AThere’s a radio on the desk and the newscaster is reading the latest news very loudly. It would never occur to you to make phone calls with so much ambient noise. But with this headset it’s worth a try. It is difficult for the author to speak, it is a fight against the second man in the room. Anyone who expects the other end of the phone line to hear a barely audible mishmash of two voices and complains about the poor acoustics is wrong with the Voyager Focus 2 from Poly. It is amazing: the telephone partner hears almost nothing of the inferno around you, but understands the caller very well.
What’s behind it? It is about a background noise suppression that does not follow the usual conventions, namely to protect the wearer of the headset from ambient noise. The Voyager Focus 2 does that too. Background noise suppression can be set in two stages, but does not help much. Instead, the poly is designed to offer the called party the best possible acoustics and uses efficient background noise suppression in the four microphones, which use a kind of “acoustic fence” to only pick up what the speaker is saying.
Thus, the headset is aimed at users who, for example, have to sit in a noisy open-plan office after Corona and want to offer their conversation partners the best possible quality. This is not about isolating yourself from the noise, rather the user of this headset remains informed of what is happening around him. Only even humming noises, for example from air conditioning systems, are muffled.
Like its predecessor, the Voyager Focus 2 is easy to carry over a long period of time. Under the metal bracket on the top, which ensures stability, there is an elastically suspended cushion. The construction looks light and can be flexibly adjusted because the metal bracket can be bent. The microphone boom can be rotated so that it can be worn on the left as well as on the right. If you turn it up, the microphone is muted, a turn back opens the microphone again. This is more convenient than looking for a micro-button like other headsets use.
In the UC version, the Voyager Focus 2 is either connected directly to a Bluetooth partner or with the included Bluetooth adapter, which in turn is plugged into a USB socket on the computer, for example. A second version is nicknamed Office and also allows connection to a landline telephone. Both versions support Bluetooth 5.1 and the option of the headset being connected to two partners at the same time. According to the manufacturer, the Bluetooth range of the UC version tested by us is 50 meters. In the home office it was easily possible to make a phone call on all three levels of the house without interruption. The manufacturer even promises a range of up to 90 meters for the office version.
The battery can either be charged directly on the headset using a historic micro-USB port – or you can use the included docking station into which the headphones can be plugged. After two hours of charging, there is enough power available for up to 16 hours of active talk time, and if you switch off the background noise suppression or only listen to music with the Focus 2, the runtime can be extended to up to 40 hours.
The charge level is announced when you switch it on, and of course there is also an app to set all conceivable details, including support for HD Voice, i.e. broadband audio for telephony with better sound. Although the Voyager Focus 2 does not offer an individually adjustable equalizer for music playback, it does provide a pleasant, unexcited sound with the preset settings. The bass could be a bit more powerful, but overall you are surprised how casually the headset creates a beautiful stage. The recommended retail price is 340 euros, that’s an announcement. Meanwhile, the street price is less than 200 euros. The main rivals are the Evolve 2 65 from Jabra for a street price of around 130 euros and the Cisco Headset 730 for 230 euros.