Headphone Review: House of Marley Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Loud volume, good bass power and very good noise isolation.
What's Not: Treble sounds harsh in some tracks.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
House of Marley has launched a collection of headphones in all styles including over the ear, on-ear and in-ear models. The Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones are their most basic model earbuds but they have good noise isolation and loud volume. The small earbuds also have pretty good bass power and audio quality is good. The Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones come in four color themes.
The Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones have a unique "Marley" look with its rainbow colored braided cord, sapele or beech wood housing and colorful earbudz tips. The 8mm moving coil drivers live in wood and aluminum housing that comes in just the right size. The earbuds come with three sets of tips in different sizes, and each model in this collection has different colored tips. The design of the Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones produces one of the most noise isolation we've experienced with in-ear headphones. In a moderately noisy environment you can't hear anyone in the background while music or movie is playing through the headphones; and in noisy environment, such as on a plane or at a store, the headphones can block most of the noise out. That's impressive for this style of earbuds at this price point.
The Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones have 52" fabric braided cord that helps reduce tangles and sound degradation. The 3.5mm audio plug has gold plating for better connection. It's also worth mentioning that the use of wood and recycled aluminum for the housing and recycled plastic and paper for the package follows the earth-loving image of Bob Marley.
The Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones' 8mm drivers work in 18Hz - 20kHz frequency response with neodymium magnet dynamic micro speakers. The sound through the earbuds is louder than many earbuds including the RHA MA450i in-ear headphones. We tested these headphones with a variety of smarpthones including the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, as well as tablets including the Sony Xperia Tablet Z and notebooks such as MacBook Air mid-2013 model. The headphones sounded louder with Apple products when compared to other earbuds, but the bass sounded fuller via the HTC One's Beats Audio. The bass perform was impressive in general, generating good power on such small bodies. The audio clarity was good on most devices we tested: symphony tracks sounded good and tracks were balanced. Treble in some rock songs had harsh tones in both vocals and instruments such as guitars and the headphones faltered in dynamic range tests in these tracks. For example, testing a track with engineered "white noise" to simulate old timey recording effects we found that the Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones had accentuated the background noise to the point that it sounded very distracting.
The Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones has excellent noise isolation. The headphones come with 3 different sized ear tips, so be sure to test them to find the best size for your ears. Once you find the right size, the headphones can block most ambient noise out. The Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones come in three configurations: without a built-in mic, one button mic and three button control stick that works with only Apple devices for calls and music playback.
The Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones are cool looking headphones that have good audio and powerful bass. The headphones have all the basics covered with neodymium drivers, gold plated audio plug and sturdy audio cord. The headphones offer four color choices and three configurations for your style and playback control need. The performance is good for the headphones in this price range, but if you're looking for better results in dynamic range, the company offers better choices in their higher priced line up.