Vers 1.5R Clock Radio Dock, Smooth-Sounding Vixen In A Black Dress [Review]

Vers 1.5R Clock Radio Dock, Smooth-Sounding Vixen In A Black Dress [Review]

There must be a special space reserved at the table in Valhalla for any designer able to make a fat brick look hot; if that’s true, then there’s a seat reserved right next to Jonny Ive’s for the Vers 1.5R’s designer (and yes, both design heaven and design hell are Scandinavian. Don’t believe me? Take a look at an IKEA catalog; now, go experience a 1980s-era Saab).

Most likely the sexiest, greenest, sweetest-sounding clock-dock around; most likely also the priceiest.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Cult of Mac Black Turtleneck rating system:
5: Insanely Great! • 4: Steve Approves • 3: Needs Work • 2: Sugared Water • 1: Dogsh*t frosting


Model: Vers 1.5R radio/alarm clock for iPod
Company: Vers Audio
Compatibility:Any iPhone or iPod; comes with a variety of adapters, with more available from Vers.
List Price: $219.00
Buy Now: The Vers 1.5R Radio/Alarm Clock for iPod is Amazon.

Sound from the 1.5R is impressive, even when compared with some stand-alone docks — but especially when compared with other clock-radio docks. The single 15W speaker and rear-facing bass-port do a really good job of delivering rich, full sound; it’s underpowered if filling a room, but perfect next to your pillow. And the hand-crafted black-lacquer case is of the same material used on high-end speaker systems, which Vers says plays a role in the enhanced sound quality of the unit.

The unit will obviously output AM/FM radio and will dock with any iPod/iPhone; sound can also enter the unit through an auxiliary 3.5 mm input jack. The display’s three brightness levels seem just about right for day, evening and night use; the lowest setting was perfect with the lights off — just bright enough to see without being obtrusive.

Most clock-docks don’t come with remotes, but the 1.5R’s jumbo controller is without doubt the most comprehensive and robust of any sort of dock I’ve seen.

Vers 1.5R Clock Radio Dock, Smooth-Sounding Vixen In A Black Dress [Review]

The glossy black brick is just plain satisfying to use. From the solid, velvety way the volume and tuning dials rotate to the shape and color of the backlit alpha-numeric display, sophisticated little details abound on the 1.5R; even the smoothness with which sound fades down when the sleep timer runs out lends to the feel of a slickly finished product.

About the only drawbacks are the fact that the unit tends to take up a little more real estate on my bedside table than I’d like, and, for a clock-radio, its exorbitant price — about double that of most other clock-docks. But again, one should bear in mind that the sound really does compete with other docks at that price point with no clock-radio. And for some reason, a few weeks into testing the volume knob began to randomly pull the tuning knob along with it; it happened sporadically, and wasn’t enough to be truly annoying — still, not something I’d expect from a $200-plus clock-radio.

As icing on the cake (or of primary concern to some), the 1.5R is awash in green cred:  Vers spec’d a class D amplifier and switiching adapter, both of which Vers says significantly reduce the unit’s energy consumption. In additon, the company seems to take a very proactive ethical stance, from the sourcing of materials to their packaging.

Vers 1.5R Clock Radio Dock, Smooth-Sounding Vixen In A Black Dress [Review]

Vers 1.5R Clock Radio Dock, Smooth-Sounding Vixen In A Black Dress [Review]

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About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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