On the face of it, the Poly Voyager Focus 2 headset doesn’t look like it would cost ₹26,550. On some e-tail platforms, it does cost less. For that price, you would expect a chunky over-the-ears set of premium headphones with class-leading sound quality and noise cancellation. While the Voyager Focus 2 doesn’t look the part at all, it does have some unique work-oriented features that make it an option for a specific situation – all-day video or phone calls. At the same time, it sounds very good for music.

The Voyager Focus 2 comes in modest packaging. In the box, you get the headset itself, an interesting charging dock, a USB-A cable (there are some versions that have a USB-C) and a dongle to connect to a laptop, extending the wireless range to 50 metres. All of this comes in a soft case, which helps one keep everything together.

The focus 2 headset is quite light. It’s an on-ear headset, so no big ear-cans or thick headband here. There’s cushioning, as there must be, but pressing into it a little you can feel the hard interior. All the same, the ear-cans are not uncomfortable and don’t put any pressure on one’s ears. There’s a double headband — a metallic outer one which helps to balance and keep the device upright and then a soft flexible one that rests on the head ensuring better comfort and reducing weight pressure.

Together, these should keep the headset in place, though if one has a smaller head, the headset slips forward and falls off, despite adjustments. The material on the ear-cans is smooth and can slip on one’s hair, contributing to the headset flipping off altogether. A user with a normal or large head will have a better and more comfortable time with it. This device is definitely not meant for workouts and running.

The Focus 2 has a boom microphone attached to an arm that swivels forwards and back. There are no left and right sides on this headset – one can wear it on any side with sensors figuring out, which speaker should be left or right and switching to adjust. The ear-cans are not labelled left or right since they don’t need to be. The mic can move up in front no matter what side you use. The headset is also binaural.

Always charged

The headrest pairs in the usual way. An additional Plantronics Hub app gives access to its extra features, and of course, to firmware updates. You can connect to a PC or use it wirelessly with a tablet or phone. It’s meant for that specific use case where you want to minimise background noise and get good sound without wearing something that weighs down on your head and makes you feel hot and bothered. To charge the headset, just drop it on the power-connected stand, which is also where you can set it down any time it’s not in use. One can also connect it directly to power.

What is unexpected is how very good this headset sounds both for calls, podcasts and for music. If one doesn’t want two separate audio devices for calls and for music, the Focus 2 is definitely an option. Listening to music, one will find good bass, clarity, and lively sound. The profile is on the neutral side and quite balanced. Calls are clear enough so that the person at the other end can’t tell that you’re using a headset.

Advanced features

One of the interesting features of this device is a mute alert. If you start speaking while muted (there’s also a mute button at hand underneath the microphone arm) you will get a voice alert to tell you to unmute. This is sensed by the mic. If you’re listening to music and there are announcements you need to hear, the mic will sense this through what they call ‘open mic technology’ and will pause the music and highlight the sounds you may need to hear.

Another smart feature is that the mic goes on mute as soon as you take the headset off, such as speaking to someone else so that even if someone is holding on during a call, the conversation will remain private. Putting the headset back on unmutes and your call can resume. Music also pauses and resumes when removing the headset. The Focus 2 will also answer calls for you automatically if you are wearing it. If you are not wearing the headset on your shoulders, but wear it on seeing an incoming call, it will answer.

With an on-ear audio device, it’s more challenging to keep noise out. The Focus 2 does give some passive noise suppression because of its cushioning. Four mics, outside and internally, are used for hybrid active noise cancellation on this headset, taking care of both high frequencies and low. This is what makes the Focus 2 a solution for those working from home with unpredictable background noise. The acoustic fencing creates a bubble within which noise is cancelled, or at least minimised and dampened to at least 70 to 80%.

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