Review of the House of Marley Rebel True Wireless Earbuds
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The Review of the House of Marley Rebel True Wireless Earbuds
House of Marley’s Rebel True Wireless Earbuds are more environmentally friendly than your average wireless earphones, with a design made from sustainable materials. Unfortunately, for $129.99, little else stands out about these earbuds. They have a sculpted sound signature with powerful bass and boosted treble, with only two EQ modes not allowing enough customization. And the on-ear controls are frustrating, especially since they have no game button. I hate knocking on a product with a sustainable design, but ultimately that’s not enough to make ends meet in such a crowded market. The simple fact is that you can get much better headphones for the same price or less.
An eco-friendly design The Rebel True Wireless Earbuds are available in black or white, with bamboo accents combined with recycled plastics and a wood fiber composite. Even the braided material of the charging cable is environmentally friendly. The earpiece has a stem-like design, with bamboo panels on the outside. The channel fit is secure, but some users may find it a bit uncomfortable during long listening sessions. The earphones come with three sizes of ear tips in small, medium and large.
The on-ear controls are a bit of a mess. First off, there’s no play/pause control, which is the first time I’ve come across this after testing hundreds of pairs of true wireless earphones. The manual says you simply need to remove or replace an earbud to play or pause music, and while this works, it’s a feature that many people (including me) find annoying. I don’t want music blaring in my ear as soon as I put an earpiece in, and most manufacturers have realized this, so make this optional feature you can enable or disable in an app. But there’s no app here, so you can’t turn off auto-detection feature that’s moonlight as the playback controls. Otherwise, the on-ear controls are touch-sensitive, and several taps or holdings will control everything from track navigation to volume. The touch-sensitive panels work, but can be a bit tricky to operate – I had a few misfires when skipping tracks or adjusting the volume.
house of marley rebel true wireless lifestyle An IPX5 rating means the earphones can withstand splashes and water projected from any direction, but no severe water pressure, so sweat and light rain shouldn’t be a problem. The water-resistance rating only applies to the earbuds, not the charging case, so make sure the earbuds are completely dry before placing them in the dock.
The housing has a flip-up lid and status LEDs on the front panel. The bottom panel contains a USB-C port for the included USB-A to USB-C charging cable. There is also a link button on the bottom panel and the case can be charged wirelessly on Qi-compatible chargers.
The earphones are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0. There are two built-in EQ modes (tap between them with a triple tap), including More Bass and Less Bass (my names, not theirs, as the modes are not listed anywhere that I can see on the product page or in the manual ). We will discuss these in the next section.
What’s missing? An app with real EQ, or at least a screen display of the EQ modes (instead of tapping the earbuds three times to toggle back and forth) would have been nice – and not out of the question at this price.
House of Marley estimates battery life at around 8 hours, with an additional 24 hours in the charging case, but your results will vary depending on your volume levels.
Rebel True Wireless Sound Quality Let’s quickly talk about the EQ modes, which are basically, as I said, more bass or less bass. Neither of these modes is ideal. The More Bass mode adds seriously boosted bass to the equation in a way that can make things sound unnatural. So we tested the tracks below in Less Bass mode, but know that we also listened in More Bass mode, and the result was too much thumping low end, with very little clarity in the treble.
Tracks with intense sub-bass content, such as The Knife’s “Silent Shout” sound boomy and big in both modes, and at the highest volume the lows don’t distort.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover”, a track with much less bass in the mix, gives us a better idea of the overall sound signature. The drums still sound quite full and bass boosted in what we call the Less Bass mode, but they don’t overwhelm the mix like they do in the other mode. Callahan’s vocals sound rich in the low mids and clear in the highs. The highs are sculpted and the lows are pushed forward, but to a fair degree. This is a sculpted, bass boosted, clear sound signature.
Wrap up Review of the House of Marley Rebel True Wireless Earbuds
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