House of Marley Positive Vibration Frequency Over-Ear Headphones Review

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Unveil the frequency of good vibes and great sounds with the House Of Marley Positive Vibration Frequency headphones and dive into a melodic journey where positive vibes resonate through every note.

Infusing the essence of Bob Marley's iconic "Positive Vibration" song, House Of Marley introduces their newest gem: the Positive Vibration Frequency Over-Ear Headphones. These headphones harmoniously blend sustainable design, extended playtime, and top-notch sound quality, providing a complete auditory experience.

Crafted using an array of elements including aluminum, wood, rubber, and fabric, the Positive Vibration Frequency headphones boast a multi-material construction. The earcups showcase an aluminum structure housing a wooden center disc, while the aluminum House Of Marley logo resides prominently at the core. An artistic rubber accent with a splatter paint-like design graces the outer rim of the earcups, elevating both visual charm and the commitment to eco-friendly principles. The headphones' sleek over-ear design contributes to their non-bulky profile when worn, coupled with a lightweight build of just 215 grams and gentle clamping force, rendering them a superb choice for prolonged listening sessions.

The exposed coil cabling above the earcups is made from fabric material. The earcups have the ability to be tilted in upward and downward directions. However, they lack a swivel mechanism, resulting in an inability to rotate the earcups flat. This drawback becomes notably apparent when you require transport, particularly in cases where a protective hardshell case isn't included. On a positive note, there's a water-resistant pouch included that should aid in minimizing wear and tear. Furthermore, the Positive Vibration Frequency headphones are designed to be foldable, almost achieving a pocketable form factor.

Within the earcups, you'll find 40mm drivers covered with a thin layer of fabric (non-padded). The interior hole of the earpads measures 5cm in height, 3.5cm in width, and 1.5cm in depth. The outer padding measures 8.5cm in height and 7.5cm in width. The depth of the earcups is relatively shallow, potentially posing a problem if you have larger protruding ears. It's worth noting that the earpads are removable, allowing for replacement if needed.

The Positive Vibration Frequency headphones opt for a unique approach to adjusting the inner band. Rather than using the standard ratchet-style click mechanism, they incorporate a suspension-style headband with a yoke wire sliding system. This yoke wire mechanism adjusts the headband's height silently and secures it in place at various positions through friction. This design provides considerable flexibility, allowing for easy adaptation to different head sizes.

The headband features mild padding on both its upper and lower sides. The underside is adorned with breathable mesh fabric, while the top side is wrapped in PU leather, adorned with the Marley logo engraving. Measuring 3cm in width, this design choice guarantees comfort during prolonged listening sessions, relieving the potential discomfort often linked with on-ear alternatives.

The 40mm drivers offer commendable audio quality, although it's important to note that they lack support for the AAC codec and wired audio. The sound quality impresses across a wide range of musical genres, encompassing rich bass and clear trebles. The earpads provide adequate passive noise isolation to shield against external noises and and creating an immersive audio environment, although not quite as immersive as the House of Marley Exodus ANC headphones. However, unlike its predecessor, the Positive Vibration XL ANC, the Positive Vibration Frequency headphones do not provide active noise cancellation functionality.

The controls integrated on the right earcup encompass three rubber physical buttons (with no clicking sensation), facilitating management of play/pause, power on/off, track skipping, and handling calls (answering/ending). These controls are mirrored on the right earcup. There is no mobile app support; hence you can't swap button functionality.

Regarding battery life, the Positive Vibration Frequency headphones can provide around 33 hours of playtime at 50% volume once fully charged (a 2-hour process). Additionally, they boast quick charging capabilities, delivering 4 hours of playback from just a 15-minute charge. In terms of battery life, they offer a comparable duration of 33 hours, aligning with the battery life of the Positive Vibration XL ANC version and surpassing the original Positive Vibration XL headphones (non ANC version) by an extended 10-hour duration.

The standout features of the House Of Marley Positive Vibration Frequency Over-Ear Headphones encompass sound quality, compact over-ear form factor, extended battery life, and an eco-conscious approach evident through materials like REWIND fabric, comprising 30% reclaimed organic cotton, 30% reclaimed hemp, and 40% recycled PET plastic resin. 

 These headphones are worth it if you're pursuing a blend of good audio and environmental consideration. They offer a reasonable price point, although they lack features such as active noise cancellation (ANC), wired audio, AAC and mobile app support, which are commonly included by a lot of competitors. The microphone performance is good for decent calls in quite places but there is very little noise cancellation to suppress background noise during calls.

Potential deal breakers
  • No ANC/Ambient modes
  • 40mm drivers (50mm drivers are typically better)
  • Travel case not included
  • Earcup shallow depth
  • Earcups cannot be rotated
  • Flashing Bluetooth status light
  • No AAC codec support
  • No mobile app support
  • No absolute bluetooth volume
  • No audio port onboard earcup
  • No wired mode
  • Average mic

Selling points
  • Available in multiple color options
  • 15-min USB-C quick charge for 4 hours
  • Replaceable earpads
  • Long battery life
  • Passthrough audio whilst charging
  • 2 year warranty
  • Ultra lightweight
  • comfy memory foam earpads
  • On-board controls
  • Built-in microphone
  • FSC® certified wood
  • Audible beep when reaching max volume
  • Recyclable aluminum
  • REWIND® fabric
  • Seamless Bluetooth 5.2
  • Environmentally responsible
Accessories included are drawstring fabric pouch, 1 meter long fabric USB-C cable (Marley branded). You can buy the Positive Vibration Frequency headphones from House Of Marley's amazon store.

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