Mo­torola Verve One+

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

You’ve seen head­phones like this be­fore, al­beit in the cin­ema while watch­ing The Avengers or the lat­est James Bond film. Wire­less ear­buds have been in de­vel­op­ment for a while now, but Mo­torola (or Bi­na­tone li­cens­ing the Mo­torola name) has ar­rived first with its Verve One+.

You may have to lower ex­pec­ta­tions of how slick you’ll look wear­ing these things, be­cause they aren’t small. The bright or­ange colour is hardly in­con­spic­u­ous and the bud sticks out by about 1cm – less es­pi­onage chic, more traf­fic-themed hear­ing aid. They are com­fort­able and not much heav­ier than some larger wired ear­phones. Six pair of tips en­sure a snug fit, and once the Mo­toro­las are suitably equipped, they don’t fall out once.

Hub­ble trou­ble

“The bright or­ange makes the One+ look less es­pi­onage chic, more traf­fic­themed hear­ing aid”

Ev­ery time you put the buds back in their case, they get a top-up. A fully-charged case is claimed to be good enough to pro­vide charge for up to 12 hours. But us­ing the Verve One+ is a mixed bag. Con­nect­ing to a smart­phone or lap­top is straight­for­ward: the buds search for a nearby host and you’ll be con­nected in sec­onds. But things get foggy if you use the ‘Hub­ble Con­nect for Vervelife’ app, which in­sists you put the buds back into the case be­fore any com­mu­ni­ca­tion can take place.

The sound is also rather un­clear and un­sub­tle. You get a vague idea of the in­stru­ments, but it never feels like in­sight. Tonal bal­ance is fine, but there’s a hard edge to­wards the tre­ble that makes them an un­pleas­ant lis­ten over long pe­ri­ods. Then there is the dy­nam­ics – it’s rarely an im­pact­ful per­for­mance. We might dis­miss these as sports head­phones, but even on the tread­mill you’d pre­fer your beats tight and hard-hit­ting. Con­nec­tiv­ity is another is­sue, and we ex­pe­ri­ence reg­u­lar dropouts on the right ear­bud as the Blue­tooth strug­gled to pass through our skulls.

The Mo­torola Verve One+ feels very much like a pro­to­type. The core idea is great, and there is a gen­uine use for this sort of prod­uct. But these early ef­forts are a dis­ap­point­ment, so it’s back to the draw­ing board. Un­til then, we’d only rec­om­mend these if your only pri­or­ity is move­ment.

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