Smartphones and wireless earbuds go together like cereal and milk. It’s a match made in tech heaven. There are many types of earbuds to choose from, so it can be difficult to choose one over another. A good tip is to support brands that reflect your values, personal music taste, and lifestyle.
I’m reviewing the Redemption ANC 2 wireless earbuds from House of Marley. This brand was created by the family of famous Reggae singer Bob Marley. It carries his legacy and love for music and the planet with active support in global reforestation and ocean preservation initiatives. Constructed with real bamboo and natural wood fibre, are these earbuds worth choosing?
Specs: Marley Redemption ANC 2 headphones
- 8 hours of playtime in ANC mode, 16 hours of battery life with a charging case
- Auto on and off function to conserve battery life when not in use
- Qi wireless charging compatibility
- Compatible with the Marley app for access to EQ, ANC levels, and pairing name
Unboxing the Marley Redemption ANC 2
A lot of brands are making conscious efforts to minimize packaging and garbage. The Redemption ANC 2 is no exception. The box is completely recyclable without the use of necessary plastics or Styrofoam. Inside you’ll find a quick start guide, warranty papers, and a help contact card. An additional card provides information on House of Marley’s reforestation initiatives and a website to learn more information. They are clearly targeting eco-friendly customers who value and support sustainable initiatives.
Along with the case and earbuds, additional silicon tips are included. This is to accommodate small or larger ears. Finally, a USB-C charging cable is included to charge the case.
Design of the Marley Redemption ANC 2
The Redemption ANC 2 case is constructed from hard plastic, is lightweight, and small enough to fit in a front pocket. The top of the case features real wood with a plastic Marley logo engraved in the middle. `
The earbuds are also constructed from plastic with wood accents on the stem. The Marley logo is prominently engraved at the top of the stem. Inside, each earbud is labelled left and right for easy identification. At the bottom of the stem is a metal contact for charging the earbuds in the case. The silicon tips are removable but have a snug fit to the earbud.
House of Marley app and Redemption ANC 2
The Redemption ANC 2 is compatible with the new House of Marley app available for iOS and Android. The Redemption ANC 2 is the first device that works with this new app. Here, users can access expanded functions and controls for the earbuds. The app provides eight EQ profiles like Base Boost and Acoustic. Audiophiles can create their own EQs using a graphic equalizer.
The House of Marley app also provides customizable touch controls. Here users can tweak the touch controls to fit their personal preferences. I’ll have me on that later, but ANC functions can also be adjusted in the app. Here, users get instant access to Firmware updates as well as the user guide and FAQs.
Using the Marley Redemption ANC 2
With 8 hours of playtime in ANC mode, I could theoretically wear these earbuds for the whole working day. Thus, my first consideration was the comfort level after extended use. After several hours, I almost forgot I had them on. They are lightweight and provide a secure, comfortable fit in the ear.
I’m not a fan of the traditional white earbuds stem design. However, I really do like the look of the Redemption ANC 2. The wooden accents on the stem provide a stylish, contemporary look. I wore these to the grocery store and the earbuds blended nicely with my casual outfit.
At first, I struggled with the touch controls on the stem. Over time I started to get better, but it takes some time to get used to. A single touch on the right stem increases the volume and the left bud decreases it. Two taps on the right bud switch the track. Three taps on either the left or right bud activate the voice assistant. Finally, a long press on either bud will turn ANC and Ambient Cycle on or off. However, it does not specify what mode is on or off. All you hear are some bongo drums to indicate that the mode has changed.
Surprisingly, the default touch controls have no command to turn the music off. To do that, I had to physically remove at least one earbud out of my ear. Later, I adjusted the touch controls in the Marley app and customized the play/pause command with a single tap to either ear. That means I had to sacrifice volume control on the earbuds to play and stop the music. No regrets though, as I can adjust the volume on my smartphone.
The sound quality of the Redemption ANC 2 earbud
I would be remiss if I did not listen to some Bob Marley music during this review. Overall, the sound profile was balanced between the low, medium, and high ranges. The song “Jamming” had a pulsating bass, punchy highs, and clear stereo distinction between the various instruments. Overall, I think the average listener will be happy with the sound quality of these earbuds.
I did, however, have issues customizing the EQ settings in the app. As I shuffled through the various EQ modes, I was unable to hear any sound difference. Since this app is brand new, I suspect there may be a few bugs to work out.
ANC and ambient mode
As these earbuds are called the Redemption ANC 2, it seemed fitting to test out the active noise cancellation features. I have to be honest here, as I toggled through the different modes on the touch controls I could barely hear the difference between ANC, off, and ambient mode. At best, it’s very subtle and it’s hard to audibly detect. You may not find yourself switching between these modes very much.
Final thoughts on Redemption ANC 2 earbuds
Without a doubt, wireless headphones are an extension of our smartphones. I would much rather take a call on wireless earbuds hands-free than hold a phone to my face. With 8 hours of battery life and an additional 16 hours with the case, the Redemption ANC 2 is designed for all-day use. It’s comfortable to wear, has contemporary, stylish features, and doesn’t provide any ear fatigue. That makes it perfect for daytime use during working hours.
I do see some room for improvement. First, it’s hard to distinguish when ANC is on or off. As I switched through the modes with touch control, I couldn’t tell what mode I was in. It would be nice to hear someone indicate the mode rather than the bongo sounds. Second, I would like to see some refinement of the Marley app. It’s brand new and has the potential to be a great companion app. Still, the EQ setting did not work for me, even after a firmware update.
That said, if you like the stem design but don’t like the standard white look of many popular earbuds, I highly recommend you consider the Marley Redemption ANC 2. It’s a stylish everyday wireless earbud for the everyday person. You won’t be disappointed by the fit, look, and sound.