HoM Liberate XLBT

GeekDad Review: House of Marley Liberate XLBT Headphones

I’m a fan of House of Marley gear, especially the company’s use of natural materials (yeah, I’m a sucker for the use of wood in high tech gear) and willingness to release interesting products like the Roots Rock Bluetooth speaker. Marley audio products don’t just sound good; by combining natural materials like leather, bamboo, and aluminum with recycled cloth and skipping the usual form factors, they stand out visually in a crowd. House of Marley recently sent me a pair of Liberate XLBT Bluetooth headphones to try out. They look good, feel good, and sound good, making for a compelling alternative to some of the more mainstream competitors.

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Roots Rock Bluetooth portable audio system from House of Marley

GeekDad Review: House of Marley Roots Rock Bluetooth Portable Audio System

I’ve had the opportunity to test many speaker docks and wireless speaker systems in my day. One trend I’ve noticed over the past few years as portable Bluetooth wireless speakers have become increasingly popular, is the boring conformity that so many of these devices exhibit. In an effort to make them as portable as possible, manufacturers have a tendency to adopt a compact rectangular form factor, usually small enough to hold in one hand, two drivers are the norm, with a plastic case (typically in black) and black mesh speaker covers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach and some of them sound quite decent. But I like things a little different. I want good sound, along with a design that’s interesting too. Something that stands out a little. My own speaker dock purchases reflect this preference: a JBL Radial and a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin (still my all-time favorite for sound and looks). I just wrapped up a few weeks with a Roots Rock Bluetooth portable audio system and I have a candidate for my new favorite in the portable category.

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