Every now and then, a product just falls into your lap and you find that it is a solution to a problem that you hadn’t realized that you had. This is a skill that some companies, like Apple, tend to do constantly. When done well, it leads to some absolutely amazing products! Today’s review is a product that I believe fits in this category. The problem that I didn’t realize I had? When I get up in the morning and get ready for work, I need to sync my phone and load up my daily dose of podcasts, but at the same time, I need to keep my phone with me to play podcasts while I feed the cats, and gather together everything I need to take in to the office. I usually carpool to work, and my time is limited, so I really need to do both at the same time. The solution I didn’t know I was looking for? The Bass Egg Verb.
The Verb is a compact, battery powered, Bluetooth audio device made by Bass Egg (pronounced “base” as in the acoustic range, not “bass” as in a type of fish). The unit retails for $99.95 and is available directly from the company, or from Amazon.com in either basic black or gunmetal. Bass Egg lists the unit as an audio device, and you can find some references to it as a vibration speaker in other places. What does that mean? Simply put, the Verb has all the drivers of a high-end speaker system, but doesn’t have any of the acoustic cones.
So how does the Verb produce sound? Very well, actually. Bass Egg uses a clever induction method that turns any hard surface you put the Verb on into a resonating surface. Come again? In English please! The Verb turns any hard surface you put it on into a speaker. The larger the surface, the bigger the sound.
Yes, yes it does!
So how does this solve my problem? When I plug my phone into my computer in the morning to sync, I turn on the Bass Egg, which connects to the phone via Bluetooth and starts playing the last audio I played on the phone. Now I can pick up the Verb and take that with me and drop it on the kitchen counter or a nearby table to provide a convenient audio source as I putter around. Bluetooth gives me a 30 foot range from my computer, and the Verb is light enough to carry easily but heavy enough to stay where it is put. The single rubber foot on the bottom grips the surface well to keep the unit from sliding off, but doesn’t dampen the transfer of vibration to the surface that has become my new speaker.
Of course, the quality of the sound that you get from the Verb depends on the type of material you’re using. A wooden table gives a deep, rich sound, while a cardboard box tends to produce a higher, almost tinny sound. Glass tends to give a good, clean sound. Don’t have anything to use? No problem. The box the Verb comes in can be used as a speaker.
The most interesting surface that we tried was actually the roof of a car at a friend’s party. I pulled out the Verb to show it to him, and he put it on top of his Nissan Leaf. Not only did this provide an incredible sound for an outdoor speaker, we then climbed inside the car and found that the sound clearly carried through the car and made the entire vehicle an acoustic chamber.
Now, with any issues involving audio quality, I don’t expect you to take my word for it. You’ll want to hear it for yourself. Usually in cases like this I grab my Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, and headed over to visit my friend John Taylor Williams, a professional sound engineer, to figure out how accurately the Verb reproduces sound with various materials. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get together and record a sound test, so that part of the review I’ll just have to post later.
The Verb is still Nifty Tech. More to com.