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Lifewire / Erika Rawes
Sleek and stylish
Adjustable headband, mic, and speakers
Excellent noise cancellation
Flexible connectivity options
Not great for outdoors
The Alexa-enabled Voyager 4220 UC offers a great deal of quality and flexibility in a stylish headset.
The Plantronics Voyager 4220 UC is a professional Bluetooth headset with a few extra bells and whistles. The added perks, including an on-call indicator light and the ability to access Alexa, are designed to elevate it above other headsets built for calls and meetings. I tested the Voyager 4220 UC headset for two weeks to see how it performs compared to other headsets on the market.
The Plantronics Voyager 4220 UC is a stereo speaker headset with the microphone protruding from the right speaker. The inside of each earpad is labeled with an “R” and an “L,” so you know which cuff goes on which ear. If you want a single ear (monaural) headset, a different connectivity option (like USB-C), or a model that comes with a base, Plantronics offers several other models in the 4200 office and UC series.
The 4220 UC is sleek and compact, and it doesn’t have the bulky look you see in some other headsets. It’s attractive and modern. The matte black 4220 UC doesn’t go overboard with branding, and it has different textures on the outside of each ear cuff that make the headset appear more well thought out and higher quality. All of the controls are on the right side, along with the mic, and you can naturally operate the unit with one hand, keeping your opposite hand free for other tasks like typing.
The Voyager 4220 UC feels comfortable, even after wearing it for several hours. The adjustable headband has sufficient padding, but not so much padding that it feels stiff or rigid. The speakers have a relatively small amount of cushioning, and they’re covered in a soft leather-like material that doesn’t get too hot or sticky. The ear cuffs swivel 180 degrees from side to side for an optimal fit. The earpads don’t cover over the ears completely, but rather they sit on top of the ears, so they don’t create that suction effect around the ears. Fortunately, the headset has a snug enough fit for the speakers to stay in position and still minimize background noises.
The 4220 UC’s four-inch microphone rotates in a windshield wiper pattern, allowing you to position it ideally near the mouth when speaking and rotate it back up to the vertical position when you’re not using it. The mic’s boom is flexible too, so you can position it comfortably when you’re on a call.
The Voyager 4220 UC has HD Voice, active noise canceling, and other audio features that promote the best possible experience for both a home and brick-and-mortar office worker. Although it’s primarily a headset for work calls and meetings, it shines in other areas as well. The 32 mm speakers have a decent frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 KHz, meaning the headset has sufficient bass. Music sounds impressively clean, though not quite as crisp as it would if you were listening on a pair of headphones designed specifically for music. The 4220 UC provides loud stereo sound and minimal distortion. You could absolutely use this as a multipurpose headset for work, music, media, and light gaming.
The microphone has active noise cancelation, utilizing a second mic to add opposing sounds to help cancel out background noises. The person on the other end of my calls could hear me loud and clear and I never had to repeat myself. With HD voice, conversations felt natural, without any pauses or static. I didn’t miss portions of conversations, as I could clearly hear my call even in the presence of loud background noise.
The person on the other end of my calls could hear me loud and clear and I never had to repeat myself.
The 4220 UC has an LED indicator on the side that illuminates when you’re on a call, which lets your coworkers know when you’re unavailable. There’s also a red button on the right ear cuff to conjure up Alexa. You can play the news, music, get your questions answered, or even control your smart home devices. I could say “Alexa, set the temperature to 70 degrees,” and Alexa would adjust my Honeywell thermostat.
My only complaint about the Alexa feature is that when using it on your phone, you have to have the Alexa app opened. You also can’t access Alexa while you're on a call, because of the same red button doubles as an in-call mute button.
In the PLT Hub app, you can adjust some of the headset settings (like your sidetone volume), as well as enable and disable certain features (like HD voice and notification tones). The app has firmware update and “find my headset” features, and is generally better than most headset companion apps I’ve used.
The Plantronics Hub desktop software lets you control the headset’s settings from your PC or Mac. The Hub can monitor usage, control noise exposure levels, and more.
The 4220 UC is extremely flexible in terms of its connectivity. You can connect it via Bluetooth to your mobile phone, connect to your computer or laptop using the included USB dongle, or wire it to a PC using the included USB cord.
When you connect wirelessly, the roaming range is 30 meters (98 feet), so you’re not tethered to your device. You’re free to walk around, and maybe even make a trip to the kitchen during a meeting if you work from home.
The Plantronics Voyager 4220 UC retails for $220, which is on the pricier side. Plantronics headsets are typically on the mid-to-high end of the price spectrum, but the 4220 UC is worth the $220 price because of the style, flexibility, convenience, and quality it provides.
Like the 4220 UC, the BlueParrot B550-XT(view on Amazon) is also good for noisy environments. However, unlike the 4220 UC, which comes with a USB dongle, is Alexa-compatible, and comes in a stereo version, the BlueParrot B550-XT is a single-speaker Bluetooth-only headset that includes a BlueParrot voice assistant. With a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, the Plantronics Voyager 4220 UC is better for music playback than the BlueParrot. Overall, the BlueParrot is better for the outdoorsy on-the-go worker, while the 4220 UC is sleeker and better for an office worker.
Excellent for calls, good for music and media.
The attractive Plantronics Voyager 4220 UC has stellar audio and a comfortable fit, making it an ideal headset for work use.