What's Not: The headband isn't as cushy as others.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
The House of Marley Liberate On-Ear Headphones are the newest addition to the House of Marley audio product line and the Liberate stands out with its strong construction and excellent audio. Powered by large driver and excellent audio technology, the Liberate impresses us with loud and balanced presentation, wide dynamic range and strong bass power. The headphones also offer build-in mic for voice calls and come in three color/texture options.
The House of Marley Liberate On-Ear Headphones have a unique design with stainless steel headband that's both very strong yet lightweight. The adjustable headband comes in either black or silver and it'll last much longer than plastic frames. The padding on the headband isn't too thick and it can tire out your head faster than headphones with thicker and cushier paddings. The ear cups however feel very comfortable and cushy thanks to the soft leather ear cushions. Keeping the tradition of House of Marley's eco-friendly theme, the materials covering the ear cups and headband padding include their exclusive blend of fabric made with organic and recycled material and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified Sapele wood. The composition of steel, wood and fabric gives the Liberate headphones an interesting look that's unlike any other. In addition to two color options for the stainless steel headband, you can also choose from three color themes including Denim, Midnight and Saddle.
The House of Marley Liberate On-Ear Headphones come with a 4-foot braided cable that's relatively tangle free, and a control stick with volume/track moving buttons and play/pause/call button as well as a built-in mic. The 3.5mm gold-plated connector has a short and flat top that's easy to use. The Liberate also comes with a fabric carrying case with House of Marley branding.
The House of Marley Liberate On-Ear Headphones feature large 40mm dynamic moving coil drive with neodymium magnet that produces large sound and full range. All music tracks in a variety of styles, i.e. rock songs with vocals, instrumental, chamber music and symphony, techno tracks, etc., sounded full and balanced in our test. The headphones can produce loud volume without losing integrity of the audio, and favor strong bass tracks to produce fuller and more powerful sound. Dynamic range and stereo separate also performed very well via the Liberate, producing one of the best sound qualities on a on-ear headphones this size.
We tested the House of Marley Liberate On-Ear Headphones with a variety of smartphones including the iPhone 5s, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Droid MAXX and tablets including the iPad 4, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and more, and found the headphones produced high quality audio and loud volume with all devices. Voice calls are just as loud and clear as music and movie playback via the Liberate.
At a list price of $99, the House of Marley Liberate On-Ear Headphones sound surprisingly full and powerful for its size. The audio clarity is quite amazing and stays true to the track's engineering. The headphones work with any device with a 3.5mm audio jack and they're easy to carry and lightweight. The ear cups are very cushy but the headband can get tiring with not much padding. If you're looking for a good audio performer with strong bass but won't cost you too much money, do give the Liberate headphones a try.