House of Marley Redemption ANC earbuds Review

Friday, December 04, 2020

Probably one of the greatest songs ever written, House of Marley pays homage to Bob Marley's timeless classic - Redemption Song - by introducing a pair of earbuds named after it. The Redemption ANC earbuds are a classy pair of true wireless made with wood fibre composite and lovely bamboo accents. The earbud driver housing has a flying saucer design so, it has a large diameter circumference and a slight flat curvature to it, making the driver housing compact enough that the earbuds don't protrude out of the ears.
The charging case accompanying the Redemption ANC earbuds features a snazzy charging dock interior made of upcycled silicone rubber with a paint splatter finish. The charging area has preformed charging pods with a raised lip around it to help the earbuds slot in magnetically.
Inside the Redemption ANC charging case, you will also see three charging contact prongs on either side, as well as a tiny springy bump, which is retracts when placing the earbuds in the charging case. This springy bump is designed to prevent the proximity sensor onboard the earbuds from activating. 
Something else that is unusual about the Redemption ANC charging case is the number of charging contacts (six in total), which do not correspond with the number of charging contacts on the earbuds (ten in total).
The Redemption ANC charging case has a nice build quality to it with a large bamboo fascia on the top of the lid and wood fibre composite construction; hence no plastic has been used. The Redemption ANC charging case lid has a metal hinge, which is a nice touch, although the charging case does not have the detent/friction hinge mechanism as the Champion earbuds, which allows you to keep the lid at a semi open position without closing.
Both the top and bottom of the case are flat with a House Of Marley logo metal engraving on to the bamboo. The charging case has a perfect square shape, measuring 6.5cm long and 6.5cm wide. The height/thickness is 3.4cm. On the front of the case, there is a cool looking battery led indicator reminiscent of Knight Rider's scanner light bar. The Redemption ANC earbuds status leds do blink during audio playback, which can be annoying, although thanks to the side location, the status leds get obscured by the inside of ears.
Automatic play/pause is another feature you get with the Redemption ANC earbuds, which not all earbuds have. While convenient, this feature can sometimes be a bit of a hit and miss depending on the implementation. On the Redemption ANC earbuds, the automatic play/pause works well and without any apparent hiccups, thanks to the use of a proximity sensor rather than an accelerometer sensor. 

The proximity sensor is the same type you get on phones so, it uses light detection instead of motion detection, which tends to cause false triggers when tilting your head at an angle even with the earbuds in your ears. With the Redemption ANC earbuds, you don't get this problem since the light sensor is more precise as it only activates with proximity, not motion.
The Redemption ANC earbuds integrate touch controls, unlike the Champion earbuds, which use physical buttons. Touch controls provide a faster response time and eliminates having to push your earbuds into the ear canal. Touch controls do have the drawback of not being able to be used with gloves like with physical buttons. The touch sensitivity on the Redemption ANC earbuds is very low so, you won't trigger the buttons by accident; however, the touch controls do require forceful taps, which creates a bit of a ding effect inside the ear canal. 
Button controls on the Redemption ANC earbuds support basic audio playback, voice assistant, calls and active noise cancellation but no skip to previous song and volume control, which seems to be the case with most House Of Marley's true wireless, including the Liberate Air
The button function arrangement is also slightly different to most earbuds so, it takes getting used to. You can only play/pause and accept calls with the right earbud and enable active noise cancellation with the left earbud. The auto play/pause feature does not work with calls but, it's supported by both earbuds.There are a couple of female voice prompts that come up when active noise cancellation (ANC) and ambient mode are enabled. The voice prompts are loud enough to be heard even at maximum volume. The ANC feature can be used without audio playing and works well as long as it's constant background noise (i.e. rumbling sound of building works) and there isn't too much wind. This is because it is a feedforward ANC design with the microphone on the outside of the earbud, rather than inside like feedback ANC. Ambient mode lets in a good amount background sounds, fairly clearly so, it works well when running.
The Redemption ANC earbuds have an easy Bluetooth pairing process. Simply flip open the charging case lid and Bluetooth paring gets triggered automatically, allowing you to connect the Redemption ANC earbuds while sitting inside the charging case. You can alternate between listening with one or two earbuds but, you cannot use both Redemption ANC earbuds individually/independently with separate devices because of the master/slave relation, which is a pity since both earbuds have a microphone.
Other than a one second re-connection delay, switching from stereo to mono and viceversa is seamless so, you can take the earbuds in and out without interrupting the audio and/or disconnecting the bluetooth connection. The Redemption ANC earbuds support AAC and SBC codecs (no aptX support).

The Redemption ANC charging case weighs 73 grams, while the earbuds weigh 6 grams each - same as the new Redemption ANC 2 earbuds. The Redemption ANC earbuds have a thick and stocky stem design with a microphone at the tip of it, which delivers clear voice calls without background clatter. The earbuds measure 4cm long, while the stem measures 10mm thick and 7mm wide.
The Redemption ANC earbuds fit comfortably and very securely in the ears for exercising, thanks to the included ear wings, which anchor the earbuds on to the ears. The only drawback though, it's that the Redemption ANC earbuds are only IPX4 certified, which is not high enough for running in the rain. The ear wings are easy to attach and remove, and have R and L markings to distinguish them. The ear wings weigh half a gram each so, they add 1 gram of extra weight to the earbuds. 

Runtime is 7 hours on 50% volume and with ANC turned off and 5 hours with ANC turned on. The charging case provides an extra 20 hours (28 hours without ANC) of extra charge. Both the earbuds and the charging case take 90 minutes to recharge via USB-C connection. It's not the fastest but the charging case supports 15 minute quick charge, which provides a 2-hour runtime.
The Redemption earbuds have medium-size drivers (8.6mm), which deliver rich sound, clean treble, clear vocals and superb bass response. The Redemption ANC earbuds come in the usual eco-friendly packaging, although this time around a plastic grip seal bag was included, which is unusual. There is also different size silicone tips included and a branded charging cable. You can buy the Redemption ANC earbuds on amazon. Check out the review of the Exodus ANC headphones and the Rebel earbuds

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