp as the Voyager 5200.
Noise cancellation, on the other hand, is solid. Traffic noises, background conversation, and most other sounds are dampened so you can carry on a conversation without any trouble. However, there is a persistent, low-pitched whine when noise cancellation kicks in. It’s audible enough to be annoying, even if it doesn’t interfere with overall clarity.
Bluetooth range is in line with other headsets we’ve tested. You can get about 40 feet away from your phone before calls start to pop in and out.
For $100 (or $130 with the charging case), the Voyager 3200 feels a bit overpriced for what it offers. While it has a svelte form factor, its call quality just simply isn’t impressive. For $20 more, the Voyager 5200 offers better call quality and longer battery life. If you’re not a fan of its bulky design, the Explorer 500 is solid smaller for about half the price. And if you’re looking for something completely different, check out a stereo headset like the Jabra Halo Smart.
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