Bose Videobar VB1 review: Premium audio and video for small meeting spaces Review

Bose is very best identified for its high-high quality speakers and amplifiers, but the firm is also energetic in signal processing and networking, computer software, PA methods and conferencing methods. It truly is the latter that issues us listed here, in the condition of the Videobar VB1, an all-in-a single USB system comprising a digicam, microphones and speakers, aimed at huddle spaces and small meeting rooms accommodating up to about 10 persons. 

The Videobar VB1 integrates with the normal conferencing computer software suspects, including Microsoft Teams, Google Meet up with and Zoom, and can make a wired or wi-fi relationship to the firm network for IT management obtain. It truly is a top quality product or service costing $1,199. But how great is it? 


The $1,199 Videobar VB1 combines a 4K PTZ digicam, six beam-steering mics and a pair of stereo speakers.

Impression: Bose


The Videobar VB1 is a modern matte-black cuboid with a digicam front and centre, flanked by grilles masking the speakers and microphone array. It measures 686mm vast by 96mm deep by 48mm high and weighs 2.5kg — that’s 27in. by three.8in. by 1.9in. and five.6lbs for US readers (and Brexit diehards in the British isles). 

The VB1 will come with a desk stand (including a Kensington lock slot) and a wall-mount bracket. Selections involve a display mounting kit for attaching the videobar to a meeting area monitor (42in. – 85in.) and a Mud ring. 


You can use the Videobar VB1 with just electricity and USB-C Computer system connections, although other ports, including RJ-45 and HDMI-out, are also available.

Impression: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

Connections at the back, from remaining to appropriate are: network (RJ-45), electricity (round pin), audio in (three.5mm jack), CTRL Enter (2-pin Euroblock), USB-C and HDMI out. The presented USB-C cable is five metres (sixteen.5ft) in length if you have to have a extended relationship to a Computer system, be positive to verify Bose’s listing of recommended 3rd-social gathering USB extenders. 


Microphone mute and Bluetooth pairing buttons on the finish of the VB1.

Impression: Bose

There are a pair of buttons on the appropriate aspect of the video bar (as you glimpse at the digicam): a single mutes the microphones and the other engages Bluetooth pairing mode (the two of these functions, and a lot more, can be accessed by using the provided distant manage and the Bose Do the job mobile application, which is available for iOS and Android). 

Prime ZDNET Opinions

In the box you get the Videobar VB1 itself, USB-C (5m/sixteen.5ft) and HDMI (1.5m/4.9ft) cables, an infrared distant with 2 AAA batteries, a wall-mount bracket and desk stand, a electricity adapter, a cable management kit, a digicam privateness go over, a USB-C to USB-A adapter, a 2-pin Euroblock connector, in addition a printed brief-begin manual and other setup guidelines. 


The Videobar VB1 digicam is an 8MP PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) device with 115° horizontal, 81° vertical and 123° diagonal field of view, and up to 5x digital (not optical) zoom. Beneath it is an LED strip that glows diverse with colors and widths to produce position information and facts. Indicator lights for microphone mute and Bluetooth pairing also demonstrate listed here. For the protection-mindful, there is a detachable privateness go over provided in the box.  


The VB1’s 4K PTZ digicam has a 115° horizontal and 81° vertical field of view, and can use autoframing to hold meeting participants in view.

Impression: Bose

The digicam supports video resolutions up to 2160p (4K) at 30fps, which offers some headroom as most video conferencing solutions run at 1080p (FHD) — Lifesize being the exception. Autoframing, selectable by using a button on the infrared distant, adjusts the pan, tilt and zoom to hold all meeting participants in-frame — there is no guidance (yet) for monitoring particular person speakers. You can also specify PTZ settings for the remote’s dwelling button and two presets, by using the desktop Bose Do the job Configuration app (available for Home windows and MacOS). 

There are six dynamic beam-steering microphones, three on possibly aspect of the digicam, which hone in on voices and reject extraneous noise. If there is a persistent resource of noise from a single course (the hum of an air-con device, for instance), you can specify an ‘exclusion zone’ in the Do the job Configuration application, which will trigger mic beams pointing there to be suppressed.  

The stereo speakers produce 20W for every channel with a frequency response of 85-20,000Hz and a greatest seem pressure degree (SPL) of 89dB at 1m distance. 

As perfectly as the Bose Do the job mobile application and Do the job Configuration desktop application, which are person-oriented, there is Bose Do the job Management, a Home windows application that IT admins can use to deploy and handle several network-connected Videobar VB1s throughout an organisation.  

Performance & person experience 

The Videobar VB1 is impressively uncomplicated to established up and configure, although I didn’t investigate the network relationship and Do the job Management computer software aspect of points. To set up a single device, you mount it on a desk or wall (we employed the desk mount), plug in electricity and a USB-C Computer system relationship at the back, attach your meeting area screen by using the HDMI-out port if demanded, decide on the Videobar VB1 as your digicam, mic and speakers in your video conferencing computer software, and off you go.  

If you are utilizing a Computer system that’s put in in a meeting area (a Teams Space or Zoom Space installation, for instance), you will not likely have to have the HDMI relationship from the VB1, which necessitates DisplayLink drivers and demands to be turned on in the Do the job Configuration application. 


The infrared distant control’s functions are replicated on the Bose Do the job application (Android or iOS).

Impression: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

Controls over pan-tilt-zoom and presets, quantity and autoframing, in addition mic muting and Bluetooth pairing, are all available by using the handy infrared distant or the mobile Bose Do the job application. 


Setting an audio ‘exclusion zone’ in the desktop Bose Do the job Configuration application, to block out an extraneous noise resource.

Impression: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

The 4K-able digicam delivers a high-high quality image, with controls available in the Do the job Configuration application for very low light-weight and backlight compensation, anti-flicker/powerline frequency, brightness, distinction, saturation, sharpness and white equilibrium. Autoframing operates competently, zooming in and out to make sure that all meeting participants are in the picture. You can modify the autoframing pan-tilt-zoom velocity in the Do the job Configuration application also. 

As you would count on provided Bose’s heritage, audio high quality is fantastic — in truth, for the duration of testing I regularly employed the Videobar VB1 to perform songs from Spotify on my smartphone over a Bluetooth relationship. Back in video conferencing-land, you have great manage over the meeting room’s audio-scape. We have stated the ‘exclusion zone’ function that allows you blank out extraneous noise from a specific course. This is available when the mic beams are in dynamic mode alternatively, you can situation the beams how you want them in static mode. Also in the Do the job Configuration application, you can toggle microphone mute obtain and acoustic echo cancellation, and modify the quantity of any enter coming into by using the three.5mm audio-in jack to match that from the host Computer system. 


The Bose Videobar VB1 is a slender but strong digicam/mic/speaker combo created to support meeting rooms with room for up to about 10 persons. If you are happy with the top quality $1,199 price tag, you may get a very able and configurable product or service.

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