House of Marley Rebel Review Non ANC Earbuds With Wireless Charging Case

Friday, August 27, 2021

Rebel Music was Bob Marley and the Wailers' compilation album of non-commercial, more "revolutionary" songs that really showed Bob Marley's true, non-watered down message! In true Bob Marley's fashion, House of Marley pays tribute to Rebel Music by releasing the Rebel earbuds, which itself revolutionizes the House of Marley headphone/earphone line up with a first of its kind vertical standing charging case that supports Qi wireless charging.

The Rebel earbuds break away from the traditional "bathtub" charging case style of the Champion and Liberate earbuds. The Rebel earbuds are also designed to be a more compact, non-anc version of the Redemption ANC earbuds, which the Rebel earbuds are modeled after. The Rebel earbuds do away with anc, replacing it instead with a "bass boost" on-board EQ mode that makes the bass a little punchier, although not quite as punchy and deep as the Redemption ANC earbuds. Like most anc earbuds, enabling the anc feature makes the Redemption earbuds bass sound noticeably more responsive. 

There is no mention on the spec sheet what driver size the Rebel earbuds use but, given the volume output of the Rebel earbuds, it's safe to say the Rebel uses similarly sized drivers (8.6mm). Despite having a smaller footprint than the slightly bulkier Redemption ANC, the Rebel earbuds weigh, surprisingly, the same (6 grams per earbud). It seems most of the weight reduction has been done to the charging case. The Rebel case weighs 42 grams, whereas the Redemption ANC charging case weighs 73 grams.

The Rebel earbuds touch control area has been engraved with the logo of House Of Marley. Touch control functions include skipping tracks to next/previous (double tap), answer/end/reject calls, volume up/down (single tap), voice assistant (long press) and "bass boost" EQ mode, which is activated via a triple tap. There is no voice prompt, other than a series of two audible beeps to indicate "bass boost" EQ mode has been enabled. To toggle back to normal listening mode, you triple tap the earbud again (you will hear one beep).

The Rebel earbuds are 2 grams lighter than the Liberate Air earbuds and 2 grams heavier than the Champion earbuds. Both the Champion and Liberate Air are non-anc earbuds, just like the Rebel earbuds. The touch controls on the Rebel true wireless earbuds have very good sensitivity, requiring only lightly tapping the front side of earbud. The touch control functions have been arranged intuitively so, they're easy to memorize. To volume up, you tap the right earbud. To volume down, you tap the left earbud. Same process with skipping tracks. EQ mode, voice assistant and calls can be operated with either earbud, which is super convenient. 

The Rebel earbuds have a thick 2cm long stem with a microphone (for calls) at the very tip of it and, an ENC noise suppression mic. Enc works a bit like anc but, instead of suppression all sounds enc suppresses mainly background noise. The enc feature works well, although if the background noise is excessively loud, the enc algorithm can make voice calls a bit quieter as it suppresses the noise around.

Like all House Of Marley products, the Rebel earbuds are made of recycled and sustainable materials including recycled plastic (for the body) and bamboo faceplate covering the outer side of the earbud. The plastic body has a grippy matte finish to it, which doesn't mark with fingerprints or scratch as easily and, it helps keeps the earbuds secure in the ears. The earbuds are IPX5 water resistance rated. A few other features that makes the Rebel earbuds stand out are large oval shaped nozzle openings with metal mesh tips.

The Rebel charging case also has a black chrome logo of Mouse Of Marley glued on to the top of the lid, as well as a "paint splatter" finish and bamboo side panels with a long dimple line across it, which helps gripping the charging case more securely. On the front side of the case, there are four small battery leds, which sit flush against the case so, the front of the case has a seamless smooth surface. The Rebel charging case measures measures 5.5cm long, 5cm high and 2.5cm high. On the bottom of the case, there is the USB-C charging port and a physical button for resetting the earbuds.

The Rebel earbuds bluetooth 5.0 chip supports absolute bluetooth volume and SBC codec but does not support AAC or aptX nor does it support multipoint connection. The Redemption ANC earbuds support AAC. When listening to music, the battery status led on the earbuds blink white every 10 seconds. The led is fairly large and bright when it flashes so, it's worth mentioning.

Battery life is around 8 hours with volume at 50%, which is similar performance to the Redemption ANC earbuds (with anc turned off). The Rebel charging case holds 24 hours worth of extra charge so, you can recharge the Rebel earbuds three times over. The Redemption charging case holds about 4 charges and, it's bulkier, which is interesting because both the Rebel and Redemption charging cases have the same 500mAh battery capacity. The Rebel charging case recharges in 1.5 hours (via cable) and 3 hours via a 5W wireless charger. The earbuds charging time is also about 1.5 hours with 15 minute quick charge, which gives 2 hours. 

The Rebel earbuds in-ear detection feature is very responsive and works as it should, activating play/pause instantaneously without delay. There is no way to physically play/pause the audio on the Rebel earbuds. Bluetooth pairing is easy and straightforward. Simply flip open the charging case lid and the earbuds enter automatic pairing mode, which allows you to pair and connect the earbuds whilst in the case. To power them off, you simply put them back in the charging case. There is a 5 second re-connection delay, which is noticeably longer than the 1-second re-connection delay on the Redemption earbuds

Additional accessories include a branded short braided charging cable made with recycled fabric and a set very soft (bowl-shaped) silicone eartips with oval-shaped bore (you can also fit after market tips with round bore). You can buy the House Of Marley Rebel earbuds from amazon. It is also available in creme white color. Check out the review of the Redemption ANC 2 earbuds.

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