As a rule, I’m normally very wary of products that piggyback on the reputation of great musicians or technology pioneers. There are some notable exceptions, such as the excellent Marshall headphones and Bluetooth speakers, but when it comes to musical legends, I feel uneasy about product endorsements.
A case in point is Marley, the range of headphones that are inspired by Bob Marley, probably the best-known reggae artist who brought the genre to global attention in a spectacular fashion until his premature death some 41 years ago. Yes… it’s been 41 years since we lost Bob Marley.
The Marley family has teamed up with The House of Marley to market a range of earbuds, headphones and turntables. Marley was aware of the environment and in paying homage to the great man, all the products that House of Marley sells are made with sustainable materials. Each year, the House of Marley (which is owned by FKA Brands) makes a meaningful financial contribution to One Tree Planted and has already contributed to the planting of 340,400 trees. The House of Marley also supports the Surfrider Foundation and its global mission to protect the world’s oceans, waves and beaches.
When it comes to sustainable materials, The House of Marley designs its products using sustainable materials like bamboo, FSC-certified woods, recycled aluminum and plastics as well as, most fittingly, hemp. I think Bob would have liked that.
The latest product to come from The House of Marley is the Redemption 2 ANC earbuds, a pair of true wireless earphones made with sustainable materials and offering active noise cancelation (ANC) to block out unwanted sounds when listening to music.
These earbuds feature in-ear sensors and touch controls, plus they are waterproof and sweatproof to IPX5 standard. With up to 24 hours of playing time and around 6 hours of charge per earbud, the Redemption 2 ANC can be charged via a USB-C cable or any Qi-compatible wireless charging mat.
The Redemption 2 ANC earbuds come with a choice of ear tips in three different sizes. The sizes are signified by a colored color that fits over the spigot of the earbuds. The colors are red, green and yellow. What else could they be? That nice little touch by The House of Marley made me think that these earbuds with their Marley endorsement are more than just a sponsorship exercise to enrich the Marley family.
All the products in The House of Marley range are tuned to deliver a signature sound that Bob would have approved of. It’s a big and bold sound with bags of bass and I liked it. I was prepared not to be impressed because, so often, these celebrity signature products can be a disappointment.
Pairing up the Redemption 2 ANC is easy and the earbuds are housed in a very sturdy charging case. The stalks of the earbuds are faced up with some rather nice slivers of bamboo and they feel well made. The fit is very comfortable and creates quite a good passive seal. To get the best from the Redemption 2 ANC you need to download the smartphone app.
The Marley app can be used to update the firmware of the earbuds and offers a choice of seven preset EQ settings, including the House of Marley Signature sound. There doesn’t seem to be a custom setting, but you can edit the presets although I couldn’t work out how to rename them. No matter; the Signature sound was great to my ears.
The House of Marley app is a slightly awkward bit of software and I’d like to see it made a bit more user-friendly. Every time it’s launched it must find and connect to the Redemption 2 ANC, even if it’s already connected to the phone. A bit more work is needed on the interface.
The ANC function of the Redemption 2 ANC is acceptable but not the best in class. I don’t think I’d rely on these earbuds to block out the sound of a pair of 777 jet engines. If you want a pair of earbuds that can cut the noise of an aircraft engine, you may need to look elsewhere. The touch controls on each earbud can be customized using the app, although the default settings seem fine to me and can alter volume levels, skip tracks, activate voice assistants and turn on the ANC.
As far as sound goes, the Redemption 2 ANC are everything you’d expect from a pair of earbuds with Bob Marley’s imprimatur although the only support the basic SBC audio codec. Despite the absence of the higher-quality AAC and aptX codecs, these earbuds have a fulsome sound with a bass-heavy feel, but the midrange is never squashed and there’s sufficient treble to bring focus to the music. I liked their sound and they has a far better tone than I had expected.
Verdict: The House of Marley Redemption 2 ANC are a great choice for fans of the Jamaican reggae king and for those who like the idea of sustainable materials and supporting environmental projects that Bob might have approved of. The build quality is excellent while the earbuds feel super comfy in the ear. The battery life is nothing special, the ANC function could be a little better and there’s only support for SBC, but those trio of minor criticisms aside, these true wireless earbuds are rather good and if you love Bob Marley, you’ll love their bass-heavy sound and ample volume levels.
Pricing & Availability: The House of Marley’s Redemption 2 ANC are available now and cost $169.99 / £149.99 / €179.99.
More info: thehouseofmarley.com
- Hybrid ANC (Active Noise Cancellation)
- Ambient Environment Awareness – Audio Passthrough
- Crystal Clear Calls with Call Noise Canceling (RCV 4.0)
- 6 MEMS Mic (3 per earbud)
- 6h Playtime / 24h with Case (ANC)
- Touch Control with Volume Options
- Auto Pause/Play
- IPX5 Water & Sweat Resistance
- Wireless Charging Case
- 20M Range
- USB-C with Quick Charge (15m = 2h)
- Marley iOS/Android Application for changing EQ, ANC level, paring name, custom controls, and Firmware updates
- 3 sizes ear tips (S,M,L,)