Since his death in 1981, Bob Marley has spawned an empire. His son Ziggy has enjoyed a successful musical career, the 1love.org charitable organization spreads Marley’s message of global peace and Marley coffee provides “sustainably grown, ethically-farmed and artisan roasted gourmet coffee,” including beans grown on the Marley family’s own Jamaica Blue coffee farm. It’s good stuff—one of my favourites for use in a Keurig.
However, the best known of the Marley enterprises is likely House of Marley audio gear.
The company’s mission statement does a pretty succinct job of summing up what it’s all about:
“The House of Marley is built on the principles of superior quality, earth-friendliness and a commitment to global charitable causes. We are driven to enhance lives through great product experiences as well as using proceeds from product sales to support efforts to make lives better around the world.”
I’ve tested a variety of House of Marley (HoM) products over the years and they always live up to those goals.
Visually, HoM gear stands out: the “earth-friendly” commitment means use of a lot of materials you don’t typically see on consumer audio gear. FSC-certified wood, bamboo, canvas, recycled metal and the company’s own REWIND cloth—made of organic cotton, recycled plastic and hemp. But HoM audio gear doesn’t just look great, it sounds great too. Quality components and audio custom-tuned to “Marley Signature Sound” means music that more than lives up to expectations, with plenty of detail and warmth. And yes, in a nod to Bob Marley’s music, you can definitely expect some serious bass. I own a pair of HoM’s Liberate XL Bluetooth headphones and they’re my go-to when I want to sit back in a comfortable chair, block out the noise of the outside world and crank up the tunes.
Best Buy’s Elliot Chun was at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, and he visited the House of Marley booth, snapping photos of some of the cool new audio gear HoM is introducing for 2016. Personally, I’m excited to see that Stir It Up turntable—HoM’s first turntable—featuring bamboo trim and a built-in pre-amp for syncing with House of Marley speakers, but there was a lot more including new Buffalo Soldier Bluetooth headphones, the ultra-portable Little Get Together wireless speaker and the Bag of Riddum 2 Bluetooth speaker. Here are a few of Elliot’s HoM shots.
As February 6 approaches, now is the time to start planning your own Bob Marley celebration. The new HoM gear will be showing up at Best Buy and some locations even offer a themed House of Marley experience, so you can take your time to browse through and compare the full selection of Bluetooth speakers, headphones, ear buds and other gear. Despite the snow, I plan to be sitting on a Muskoka chair in the back yard, with a steaming cup of Marley Jamaica Blue coffee to keep me warm and Buffalo Solider pumping on my Liberate XL headphones.
Of course there is another well-known way to celebrate the legacy of Bob Marley if you want to add it into the mix (you’ll still want the music, though), but I’ll leave that to personal preference and local laws …