This is a double review of the Liberate XLBT Bluetooth headphones and the Get Together Bluetooth speaker both from House of Marley, a company owned by Bob Marley’s family and which produces products made out of recycled and responsibly produced materials.
So let’s start with the Liberate XLBT Bluetooth cans.
The Liberate XLBTs can be used as wired or wireless headphones. They’re rocking 50mm drivers, can fold up for easy storage and can be used to make phone calls aside from listening to music.
These speakers have incredible looks. The design is super unique and I love the way the metal, wood, fabric and leather blend together.
In terms of sound quality I’d say they’re definitely above average. That’s across the board for the highs, mids and bass. They definitely sound better, at least to my ears, than the overblown (bass-favoring) Beats.
I’d say they are really comfortable to wear for at least 45 minutes to an hour. After that I noticed a little bit of ear fatigue starting to set in.
One area where these headphones fall short is the buttons. While their functions are all useful (there’s a power button, a Bluetooth button, volume buttons and forward and backward buttons for skipping tracks) they’re really flimsy and the power button on my test model is pretty loose after just a few weeks of use.
And that’s really unfortunate because other than the buttons these headphones seem to be really well made and pretty sturdy.
So who would I recommend these to? I’d say people whose top priorities are style and eco-fiendliness. For everyone else there’s better headphones for the price in terms of quality — even if they are quite a bit more boring.
Okay lets switch gears and talk about the Get Together which is House of Marley’s 3rd most expensive Bluetooth system out of 8 total.
The Get Together works as a Bluetooth speaker and speakerphone and rocks an awesome bamboo front. It’s got some low-profile buttons on top for easy access but doesn’t come with a remote.
Before you even hear it the Get Together sets expectations sky high with it’s incredibly awesome looks and you can tell this speaker shares the same DNA as the Liberate XLBTs with the wood and fabric look. This is definitely one of the coolest-looking Bluetooth speakers I’ve ever seen and it’s really nice to have an option other than black plastic to choose from.
When you pick it up it’s obvious that this is a really solid speaker. It’s not heavy, but it’s also not light. To me it’s a good balance because it’s portable without being flimsy.
The Get Together definitely cranks out the sound. When it’s turned all the way up it gets loud enough that it’ll make your heart feel like it’s jumping out of your chest (at least with a really strong beat and if your within a foot or two of the speaker).
I’d say the sound is smooth and is definitely capable of filling up an entire room (or two… or three).
One thing that bums me out about this speaker is that it doesn’t have a standby mode: after it sits idle for a bit it turns off and you have to physically hit the power button to reconnect. On the plus side, though, as soon as you turn it back on it automatically reconnects to the last device it was paired with — at least it did with my iPhone.
One small gripe is that there’s no screen. It’d be nice to see what’s playing but it’s not a deal breaker.
One bigger gripe I have is that it seems to have a spotty Bluetooth connection — more so than other Bluetooth speakers I’ve tested. This seems to happen the most at the start of a track and while it doesn’t happen all the time, it’s still enough to be pretty big annoyance.
So who would I recommend this to? People who are looking for a sturdily built, eco-friendly portable speaker that shrugs of the boring black look so many speakers these days seem to share. It’s for people looking for something uniquely stylish thats capable of pumping out surprisingly loud sound. If it weren’t for the Bluetooth issues I’d be happy to recommend the Get Together to everyone I know.