This post was sponsored by House of Marley, all thoughts my own.
I don’t know about anyone else, but my headphones and speaker are getting a lot of use these days. Whether I’m listening to music on a walk outside, a podcast while I cook, or I’m trying to recreate the cinema experience from home, audio is certainly playing a large part in the environment I construct around myself. Even when I’m mainly confined to my living room.
I imagine I’m not the only one and, as the holidays approach, I’m sure there are a few audio products on some gift lists out there this year. After recommending House of Marley in a holiday gift guide last year, I thought it may be the perfect time to expand more on who this brand is, and how they can meet your sound needs more sustainably than ever before.
Who are House of Marley?
House of Marley was always envisaged as an eco-conscious brand, designed intentionally in collaboration with the Marley family to carry on Bob Marley’s legacy of love for music and the planet. Their sustainable audio products include speakers, headphones, turntables and accessories. Whatever your audio needs, House of Marley are here to provide a sustainable, durable and beautiful option, as the company is built on a core principle of superior quality in tandem with eco-consciousness and giving back. They want people to enjoy music with high-quality, consciously crafted products that rival anything else on the market, providing a lifetime of enjoyment and reliability, while also using proceeds to support global reforestation.
Each House of Marley design is engineered to deliver what is known as the Marley ‘Signature Sound’: perfectly delivering each ounce of energy, emotion and detail of every recording. Before anything is launched, every product undergoes custom tuning to deliver the most realistic and powerful performances possible, delivering your favourite music with smooth, powerful bass, stunningly precise mids and an energised high end.
But House of Marley goes beyond impeccable sound quality. Where most audio companies won’t provide a lot of information on their production processes, House of Marley can transparently talk listeners through every material they choose, where it’s used, and how they’ve ensured it’s as environmentally friendly as possible. This is where they start to stand apart from the crowd.
For House of Marley, it’s not just the sound that matters. The qualities and uses of every material component in a Marley product are carefully considered and mindfully sourced to create the product with the lowest impact.
House of Marley provide details for every material they use on their website, some of the main ones include:
Bamboo is one of the world’s fastest-growing plants, making it easy to renew and an ideal natural resource. It also doesn’t require pesticides or fertilisers in the growing process, meaning less toxic chemicals are used on land. House of Marley’s bamboo is produced using a carbon positive process, plus it has a higher compressive strength than wood and a tensile strength that rivals steel. It provides a look that’s both modern and classic simultaneously, making it a perfect choice for both aesthetics and ethics.
House of Marley’s REGRIND™ Silicone is a specially created material for them, made by upcycling post-process and post-consumer waste. This material is used in the construction of some of the most critical pieces of their equipment including protective covers, headband pads, and ear cushions.
This is weaved from recycled materials, resulting in a durable, high-quality fabric. It’s a distinctive blend of 30% reclaimed organic cotton, 30% reclaimed hemp and 40% recycled PET, and can be found on everything from wraps on headphone and case housings, to stash bags and watch bands.
Aluminium is easily reusable and infinitely recyclable on an industrial scale. Its use massively reduces the number of materials entering the waste stream and means it’s not necessary to mine for more as it eventually creates a closed-loop system. It can be found in House of Marley’s turntable platters, headphone housings and ear cups.
Made from material recovered from the waste stream, House of Marley use recycled paper for product packaging. This reduces both the amount of paper reaching landfill and the overall demand for harvested wood.
FSC certified wood
FSC forests are managed ecologically, with a reputation for environmental credibility, protection, healthy forestry, social engagement and the prevention of illegal forestation. They guarantee that harvested trees will be naturally replaced and regenerated, and House of Marley uses FSC certified wood for headphone casing and certain design elements.
Created by combining wood derivatives and plastic fibres, wood composite creates a more durable and long-lasting material, while the process requires far less energy than conventional lumbering. It can be found in House of Marley’s speaker casings
Stainless steel doesn’t easily corrode, rust or stain when exposed to water, making it incredibly durable. However, it’s also infinitely recyclable, reducing environmental impact over time. House of Marley uses stainless steel on their headphone architecture and as joint fasteners.
