Gagdet Review: A voyage into user-friendly personal sound

With its touchscreen case, the Poly Voyager Free 60+ is an innovation in the wireless earphones space that is no slouch in the sound department either

By Anirban Bagchi

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Published: Wed 17 Apr 2024, 6:19 PM

The wireless earphone is perhaps the most ubiquitous device in today’s electronics gadget world. It pairs up with your mobile phone for wireless calling and audio on the go; it connects to your laptop for video calls and entertainment; and it acts as your listening device for any audio output you care to name that has provision for dispersing said output via Bluetooth.

With the importance that the wireless earphone has been enjoying for a while now, one might think that the major manufacturers have made all the advancements possible in its design and development, and the only thing possible with the device now is to refine the audio quality.


But trust an outsider, dismissive enough of the impossible, to attempt to reinvent the wheel on this established device. And succeed. Well, nearly.

Enter the Poly Voyager Free 60+. The Poly brand is probably not the first one that comes to your mind when you think wireless earphones, but this relatively obscure brand seems to have stolen a march on the more illustrious Samsungs, Apples, Boses and Sonys of the world with its innovative Voyager Free 60+. But behind the Poly name is the might of tech giant HP, and they know a thing or two about technology.


Priced at Dh1,055, the Poly Voyager Free 60+ sets out to be both your trusted business headset throughout the workday and your go-to true wireless earphones for leisurely activities. With features like active noise cancellation (ANC), multipoint connectivity, commendable battery life of five-plus hours for voice calls and up to eight for music on a full charge (with the case providing two more full charges), it aims to cater to your diverse needs.

At the heart of the device is a novelty – a touch-screen-enabled charging case. Yes, in a wireless Bluetooth earphone set. With this feature the Free 60+ sets itself apart from conventional true wireless earphones, adding a layer of sophistication and functionality. Unlike standard cases relying on LEDs for status indications, this case features a 1.4-inch colour touch screen, providing clear battery level displays and intuitive music playback controls. It is also compatible with Qi wireless charging for more convenience, ensuring hassle-free powering up on the go.

Moreover, the inclusion of a slot inside the case for the BT7000 USB Bluetooth adapter highlights Poly's attention to user convenience, eliminating the risk of losing an accessory that is small yet essential. While the case's functionality is commendable, this comes at the cost of slightly larger dimensions that do not take as easily to the average trouser pocket as they do to a backpack.

The earphones sport a ball-and-stem design, akin to the second-gen AirPods, ensuring a snug and adjustable fit, with three pairs of silicone eartips for customisation. The earpieces sport a sleek matte black finish with metallic grey microphone grilles.

The incorporation of touch controls adds convenience, allowing users to manage volume, mute calls and switch between ANC and Ambient modes with ease. However, despite its functionality, the touch strips were not adequately responsive - but given the touchscreen case controls we seldom found ourselves using them anyway.

Equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 technology and support for various codecs including AAC, AptX, and SBC, the Voyager Free 60+ ensures high-quality audio transmission across multiple devices. Its compatibility with the Poly Lens app further enhances user experience, allowing for extensive customisation and firmware updates. While the app offers a plethora of options, including voice prompt customisation and timed reminders, the inability to reconfigure earpiece buttons and limited EQ settings may leave some users wanting more.

Moreover, multipoint pairing capability across eight devices proves beneficial for users juggling multiple devices, ensuring seamless transitions between calls and media playback.

Despite its array of features, the Voyager Free 60+ exhibits mixed performance in two crucial areas: noise cancellation and microphone quality. While its ANC functionality effectively suppresses midrange ambient noise, it falls short compared to industry leaders like Bose or Sony. Similarly, the headset's microphone setup, though adequate for calls, lacks the clarity and proximity of dedicated boom mics.

On the audio side, however, the headset delivered impressive sound quality, characterised by powerful bass, clear vocals and detailed instruments across the diverse range of music genres we played through it, as well as great dynamic response when using it for movies.

The Poly Voyager Free 60+ is a versatile contender in the true wireless headset space, catering to both professional and personal lifestyles. Its seamless integration of work-oriented features with leisure-centric functionalities ensures adaptability in diverse settings. And the piece de resistance is the touchscreen on the case that lets you control the device with ease.

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Poly Voyager Free 60+ Bluetooth earphone

Hits:

- Audio quality

- Case with touchscreen controls

- Features and connectivity

Misses:

- Noise cancelling

- Microphone clarity

Price: Dh1,055

Rating: 4 stars

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