Motorola Verve One+
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.
“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.