A Quick Review of the House of Marley Exodus ANC Headphones

Table of Contents

Positioning

Obviously, you can’t just make good headphones these days. There must be some idea behind the product. Someone puts sound quality first, others emphasize technical advancement, there are those who profess R&B-style in headphones, and those who are more for Guns N’ Roses.

House of Marley is about environmental awareness, sustainability, good music and clean grass around the house. In short, anything Bob Marley would have liked.

So, headphones are made only from eco-friendly materials that can be processed – metal, wood, bamboo, etc. The craft paper box even says that for every earphone sold, the company will plant a tree.

The selling advantages of Exodus ANC headphones include:

  • Eco-friendly, sustainable and everything else important
  • Craft design earphones made of metal and wood
  • Up to 80 hours (!) of work with noise reduction turned off and up to 28 hours with noise reduction turned on
  • 50mm drivers deliver powerful bass and crystal clear sound
  • Good built-in microphones, remote voice assistant call
  • Noise canceling can work separately from headphones

Specifications

  • Type: wireless over-ear headphones
  • Connection: Bluetooth 5.0, range 16 meters
  • Wired connection: yes, via 3.5 mm jack
  • Resistance: 32 Om
  • Membrane diameter: 50 mm
  • Active noise cancellation: yes
  • Built-in microphone: yes
  • materials: wood and metal
  • Battery: 1000 mAh, up to 28 hours with ANC and up to 80 hours without
  • Charger: via Type-C. Full charge takes 3 hours
  • Other: no app, automatic shutdown after 15 minutes of inactivity
  • The weight: 280 grams
  • Price: 18 990 rubles

Design and wearing comfort

To be honest, I did not know about the existence of such a brand as House of Marley. For this reason, I initially evaluated headphones with an absolutely pure mind, not overshadowed by marketing. For the first few days, I didn’t even know the cost of the headphones and was very surprised to see that Marley Exodus ANC was sold in Russia for 19 thousand rubles. The price in rubles is relatively fair: on the official website, they ask for $ 250 for headphones.

On top of the box is a cloth bag.
The headphones themselves are wrapped in paper.
There are also fabric cables in the box. For charging and 3.5 mm.

Having opened the box, I thought that in front of me were some Chinese thousands of headphones for 8-10 rubles. It was later, when I went to the site, that I realized that there were arcs made of recycled aluminum, cups made of wood, etc. Wood, as I understand it, is generally the favorite material of House of Marley. Here, for example, what typical “gags” look like – there is also a tree!

I thought about “China” because House of Marley Exodus ANC has its own distinct retro vibe. Is this a retro design? Headphones look like an attribute of a geek from the 80s, when people collected radios. Also, in my opinion, it would be appropriate to walk along the beach with a metal detector in such headphones. But maybe I’m wrong. How do you like the design of the headphones, write in the comments!

What a horny shaved man, right?

But not only the design made me appreciate the headphones at half their price. As a simple person, accustomed to the Sony WH-1000XM4 or BOSE QC 35/45, for some reason I thought that the controls on the headphones should be carefully disguised. And here there are 5 diodes that display both the battery charge and power, and whether the noise reduction is turned on. Another point is the controls themselves. All buttons are signed in bright white font. All this visually reduces the cost of headphones.

Soft and comfortable ear pads.

There are no questions about the build quality. All materials are tactilely pleasant. Nothing backlashes. To adjust the size of the headphones, you need to make an effort to push the bar.

By the way, there is a little nitpicking about the size adjustment. I’m used to the headphone opening step being limited and fixed with a clear click. Thus, it is convenient to adjust the headphones: 3 clicks on the left side, 3 on the right – symmetry!

In the House of Marley Exodus ANC, the position of the “bar” is adjusted by eye. The nitpick is not so much about convenience, but about a feeling of some satisfaction: you look and think: did I set it exactly right or is the right cup a little lower? However, one can also say about convenience: in order to adjust the headphones, they must be removed. You can’t blindly set it up.

On the headband – the name of the office.
Blindly adjusting the size of the headphones is problematic.

Apparently, due to the fact that the headphones are made of metal and wood, I subconsciously immediately decided that the headphones are very heavy. And I was surprised to learn that the weight is 280 grams, that is, only 26 grams heavier than my Sony WH-1000XM4.

Headphones sit tight on the head. The headband has a high level of elasticity. Perhaps even too high. After about 1-1.5 hours, you start to get tired of the headphones. For comparison, in the same Sony or Bose, you can easily fall asleep on an airplane, and wake up without feeling any negative effects (for example, I once did not take off my headphones for 9 hours).

How the House of Marley Exodus ANC headphones look on your head:

Controls

A little higher, I already expressed my “fi” about the design of the controls. But the large buttons are comfortable to press blindly. Each button has a well marked travel with a clear click.

The power button is located on the left cup. Above it is a diode indicating the pairing status. Below it are three white diodes showing the battery charge level. In fairness, it should be noted that the diodes are delicate, they shine dimly.

