Published on September 23rd, 2013 | by Celina0
Marley Zion: Natural Comfort and Big Bass Sound
Attaching big names to audio products has become a huge trend. From Dr. Dre’s Monster Beats headphones to the Heartbeats by Lady Gaga, it seems that every musician now has a pair of earphones. Now it’s Bob Marley’s turn. The musician, who passed away now more than 30 years ago, helped make reggae music a worldwide phenomenon that is still popular today. The name Bob Marley is synonymous with reggae and might bring to mind eco-consciousness. The House of Marley’s new line of earphones takes this style and provides a unique pair of headphones for any eco-friendly audiophile.
The name Zion stands for a utopian place of unity, peace and freedom. In that vein, the House of Marley’s Zion Mist is a testament to the fact that the House of Marley image has as much to do with the materials as with sound quality. Wherever possible, these headphones are made from recyclable materials and even the packaging they come in is recycled. These sleek ear buds are made using a mix of aluminum and wood, reflecting the natural ideals of the brand while still providing the sound quality that we need to keep jammin’.
In-line controls for volume and the built-in microphone with a three button remote built into these earphones is a necessity. Common to all the House of Marley headphones, the 52-inch cable is braided with fabric that boasts the yellow, green and red of the Rastafari movement. This is the only visibly Marley branded part of the Zion Mist. We found that this had a more understated, mature look and feel than the previously reviewed Soul Rebel or Redemption in-ear buds from the Jammin’ line. Because the cord is fabric, it also cuts down on microphonics (the scraping sound from touching earphone cords) and helps avoid tangles in a pocket or purse.
The Zion also has a 9mm driver, which is standard at this price range. Unfortunately, the bass is more pronounced than what we hoped for, meaning that on many songs, the vocal range falls into the background. For some of the reggae we listened to, an accent on bass can be fun and appropriate, but we found it a little exhausting after a while.
These are reasonably priced and feel comfortable. However, in the light silver “mist’ Zion version we reviewed, the wood resembles a piece of pine furniture from Ikea and isn’t very impressive. At least the House of Marley calls this wood FSC-certified, meaning the wood that is used been harvested in a sustainable manner. We think the wood veneer look might work better in the black “midnight” version of the Zion, where the wood is stained to look a bit darker.
While the aesthetics of the wooden veneer were a bit iffy, we loved the dual-material construction in use, since it turned the tips most susceptible to wear and tear into the strongest part of the bud. The back seems molded to your finger tip, making pulling them in and out of your ears feel smooth and comfortable. And the cables are great.
House of Marley products also include a handy carrying pouch. In keeping with the eco-friendly vibe, the small carry-all pouch is made from hemp and leather, a nice addition to the $99.99 earphones.