It goes without saying that wireless headphones have replaced corded headphones. In a few short years, they’ve also become part of our style and fashion. Just like sneakers did in the ’90s, wireless headphones have become both functional, and fashionable.
I’m reviewing the House of Marley Champion Wireless Headphones. House of Marley is an audio brand created in collaboration with the estate of Reggae star Bob Marley. These are the first wireless earbuds I’ve reviewed from House of Marley. As a brand built around quality, sustainability, and charitable causes, I’m interested in how they fare to the competition. Let’s begin at the unboxing.
Unboxing the Marley Champion wireless headphones
Inside the 100% recyclable box, you’ll find the Champion earbuds inside the charging case. The case is powered by the included USB-C cable. To reduce electronic waste, a charging block is not included.
Two double-sided cards are also inside the box. One card has contact information for help, support, and spreading the love for the Marley brand on social media. The other card provides information on sustainability initiatives and charitable contributions to global reforestation. You’ll also find a Marley sticker, warranty information, and the Quick Start Guide.
Design of the Marley Champion wireless headphones
The Champion earbuds have luxurious yet sustainable design features. The back of each earbud is crafted from a CNC-milled bamboo and natural fiber. The silicone tips were created with Marley’s REGRIND™ Silicone. This material is made by reclaiming and upcycling post-consumer waste.
The charging case is compact and should fit into a standard pocket. The top of the case also features Bamboo with an engraved House of Marley logo. On the front of the case are four LED lights that indicate the power level.
The case opens like a clamshell. The two earbuds sit nicely inside the case with the bamboo logo facing the opening. While each earbud is labeled left or right, they can fit on either side of the case. This is the first time I’ve seen that in an earbud charging case.
Marley Champion battery life
The earbuds each feature a 60mAh battery while the case has a 500zmAh battery. On a single charge, the earbuds provide 8 hours of playtime with 28-hours of playtime with the case. It takes 2 hours to fully charge the earbuds, but there is quick charge support. If you’re in a pinch, you can get 2 hours of playtime from a 15-minute charge.
Using the Marley Champion true wireless headphones
Once removed from the case, the earbuds enter pairing mode. Connecting it to my phone was super easy but I wasn’t sure if these earbuds supported multipoint connection. This allows you to pair two devices to the earbuds at the same time (i.e. a laptop and a smartphone). From my test, I’ve determined that it doesn’t support multipoint connections.
The earbuds felt snug in both my ears. I say that because earbuds in my right earbud tend to always fall out. They felt incredibly comfortable in my ear. I could certainly wear them all day.
I really like the aesthetic look of the bamboo in the ear. In fact, it nicely matches my skin tone and I love products made with real wood. In my opinion, this is a much better look than the white Apple Airpods.
Voice calls inside my home went without a hitch. However, there is no active noise cancellation (ANC) so I’m not sure how it would be on a busy street.
I wouldn’t recommend using the Marley Champion during workouts. I ran with them on and thankfully, they didn’t fall out. Still, I prefer earbuds with wing tips that wrap inside your ear for a better hold during exercise. Any sudden head movements with the Marley Champion could potentially lead to them falling out. For day-to-day use, I think these would work fine.
Control features with the Marley Champion
While some earbuds automatically turn off when removed from the ear, these ones don’t. That means you can take one earbud out and still hear music in the other ear. Some people will like this feature. Personally, I’m indifferent.
What I do like is the physical button in both earbuds. Pressing either the left or right earbud button will stop and start the music. As a lefty, I certainly appreciate the flexibility that provides.
Volume control is not done on either earbud. It must be controlled by the device. For most people, that means you’ll be adjusting the volume on a smartphone.
Marley Champion sound quality
For this review, it felt both meaningful and purposeful to listen to a Bob Marley playlist to judge the sound quality. The mid and high range sound terrific with a punchy presence. There is bass, but it seems lacking, especially when compared to the mid and high ranges.
In all fairness, the current earbuds I wear at the gym have a lot of bass. That long-term experience has distorted my perception of the sound quality of other earbuds. If you like a lot of bass in your earbuds, you will be disappointed with the Marley Champion
One thing that really stood out in the music was the frequency balance in the mix. With these earbuds, I could hear specific instruments panned either to the left or right.
In this day and age, every smartphone user needs a pair of wireless headphones. There are so many choices, it can be incredibly hard to pick one over another. I typically judge earbuds on three metrics: style, functionality, and price.
With respect to style, these are the most fashionable earbuds I’ve ever reviewed. You could wear these all day and look cool. As I mentioned, I don’t like the white, sterile look of Apple Airpods. The Marley Champion fit in any occasion without being obvious and noticeable.
As for day-to-day use, they are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. This is important because I don’t like carrying the charging case around. Women shouldn’t have this issue as they can carry the case in their purse. But if you have small pant pockets, the case can be annoying to carry.
The sound is balanced with a lot of emphasis in the mid to high range. At max volume, they are not too loud which is good. A lot of people listen to music way too loud with earbuds. I still wish I could adjust the volume at the earbud, but it’s not a deal-breaker.
With these earbuds, I do think you’re getting what you pay for. The important thing to ask yourself is what is more important, fit and style, or sound quality and control. I feel that these lean more towards fit and style. If that is important to you, I think you’ll be very happy with the House of Marley Champion True Wireless headphones.