Bob Marley’s legacy includes posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a track the BBC considered the Song of the Millennium (“One Love”). Add another to that list: branded headphones.
It’s nothing new that celebrities have gotten into the headphone game — even after death. At CES, the artist’s son Rohan represented the family name, promoting House of Marley headphones. But in addition to the celebrity affiliation, these headphones — from the $30 in-ears to the $300 over-ears — are known for their eco-mindedness.
The brand uses natural, renewable materials in the product and packaging, such as sustainably sourced wood, cotton and aluminum. Furthermore, House of Marley is strongly tied to the 1Love foundation, which works with various non-profit partners such as charity: water and the United Nations Environment Programme.
Using wood in headphones is an interesting choice. It can vary from from tree to tree, but the result can be warm, natural sound with balanced resonance. After trying several pairs from its various lines (there are 13 models total), I have to say the standout to me is the Redemption Song in-ear headphones ($79.99).
The in-ears are a lot more understated than its on- and over-ear counterparts. However it’s worth noting all of the headphones sport a Rastafari-themed fabric cable. I understand the religion plays a large role in Marley’s life and culture, but the color scheme is also loosely associated with marijuana use. If you’re not Jamaican, I can see how people might identify you with the latter rather than the former. Aside from that, I’m a fan of the fabric cord, something I’d like to see more widely in headphone design, since it reduces tangles. House of Marley also claims the cord was specially engineered to cut down on static to emit a clearer sound.
Speaking of sound, the music you hear from these headphones is crisp and clear. Above all, it emphasizes bass, since all House of Marley headphones were designed for reggae music. The highs are there, but they play second fiddle to the lows. The headphones come with five ear tips to find the right size and a pocket-sized canvas carrying case. Overall, these are a huge step up from Apple earbuds, delivering great sound in an eco-friendly package.
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