Organic cork is renewable, biodegradable and 100% natural. House of Marley’s cork is obtained through an environmentally friendly harvesting process that ensures the tree’s life continues. This material is innovative and eco-conscious and is used both as a design element and throughout the production process.
House of Marley’s ear gels are made from medical grade non-toxic silicone to help combat germs (something which is rather apt in recent times). It’s a great material to choose, as it can be regenerated into new forms and uses very easily.
Giving back through reforestation
Beyond their sustainable production, a commitment to global reforestation also lies at the heart of House of Marley. Each year they use a portion of money from sales to make a meaningful contribution to One Tree Planted, a global reforestation NGO that works on planting projects across North and South America, Asia, and Africa.
One Tree Planted emphasise their ‘six pillars’ of why tree planting is so vital:
- Cleaning the air we breathe: through releasing oxygen, absorbing pollutants like nitrogen oxides, ozone, and carbon monoxide in urban areas, and acting as a carbon sink.
- Water: trees capturing rainwater reduces the risk of natural disasters like floods and landslides, as their root systems act like filters that remove pollutants and slow down water absorption in soil.
- Biodiversity: one tree can be home to hundreds of species of insect, fungi, moss, mammals, and plants.
- Social impact: forests can provide endless jobs, sustainably managed tree farming provides timber for building and fuel, and food-producing trees provide fruit, nuts, berries, and leaves for humans and animals alike.
- Health: hospital patients with rooms overlooking trees are said to recover faster than those without the same view, as trees help reduce stress and anxiety and allow us to reconnect with nature. Plus, they provide shade to protect our skin.
- Climate: trees cool the planet as they store carbon dioxide in their trunks, branches and leaves. In cities, they can reduce ambient temperatures by up to 8° Celsius, as a mature tree can absorb an average of 48 lbs of carbon dioxide per year.
Since 2017 these donations from House of Marley have funded the planting of 223,000 trees, and that number is set to increase as the years go on!
My actual review
I’ve been a fan of House of Marley’s products for a while now (hence why I included them in a 2019 gift guide), but have never owned a pair myself until now. I recently received the Champion True Wireless Earbuds, and have been loving them so far! They’re an eco-conscious alternative to other wireless earbuds out there, with a seal that provides an easy, snug fit and noise isolation to help me get the best sound quality possible. They’re crafted from REGRIND™ silicone, bamboo and natural fibre composites, while the braided charging cord is made of 99% post-consumer recycled polyester.
They also have an 8-hour battery life (or 28 with the case), are sweat and water-resistant, are compact and easily transportable, and charge super quickly (15 minutes gives you 2 hours of listening time!).
The built-in Bluetooth connects to any smartphone or tablet easily, even when it’s up to 10 metres away, making these earbuds helpful for more than just listening to music. Talking on the phone is incredibly easy; Champion catches conversation as if the phone was at your ear, while also having a great microphone to ensure clear calls and seamless connectivity (something that is especially useful in a time when we connect with most people digitally).
As well as taking calls you can also play, pause and change music from the controls built into the earbuds themselves. Not only is this incredibly easy, but it also helps you feel somewhat like a spy when you complete these commonplace tasks. As far as excitement goes these days, that’s a pretty high achievement.
Overall, I’m a big fan of these earbuds, which is not that surprising considering that I was already a big fan of House of Marley as a brand. The sound quality is brilliant; whether I’m blasting tunes to channel my energy, listening to comedy podcasts, or playing chilled vibes to wind down my day, everything sounds perfectly smooth and precise. But they’re also super portable, effortlessly beautiful, and easy to use without the endless faff of constantly tangled cables. It’s my first time with any sort of wireless headphone and, as someone who accidentally gets caught in wires and yanks headphones out of my ears on an almost daily basis, I have to say I may be a convert!
While there may not be any brand who can be completely perfect, and there’s no such thing as being 100% sustainable in anything we do, I think House of Marley outshine any competitors by a mile. I’m so happy to finally have these headphones for myself, and I certainly won’t be letting them go anytime soon!