What Is Being Reviewed?
Here we have two earphones from House of Marley. Both are from the Freedom line, and are known individually as Redemption Song IE (above), and Zion (below). Normally we’d review both headphone separately, but these are so similar to each other that it makes more sense to put them both here.
- Freq. resp.: 20Hz‐20+kHz
- 9mm neodymium‐magnet, dynamic, moving coil micro speaker
- Connector: 3.5mm gold‐plated
- Cord: 4ft, tangle‐free, braided
- Tips: Silicone, isolating design
- Regular tips, 3 sizes (S, M, L)
- Tiered tips, 2 sizes (S/M, M/L) (Zion only)
- Volume/mute controls in‐line
One of the big points for House of Marley’s upcoming headphones is that they are all made from Earth-friendly materials. They all have fabric lines, with wood and metal on the buds and cans. There’s very little plastic here, with that small amount being recycled plastic. Even the one piece being the in-line microphone and controls is aluminum, if you go for that option. The result is the headphones have a distinct look. I liked the design, but you may not if you don’t like reggae music and the design attached to it.
The design of both headphones, but it’s not too distracting. There were a few things worth mentioning, however. In most earphones of late, the in-line mic and controls are on one of the lines leading to either the right or left ear. Here, the in-line mic and controls are right where the cord splits, which takes some getting used to. It makes the volume buttons fairly large, so there’s no chance of hitting them along with play. However, the also means that the play/pause button is tiny compared to the other two, which was a bit frustrating. Not a big turnoff, but worth noting. It seems like the mic could be too far away from your mouth at it’s placement, but whenever I used it I heard no complaints from the person on the other end of the phone call.
As you’d expect from headphones branded with the Marley name, both of these earphones are balanced towards reggae music. The result is a bit of an emphasis on bass, especially on the Redemption Song IE earphones. Both sets had decent ranges, though highs could have sounded better. If you want a bit less bass, the Zion may be the way to go, but you’ll still get a more bass than treble in my experience.
I tested each pair with a collection of indie rock, electronic, metal, and spoken word (podcasts). They outperformed other earphones I’ve had at similar price ranges, but coming to both from higher-range headphones can be tough. If you dislike spending more than about $100 on headphones, these are a good choice. You might even save a few bucks, as the Zion earphones will sell for $99.99, and the Redemption Song IE pairs will sell for $79.99 (without in-line mic and controls) and $99.99 (with in-line mic and controls). There’s also an added bonus that some of the profits will be put toward the 1Love charity.
So, buy above-average headphones for the price, and give to charity. Not a bad deal.
Note: Both headphones were supplied by House of Marley for the purpose of this review. Both pairs should be hitting stores this August.