- Energy efficient class D amplifier
- 2-15 watt full range speakers
- Dual rear port design for deep bass response
- Hand crafted real wood cabinet Plays and charges all docking iPods Removable front grill
- 3.5 mm Aux-in
- 3.5 mm Aux-out
- 14 function IR remote with 25’ range
- 283 mm (L) X 143 mm (D) X 143 mm (H)
- 11.2″ (L) X 5.6″ (D) X 5.6″ (H) Price: $199
Why do iPod docking stations have to be cheap plastic boom-boxes? I can’t be the only person with no desire to put a white or black piece of plastic in my home, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a use for an iPod docking station. While I do listen to PC audio throughout my house the PC isn’t always on. I generally turn it off when I go to bed, or it automatically shuts off at 11 PM. When I have already turned off the PC or haven’t turned it on yet in the morning I still occasionally like to hear music. This is where the Vers Audio iPod dock comes in. I keep in on the bookshelf in my bedroom, and with the simple but full-featured remote I am able to enjoy whatever I have loaded on that iPod at the moment.
Vers 2X review
The Vers iPod sound system is a very well built product using sound audio ideology that speaker builders have used for ages. The enclosure is made from 9 mm thick MDF and is then veneered with real wood veneers. What sets this product apart from other speaker builders is that I don’t know of many others that are able to build in an active stereo set with fully functional remote control for under two hundred dollars. Did I mention the real wood veneer? So this already seems like a super cool, super affordable product.
Vers has somehow also managed to build a green product. The wood for their MDF is purchased from plantation forest sources, the boxes are made from 100% recycled paper and the veneer is from makers with replanting methods in place. An effort like this to be “Green” is always intentional and usually adds a hefty sum to the price tag, so I can see how this product could be sold for far over $200 while destroying the planet, so how to do it for under $200 with almost no natural resources destroyed is completely beyond me?
When the Vers 2X arrived on my doorstep I didn’t quite know what it was right away. The return address was from the parent company “Sprout Creation” and the box didn’t look new. I thought it was some kind of health food my wife was planning to send me to work with. Once I got the box open I saw the Vers 2X box inside. The box was very attractive with plenty of packing to keep the unit safe in transit. Because Apple has made several changes to the size and even slightly to the shape of the iPod over the years the Vers 2X comes with a number of adapter bases that fit perfectly in to the little iPod cradle on top of the unit. All of these components including a wall wart all fit very nicely in an extremely efficient and well-designed box. Once again minimum waste, a very green concept.
Normally I am not particular about remote controls, most of what I need to do on a CD player or amp can be done before I sit down. Many affordable products come sans remote because of the cost involved with using a high quality remote receiver and remote compatible pot. So normally a remote if it is present is either used or not, but not of particular importance. The remote for the Vers 2X was so impressive that even though pretty much every important function could easily be done from the actual iPod dock or iPod itself it would never occur to me to do so. Navigating playlists was so simple with this interface I just made myself at home, rather spoiled I must say, in either my bed or sofa. This is just another of the things they seem to have gotten right. The Vers 2X remote was intuitive enough that with no instruction from me or a book my wife was able to easily listen to her own music without even thinking about it.
I had obviously seen the Vers 2X on their website, but as a fairly young company, there isn’t really anywhere to go to see and touch the products that they sell yet. As such I was a bit surprised with the stunning look and shocking weight of the 2X. It is compact, but as we all know MDF is not a light building material. It isn’t really until you put the Vers 2X next to an iPod that you really get to see how the designs match so well. The proportions seem to be correct for the Vers 2X to be an extremely large iPod placed on its side. So when you put an iPod on top of it vertically the effect is very attractive, while still contrasting the white plastic to the warm wood tone
The warm lush look of the Vers 2X was what my wife first liked about the Vers 2X, the second thing was that it was compact and because it was a nice real wood veneer it fit in very well with the rest of our furniture. The Bamboo (which is actually a dense grass not a wood) was not the ideal match for my bedroom furniture, but in the way that woods tend to blend better with other woods then plastics do it worked very well in any room regardless of the wood finish of that a particular room.
In the Vers 2X design the speakers are independent and there are two of them so it is a stereo set, but like with most other iPod speakers they are in a single cabinet. While that makes for a rather attractive setup, it limits the options for soundstage and imaging. With the dock about 18 inches from the rear wall and more then 24 inches from any other walls the soundstage was reasonably wide while listening at 13 feet from the device and the depth was satisfactory while neither of these are ringing endorsements it didn’t sound bad by any stretch of the imagination. Honestly the soundstage was far better then expected given the design restrictions. The slight soundstage compacting was most evident during Church off of Lyle Lovett’s Joshua Judges Ruth CD. This song has a beautiful southern choir section. It seems at times like nothing can fill a soundstage more completely then a properly recorded choir. Imaging was equally acceptable with the Vers 2X. I listened to hundreds of songs over the months that I had this review piece and none of them stood out as having particularly poor imaging, but I also cant think of any songs or CD that stood out as being outstanding. In the imaging field I would say the product was average, not particularly high achieving but it didn’t do anything wrong either. I can’t give the Vers 2X too much trouble for it’s small lacking on these large tasks given the $179 price tag it is still a rather amazing product.
As far as problems go, the only real faults I could find with the product was that when you place it inside a bookshelf, as I was forced to do in my listening environment, with the ports facing the rear gave off kind of a boomy bass, making the sound a bit muddy. When I used the Vers Audio in the living room on my normal shelf the sound was much cleaner and the farther from the rear wall I placed it the better the sound got. Also while I don’t often crank up the music the little full range drivers show their stress level towards the top end of comfortable listening to me. Just so you know if you are looking for “Rock Concert” SPL readings the Vers 2X is not going to get you there. If you want that from your iPod get some Shure Ear Buds and blow your ear drums out at close range, other wise the Vers 2X should treat you just fine.
Not all cool audio products are necessarily high end. Here at A$$A I have figured out that some audio products are really cool must haves for one reason or another, but they are not high end audiophile amazing products. There are different reasons for this for each product but the Vers 2X iPod dock system is super cool even if the sound is not “Audiophile Quality.” The positives far out weight the slight negatives that are mostly a result of an intentional size restriction. I can without any reservation give the Vers 2X a solid endorsement, and chances are your significant will also endorse this product as well. How often can an audio magazine say that?
- 30 GB iPod
- Roku Soundbridge M1001
external link: http://www.versaudio.com/
from aﬀordableaudio, By Jeff Brown