Below is the Active Noise Cancellation switch. Noise canceling can be turned on even if the headphones are turned off. When Anc is on, the LED next to the switch is green. Given the size of the switch and the fact that the switch travel track is colored red when off, and green when it is on, it is not clear why a diode is also needed. Even lower is the connector for the cable.

On the right cup is a Type-C charging port. Next to it is the “MM” button, which is responsible for the “transparency” mode. Well, above is a volume rocker with a “play / pause” button. The button is also responsible for calling the Google / Siri voice assistant.

Volume rocker with assistant call button. You can also switch tracks.

Noise suppression

Active noise cancellation in House of Marley Exodus ANC compared to the same Sony is rather mediocre. At Sony, I sit by an open window and enjoy the silence. Exodus ANC drown out the noise of cars, but especially loud rattles, barking dogs and Vitaly’s showdown with Marina, who does not want to get into Daewoo Nexia and go somewhere, but just wants to drink beer normally on a bench near the house, are barely audible somewhere far away. In general, this is even useful, as it additionally motivates you to work more actively.

Secondly, Sony has silent noise cancellation. I understand that for some, this approach can cause a feeling of stuffy ears. House of Marley Exodus ANC doesn’t have that feeling. But with noise reduction turned on, when the music is not playing, a slight hiss is heard, similar to what was on empty fragments in audio cassettes. Wrote and thought that in today’s digital world, it’s getting harder to explain typical analog sounds.

Did research. Many manufacturers write that a slight hiss of noise reduction is absolutely normal. But this means that manufacturers used the previous generation of noise reduction, so to speak. I already managed to forget, but my friend reminded me that indeed, the first and second generation of Sony WH-1000XM headphones had a light, slight hiss.

The MM button puts the headphones in transparent mode so you can hear ambient noise. I didn’t really like the implementation, as it implies occasional use, because when you press a button, the music is quieter and goes to the background.

And I also want to find fault with the fact that the headphones have only one noise reduction mode – “on.” or “off”. For the same Sony, you can choose the strength of noise reduction.

Sound and headset mode

As a headset, the headphones work average. The interlocutor suggested that I seemed to have moved away from the phone or clamped the microphone.

Immediately the second minus is only the SBC codec.

Headphones do not have the largest volume reserve. I would say that the House of Marley Exodus ANC is tuned in such a way that it does not break into a “wheeze”. Probably, in a similar way, the creators of the headphones decided to mask a certain kind of flaws. Like, no one will know that the headphones wheeze at high volume if we limit the volume.

On the one hand, the right decision. On the other hand, in a noisy old subway car, the volume of the headphones with the noise reduction turned on was back to back. I would like another 20-25% louder.

Given this approach, I got the impression that the headphones are designed for comfortable home use. Because the volume is optimal for the house. Sit back and enjoy the sound.

I liked the sound, by the way. Very saturated and, I want to say, “warm”. Enveloping and appropriate bass, clean highs and mids. Very good stage feel. In these headphones it is good to listen to either “drums”, or jazz, or vocal compositions.

Here one could complain that some proprietary application with equalizers and all sorts of settings does not go to the headphones. But if everything is well configured out of the box, then why complain?

So, probably, the main advice about these headphones is to listen to them. If you like the sound, then you can safely take it. Buying in the expectation that you will play with the settings on the phone and everything will be fine is not worth it.

Battery Life

Claimed 28 hours in active noise reduction mode and up to 80 hours without noise reduction. To be honest, it is difficult to verify such claims. Although they are questionable. The battery capacity of the headphones is 1000 mAh. Exactly the same battery is installed in the Sony WH-1000XM4. And there, headphones with the SBC codec with noise reduction turned on work for 30 hours, with it turned off – 38 hours. And then 80 hours!

I would guess that the headphones work for 45 hours with the noise canceling turned off. I have a 35 hour playlist left over from the Sony testing. We were leaving for the weekend, and I launched headphones from an old smartphone connected to a power bank. House of Marley played the playlist at medium volume and had 1 battery bar left. Upon returning home, the test had to be interrupted, because in the silence of the night the headphones were very well audible even from the next room.

The full charging time of the earbuds is 3 hours. But there is a quick charge function that gives 6 hours of music in 15 minutes of charging.

Conclusion

Headphones left behind a strange impression. On the one hand, they definitely have an idea behind them. It is felt that this is not nonsense, but people really tried, bothered, choosing materials and adjusting the sound, trying to create a good product.

The headphones left me with the feeling that arises after every visit to some trendy “hipster” place, created by a “team of enthusiastic like-minded people.” These usually open a coffee shop or cafe. You come to such a trendy vegan-eco-duper-duper-restaurant, eat, and then leave with the feeling that you overpaid in vain.

So here too. Excellent headphones, if they were sold for 12 thousand. But when they cost 19 thousand rubles, it’s easier to add 5 thousand and buy Sony WH-1000XM5. Or, conversely, save 5 thousand by buying a Sony WH-XB900N. But Sony is made of soulless plastic…


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