If you’re a rock or metal fan, House Of Marley might not be a name that you instantly recognise when it comes to audio tech. However, they’ve been releasing products since 2008 and have steadily been building a reputation for themselves – not just in the audio sphere, but because they’ve based their business model on sustainability and charitable causes through the Project Marley (opens in new tab) initiative.
House Of Marley were founded by Bob Marley’s son Rohan and they’ve gone on to release turntables, Bluetooth speakers, accessories and in-ear headphones, with each of their products created using bamboo, natural wood fibre composite and recycled plastic.
Today, we’re taking a look at the recently released House Of Marley Redemption ANC 2 in-ear headphones which have entered the competitive earbud marketplace. Do they do enough to stand out from the crowd? Read on to find out.
House Of Marley Redemption ANC 2 earbuds review: Design
As mentioned previously, all House Of Marley products have a bamboo finish and the Redemption ANC 2 look particularly smart with a thin strip of wood used down he side of the antenna. Bamboo is also used on the top of the handy charging case which has a flecked design due to the recycled plastic used.
Three sizes of isolation earbud tips are included - the medium set are on the buds right out of the box, while the large and small sizes are neatly strung on a small piece of twisted bamboo. The textured USB-C charging cable is also wrapped in a bamboo tie to complete the package.
I had no issues with fitting the buds and they remained comfortable for long listening sessions.
House Of Marley Redemption ANC 2 earbuds review: Features
The earbuds come with Active Noise Cancellation – a feature that’s now seen more and more in the in-ear headphone category. The ANC here is pretty good too, managing to block out some of the rush hour traffic on a recent walk. You can switch between ANC and ambient modes by pressing and holding either the right or left bud.
Sure, you can find better ANC on some headphones such as the Sony WF-1000XM4, but considering the price difference between the two models, I wasn’t disappointed at what House Of Marley have delivered here.
As for other controls, they're pretty straightforward: A single touch of the right bud increases volume while a touch on the left reduces it. A double tap on either the right or left bud allows you to skip to the next track.
The Redemption ANC 2 are also IPX5 certified meaning they’re sweat and water resistant, so good for a workout or a walk outdoors even if the weather isn’t great. Wireless charging is also catered for and a single charge will give you six hours of ANC playtime and eight in ambient mode, with up to 24-hours when you factor in the charging case. In addition, a quick 15 minute charge will give you two hours of music. This is a nice touch, but I’d like to have seen more playtime out of the case.
We’ll get on to the sound quality in a moment, but it’s worth pointing out that you can update firmware, tweak the EQ settings and customise touch controls through the easy to use House Of Marley app (opens in new tab).
House Of Marley Redemption ANC 2 earbuds review: Sound
Right out of the box, I found the House Of Marley Redemption ANC 2 earbuds far too bass heavy for my tastes. But a few minutes tinkering with the EQ settings on the app and I was able to find my audio sweet spot and save my choices.
While I put the earbuds through their paces with a variety of musical genres, one thing that really did stand out for me was the warmth of sound that came through the headphones - like a wee sonic comfort blanket for your lugs. Lovely.
Using Apple Music, I first fired up Pink Floyd’s Learning To Fly from the 2019 remix of A Momentary Lapse Of Reason. It was punchy and clean with Tony Levin’s bass well balanced against Rick Wright’s keyboards and David Gilmour’s guitar tones and vocals.
Bryan Adams’ One Night Love Affair from his timeless Reckless album was equally impressive with that warmth and audio depth coming through that can sometimes be absent from certain in-ear headphones.
To move up a gear, I jumped straight into Metallica’s …And Justice For All and the title track. The intro guitars shone and I could almost feel the floor shake when Lars battered his way in. It sounded fresh and exciting – even though Jason Newsted’s bass still struggled to rise above the mix.
For the final tests I picked Low Earth Orbit from North Atlantic Oscillation’s Grind Show album and it sounded terrific. Everything was in harmony and its finer details came through brilliantly, while Cocteau Twins classic Heaven Or Las Vegas sounded magical, with Robin Guthrie's shimmering guitar sounding crisp and clean alongside Liz Fraser's astonishing vocals.
House Of Marley Redemption ANC 2 earbuds review: The alternatives
I mentioned them previously, but if you’re looking to spend a wee bit more on in-ear headphones, I recommend the Sony WF-1000XM4 (opens in new tab). I bought a pair of these last year and they continue to deliver on all fronts and I’m still vey happy with my decision to buy them.
If your music subscription service of choice is Apple Music, then you can’t go far wrong with the iconic Apple AirPods Pro (opens in new tab). They are more expensive than the House Of Marley Redemption ANC 2, but the music quality when paired with Apple Music’s spatial audio is simply stunning.
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