Back before Vers was even an idea, we had came to the realization that the world of compact sound systems had evolved some where along the way into a sea of inexpensive, look-alike plastic, 'good enough' sound quality and alot of waste in the form of inefficient electronics, low cost manufacturing choices and un-recyclable packaging materials. Sound system manufacturers had apparently become complacent, and their products increasingly disposable. We saw this as an opportunity - Vers was born.
Since our very first day, we have been committed to 3 simple values: thoughtful design, best-in-class sound quality and a continuous pursuit of environmental sustainability - 'sound sound' for short. These values drive everything that we do, from selecting low-power components to little things, like eliminating twist ties. We're passionate about making a difference where ever possible, large or small.
Aside from being simply gorgeous, wood has amazing acoustic properties as well. The primary objective in designing a sound enclosure is achieving rigidity in the cabinet's construction, assuring that the unavoidable resonance of the cabinet walls do not detract from the natural, intended sound of the speakers themselves. The walls of a Vers cabinet are constructed with 9 mm thick MDF - a material preferred by most high-end speaker manufacturers, which is more then 4 times as thick as the walls in a plastic sound system. A rigid, acoustically neutral cabinet means a more accurate, natural delivery of the intended sound.
Natural beauty and inherent acoustic properties aside, wood is also one of the most renewable materials around. The core of a Vers cabinet as made from plantation-sourced Eucalyptus and Pine, the hardwoods used in the cabinet veneer, our wood cases and earphone shells are chosen from the most commonly-available wood species and is sourced from sustainably managed family-owned mills. No threatened, endangered or tropical woods are used in any of our products. Additionally, for every tree we use in production, we plant 100 through our long-time partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, a respected 40+ year old organization dedicated to supporting, among many other things, the reforestation and habitat-rebuilding efforts of the the US Forest Service. Harvest a tree, plant a forest - it doesn't get more renewable than that.
Vers sound systems are built with the lowest power components available. The heart of a Vers system is a Class D amplifier, which uses less energy and produces less waste heat than a more commonly used Class AB amplifier. During operation, a Class AB amp is literally 'on' 100% of the time, whether there is sound to amplify or not; up to 85% of the energy used is given off as unwanted heat.
A Class D amplifier, by comparison, only uses power when it is required, meaning you get the same level of sound for much less energy - and less emitted CO2; a far more efficient and cleaner alternative. Additionally, all Vers systems use switching-type power adaptors, which draw 30% less power than traditional adaptors under full load and 90% less in stand by. Class D amplifiers and switching power adaptors cost more to produce, but the ability to deliver more sound for less energy and less CO2 is all part of our 'sound sound' mission.
Every time we develop a new package for a Vers product, we look for new, clever ways to reduce their over-all impact. We have replaced all of the internal plastic bags typically used for accessories (power cables, dock adaptors, etc) with paper, eliminated all of the twist ties (over 5 miles of them so far!), selected soy-based inks and 100% post-consumer paper material where ever we could.
On the Vers 1.5R package, we chose recycled paper pulp trays, which helped reduce the overall package size by 15% - a smaller package means less carbon emitted during shipping and less waste for the customer in the end. The Vers 1E sound isolation earphone package, for example, is the only one on the market currently that is 100% post-consumer recycled paper - no plastic windows or unrecycleable plastic inner trays that are common to most earphone packaging on the market. Cleaning up wasteful packaging is not glamorous work, but it all adds up to a big difference in the end.
The old 'reduce, reuse, recycle' mantra has been a great starting place for us in developing a new sound system or accessory line; we always begin with the end in mind. Using recycled materials where ever possible, renewable materials (like wood) to replace nonrenewables (like plastic) and low-power components are all important, but what happens to a sound system when it's no longer needed? Most plastic systems on the market today are not designed to be repaired if they have a problem or to be disassembled at the end of their life. More often then not, they end up in a landfill. Many are glued or bonded together or use unrecycleable plastics to both save money and to compensate for cabinet vibration.
Vers systems are designed with repairability and eventual disassembly in mind up front, and are constructed (and disassembled) with screws instead of adhesives. Over 97.5% of Vers systems that might otherwise have headed for the land fill, for example, have been repairable because of this mind set. ALL electronic waste, including other company's sound systems sent to us by customers via our recycling program, have been recycled responsibly through our eStewards recycling network, an organization of electronics manufacturers and e waste recyclers committed to responsible, non-export electronics recycling practices.
It doesn't stop there - there are plenty of things you can do to help support the 'Sound Sound' mission:
Recycle your packaging: we made sure that all of the paper used in Vers packaging was made completely from post-consumer stock and is fully recyclable. Even the #4 PE bag that protects the wood during shipment should be accepted by most recycling facilities. Like it says on our box: 100% recycled, 100% recyclable – please recycle!
Save those extra dock adaptors: Apple's universal dock design allows us to constantly 'tune' our systems with dock adaptors to fit the latest batch of iPods and iPhones. The downside: we have to include several extra dock adaptors that may never be used. Whatever you do, don't throw them away – save them, recycle them or better yet, send what you don't need back to us and we'll make sure they end up in the right place.
Unplug your power adaptor: Even though the Vers switching power adaptor is the most energy efficient adaptor available, unplugging it when your Vers is not in use can save you more then 1/2 the energy used to power your Vers system for a year under normal use …and reduce your carbon footprint by 33 lbs of CO2. Using less energy is good, producing less carbon is even better.
Enjoy it!: You bought a great little sound system or case for your iPod, iPhone or iPad that is built to last – enjoy it often! Getting the most out of what already exists is one of the best ways to make a difference.
Pass it on: We've designed all Vers systems and accessories to both function flawlessly and 'fit' in your life for a very, very long time. For whatever reason that you decide to 'move on', consider relocating your Vers to another room or possibly passing it along to a friend or family member, so it can live on and deliver great sound for others!
...or contact us: If another room, friends or family aren't in your plans, please contact us and we'll do everything we can you find a reputable eStewards electronics recycling facility near you. We'll even take your Vers back and either refurbish it or recycle it for you. No Vers products should ever end up in a landfill.
Tell your friends: While we'd love for you to say nice things about us to all your friends, it's more important that you help them understand the significant impact increased CO2 output by humans is having on our environment – and the many simple things they can do to make a difference.
Last but not least:
Plant trees: Trees are just about the best consumers of CO2 on the planet. According to the US Forestry Service, a single medium size tree can consume 4 times as much CO2 that will be produced powering a Vers system for a year. When you buy a Vers product from this site, you'll have a chance to donate $1 to plant a tree - we'll match it 1:1 with a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation.
As always, we welcome your comments, ideas and thoughts! firstname.lastname@example.org