review

House Of Marley Positive Vibration XL Review Over Ear Headphones

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Given the current trend towards environmentally conscious products, the House Of Marley have a strong selling point for their Positive Vibration XL headset, which uses responsibly sourced wood, as well as recycled aluminium, plastic and fabric materials.
Being closed-back headphones, the Positive Vibration XL earcups are completely sealed from the outside, providing a good level of isolation and very little sound leakage at 50% volume.
At max volume though, there is enough sound leakage for someone sitting next to you to hear what you are listening to.
The hard shell plastic earcups have a flat dome design with a section of FSC-certified wood in the centre, which has a similar finish to the bamboo finish on the Liberate Air true wireless earphones.
There are only three physical buttons located below the right earcup. These buttons are mechanical push buttons with good responsiveness and tactility, thanks rubber and symbol etchings. The rubber accent on the buttons extends around the perimeter of the earcup.
recycled fabric covering the headband
The buttons let you control volume, play/pause, skipping of tracks and voice assistant, as well as clear previously paired devices by holding down the volume up (+) and volume down (-) buttons for a few seconds.
You can also answer, reject or hang up a call from the Positive Vibration XL headset via bluetooth and wired mode, thanks to the included audio cable, which integrates a 1-button remote with a microphone on the backside.
Call quality is good with the audio cable, although the call quality is slightly better with the built-in microphone on the earcup, which is closer to the mouth. The microphones don't have any noise cancellation so, background noise is also picked up.
The included audio and charging cable sleeves are braided and styled similarly to the lanyard on the No Bounds Bluetooth speaker. The cable plugs have a hard plastic construction, while the connectors are gold plated.
One end of the cable has a right-angle plug with a Rastafarian-style green, yellow and red ring connector.
The headband and inner frame are entirely made of hard plastic and integrate foam padding on the underside, which is 1.5cm thick.
The headband yoke and folding hinge mechanism are made of aluminium with what appears to be a black painted finish, rather than anodized which is more resistant to wear.
The House Of Marley Positive Vibration XL earcups can be swiveled 90 degrees one way so, you can lay them flat and they also fold inwards with a clicky folding mechanism.
The Positive Vibration XL memory foam earpads have a vertical oval shape with 2cm thick soft foam padding that measures 7cm across and 9cm from top to bottom. The earpad inner hole measures 5cm high, 3.3cm wide and 1.7cm deep.
There is a layer of spandex-like fabric to protect  the driver from dirt ingress. That said, this layer is very thin so, if your ears protrude outwards significantly you will feel the speaker driver rubbing against the ears.
The House Of Marley Positive Vibration XL headphones weigh 252 grams and have a medium clamping force, which along with the light weight allows you to wear them on the head for a good long stretch without any hot spot issues. That said, as with all headphones comfort does depend on the shape of your head and size of your ears.
In terms of audio/sound quality, both bluetooth and audio cable deliver clear midrange and treble and punchy bass (not bass heavy). That said, wiring the headphones to a phone or computer does a better job of driving the 40mm drivers with fuller sound and higher dynamics.
The Positive Vibration XL are low impedance headphones (32 ohms) so, a DAC amplifier is not needed, although one can be used for better audio performance. The internal 500 mAh capacity battery takes 2.5 hours to recharge and support quick charge, which means from a 10 minute recharge you get 4 hours worth of playtime.
A full 2 hour recharge provides 24 hours of play time when listening at 50% volume and via SBC, which is the only bluetooth codec supported. Without AAC or aptX support, audio latency is an issue when streaming.
Finding an environmentally conscious company can be like looking for a needle in a haystack but, they do exist!
If you are interested in ordering, you can buy the House Of Marley Positive Vibration XL headphones from amazon. You also get a thin drawstring fabric cloth bag included, which has a tiny Rastafarian flag sewn to the top side.

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