By now who hasn’t heard of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or RingCentral? The pandemic of 2020 helped increase our awareness of these, and other audio and video conferencing solutions in order to more efficiently work away from the office.
Many of us have come to rely on, and appreciate tech tools to help us with our productivity. Headsets, especially wireless models, along with audio and video conferencing products have become far more common in our daily lives compared to a short two years ago for example.
We’ve been away from the office and each other, so these tech tools have served as our lifeline to coworkers and customers alike.
In this blog, I’m going to compare two similar products in the audio/video area. Specifically, I’ll be doing a side by side comparison of the Jabra Panacast 50 to the Bose VB1 video bars.
In this review, I’ll cover the main points of each model so you can get an idea how they compare to each other. I’ll also test the audio and video of each to see which one looks and sounds the best.
In order for you to see and hear for yourself, make sure to check out this Youtube video I did on comparing these two models. I’ll insert it below for easy access.
The Jabra Panacast 50, and Bose VB1 are both very good, easy to use products. So, no matter which one you end up choosing, you’ll have a professional grade video bar by a well respected, reputable company.
Even though these two products have many similarities, there are some differences. In this blog I’ll attempt to bring them to light. I won’t be taking a deep dive into their tech specs, but instead, I’ll give you a good general overall comparison including their audio and video capabilities through some testing.
The Jabra Panacast 50, and Bose VB1 both connect via USB. The Panacast 50 comes with a USB-A, USB-C, and Ethernet cable, where the Bose VB1 comes with a USB-A cable and Ethernet.
The Bose only requires a single cable connection which is convenient, whereas the Jabra Panacast does require more than one cable connection
in order to get things setup. Though a single cable connection is simpler, that’s not to say the Panacast 50 is cumbersome or difficult in any way. It isn’t, it just connects differently than the Bose VB1.
The microphones on both units are very similar, with the edge going to the Jabra Panacast 50. The Panacast 50 comes with 8 beamforming array microphones.
By contrast, the Bose VB1 comes with 6 beam steering microphones. Does this represent a huge difference between these two models so far as microphones are concerned? Not really, but if you have to give an advantage to one, it would be in favor of the Jabra Panacast 50 for the two additional microphones.
The Bose VB1 microphones are designed to have a pick up range of 19.7 feet, and I wasn’t able to locate this spec for the Panacast 50. I would assume it’s similar.
I did some microphone tests in my Youtube video that tested both models. Both performed well, and picked up my voice with ease. No clipping, no distortion, no difficulty in hearing me at all even when nearly 20 feet away from the microphone.
Both models feature echo cancellation, noise suppression and full duplex audio. These are characteristics you’d expect in a professional grade audio device.
The Jabra Panacast 50 comes with three 13 megapixel cameras that include a 6X digital zoom. The Bose VB1 comes with a single 8 megapixel camera and 5X digital zoom.
The field of view on the Panacast 50 cameras is 180 degrees. The cameras intelligently activate to where the speaker's voice is coming from. This is different from the Bose VB1, where it utilizes a pan feature to match the audio and video.
In my tests, the Bose pan seemed to delay which resulted in hearing sound, but not seeing the speaker for a period of time which seemed less than desirable. The camera on the Bose VB1 has a field of view of 115 degrees.
One of the features on the Panacast 50 that’s controlled by Artificial intelligence (AI), is in the cameras. When several people are speaking at the same time, the camera detects this and may activate all three cameras and then frames up the group so the far side viewer(s) can see everyone up to a full 180 degrees.
Jabra refers to this as video stitching.
This feature is performed automatically, though I believe it can be activated manually as well. Along these same lines, the Panacast 50 has an “active speaker” feature that tracks who’s currently speaking. Once it detects where the sound is coming from, it activates the appropriate camera, among the 3 available.
To me, I found the Jabra Panacast 50 camera(s) to provide a higher quality image. Opinions about video quality, like with audio, can be subjective. But to me, I liked how the Jabra looked over the Bose, though I did like the audio on the Bose better.
I found the color on the Bose to be less lifelike in some of the tests I did which included natural lighting, office lighting and studio lighting. I also found the Panacast 50 to have a sharper image, at least it was to my eye.
Check it out for yourself by watching my video, and I’d be happy to read your comments and get your opinion.
How much do they cost?
The Jabra Panacast 50 has a suggested retail price of $1195.00
The Bose VB1 has a suggested retail price of $1199.00
As you can see, the prices are virtually the same. This can make your buying decision a little more difficult if one of these models isn’t the clear favorite. In that case, a significant price difference could be a help with your final decision.
Based on what you’ve read so far, which model would be your choice? The Bose VB1, or Jabra Panacast 50? Given both of these products do the same thing, it comes down to a few things:
- Which looks better to you?
- Which one sounds better?
- Which one provides the better video quality?
- Which one is easier to set up and use?
- Which one has a better company to stand behind the product?
These two video bars are very similar which makes deciding all that more challenging. You might like the looks of the Bose better. Maybe it’s got a more sleek and modern look to it, and looks for tech equipment might be important to you.
You might like the video quality of the Panacast 50 over the Bose VB1, or the audio quality of the Bose over the Panacast 50. Whatever conclusion you come to, you’ll surely not come away disappointed after a few uses.
Both of these video bars are excellent, and the one that’s best for you can only be decided by you. After all, some of the things you might use to base a buying decision could very well be very subjective.
And that can lead different people to a completely different conclusion after evaluating both models.
If I were put into a corner and had to choose one, I’d probably go with the Jabra Panacast 50. I do like the Bose sound, but I don’t like the delay in the camera’s pan feature.
I found it awkward when I moved from one spot to another because the Bose camera couldn’t pan fast enough to keep me in the video frame.
As I’ve said, both models are good, I just feel the Jabra Panacast 50 is better. But that’s me. You might have a different point of view.