This summer, I supported the Vers 1Q Kickstarter project, which sponsored a small Bluetooth speaker. There are a number of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market, but there are four things that make the Vers unique. First, it a speaker in a wood cabinet–real wood. Wood has acoustical properties that cannot be imitated by any other material. Second, it is small…quite literally a 3-inch cube. Third, it features a single speaker which gives high quality sound (the speaker itself is larger than that of “competitors”) that can be linked to a second Vers 1Q to make stereo sound. Finally, it has a rechargeable battery that lasts 10 hours. I bought it thinking of using it in our camper–but it has become clear that the 1Q may have a place in my choir program as well.
I've been searching for a replacement for the Brookstone Boombuckets my choir programs have used for the past six years. The Boombuckets were great because they had their own battery power and were loud. Unfortunately, the Boombuckets are getting beat up (a number of other teachers and programs have been borrowing them) and the battery life on the Boombuckets is at an end.
My original thought was to replace the Boombuckets with the highly rated Jawbone Jambox. Last summer, our drama teacher bought the choir a single Jambox because one of our Boombuckets had been damaged during a dance rehearsal. It was a kind gesture, and having both the Jambox and the Vers 1Q gives me the opportunity to compare products. Both speakers allow for Bluetooth connection, long battery life, and auxiliary in (aux in) should you not have Bluetooth on your device, or choose not to use it.
Neither solution (Jambox or 1Q) is a heavy solution–both are extremely portable and light. The question comes in the area of sound. The Jambox is a wonderful personal speaker, giving a very solid bass performance and a surprising amount of sound–until you turn up the volume too much. In my own testing, using SPL (decibel meter on my iPhone), I was only able to get 78 decibels out of the Jawbone Jambox until there was distorted sound.
The Vers 1Q is a different product–it only offers mono sound until you add a second 1Q (or you buy the 2Q)–but the sound is highly satisfying. It is easier to pair with Bluetooth than most devices I've used. And instead of physical volume buttons, the 1Q is solely controlled by the volume of Bluetooth on your device. I was able to get 85 decibels out of the 1Q before getting distortion on the same song. Remember that the decibel is a exponential scale…so the 1Q–in mono mode–is exponentially louder than the Jambox (without distortion).
I did not compare my 1Q to the Brookstone Boombucket–they were all being used at the time. My guess is that the Brookstone would be louder than the 1Q.
Where do I currently stand? I will be requesting the purchase of four Vers 1Q speakers for the choir program–particularly as our other speakers continue to be used by other departments. This is not a tiny computer monitor speaker, and I do feel that the speaker is worth the asking price. My wife has claimed the speaker I bought via Kickstarter this summer (she has even figured out how to pair it with her iPhone). You can buy the Vers 1Q for $119, but they are offering a 20% discount through the Holidays using code KS2012 on their website. This is about the same price I paid for my 1Q as a Kickstarter, which was $95.
If you are looking for a highly portable, high quality speaker–the Vers 1Q is worth looking at.