HP Poly has released a new series of hands-free earbuds for enterprise use, designed for the hybrid worker to make calls with superior sound quality in any environment. The Voyager Free 60 Series includes the Poly Voyager Free 60, Poly Voyager Free 60 UC and Poly Voyager Free 60+ UC. I’ve had a few weeks to test out the Poly Voyager Free 60+ UC, so I’d like to share my experience with these pro-grade earbuds.
A sleek look designed for on-the-go productivity
The Voyager Free 60 + UC with Qi wireless charging features an OLED touchscreen on the charge case that lets you control volume and settings, see your battery status and accept or reject calls. When handling music or audio playback, the controls automatically change to include functions such as pause and skip. The touchscreen also allows you to switch between noise-canceling and transparency modes without needing to touch your phone.
Out of the box, the Voyager Free 60+ UC is straightforward to set up and pair with multiple devices. It comes with three different sizes of silicon ear tips, a USB charging cable (I’ve found that the case charges on any of my wireless charge pads in my home or car as well), a BT700 USB Bluetooth adapter and a USB-to-3.5mm audio cable. Using the adapter, the smart charge case doubles as a Bluetooth transmitter, allowing you to use the earbuds with in-flight entertainment systems and other audio sources.
The touchscreen charge case is a bit bulky as it is intended to sit on a desk, but the model with the basic charge case without the touch screen is nicely pocket-ready and slim. All models come in Carbon Black, which I much prefer, and the Voyager Free 60 UC Series is also available in White Sand.
Poly Voyager Free 60+ UC earbuds boast solid battery performance. They can hold up to seven hours of call or play time on a single charge. An additional 21 hours of battery life is provided by the charging case. The earbuds also support fast charging to get up to one hour of use from a 15-minute charge.
Superior sound quality, as expected from Poly
Poly is known for its exceptional audio products, so the sound quality of these earbuds is not surprising. The earbuds feature adaptive hybrid ANC and three microphones in each ear to triangulate your voice and surrounding noise. The result is a clear sound on both ends of a call. Poly designed the earbuds to screen out wind—literally. Poly’s WindSmart technology incorporates a stainless-steel mesh windscreen and wind-avoidance algorithms to detect and suppress wind noise. The result is a clear, isolated voice—so clear, in fact, that it kind of blew me away.
The Poly Voyager Free 60+ UC has 6mm drivers to deliver sound with a frequency range of 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz. The earbuds also support AAC and SBC codecs, so they should produce quality audio even when streaming from a smartphone or tablet.
I won’t do a side-by-side comparison with my Apple AirPods Pro, but I have a few minor personal preferences to call out. From a sound perspective, the Poly Voyager Free 60+ UC is hands down superior in work or music mode. The real standout is on the receiving end of a call made with the Poly earbuds. The sound is far superior. It is comforting knowing that when I call someone from the road (or the ballfield), the sound experience is good on their end. I won’t be completely giving up my AirPods, however. Compared to the Voyager Free 60+ UC, the superior noise-cancellation from my AirPods Pro and their compact size are reasons enough to earn its place in my pocket or small handbag when the Voyager case is too bulky to tote around.
Poly Lens App puts the controls in the right hands
To deliver an enterprise-grade experience to users, Poly continues to bring features into Poly Lens, its device management tool available for PC or mobile devices. Poly Lens enables management of compatible devices by both the end user and IT administrators.
From my experience as an end user, the Poly Lens app interface made my earbuds very customizable to my preferences. For example, the active call audio setting allows you to select the action you want the earbuds to take when removing them during an active call. Choices are to do nothing, transfer to mobile or mute the microphone. Auto answer lets you answer simply by putting the earbuds in when the phone rings. This is incredibly convenient when on the go, not to have to look at a device to answer.
There are also handy commands like auto pause for streamed audio, as well as a custom swipe sensor that allows you to assign an action for the device when idle, during a call or while streaming media. This feature allows you to set and quickly access your most-used actions.
IT admins can use the cloud-based Poly Lens tool to maintain control and visibility over devices and centrally manage them from anywhere in the world. Poly Lens enables them to deploy, update, configure and obtain valuable insights from either a single endpoint or thousands of them. Poly Voyager Free 60+ has Microsoft Teams-certified and Zoom-certified editions so you can connect to these virtual meeting platforms with one tap.
A home run for hybrid work environments
When Poly originally announced the Voyager Free 60+, I was looking forward to trying the earbuds at the baseball field. Like many working parents who have enjoyed the flexibility of hybrid work, it’s not unusual for me to field a work call from my kids’ sporting events. I tried out the Poly earbuds at a packed—and thunderous—baseball game, and I was impressed with the call quality as well as the ease of volume control from either the case or the earbuds themselves to adjust quickly to noise fluctuations.
The earbuds are light and comfortable in the ear and can easily be worn for several hours at a time. For people who need something that’s always on, these would likely be a significant improvement from over-the-ear headsets without compromising quality.
Overall, the design, quality and ease of use make the Voyager Free 60+ UC a home run in my book. I look forward to seeing more pro-grade devices from Poly for the on-the-go worker.