House of Marley recently released an updated version of its Positive Vibration XL over-ear headphones. Most notably, the latest model features the addition of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC).
The audio brand was nice enough to send it out for review and we’ve composed our thoughts for you.
The design of the Positive Vibration XL ANC Headphones is unique in that they are made with sustainability in mind. House of Marley uses FSC certified wood, recyclable aluminum, and a REWIND fabric weaved from recycled materials. Furthermore, the packaging is 100% recyclable, it didn’t even come with plastic wrapping.
This is all to keep in line with House of Marley’s principles of producing products in collaboration with the Marley family and respect Bob Marley’s love of nature and music.
Outside of the materials, the design of the Positive Vibration XL ANC is much like any other pair of over-ear headphones you’d buy these days. However, I feel the materials are what really sets the design apart from most others in the field. Not only are they made with sustainability in mind, but the aluminum ear cups with wood accents make them feel and look premium.
When it comes to port selections, the Positive Vibrations XL ANC features a USB-C port for charging and a 3.5mm input for using it wired. To control playback, volume, as well as ANC and ambient modes there are buttons on the ear cups.
One of the first things I noticed about the Positive Vibrations XL ANC Headphones is their weight. These are heftier than most other over-ear headphones I’ve reviewed and felt closer to gaming headsets. I worried this might affect the comfort, especially on the top of the head, but it turns out those concerns were unfounded.
Despite the weight of the Positive Vibrations XL ANC Headphones, they were surprisingly comfortable. There was plenty of padding on the headband and clamping pressure was adequate without adding too much pressure.
Having never used a House of Marley product before, I was unsure what to expect in terms of sound quality. Thankfully, the Positive Vibrations XL ANC do just as the name suggests, leaves you with positive vibrations.
Audio was balanced and detailed with enough bass in the low-end for rap and pop while also having enough treble to hear details in tracks. This is a sound that should please most consumers out there but I’d shy away from them if you like a particularly bright sound or you’re a bass head.
My one criticism would be that I’d wish there was an app with EQ controls so you could customize the sound if you prefer higher highs or more bass. Otherwise, these sound great, especially for the price.
The Positive Vibration XL ANC Headphones create a tight seal with the ear cups that helps aid in blocking out noise, but the active noise cancellation takes it a step further. I found they were very capable of removing most background noises and about 80% of other summer annoyances such as lawnmowers.
Next to the ANC button on the ear cup is the ambient mode button which will let in some of the outside noises instead of blocking them. This is enough to keep you aware and you can hear your own voice clearly with music playing but you’d need to pause music if you want to carry on a conversation.
House of Marley rates the Positive Vibration XL ANC Headphones for up to 26 hours of playback with ANC on and up to 35 hours with it off. The past couple of weeks I’ve listened to them with ANC off most of the time and it has hardly put a dent in the battery life. If you’re looking for a pair of over-ear headphones to get you through a full day or long flight, then these certainly fit the bill.
With top-of-the-line ANC Headphones running upwards of $300 to $500 these days, the House of Marley Positive Vibration XL ANC are the perfect affordable alternative. For only $150 you get a high-quality sustainable pair of headphones with great sound quality, ANC, and fantastic battery life.
You’ll miss out on a lot of extra bells and whistles some of the more expensive ANC headphones offer through apps, but you’ll also save a lot of money and get a quality pair of cans.