When you think of the name Bob Marley, you conjure up images of a musical icon that shaped and inspired generations to an idea of equality, unity, and sustainability. In the same vein, House of Marley strives to continue his legacy with products that fit in these same equal and eco-centric ideals with their Freedom and Destiny line of headphones. In this review, we will take a look at two of their top model headphones, the “Stir It Up” from the Freedom Collection, and “TTR” from their Destiny Collection.
To begin with, both of these headphones are high end consumer products, constructed of high grade eco-friendly materials in line with their mission statement. Both employ recyclable aluminum parts, durable fabric tangle-free cables, and durable Earth-friendly canvas cases.
Freedom Collection – “Stir It Up”
The “Stir It Up” model comes from the Freedom Collection, their mobile emphasis line. Made out of environmentally friendly Beechwood and recycled aluminum, these headphones are very light and very durable to the wear and tear of a mobile lifestyle. The headphones themselves look great and the canvas headband adds to the comfort and quality of the construction.
The headphones are on-ear type, meaning they rest on top of your ears, and use a 40mm driver capable of 15Hz-22kHz production. In use, I found the audio quality to be very good for a consumer grade product, and especially good for such a small and light package.
The headphones also include a three button in-line control with mic that supports all the functions available to an iPod or iPhone. The controls function the same as the standard Apple ear-buds and include an embedded microphone to allow you to take calls with the headphones. One nice feature is the cable itself contains a right angle connection to your device, allowing for both a good fit and little risk of damage to your jack. In practice, the three button control is a welcome feature not common to many third party headphones and functions as expected. The embedded microphone itself performs as expected, and is more than adequate to take the occasional phone call while on the move.
Finally, the headphones come with a high quality, soft yet durable canvas storage bag that allows for compact transport. The bag is light with a button clasp capable of holding the headphones and cable.
Destiny Collection – TTR
The “TTR” model comes from the Destiny Collection, their top of the line high technology line. Also made out of environmentally friendly and very durable stainless steel and aluminum, these headphones are also very light and are extremely durable. A lot of thought about design went into these headphones, and it shows with a level of elegance that is not common in many similar products.
These headphones are over-ear types, meaning they rest along your head, encasing your entire ear. The lining uses an ultra-soft leather that feels great and is easily wearable for long periods. Inside, the headphones use a 40mm driver capable of 12hz-23kHz sound production with an extra boost to the bass for a good kick on those heavy-sounding sources.
These headphones are also active noise canceling headphones, which means they actively suppress external noises to give you a clean and pure sound without worry of problems from a noisy environment. Requiring two AAA batteries, I found they would last for several hours before they ran out, though disappointingly, they will not function at all without batteries. Also of note, like many active noise canceling headphones, these introduce a bit of artifacts on the extreme ends of the audio depending on the environment it attempts to cancel out.
The headphones also include a one button remote-mic combo, which works with a number of different devices including iPods and iPhones. The remote itself supports the standard single button spec from Apple, so it cannot control volume. The mic itself works as well as can be expected and is adequate for the occasional phone call. These headphones also contain a right angle connection for safe and secure attachment to your device.
The headphones include a hard shell canvas case allowing for protected transport and storage.
In use thoughts
In a noisy room environment with a loud climate system, the “TTR” headphones were great at canceling out the vent noise to give me a pure listening environment. On the other hand, the “Stir It Up” model does not provide quite the same sound quality as the “TTR.” but do a much better job of isolating the audio away from a loud environment. I used the “Stir It Up” model to great effect while DJ’ing at a loud venue where the “TTR” model was unable to compensate for the loud and varied changes to the audio environment. In a controlled environment, I found the “Stir It Up” model to be somewhat muddied compared to the “TTR” model, but in every day use, the “Stir It Up” model is still of great quality for a consumer grade product.
I did find the “Stir It Up” model to be highly durable, to a fault. While being touted as comfortable for long listening sessions, I found that the headphones were very tight and didn’t give much, causing my ears to be pressed tightly against my glasses due to the fact I have a large head. On the other hand, the “TTR” model fit very well and comfortably for long periods of time.
Overall, I found both headphones to be of very high quality, and the fact that they were both designed with eco-friendly considerations makes them very appealing to me. Sustainability without sacrifice in quality is a hard goal to achieve, but I believe House of Marley has done well to reach this standard.
The “Stir It Up” series is available on their website for $199.99.
The “TTR” series is available on their website for $299.99.