Review: Plantronics Voyager Legend UC

VoyagerLegendUC1In the days of work anywhere, at any time, from any device, having a reliable bluetooth headset that will integrate with Microsoft Lync and pair with a multitude of devices is a must. The Plantronics Voyager Legend UC is now part of my mobile office and is always in my backpack. Here are the things I love about it:

  • It integrates beautifully into Lync. You can pick up and hang up calls with a single press of a button on the headset. Also, if you press the “mute” button on your headset, it mutes your Lync client so people are aware of your status when in conferences. This integration requires the use of the BT dongle (and of course it is included).
  • Voice and build quality is outstanding for a bluetooth headset, and can play A2DP audio so you can listen to podcasts or music while in between calls. The noise cancelling is excellent and removes most background noise.
  • Tested battery life is about 5 hours if you’re constantly talking (or listening over A2DP), and the headset can charge all the way to 100% in about 30 minutes.
  • Zero effort in PC pairing. Plug in the dongle and you’re set. I have never had a problem with pairing to either cell phone or BT dongle.
  • Can pair with a PC (dongle) and two other Bluetooth devices at the same time. You can pair your Lync client on your laptop and have your smartphone and tablet also paired, simultaneously, with the ability to seamlessly pick up and switch calls.
  • Voice commands to “answer”, “ignore” or “call John Doe” built into the headset make it easy to handle calls without touching the headset, and sensors within enable you to automatically answer calls simply by putting the headset on your ear. The sensors are accurate enough to not trigger if you have the headset in your pocket.

The UC edition of the headset comes with a few accessories that the regular non-UC edition lacks, like a nice little docking station for your desk, a portable charge cable which doubles as a micro-USB cable, and probably best of all, a case that holds the BT dongle and the headset with a built-in battery that can give you up to 14 hours of additional talk time!

IMG_0379_resizedAlso, as part of a software value-add, the Plantronics Spokes software can be installed on your computer so the Lync client can change your presence to “In a Call” even if you’re on your cell phone. This unifies your presence between any voice devices using the common headset, and makes Lync aware of your status.

My only complaints about the headset is that there is no way to turn the “Mute On” and “Mute Off” prompts even after making changes through the Spokes software, or through the MyHeadset Updater settings. Also, while it offers excellent noise cancelling, the wind resistance is not that great. If you are using this headset outdoors, the voice quality might disappoint, but I feel it’s more designed for home/office and road warriors anyway, so this is not a big deal at all for me.

As part of my testing I’ve recorded a short clip with audio direct from the headset.

In summary, the Plantronics Voyager Legend UC is probably the best bluetooth headset I have ever used, and is now part of those gadgets that I can’t live without. It retails for about $199 with all the accessories (headset, dongle, charging cable, battery case and desk cradle), or about $119 for the headset, dongle and charging cable. With it’s outstanding build and audio quality, a large number of accessories that can be included, and complete Lync integration, this headset will not disappoint those who are looking to break off the desk phone forever.

Do you use the Legend UC? What do you think?

Enabling Write Cache on PERC H200

The Dell PERC H200 is a very basic RAID controller that does not have battery-backed cache, and therefore does not let you enable Write Caching within the OS. Writes using the H200 adapter can be very slow, so much that Windows Updates could take 2 to 3 hours on a RAID1!

To force enable write cache on an H200 adapter (at your own risk), do the following:

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