One of the many traits that
drives my wife crazy endears me to my wife is my tendency to always be rockin’ the tunes. Whether I’m working on a project, putzing around the house, or just chilling on the deck, great music is likely to be wafting through the air. Currently, that music is wafting out of a Ryobi Verse Clamp Speaker. Or two. Ryobi sent us a pair of these new, compact Bluetooth speakers to try out, and it would have been rude not to fire them up immediately. So I did.
The Ryobi Verse isn’t Ryobi’s first plunge into the Bluetooth speaker pool. Way back in June of 2017, we reviewed the Ryobi Score P760 and 761 wireless speakers. We got four of them, and they worked great. And they still do – I still use them on a regular basis, and have done so since I got them.
Time For A Musical Update
Apparently, Ryobi thought it was time to freshen up their wireless audio offering, and add a bit of versatility. As you might have guessed, the Ryobi Verse clamp speaker has – that’s right – a clamp! For those demanding users not content with being able to plop their speakers down on any relatively flat surface, the clamp allows you to clip the little speakers onto any surface up to about 1-3/4” thick.
The possibilities are limitless: A stud or joist, a picnic table, a fence post, or the wingtip of your Learjet. Although you may want to remove it pre-flight. Here’s a quick rundown of the Verse’s features, followed by a gripping short promo video from Ryobi:
- Connect 100+ VERSE Clamp Speakers or utilize each speaker individually
- Best-in-class BLUETOOTH range streaming; over 250′ between primary speaker and device
- Stay connected up to 150′ between speakers
- Quick and easy speaker synchronization, no app required
- Speaker volume can be adjusted independently, or synchronized by user’s device
- Crisp, clear sound for an enhanced listening experience
- Over 32 hours of runtime for all-day listening
- Pivoting head and a rotating base for precise audio placement
- 1-3/4″ clamping capacity to mount anywhere
- Part of the RYOBI 18V ONE+ System of over 280 cordless products
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
- PCL615B Includes: (1) PCL615 18V ONE+ VERSE Clamp Speaker and Quick Start Guide
- PCL615K1 Includes: (1) PCL615 18V ONE+ VERSE Clamp Speaker, 18V 1.5Ah Lithium Battery, Charger, and Quick Start Guide
- PCL6152P Includes: (2) PCL615 18V ONE+ VERSE Clamp Speakers and Quick Start Guide
Getting Versed On The Ryobi Verse Clamp Speaker
Getting ready to stream your content is pretty fast and straightforward. Any time you press a button, the Ryobi Verse Clamp Speaker gives you a short but sweet verbal status update. POWER ON, POWER OFF, BLUETOOTH CONNECTED, BLUETOOTH DISCONNECTED, etc.
To get the speakers speaking, press the Power button on any speaker. Next, turn on your Bluetooth device, and search for Clamp Speaker in its Bluetooth settings. Click on it, and Boom – you’re connected. To add more speakers, turn them on one at a time, and press and hold the Connect button on the first speaker (which is now the Primary). You’ll hear “Primary transmitting.”
Now press and hold Connect on the secondary speaker; you’ll hear “Searching for primary.” Within a couple of seconds, they’ll link up, and you’ll get the message “Secondary synched.” After that, it’s off to the races, and you just repeat the process with all 100 speakers. You did buy 100 speakers, right?!
Once the music starts, you can control the volume on all connected speakers with the source device. You can also control the volume at each individual speaker, in the unlikely event someone – my wife, for instance – is not enlightened enough to understand that music is best appreciated at full volume.
Second Verse, Same As The First
When Ryobi came out with their Score wireless speakers a few years back, there were two versions, and they were NOT created equal. In addition to serving as a remote Bluetooth speaker, the big boss Ryobi P760 speaker also had a built-in FM tuner and an auxiliary input.
If you wanted to add more speakers to the mix, it was easy to do so. The Ryobi P761 was available to use as a secondary speaker. While the P761 was cheaper, it had limited capability. It couldn’t be used as a stand-alone speaker, but could only mindlessly parrot whatever was coming from the P760. You were also limited to a paltry total of four speakers.
Life is more egalitarian with the Ryobi Verse. While you can have a hundred or more speakers all blasting out Hoobastank’s or Mungo Jerry’s greatest hits (neither of which will take long), any one of them can break away and be the founder of an alternative musical feast.
