review

House of Marley No Bounds Speaker Made With Cork

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The sustainability of the planet has been a hot topic for quite some time now, so much so that more companies than ever before are joining forces to reduce the carbon footprint on the planet. The manufacturing of consumer goods is, probably, one of the main reasons for the increase of greenhouse gas emissions so, having sustainable alternatives to choose from makes both common and financial sense since the earth-friendly niche market is growing at a galloping rate.
The House of Marley No Bounds speaker is one of those sustainable alternatives to the average speaker, using nothing but recyclable materials. The No Bounds speaker is, certainly, not your run-of-the-mill because it is made rather differently to most portable bluetooth speakers.
The No Bounds speaker has a rounded, flying saucer design with a recycled silicone rubberized mid-section that has a paint splatter finish on it. On this mid-section, you will find a nylon loophole and the user control buttons, which share the same paint splatter color scheme, allowing them to blend, hiding almost in plain sight.
The buttons are slightly concaved inwards and consists of six physical buttons with clicky, tactile feedback. The buttons are volume down, play/pause and volume up, as well as a power button and bluetooth button, which are located on the opposite side to the volume and play/pause buttons.
In between the power and bluetooth buttons, you find a silicone rubber pop-up cover, concealing the micro USB charging port and auxiliary audio input for connecting the speaker to a laptop, phone or any other audio device that has a 3.5mm audio socket. An audio cable is not included but, you get a braided micro USB charging cable, which is similar to the one included in the Liberate Air wireless earbuds.
The microphone pinhole is located on top, near the nylon loophole and provides clear call conversations, thanks to having good amplification.
The top section of the speaker grill is covered with recycled fabric mesh and features a House Of Marley logo, which is made of recyclable aluminium. The base of the House of Marley No Bounds speaker mirrors the top section but, instead of fabric mesh, there s cork bark, which makes the speaker lighter and also buoyant, allowing it to float on water.
The House of Marley No Bounds speaker is waterproof, rated at IP67, which means you can drop the speaker into water up to a meter deep for 30 minutes. IP67 also makes the speaker resistant to dust, which is perfect if you plan to use it on a sandy beach or hiking outdoors.
Cork bark is the same material used for making wine bottle stoppers. Cork bark is earth-friendly and it is not supposed to harm the cork oak tree where is taken from every nine years, once the cork oak tree reaches maturity.
The cork bark does regrow back on the tree, which is good to know. Earth-friendly alternatives that do not harm the environment nor the living things in it are always welcome since toxic man-made, non-biodegradable materials are, certainly, taking a toll on our precious planet. A neat fun fact about cork is that it contains trapped oxygen, the same oxygen we breath in the air.
The base of the House of Marley No Bounds speaker has a rubber ring around it to prevent the speaker sliding around. It also provides some stability when sitting upright. This rubber ring is also made of recycled silicone rubber. Both the top and base sections of the speaker have a rounded gradient and a total height from top to bottom of 5cm high so, the speaker isn't as thick as it looks on the pictures.
Included with the House of Marley No Bounds speaker is an aluminium carabiner clip that features a flat profile frame with the brand wording of House of Marley imprinted on it. The carabiner is a useful addition to the speaker, allowing you to hook it just about anywhere possible.
The Rasta Flag is discreetly attached to the side of the No Bounds speaker. This is the flag of the Rastafari, which has the colors red, yellow and green, usually with the symbol of marijuana leaves or the image of Haile Selassie or of Bob Marley on the flag to symbolize Reggae music and, of course, ganja, which is a sacred plant in the Rastafari religion.
The House of Marley No Bounds speaker connects via Bluetooth 4.2, which is low energy. It provides better performance than the previous Bluetooth 4.0, although Bluetooth 4.2 is not the latest Bluetooth version, which is Bluetooth 5.0.
That said, the internal battery is able to hold charge for a good stretch up to 9 hours on 50% volume from a single 2 hour charge. The maximum input charge the internal 1100mAh battery can receive is 5V/1A. You can stream wireless audio while charging the speaker, which is nice since not all bluetooth speakers integrate pass through charging.
Considering the compact dimensions (11cm diameter) and the 3-watt speaker driver inside it, the House of Marley No Bounds speaker delivers a thundering volume sound (80±3dB) and decent bass response, which the cork backing probably has something to do with it.
The 3-watt speaker driver is able to handle all major frequencies, although it does a better job at handling the treble and upper vocal range frequency. All in all, good sound and without distortions at max volume.
The volume does not need to be cranked up all the way to get good sound out of it. Speaking of volume, you can connect two of these No Bounds speakers together for true wireless stereo sound. The added benefit of this would be double the volume output and audio stereo separation, although the bluetooth signal strength does decrease from 30 meters (single speaker) to 10 meters (two speakers).

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