Poly Voyager Focus 2
Poly Voyager Focus 2 Review
I see a lot of headsets. Right now, I’m wearing the Voyager Focus 2s exclusively for video conferences. And I’m unlikely to change any time soon.
There is something to be said about a high-end product. At a retail price of $329.99 ($234.95 currently on Poly’s site), the Voyagers see a lot of competition from other headsets designed for call centers and long hours of video conferencing. And frankly, most earbuds and headphones do double duty with sophisticated microphone arrays that work as well on a desktop computer as they do on a smartphone. But the Voyager’s lightness of its structure, robust connectivity, and acoustic-first design creates a combination that’s hard to ignore.
Poly Voyager Focus 2 Specifications
- Bluetooth® v5.1 Class 1 Multipoint connectivity, the headset connects two devices simultaneously and remembers up to 8 devices.
- Supported Bluetooth® profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
- Range: Voyager Focus 2 UC is up to 50 m/164 ft; Voyager Office base is up to 91 m/300ft
- Battery Capacity: 560mAh
- Battery Type: lithium-ion
- Talk time: 15-25 hours, depending on the ANC setting
- Listening time: 24-40 hours, depending on the ANC setting
- Charge time: 2 hours for a full charge • Standby time: up to 30 days
- Dynamic EQ optimized for PC wideband voice telephony up to 7 kHz or for multimedia 20 Hz to 20 kHz
- Digital Hybrid ANC using two digital MEMS microphones and two analog ECM microphones with three user settings (Off/low/high)
- SoundGuard DIGITAL: G616 support limits the level to 102 dBSPL
- Weight: 175 g/.38 lbs
What we like
If you go back into the history of Poly (now part of HP), to its Polycom days, they built the headsets for NASA’s Apollo missions. That means light and sturdy define the legacy behind the Poly Voyager Focus 2 headset. In many ways, the Poly harkens back to those earlier designs.
The foam ear cushions sit on the ear, so there is no strain from seals around the ear or a heavy armature pushing down on the top of the ears as gravity pulls the headphones toward the center of the earth. The boom microphone responds to purposeful and casual pushes and tugs. The subtle LEDs share just enough information.
Good design may continue to influence, but the components inside the Voyager Focus 2 certainly increase the audio quality of every aspect of the listening experience compared to 1960s and 1970s technology. And while I would classify the Poly Voyager Focus 2s as ideal for video conferencing, they also offer solid sound for music and other audio pursuits, from catching a Netflix flick at lunch to power listening to a podcast on 2-time replay speed.
The Poly Voyager Focus 2s offer 3-levels of Digital Hybrid Active Noise Cancelation (ANC). I tend to block out the world, and I don’t look back. While I’m sure the Voyager Focus 2s do a fine job on planes, I tend to like the sound isolation of a sealed earcup combined with ANC when in very noisy environments, so they are not my first choice in the air. However, their lightness and well-made travel case means they travel with me to be used in the hotel room when I need to work from the room.
If you ever wanted an acoustic fence around you, look no further than the Voyager Focus 2s. Multiple microphones cancel out the noise around you, so callers hear you—not the baby, not the rattle of dog tags or the rumble of the washing machine.
While the Poly Voyager Focus 2s can leverage Bluetooth®, the included transceiver makes for a more secure, higher-quality connection. And if you want to use the Voyager Focus 2 as a corded headset, use a micro-USB connection. They deliver up to 25 hours of playback from the 560mHa battery. With the attractive charging stand, I never approach even a warning for the battery. The Focus 2s will sit on standby for up to 30 days, often longer.
Unlike some headphones, notably the recently reviewed Targus headset, the Voyager Focus 2’s microphone boom rotates 360 degrees. It works as well with the microphone boom on the right or the left—changing orientation requires only turning the headset around. The boom includes a mute button—a feature invoked by removing the headset.
On-device controls include call answer and end, volume, power on, off, pairing, and ANC control.
Because the Voyager Focus 2s derive from an acoustic-first legacy, they include features like SoundGuard DIGITAL: G616 that limits the wearer’s hearing to noise exposure.
Like the Poly Studio P5, the Voyager Focus 2 works with the Poly Lens app to keep its firmware current and user-configurable parameters accessible. One of Poly’s most innovative designs comes in the Studio P5, which includes a USB-A transceiver port to house the Focus 2 transceiver, freeing up a USB port on host computers.
Poly offers a 2-year limited warranty.
The packaging is minimal brown cardboard that screams environmentally conscious.
The Office base version connects to a desk phone. Poly also sells a Microsoft Teams-certified version, though my headset works well with every conferencing service.
What could be improved
The open design of Poly Voyager Focus 2s leaves little to the imagination. Rather than metal hidden under plastic, the Voyager headset celebrates its metal headband as the hero of its structural story. It suspends its cushion beneath the headband, so it floats. There is nothing weighty about the Voyager Focus 2s.
So why write effusively in the “what could be improved section?” Because the unique design leaves little room for improvement.
My only real nit, and I know it’s a generational issue that will change whenever the Voyager 3s ship, is the continued use of micro-USB. I also have to admit that I can be a bit casual with the Voyager Focus 2s, often finding them in the morning lying next to my keyboard with the power still on. So perhaps an auto-off feature? It seems like it should have one, but it doesn’t appear in the specifications. Luckily a few hours of sleep put only a dent in the remaining full charge from most mornings.
Poly Voyager Focus 2: The Bottom Line
The Poly Voyager Focus 2 headset is one of the best audio work companions available. It does a pretty good job with sound all around, so take a few minutes to crank up Dua Lipa and Elton John after sitting through a meeting about making a decision you could have made in that meeting.
Poly provided the Voyager Focus 2 for review. Images courtesy of Poly.
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