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

Bose is most effective acknowledged for its large-quality speakers and amplifiers, but the business is also active in sign processing and networking, application, PA techniques and conferencing solutions. It is the latter that worries us here, in the shape of the Videobar VB1, an all-in-one USB machine comprising a camera, microphones and speakers, aimed at huddle spaces and smaller conference rooms accommodating up to about 10 individuals. 

The Videobar VB1 integrates with the standard conferencing application suspects, such as Microsoft Teams, Google Satisfy and Zoom, and can make a wired or wi-fi link to the business community for IT administration access. It is a quality product costing $one,199. But how very good is it? 

The $one,199 Videobar VB1 brings together a 4K PTZ camera, six beam-steering mics and a pair of stereo speakers.

Impression: Bose


The Videobar VB1 is a modern matte-black cuboid with a camera entrance and centre, flanked by grilles covering the speakers and microphone array. It actions 686mm large by 96mm deep by 48mm large and weighs 2.5kg — that is 27in. by three.8in. by one.9in. and 5.6lbs for US visitors (and Brexit diehards in the Uk). 

The VB1 comes with a desk stand (such as a Kensington lock slot) and a wall-mount bracket. Alternatives contain a display mounting kit for attaching the videobar to a conference place monitor (42in. – 85in.) and a Mud ring. 

You can use the Videobar VB1 with just electrical power and USB-C Computer connections, though other ports, such as RJ-forty five and HDMI-out, are also available.

Impression: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

Connections at the back, from left to proper are: community (RJ-forty five), electrical power (round pin), audio in (three.5mm jack), CTRL Input (2-pin Euroblock), USB-C and HDMI out. The furnished USB-C cable is 5 metres (16.5ft) in duration if you need a for a longer period link to a Computer, be positive to look at Bose’s checklist of recommended 3rd-bash USB extenders. 

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

Impression: Bose

There are a few of buttons on the proper side of the video clip bar (as you glimpse at the camera): one mutes the microphones and the other engages Bluetooth pairing mode (both of those of these features, and far more, can be accessed via the integrated distant manage and the Bose Function cellular app, which is available for iOS and Android). 

Leading ZDNET Evaluations

In the box you get the Videobar VB1 alone, USB-C (5m/16.5ft) and HDMI (one.5m/four.9ft) cables, an infrared distant with 2 AAA batteries, a wall-mount bracket and desk stand, a electrical power adapter, a cable administration kit, a camera privacy go over, a USB-C to USB-A adapter, a 2-pin Euroblock connector, furthermore a printed quick-start guidebook and other set up recommendations. 


The Videobar VB1 camera is an 8MP PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) unit with 115° horizontal, 81° vertical and 123° diagonal field of look at, and up to 5x electronic (not optical) zoom. Beneath it is an LED strip that glows distinct with colors and widths to produce status info. Indicator lights for microphone mute and Bluetooth pairing also clearly show here. For the safety-mindful, there is certainly a detachable privacy go over integrated in the box.  

The VB1’s 4K PTZ camera has a 115° horizontal and 81° vertical field of look at, and can use autoframing to hold conference members in look at.

Impression: Bose

The camera supports video clip resolutions up to 2160p (4K) at 30fps, which provides some headroom as most video clip conferencing providers operate at 1080p (FHD) — Lifesize being the exception. Autoframing, selectable via a button on the infrared distant, adjusts the pan, tilt and zoom to hold all conference members in-frame — there is certainly no support (still) for monitoring individual speakers. You can also specify PTZ options for the remote’s home button and two presets, via the desktop Bose Function Configuration app (available for Windows and MacOS). 

There are six dynamic beam-steering microphones, three on either side of the camera, which hone in on voices and reject extraneous sounds. If there is certainly a persistent source of sounds from one way (the hum of an air-con unit, for instance), you can specify an ‘exclusion zone’ in the Function Configuration app, which will result in mic beams pointing there to be suppressed.  

The stereo speakers produce 20W for every channel with a frequency response of eighty five-twenty,000Hz and a optimum sound tension level (SPL) of 89dB at 1m length. 

As well as the Bose Function cellular app and Function Configuration desktop app, which are consumer-oriented, there is certainly Bose Function Management, a Windows app that IT admins can use to deploy and take care of several community-related Videobar VB1s across an organisation.  

General performance & consumer experience 

The Videobar VB1 is impressively uncomplicated to set up and configure, though I didn’t take a look at the community link and Function Management application side of matters. To set up a solitary unit, you mount it on a desk or wall (we used the desk mount), plug in electrical power and a USB-C Computer link at the back, connect your conference place exhibit via the HDMI-out port if needed, select the Videobar VB1 as your camera, mic and speakers in your video clip conferencing application, and off you go.  

If you’re employing a Computer that is set up in a conference place (a Teams Space or Zoom Space installation, for instance), you is not going to need the HDMI link from the VB1, which requires DisplayLink motorists and demands to be turned on in the Function Configuration app. 

The infrared distant control’s features are replicated on the Bose Function app (Android or iOS).

Impression: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

Controls around pan-tilt-zoom and presets, volume and autoframing, furthermore mic muting and Bluetooth pairing, are all available via the helpful infrared distant or the cellular Bose Function app. 

Setting an audio ‘exclusion zone’ in the desktop Bose Function Configuration app, to block out an extraneous sounds source.

Impression: Charles McLellan / ZDNet

The 4K-capable camera delivers a large-quality impression, with controls available in the Function Configuration app for very low mild and backlight payment, anti-flicker/powerline frequency, brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness and white equilibrium. Autoframing operates efficiently, zooming in and out to ensure that all conference members are in the image. You can modify the autoframing pan-tilt-zoom velocity in the Function Configuration app also. 

As you would be expecting given Bose’s heritage, audio quality is fantastic — in simple fact, during tests I regularly used the Videobar VB1 to enjoy new music from Spotify on my smartphone around a Bluetooth link. Back again in video clip conferencing-land, you have very good manage around the conference room’s audio-scape. We have stated the ‘exclusion zone’ element that lets you blank out extraneous sounds from a unique way. This is available when the mic beams are in dynamic mode alternatively, you can position the beams how you want them in static mode. Also in the Function Configuration app, you can toggle microphone mute access and acoustic echo cancellation, and modify the volume of any enter getting into via the three.5mm audio-in jack to match that from the host Computer. 


The Bose Videobar VB1 is a trim but strong camera/mic/speaker combo made to service conference rooms with place for up to about 10 individuals. If you’re happy with the quality $one,199 cost, you’ll get a quite capable and configurable product.

Modern AND Relevant Content material

Brave now gives video clip conferencing designed into the browser

Qualified speaker secrets: How to give environment-class digital shows

Zoom aims for video clip contact centers, whiteboard and collaboration improvements

Microsoft readies far more Teams hybrid conference attributes frees up far more LinkedIn distant-work programs

Video-conferencing data worries: Privateness watchdog problems Zoom warning to point out govt

Read through far more assessments