Video conferencing looks set to be with us for a while whether you are working from home or office, as there seems to be no end to this Covid-19 pandemic. Even if you can work in office, you probably will be having meetings online with colleagues from other countries.
As such, having a reliable wireless headset for your never-ending video conferences is of paramount importance. The Poly (formerly known as Plantronics) Voyager Focus 2 UC is a pair of wireless headset you can consider.
PRICE: S$349, available in Lazada and Shopee
Out of the box, the wireless headset comes with its own charging stand. But it can also be charged using a micro-USB port with the micro-USB-to-USB-A cable provided.
A USB-A Bluetooth dongle is also included. In fact, Poly recommends using the dongle when connecting to a PC. A carry bag is also included and it even has a small pocket to house the dongle. Nice touch there.
In terms of design, the Voyager Focus 2 looks pretty much like many of its contemporaries. Apart from its retractable boom microphone with a red mute button, the wireless headset is almost black all the way from its cushioned ear cups to the metallic headband.
Despite its forgettable looks, the build feels strong and sturdy. It does not have the cheap plastic feel some wireless headsets have. You will find that there is no left or right ear cup. You can use it either way without any issues, as the boom microphone can be rotated to swing either side. So, it really depends where you want the boom microphone to be.
All the controls are located on the ear cup with the retractable boom microphone. At the bottom of this ear cup, you will find a micro-USB port and a power switch that toggles through off, on and Bluetooth pairing.
Near the top of this ear cup, there is a switch that toggles through three modes of active noise cancellation (ANC) – off, low and high. On its exterior, there are three buttons for volume down, volume up and a centre multi-purpose button. The multi-purpose button lets you play or pause music, skip a track or answer a call.
With these physical buttons all concentrated in one ear cup, the controls are easy to access and intuitive. You do not need to be fidgeting around to find them.
Probably the best thing about the Voyager Focus 2 is its high comfort level when worn. This wireless headset is a pair of on-ear headphones and not over-ear headphones. As such, its ear cups do not cup over your ears but gently pressed on them.
Thus, my ears never feel hot or sweaty. In addition, the cushioned sling does not reside on the metallic headband but underneath it. As such, you will not feel much clamping force on your head.
+ Super comfortable to wear
+ Intuitive controls
+ Great audio output
– Not cheap
– Requires the dongle for stable connection
Setting up the headset is also really easy. Just push the power switch to Bluetooth and you can see the headset on the Bluetooth menu of your computer or smartphone for pairing.
However, I found that there are lags and stuttering in audio when using Bluetooth during video conference calls with my iMac and desktop PC. In addition, the other parties also said I sounded muffled.
These issues are rectified when I connect the wireless headset to the same machines using the dongle instead. There are no drops in connectivity and the other parties can hear me loud and clear. No prizes on why Poly recommends using the dongle, I guess.
Otherwise, the sound output from this wireless headset is actually quite superb for its class. You get theatrical-like audio whether you are listening to pop songs or classical tunes. Bass is powerful with clear mids and detailed highs. No issues listening to music or watch a short YouTube video in between your video meetings.
My only quirk is the volume being not loud enough even when set at maximum. But that might be my own hearing problem.
In terms of ANC performance, on-ear headphones will never be as effective as over-ear headphones. Hence, even when set at the highest level of ANC, the Voyager Focus 2 still does not have the kind of ANC performance like Sony WH-1000XM4 or Apple AirPods Max. That said, it is still a good to have.
On a full charge, the Voyager Focus 2 is said to last 19 hours with ANC turned off or 16 hours with ANC turned on.
In my tests, I found the battery ratings to be pretty spot on. As such, you should be able to get through a working day with this wireless headset even if you have video conferences the whole time.
If you have battery anxiety, you can always put the wireless headset on the charging stand at the end of your working day.
At S$349, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 is reasonable for a business wireless headset. But it is not cheap if you compared to some of the ANC over-ear headphones in the market.
Still, as long as you use the included dongle on a PC, the Voyager Focus 2 is a solid and stable pair of wireless headset for your video meetings.
BATTERY LIFE: 9/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 7/10