Suffice it to say, finding the right headphones for your needs or budget doesn’t require much effort in 2019. Truth be told, it’s a fairly crowded space with seemingly endless options.
While some headphone makers focus on price point others may care more about comfort or battery life. Then there are brands like House of Marley, whose values center around mindfully sourced materials, sustainability, and being environmentally conscious. At the same time, it produces quality audio products.
The Exodus, named after the Bob Marley album, are the latest in the company’s portfolio. The attention-grabbing over-ear headphones cost about $200 and are built with wood and aluminum.
We’ve had a pair of the Exodus headphones in our possession for a couple of weeks and are happy to share our impressions.
The Exodus are what House of Marley refer to as a flagship product and offer up 30 hours of playtime per charge. With Bluetooth 5.0 and USB charging they have rotating and folding ear cups with 50mm drivers.
The eco-friendly wood and aluminum design is both practical and fashionable. The cups slide up and down independently with a self-tightening leather strip across the top. These, coupled with the memory foam in each cup, lead to a comfortable and personable fit.
We found these headphones to be soft and inviting and each time we put them on felt like slipping on a pair of brand new socks and shoes. Even longer listening sessions were enjoyable with no fatigue on the temples, ears, or crown of the head.
The buttons are easy to identify once you’ve worn the headphones a time or two. They’re low enough profile that you might shoot pass them the first couple of times you wear them; however, once you come understand how they’re configured they work well. Each of them responds nicely to touch with solid feedback and audible clicks.
The wood grain is a nice departure from other headphones. Often we see plastic or aluminum employed and/or other materials susceptible to smudges, oil, and fingerprints. Wood doesn’t do that whatsoever.
Similarly, the foam on the ear cups also take things in stride. We didn’t detect any noticeable oils or sweat marks on the pads in our few weeks of testing. To be fair, we’ve not taken these out on a hot day or for extended use in warmer air.
In tossing the headphones in a bag, on the desk, and just giving them the normal wear and tear we did not see any hints of weakness. That is to say that the hinges and materials feel just the same three weeks later and that nothing has gotten sloppy or loose.
The House of Marley Exodus headphones provide a sound that is a little bit heavy on bass. For most people that doesn’t exactly sound like a problem – and it’s really not. And, to be fair, it’s not the same when you listen using the wired connection.
When listening to music via Bluetooth connection the bottom feels thicker with a somewhat muddy midrange. At the top, you get a clear sound but it’s not as crisp or refined as other models. This isn’t exclusive to this model, though, as it’s common with Bluetooth headphones.
Going through the (tangle-free!) wired connection things even out quite a bit. Nearly every bit of the experience gets “tighter” and cleaner. As much as we like the convenience of wireless headphones, it makes more sense to use the 3.5mm cable if you’re going for an extended playlist.
A lot of what we listened to sounded as good, if not better, than expected. In both Bluetooth and tethered connections, the experience was a delight, treating all genres pretty much equally.
Battery life was fantastic with upwards of 30 hours of playback promised per charge. As a general rule we like to charge up our headphones every few days/listens just to be safe. Not once in our time with the Exodus did we worry about the battery running out.
Put the headphones on a charge (USB-C) for just a few minutes and you’ll get an hour’s worth of music. We understand that a two-hour charge is all that’s required to fully replenish the battery.
At $200 the headphones aren’t just an impulse purchase. Get into this price range and you have to be a little more measured or deliberate in your buying decisions.
We appreciate that the Exodus offer flexibility in having both wired and wireless connections as well as a more than generous battery. The sound quality is on par with expectations, if not a little higher.
The wood, aluminum, and leather are not only sharp looking, but they’re environmentally responsible, too. They look unlike most cans and you’re doing good things by Mother Earth in the process.
Headphones like these are in investment, and this isn’t the sort of money that everyone wants to spend. But, for those who have a little extra set aside for an audio experience, the House of Marley Exodus are worth the price. With graduation season underway these would make a great gift for students heading off to college this fall.