A lot of headphones have put increased focus on bass in recent years, and the House of Marley Liberate headphones are no exception. After spending a week really giving them a workout, these might be some of the most durable and yet lightweight headphones I’ve ever had the opportunity to use. The eco-friendly packaging is a unique selling feature, and very fitting considering the company evokes the Marley name. Whether you’re looking for a quality pair for yourself, or for someone for a gift – these are definitely in contention for a quality pair that will last and not kill your bank account in the process.
The House of Marley Liberate headphones on first glance look impressive. The packaging itself looks different than most others, and that’s actually true – it’s made with recycled paper, plastic and other sustainable materials. In fact the entire body of the headphones is done with sustainable aluminum. While the majority of consumers may not necessarily care about this small detail, it is an important one that should be noted and applauded. The aluminum headband is strong and a cotton and hemp fabric blend at the top that improves comfort, while the leather ears are slightly padded padded as well. The sliding mechanism allows it to adjust to fit most heads and gives enough range to accommodate many head sizes.
The cable is braided which prevents knotting from occurring and feels very durable. The cable extends from both ears which is my only complaint on the overall construction, as I’d much prefer if they extended from one and connected to second through the band. The gold plug features a 90-degree shape keeping it low profile when connected to a phone, though, my case made it slightly difficult to keep it connected and I ended up modifying the case to accommodate the right angle connector of the headphone jack. Overall, very solid design and construction.
Sound + Control
Sound here is heavy on the bass. It’s not overwhelming but it is bass positive, which depending on the music will affect your enjoyment. Dubstep, drum and bass or hip hop on them sounds solid and powerful, but listening to a talk podcast may seem a little too bass-y for some. The Liberate headphones do a great job at noise reduction around you, and they can get loud powered by 40mm drivers.
A foot down on the cable, there is a control cable that features volume controls and a middle button that allows you to skip tracks and control playback. I was unfortunately not able to get the volume control to work with my Samsung phone, but the skip/pause/play button works very well.
The headphone cans themselves were not a perfect fit on my head, and the padding is a little less than desired. As such, the tips of my ears experienced some discomfort on extended wear. Nothing that couldn’t be remedied by shifting their placement, but a slight inconvenience nonetheless. The top of the headphones features a hemp-cotton blend that I found quite comfortable on the top of my head.
The price point on these headphones make them a very solid mid-range set of headphones. The sound is strong, loud and great with the bass, and the construction feels very durable. The volume rocker not working and the slight discomfort on my ears are the only true drawbacks of the House of Marley Liberate Headphones, while construction choices such as the right angle connector and the dual cord to ear are more of a pick’em for most people. Meanwhile, the eco-friendly packaging and construction is something that definitely should be noted and commended. Overall, these are a great set of headphones that have only a few drawbacks.