Marley Headphones… Spreading the One Love


Metal fan Kayleigh has finally found headphones which stand up to her musical tastes and (almost) her accident prone ways.

I’m mad about music but I don’t want to share it with the world. People who play music through leaky headphones or, even worse, neglect to use headphones at all make me cringe. This might be because I listen to a lot of metal but it also feeds into my desire for music to be a personal thing. I want to lock the world out for a little while, without needing to turn my volume all the way up in order to do that. I’ve had some earphones that leaked sound so much it never felt like I was really tuned in. Others have been terribly uncomfortable (earphones that reach around the ear will never work for my alien-esque lobes) or broken far too easily (I’m looking at YOU Skullcandy!). The final problem I have is that, due to my tastes involving metal, it’s actually quite a challenge for some earphone companies to represent that style in any kind of true sense.

Marley headphones – sturdy, good noise isolation, ethically built using recycled aluminium and wood in their designs. So that’s good.

I did a review a few years back for a set of British designed earphones that were comfy, looked great and offered amazing sound quality – just not for heavy music. Then it tended to go a little tinny and flat. If you love live music or you go for something a little less, um, overwhelmingly full of guitars and drums then I’d recommend them heartily. Thankfully I’ve found another brand that offers everything I could want.

Marley Headphones: Great Sound!

I stumbled upon Marley Headphones a few years back in HMV. They were on offer and my Skullcandy earphones (set number four) had broken again so I was desperate. I liked how they looked immediately. It may be silly to judge earphones for their appearance but they were funky and distinctive, a factor that had attracted me to Skullcandy in the past. I also loved the wood design that was integrated into them, very cool looking. So I bought them (£7 because it was the cheapest pair and heavily discounted) and opened the box.

Right away we were in business, I could open the box and pull apart the plastic inside with no problems. No blister packaging! You might not know blister packaging by name but it’s that plastic sealed boxing you usually get with tech purchases. Impossible to open without Hulk strength or scissors. I wanted my music fix immediately and being able to get them out to play straight away with ease was incredibly welcome. I plugged them into my iPhone in the middle of a shopping centre, put them in my ears and hit play.

And suddenly all I could hear was my music.

I was honestly blown away from the first ten seconds of using this brand. The lowest level headphones they had to offer and the noise isolation was just staggering. I didn’t even have my volume all the way up! In that moment, I was a Marley convert.

House of Marley: Great Company!

So why have I stayed so loyal to Marley? Well, there are several different reasons. The sound isolation is excellent on their entire range, plus there are a huge variety of colours and styles to choose from. I wasn’t a fan of the material wires initially, they feel really weird to start when you’re used to plastic but they’re funky and really easy to spot if you ever misplace them. A brief return to plastic when I lost them was also a stark proof of why Marley says they work so well: they don’t tangle as easily and they’re much easier to untangle when they do. I can 100% get behind this promise because it’s what I found when I used them.

Detail – material wires not plastic ones.

There is also an attraction to House of Marley from an ethical perspective. They use recycled aluminium and wood in their designs, plus the cotton for the wires. They also have a charity 1Love which aims to support youth and promote peace in a world that Bob Marley himself would have wanted. Have a look on their website if you want a more in-depth look at their goals and fundraising. Of all the reasons that I started to become loyal to this brand, the association with Bob Marley was not a part of it. I’m not a fan of reggae, nor the music of Bob Marley. If people were concerned about them “cashing in” on his name without any substance to back it up, I’m the last person who’d be buying products just because of association with Marley.

So, a few years down the line and I’m on my third pair of Marleys. This actually has little to do with the quality of the earphones and more about how accident prone I am. Whilst two of my Skullcandy earphones just died in one ear piece for no rhyme or reason, my last pair of Marleys got jammed into an industrial filing cabinet. They even survived it initially! The casing cracked and came away, so I could see all the wires inside. I attempted to rescue my earphones by super gluing the case back together, which worked for about a week until it fell apart again. My partner was able to fix it properly with some sealant but by this time the wires had been tugged too much and that earphone was dead. Rest in peace my friend…

I purchased a more expensive version of the earphones that come with a mini-mute button. It’s barely been used since I got it but it’s a neat feature that pauses my iPhone until I unmute. Handy if I have to interrupt my music for some reason.

If you’re mad about music quality and want a pair of headphones that might actually survive constant use then I would highly recommend House of Marley Headphones. They’re expensive from their online shop but most HMV stores stock them at a discount. Give them a try if you want something distinct in style but with plenty of quality to back it up.