Hey gang, Valkor here. And coming to the TOV TechView stage is a new company, Erato, who are about to make their first Val-Cave run with their latest Bluetooth earbuds – the Verse Wireless. Similarly, we’ve checked out Sol Republic’s Amps Air, which was amazing. So, how do the Verse fare by comparison? Well, the gold award says they’re worth the investment, but there’s more.
My first impression when I took the Erato’s Verse buds out of the box, was that it looked like a pillbox of sorts. However, once you flip the lid, there nestled inside their casing are the two earbuds that’ll bring audio bliss to your ears (yea I’m jumping the gun). The case itself acts as a charging station, which features a microUSB port on the side to ensure it’s always at capacity and your earbuds are ready when you are. It also has LED indicator lights to let you know when they're charging or fully charged. The instructions on how to get the Verse to work goes in one of two ways – first, you can either rock them side to side, which should turn them on. Or once they’re in your ears, you can hold down each ear’s button, awaiting an audio cue. This gets tricky, especially when it comes to the next step as with my first attempt, I wound up turning the buds off. So, I'll go into a little detail about that.
Let’s take it from the top, shall we? To kick off my testing, I discovered that rocking the buds didn’t work for me. Or at least I’m unsure if it works; I’m assuming the LED lights on the side of the buds would switch on if it did. But that never happened. I found out that for me, the easier method would be to manually power up each bud starting with the right ear and then the left. The left earbud is where you’ll actually begin the pairing of the buds, so you’ll want to make that bud insertion your final step. Once you’ve inserted the left earbud and you've pressed its power button, don’t let go but continue to hold down the button until you hear the words “pairing”. Of course, you’ll want to be sure your Bluetooth is on, but that goes without saying. Once the buds are connected and paired, then you’re on your way.
While I would have preferred an app to control the Verse earbuds, I found the onboard controls work well enough though it can be tricky; you can pause, switch songs and lower/raise the volume with a tap of either button on the right or left ear. But, I say it's tricky because you might end up performing a function you didn’t mean to do such as power down the buds when you really wanted to switch a song. Personally, I used the Google music player and performed all functions through my phone rather than rely on the Verse’s controls. I’m sure if I kept at it I’ll adapt to the process, but its extra work that’s unnecessary.
Truth time, but it’s a minor truth I’m about to reveal but a positive towards the earbuds; with each pair of Bluetooth headphones I’ve tested, there’s one smartphone game I’ve never been able to play with the audio turned on and that’s “Pokemon Shuffle”. Any time I turned on the game, the music would get all distorted and jumbled. The game is playable, but I just have to play without sound. However, with Erato’s Verse buds, I was surprised to hear the game’s sweet, sweet audio undistorted. So, already we’re off to a great start.
While I find the Sol Republic Amps Air to be the better earbuds (they are on the high end as well), the Erato Verse is nothing short of amazing! The buds produce a strong, clear audio with a sweet bass that’ll have you jamming through your tunes whether you’re out and about or relaxing at home. The setup could use a little work, but this is where I’ll give the Verse buds the edge over the Amps Air; with the Amps Air, the two buds wouldn’t sync straight away. However, the Verse buds easily connected with a push of a button. Comfort wise, the Verse earbuds are lightweight to almost unnoticeable levels when in-ear; one of my biggest fears when wearing earbuds such as the Verse is whether they would pop out during my travels. However, that issue was laid to rest as the Verse buds rested comfortably in my ear canals with nary a jostle. Overall, I have to say that if you’re in the market for some a sweet pair of wireless buds, without fainting at the cost, then might I suggest investing in Erato’s Verse earbuds. They look, sound and feel great and you'll be a fan the instant you take them out of the box and pop them in your ears.
My only issue with the Verse buds is that the right ear tended to drop audio; it would actually pick back up again after a second or two. But afterward, it would repeat. This isn’t as annoying as the stuttering issue I faced with the Parrot Zik 3 headphones. But it can definitely take you out of your groove. I just want to point out that this only happened while walking, never while resting at home.
Erato’s Verse Wireless earbuds are available now; and while the buds have their quirks, they’re still one of the better sounding earbuds I’ve had the privilege to test out in the cave. With your investment, you’re getting a pair of buds that’ll provide ear-pleasing audio whether you're indoors or out. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving the Erato Verse Wireless earbuds a 4.