That can go a long way in establishing familial – or jobsite – harmony. On the off chance your 14-year-old or your coworker doesn’t share your refined musical tastes, he or she can snag one (or more) of those speakers. After a quick re-syncing to another source, they’ll be able to stream THEIR favorite tunes. Although they’ll undoubtedly be far lamer.
Jammin’ With The Verse
To evaluate the Ryobi Verse clamp speaker, I used it in all the same places I used its predecessor. That included indoor use – in the basement workshop, in the barn, and while installing trim and doing other random DIY projects. It even got to spend some quality time in the bathroom with me, for my end-of-day shower.
The speakers also got to spend some quality time in the great outdoors, on a few rare late-winter/early spring days where it wasn’t snowing or drizzling down freezing rain. I synced up both speakers, and being able to crank my tunes made the chores of tidying up the garage – and even doing a bit of snow shoveling – much less tedious. With their spring clamps and battery bases, the speakers are very versatile, and can be used just about anywhere. They’re very stable when set on a table or workbench, or even set on a tailgate or the ground.
Getting A Grip
Since I also wanted to test out that sporty clamp, I clamped the speakers in several location where they might typically be used. One was under an overhead deck, pointed down toward a patio where parties have been rumored to occasionally occur.
Another test site was on a couple of posts at a small garden plot on our farm. I even clamped one to a tree branch one balmy spring day, as I washed my truck in the shade.
The clamp is robust, and opens wide enough to latch onto a stud or any other piece of 2X framing lumber. Once attached, the clamp stays right where it was put. The speaker head rotates in various axes, so you can aim the tunes right where you want ‘em. And the clamp lets you position the speaker out of the trip zone – or out of reach of your 14-year-old.
Making Strides With The Ryobi Verse Clamp Speaker
While I had the speakers outside one day, I decided to test their wireless range, which Ryobi claims is 250’. I left the source (my phone) on our front porch, and took a connected Verse speaker for a stroll down our 750’ long driveway.
Since my 250’ tape measure was out for repairs, I used the scientifically-approved method of taking long strides and counting them off. (At a bit over 6’1”, I have a stride that measures at least three feet).
As I marched along, the signal stayed strong, and the music kept cranking. Eighty strides, eighty-five, ninety, ninety-five, one hundred…dang! Finally, on step number 104, the signal started breaking up a bit. I retreated a couple of steps, and the music resumed loud and strong.
At over 100 strides, that put the speaker’s range at a solid 300’. This was with an unobstructed path from source to speaker, but still, that’s pretty impressive range for a small speaker streaming from a cell phone. As it does with any Bluetooth device, range decreases when there are walls or other obstacles along the signal path. In my testing, I still had a solid signal most of the time, even with the source two rooms away.
Looking For A Verse-atile Speaker?
As you’d expect from a smallish speaker in a plastic housing, the sound quality of the Ryobi Verse clamp speaker is somewhat below concert-hall grade. In their defense, they’re a helluva lot easier to schlep around than concert-hall-quality speakers, and less likely to look out of place on the tailgate of your F150. Not to mention a whole lot cheaper.
And the sound quality is fine, for the environment you’re likely to be using them in. While there’s no deep booming bass, the speakers put out a decently-balanced tone. They didn’t distort during my testing, even when cranked up all the way (is there any other way to listen to your favorite tunes?!). Results may vary, depending on your musical choices. During all my testing, battery life was excellent, using both a 1.5 Ah and a 4.0 Ah battery.
Where To Latch Onto The Ryobi Verse Clamp Speaker
For its launch, there are three purchase options for the Ryobi Verse Clamp Speaker. We received model PCL6152P, which contains two bare speakers, and no battery or charger. This version will be available at the Home Depot and at HomeDepot.com, with a MSRP of $99.
The Verse will also be available as a single bare speaker, model PC1615B, with an MSRP of $59. Those not already on the Ryobi ONE+ platform can get the Verse in a kit with one speaker, a 1.5Ah battery, and a rapid charger, model PC1615K1, with an MSRP of $99. Initial plans are to offer the single speaker and the kit for online purchase only, and the Home Depot will ship them to the store for pickup, or directly to you.
If you’re looking for a sturdy, inexpensive and versatile way to stream YOUR favorite tunes, check out the Ryobi Verse clamp speaker. Ryobi backs the speakers with a three-year limited warranty. Get a couple – or a hundred – let ’em latch onto something, and get weeding/grilling/working/showering/partying!