Unbox/Review: The House of Marley Smile Jamaica Headphones

The House of Marley, a Bob Marley-inspired brand of audio products, recently launched officially in the Philippines. Now, the guys over at the House of Marley were kind enough to give us a pair of their entry-level Smile Jamaica headphones.

The Smile Jamaica series, the lowest in the House of Marley in-ear headphones echelon, are one of a kind, with all its funky Rastafari colors and all. With its supposed Earth-friendly materials, it brings green and quality audio technology to a whole new level. And what better way to know if the Marley brand stands up to its name than to review it.

Read our unboxing and review of the House of Marley Smile Jamaica headphones and see if its perfect for the green audiophile in you.

Box

In line with its Earth-friendly theme, the House of Marley's Smile Jamaica comes in a packaging made up of recycled pulp, plastics, and paper. Tipping the front cover open reveals the headphones in a standard boxed arrangement i.e. one resting higher than the other.

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On the side of the box lies a QR code which, when scanned, leads to a 404. The back meanwhile contains information on the features of the product and the social network URLs of the brand.

(Related: House of Marley PH Launch)

Unsheathing the packaging's contents reveals the Smile Jamaica itself, two pairs of different sized ear tips of your chosen color (shown is the Curry variant), an information leaflet, a warranty leaflet, and a Rasta-inspired pouch specially designed for the headphones.

house of marley earphones availability and price in the philippines

Design

The Smile Jamaica comes in four funky color patterns: Curry (yellow tip, green aluminum, ring light-colored sapele and beech wood), Fire (red tip, silver aluminum ring, dark colored sapele and beech wood), Lily (pink tip, gold aluminum ring, dark colored beech wood), and Rasta (blue tip, bronze aluminum ring, dark colored beech wood). Earthly colors if I'd say so myself.

Each base comes with a painted-on House of Marley logo.

The silicone ear tips are soft to the touch and has a matte-like finish. It's not your ordinary rubber or plastic tip that loses its ability to stay snug in your ears once it gets coated in bodily fluids.


The in-ear design carries a 18Hz-20kHz frequency response that offers deep bass. Inside the FSC-certified wood head is an 8mm driver and a 16-ohm impedance dynamic micro speaker equipped with a neodymium magnet for better sound quality (sound quality also depends on the music format being used).

The cord of the Smile Jamaica series bears the color of the Rasta (see: Ethiopian flag) and is made of a 52" fabric that helps reduce tangling when in and out of use. It's also specially engineered to cut down on static noise so you'll always get that clear sound. The only downside in having a fabric-covered cord are the loose threads that may arise from too much use or getting snagged in pointed objects that, of course, would totally ruin the headphones' looks.



The Smile Jamaica comes in a standard 3.5mm jack. The connector itself is gold plated to ensure better conductivity, resist corrosion, and—although I'm still skeptical about this part—significantly improve data transfer rates from the music device to the earphone heads (the key aspect of every gold-plated data delivery product). The connector's angle also turns at a right angle (as against to the common vertical jack) which could prove helpful or annoying depending on the user. If, for example, you love pocketing your iPod, having a right angled-jack would put more strain on the connector ending than a vertical jack.

Performance

The Smile Jamaica definitely is one of the better entry-level in-ear headphones out there. At a small sum, you'll be experiencing noise-cancelled deep bass with throbbing eardrums to boot.

We tested it with bass-heavy music from Skrillex (dubstep), Armin Van Buuren (trance), Tiesto (house), and a little rock from Avenged Sevenfold and Sum 41 (all in 386kbps .mp3 format) and it all boiled down to one conclusion: Awesome. Trying to spare nothing, we also played 3D music on the set and got the same results. Listening to 3D music on the Smile Jamaica was like being in a noisy crowd with someone whispering directly in your ears. Then again, most decent headphones nowadays would offer the same effect, albeit with minor or major differences.


The House of Marley's Smile Jamaica was also pitted against a Pioneer SE-CL07 in-ear headphones, and although they might sound the same, the Smile Jamaica scored a few points higher than the latter in my score sheet. (To Pioneer's credit though, their products are incredibly tough. Even water won't stop the SE-CL07 from running, and to think that it's not designed to be waterproof)

The only downside (or upside, depending on how you view it) of all in-ear headphones are its noise-cancellation technology. With the Smile Jamaica, you won't hear a thing from the outside, which may lead you to accidents.

Verdict

At P1,399.00, the Smile Jamaica probably might be the best in-ear set at its price range. Mind you, higher-priced audio products doesn't necessarily mean better sounds, just more bass (looking at you Dre). The only culprit in this otherwise perfect pair are the funky colors of the fabric cord and the susceptibility of the cord and earphone head itself to damage and wear and tear. Other than that, it's a total buy.

One more thing, with every purchase of the House of Marley products, a part of the proceeds goes to the Marley family's charitable institution, 1Love.org. You're not only buying a world-class audio product, you'll also be helping the world's youth.



Smile Jamaica Technical Specifications

Frequency Response: 2 Hz to 20+kHz
Driver: 8-mm neodymium
Impedance: 16 ohms
Connector: 3.5mm, gold-plated
3 sets of silicone tips
52″ fabric cord
Cotton carrying pouch
Recycled material

Smile Jamaica Availability and Price in the Philippines

House of Marley products are available at selected National Bookstore branches, Anson's stores, Power Books bookstores, Duty Free Puregold establishments, and at S&R membership shopping warehouses (one located in Taguig and one in Pasay). Being the lowest at the House of Marley in-ear products, they sell for P1,399.00.

'Till my next installment.



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3 comments :

  1. checked out s&r global city this afternoon says they're out of stock..

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