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Image credit: Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Plantronics rebrands as Poly to get its groove back

The new company also has plenty of new products on the way.
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Plantronics' BackBeat Pro 2 Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Plantronics was close to being acquired by Logitech last year, but unfortunately that deal fell through. Now Plantronics, best known for being one of the first companies to make Bluetooth headsets, is trying to craft a new image. Together with Polycom, the teleconferencing outfit it snapped up a year ago, they're rebranding as Poly -- a punchier name meant to show they're not stuck in the past.

In recent years, Plantronics never quite achieved the level of buzz that brands like Beats and Sony have when it comes to audio. But they've steadily managed to deliver solid headphones much cheaper than the competition, like the BackBeat Pro 2, and they have notable technologists aboard, like Jaap Haartsen, who developed the original Bluetooth spec.

Now as Poly, the company plans to double-down on what it's already great at, while delivering new features like Alexa support in its Voyager Bluetooth earpiece line. There's also a slew of new products on the way, which include a VoIP phone powered by Microsoft Teams, and another phone that lets businesses use Google Voice numbers, instead of a traditional system. Poly also plans to offer more analytics for its products, so that a call center using its headsets can have a sense of how well every employee is doing.

While it might seem like this rebrand is a response to Logitech passing on its acquisition, the company tells us it's been in the works since Polycom joined Plantronics. A new name and logo won't be enough to make Poly as recognizable as Beats, but it's still a major step towards taking control of its own future, Shantanu Sarkar, EVP of Poly's personal systems group, says.

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