Disclosure: I received this product for free in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.
With a specific cell phone maker out there who recently decided to make their product without the standard headphone jack, more people will be looking under their Christmas tree this year for a set of earbuds they can use. For iPhone 7 users, that means you could get the Apple Airpods – They’re “wireless, effortless” and “magical”. They connect instantly aaaaaaannnnd they are coming soon. You could use a dongle or get a new set of earbuds but with a lightning connector. So, give all your earbuds with the 3.5 mm jack to Goodwill and spend $29.99 on a new set of wired earbuds. Or, you can get third-party Bluetooth earbuds that you can actually use right now with your new phone. Though Bluetooth headphones have been around a while, most of them have been wired to each other. There’s no jack to deal with, but the earbuds are wired to each other – leaving a cord that has to be adjusted, tucked or ignored.
I got a pair of Motorola Verve One+ earbuds to try with my iPhone. Not a 7. No, I’m in no place to spend that much on a new phone. A 6 you say? Well. I tried it with my wife’s iPhone 6 and they work great. No, I use the height of 2011 technology – an iPhone 4s. The Verve Ones work great with it and there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t work even better with a newer phone with better Bluetooth technology. But I really didn’t get them to use with my phone. I find myself near my computer with kids running around. I can’t plug a set of headphones in that may get caught by a kid and yank my laptop off a kitchen counter. Ok, I tried wearing a pair with a six-foot cord so I could listen to stuff while I was doing dishes. Yeah, a kid runs through and drags them off my head. The laptop didn’t fall off, but I decided Bluetooth was the way to go.
The Verve One+s aren’t cheap as headphones go. They’re running at $249.99 on Amazon right now. But compared to other Bluetooth earbuds like them, they’re very competitive.
An app is available for the earbuds. I used them for a week before getting the app, but it allows you to use some equalizer presets to fine tune your music. Here’s the thing. I can review the ease of use of these little guys – but I’m not the guy to go to for music quality questions. Most of what I listen to is audiobooks, podcasts and Itunes U classes. My ear for fine music is tin. Maybe even lead. But I’ve loved these little earbuds for their ease of use and distance they allow me to travel from my audio source. There’s nothing like listening to a photography tutorial on Youtube when, out of nowhere, the guy drops an F-bomb while your 3-year-old is standing right there. Speaking of Youtube and music on the Verve Ones, this guy does an excellent review of the music capabilities of the Verveones. The Verveones and Verveone+s are identical other than the plus model being IP57 waterproof and about $50 more. Although you could technically go swimming with the earbuds in, 1. They likely wouldn’t work both because Bluetooth doesn’t work in water. 2. Because your non-waterpoof phone is underwater and dying as you take your first few strokes. 3. Because who is going to wear a pair of $250 earbuds into the pool?
I’m not looking this up, because I don’t care that much, but I’ve heard from a movie (possibly starring Will Smith) that human ears are as individual as fingerprints. There are six included gel caps to try and get a perfect fit into your ear canal. Wow, saying that makes me think of this Star Trek scene. That is a good fit, but doesn’t sound comfortable. I hold on to these gels as they seem pretty universal and they come off and get lost. I’ve got a collection of a dozen or so. It would have been nice if – for $200 to $250, they’d included a couple more options.
Like I said, I use the Verveones a lot with video. It didn’t take long to discover the problem of latency with the Bluetooth earbuds. “Latency” is a fancy word for the lag in audio due to processing. It’s like watching a baseball game from the nosebleed seats. You see the ball hit and hear the “crack” a second later.
On video, it’s a distraction. Just watching an interview, the lips moving at a different rate aren’t so bad, but the body language doesn’t match the emphasis of the speaker – that is truly confusing.
Battery life is announced when you connect the Verveones. Completely charged earbuds will be about three hours with a warning when the life is low. Like most modern products, battery life seems dependent on use. Three hours was more like two hours and 50 minutes to two hours and 35 minutes.
The cylinder that houses the Verveones is both a charging platform to plug a micro USB into, a battery that you can charge the earbuds into to charge, and it’s a link to the Hubble app that allows you to make changes to your Verveone performance. The shape makes it a bit of a pain to keep in your pocket or on a table with a slope. The supplied micro USB is too short and leaves the case hanging from the USB cord. I’ve had a lot of problems with broken micro USB ports — where you have to prop a device up against a book in order for the port to work. So, I swapped the cord out for a longer one right away.
While equalizer performance can be made with the single large button on the Verveones, the app is necessary to make other changes.
I found the Verveones are great for phone calls. The large button on the earbuds answer and hang up calls. Unfortunately, the sound is only delivered through the right earbud, but there are dual microphones and sound while making a call on my iPhone 4s with the Verveones was better than even wired earbuds I’ve used in the past.
The Verveones offer huge sound for earbuds. This was an awesome boon for me – I’m going deaf from loud music, long periods wearing earbuds and free thinking about hearing protection on the rifle range. I was very pleased with the level of volume offered by the Motorola earbuds.
Cliff: An accomplished author, in that I drink a lot of coffee, look at obscure websites, own a copy of Microsoft Word and know what an Oxford comma is. Hobbies include mocking Ab Lounger ads on Craigslist and napping. Former Marine, mail carrier and dental chair technician, now I spend my days trying to live up to my wife and dog\'s expectations of me and show my kids how to live life well.