House Of Marley Get Together Duo Review Bamboo Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Monday, June 28, 2021

"Let's get together and feel all right" is part of the famous chorus of Bob Marley's One Love song. Even if you aren't into reggae, it's very likely you have heard the song because it has been featured in TV adverts and movies such as "Shrek Forever After". Get Together is also the name of the new Duo speakers (seen pictured) by House Of Marley, which is their first bookshelf speakers in their speaker line up.

Aside from the strong Marley name brand, the Get Together Duo unique selling feature is wireless connectivity between the speakers since most bluetooth bookshelf speakers are tethered to each other via a wire. The Get Together Duo speaker enclosure is made of vertically laminated bamboo, which means bamboo stalk has been split lengthwise into strips, kiln dried and then sanded before gluing the strips face to face to form vertically laminated panels. This process males the bamboo enclosure dense and rigid like MDF, which is why MDF is usually used for speaker enclosure cabinets because MDF has a consistent density, which provides a consistent sound quality.

The Duo cabinet bamboo enclosure has been partially covered with the same type of rugged canvas fabric used on the Positive Vibration XL headphones. The canvas fabric material is a blend of recycled organic cotton (30%), recycled hemp ( 30%) and recycled PET (40%). The front and rear sides of the speaker units are uncovered, exposing the lovely smooth bamboo finish. The corners and inner hole cutout for the drivers have been rounded smooth so, there is no rough edges. 

Bamboo has a natural coating of silica, which is water resistant. There is no mention on the specs whether the bamboo enclosure of the Duo speakers has been treated or sealed with drying oil, which is typically used to help extend the lifespan of bamboo when exposed to the elements. There doesn't seem to be an IP rating, although the right speaker, which has the rechargeable battery can be used as a portable bluetooth speaker, just like the No Bounds speaker, although the Duo speakers don't have a microphone built-in. The Duo right speaker battery life is up to 20 hours runtime with volume set to medium.

The large hole cutout on the front of the speaker houses a 15-watt mid bass plastic cone driver, while the smaller hole cutout houses a 5-watt tweeter with a shiny silk dome driver, which is protected by an aluminium cage. Total RMS output between the two units is 40 watts approximately. The Get Together Duo speaker units seems to be made of three separate pieces: a front panel and rear panel and the centre piece, which houses the hardware and electronics. The Get Together Duo speakers measures 20cm high, 13cm wide and 10cm deep. The mid bass driver hole cutout has a 9cm diameter, while the tweeter home cutout has a 2.5cm diameter.

On top of each speaker unit, you find four control buttons and two large status leds. The buttons make a loud clicky sound and have a springy actuation when pressed. The buttons are concealed by the fabric and have white rubber raised symbols glued on to the fabric. The rear panels have "Marley" brand etchings on them, as well as R and L markings. The left speaker weighs 1050 grams, while the right speaker weighs 1255 grams.

On the base of the Get Together Duo speakers, there is two long thick rubber strips, as well as white marking specifications, showing the speaker model (EM-JA019) and the power supply, which is 15V/0.8A (12W) for the left speaker and 5V/2A for the right speaker. The right speaker uses a 5200mAh rechargeable battery as power, while the left speaker requires mains electricity. The Get Together Duo speakers deliver clear punchy sound with amazing bass - a lot more bass than expected, which is an added bonus.

The connectivity ports are rear-facing on the back of the speaker units and mounted on a black anodized aluminium plate. Both speaker units have color-coded white and red RCA input ports for left and right audio. When turning on and off the Get Together Duo speakers, you will hear a loud voice prompt saying "powering on/ powering off". You will also hear a voice prompt when battery is low. The voice prompts cannot be disabled, including the battery low voice prompt, which comes on every few seconds until the charging cable is connected. 

Setting up the Get Together Duo speakers works similarly to pairing bluetooth headphones, although the Duo speakers require a exact sequence in order to pair them both. You have to power them at the same time and then press the bluetooth button on both units at the same time (you will see the words "Get Together Duo x2" show in the bluetooth list". When successfully connected, you will hear a voice prompt saying "left channel connected/ right channel connected".

The Get Together Duo speakers have a master/slave relation, which means you can only use the left speaker (master) for mono listening when powering off the right speaker (slave). This doesn't work the other way around so, if you power off the left speaker the bluetooth connection disconnects. Both the left and right speaker can be connected separately with different devices so, you can use them as two standalone bluetooth speakers. There is also two wired options for wired listening via auxiliary 3.5mm input and RCA input, which allows you to wire both speakers to an RCA source such as a turntable or projector. In order to use the Get Together Duo in RCA mode, you want to connect the red RCA input of the cable to the red RCA port on the right speaker and the white RCA input of the cable to the white RCA port on the left speaker.

There is an auxiliary input on each Duo speaker; however, you can only connect the right speaker or left speaker to a source, not both. You cannot use the RCA connection to share the signal with the other speaker in auxiliary mode. When both speaker units are connected in bluetooth mode, you can use either the right or left speaker controls to adjust the volume, skip tracks and power off. Both units can only be put in stand-by and to wake them up, you simply press the power button on each unit individually. There is 8 second re-connection delay before both speakers re-connect together. The speakers also have an automatic power off mode, which some users are likely to find inconvenient because it powers off the speakers after 5 minutes of silence. There is no way to disable auto power off. To wake the speakers, you have to press the power button on each speaker, and then long press the bluetooth button to reconnect the speakers (they don't seem to reconnect automatically).

As well as a power adapter, the Get Together Duo speakers come with several detachable plugs for different countries power-grids (100 volts to 240 volts) and frequencies (50Hz and 60Hz). The included power adapter measures 5.5cm high, 3cm thick and 4.5cm deep and, it's attached to a 1.6 metres long DC barrel connector. The power adapter is a switching type, which means it automatically regulates the voltage depending on your region; hence you don't need to buy a special travel plug to use the Get Together Duo speakers in different countries.

The detachable charging cable  measures 1.2 meters long and plugs into the USB power adapter. The second power adapter that is included in the box is the one that has the non-detachable DC barrel connector. The included RCA cable measures 1.4 meters long. Both cables are neatly wrapped and tied. using recycled paper ties. You can buy the House Of Marley Get Together Duo Speakers from amazon. Check out the review of the Get Together 2 Mini speaker.

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