Sound studio

Poly Voyager Focus 2, USB/BT headphones/mic – perfect sound for work and play (review)

The Poly Voyager Focus 2 is an on-ear unified communication stereo headset with a boom mic. It also has three digital “hybrid” active noise canceling levels for the office or working from home.

Bluetooth or USB works equally well with a Windows, Android, macOS or iOS computer, tablet or smartphone. There is even a PSTN phone connection option.

And as we’ve come to expect from Poly, there are plenty of built-in features and options. For example, auto-answer calls when you put them on, mute alert, and even a boom mic that automatically swaps left and right stereo channels so you can wear it on either side.

Poly Voyager Focus 2 micro-USB (note that this review does not apply to the dedicated CPU version)

Website here
Price Poly sells through computer stores and unified communications specialists. There is no fixed RRP, so prices are indicative only
Poly Voyager Focus $2,399 but shop around – seen as low as $329
BT700 USB-A adapter included
Charging stand – with USB-A adapter for charging only ($400 bundle) Desktop base – with phone adapter ($500 bundle)
Focus carry pouch – included
guarantee 2 years
Manufacturing country Mexico
On Poly was born from Plantronics and Polycom, focusing on beautifully crafted and engineered audio and video products that let you be seen and heard with incredible clarity wherever you work. Backed by software, artificial intelligence, analytics and insights to take you far beyond simple connectivity.
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First impression

I expect a lot from Poly in terms of audio and build quality, and these certainly live up to that. They sound great, callers can hear me loud and clear, and they’re the keepers.

They’re surprisingly light at 175g and, being on the ear, are comfortable and cool to wear.

The contradictory term is noise cancelling. There’s little passive noise isolation you get with over-ear headphones or in-ear headphones, but they’re surprisingly effective. More on that later.

And it’s a perfect accompaniment to any Poly Studio camera.

Bluetooth (BT) or USB

The Poly Voyager Focus 2 is BT 5.1 and allows two devices (multipoint, PC and smartphone) to switch between two BT hosts simultaneously. It remembers the last eight devices.

But there is an anomaly you need to know. Using PC BT, you won’t necessarily see the Poly Voyager Focus 2 in the Poly Lens app. This means that you do not have access to any features or firmware updates. To work around this problem, the Poly BT700 USB-A dongle (included) works perfectly and offers much cleaner sound. It is acceptable to use BT for a multipoint smartphone connection.

BT supports hands-free headset mode and stereo music mode – the device will select the correct one. The codec is SBC.

Poly claims a distance of 50m between the headset and a PC or if using the Office base up to 90m. We tested at 30 meters, and it was crystal clear with no stall.

If you are using the micro-USB connection, is this considered 2.0, 16-bit, 48kHz stereo DVD quality headphones. This is interesting because BT SBC is a lower resolution – the USB sound signature is slightly brighter.

How does it sound?

Pretty damn good with enough bass, clean vocals and treble to satisfy.

While both frequency response graphs (BT high and USB low) are quite good, the micro-USB connection gives a brighter, cleaner vocal response and doesn’t dip from 8-10kHz (which impacts directionality of sound).

Either way, both connection types result in a neutral sound signature, meaning what you hear is close to the original. You can read more about sound and our test tracks – How to tell if you have good music (sound signature is key

Poly Lens app features

The app is comprehensive and offers several great features, including your choice of language for voice prompts. Many are intended for the personalization of unified communications.

Sidetone – do you listen

Sidetone integrates your voice into the sound stream of the headphones for more natural speech. You can adjust this in the app.

mute reminder

Press the red button or raise the boom mic to mute the sound. A mute reminder reminds you that the microphone is off if you speak.

Noise suppression – effective software suppression

Poly Voyager Focus 2 uses Hybrid ANC microphones inside and outside the headset to monitor what the user is hearing and background noise. You can select low/high/off.

It’s not as efficient as high-end Bose or Sony headphones that will mask a jet engine, but it’s perfect for office use and overcomes keyboard clatter and office chatter.

Battery – several days of use

As this is not a traditional headset, the music listening time is irrelevant. Poly claims between 16 and 25 hours of talk time and 24/40 hours of ANC on/off.

Charging time is about 2 hours. I find the charger cradle to be the best way to charge – and it doubles as a stand.

voice assistant

It supports OK Google or Siri via touch controls. It also has the usual touch controls for volume, tracks, and more.

Microphones

Callers were impressed, probably because the Mic boom array has two vocal mics, two ANC mics (one on each cup), and two internal mics. You can mute the sound by pressing the red button or flipping the boom up.

Comfort

We wore it for an 8-hour day during the test, and it felt comfortable and cool. The stretchy headband is fine using rubber instead of elastic.

CyberShack’s take – Poly Voyager Focus 2 are perfect headphones for work from home or UC

I’ve been using them for a week now. Callers say my voice is clear and strong. I like the convenience of the charging stand, and despite USB offering slightly better sound, I use the BT700 adapter for movement flexibility.

The surprise is the excellent neutral sound signature that makes listening to music a pleasure. Add the automatic switch to voice when a call comes in, and you can see why they’re so pop[ular for call centres and WFH.

Poly Voyager Focus 2, headset/mic USB/BT

$399 but shop around

Poly Voyager Focus 2

Benefits

  • Battery life and charging time are excellent
  • Buy the charging stand – forever charged
  • Micro-USB cable mode produces better hi-res music
  • Excellent neutral sound signature for vocals and most musical genres
  • Excellent BT multipoint range and stability