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House of Marley Liberate XL Headphone Review

hom-liberate-xlbt

House of Marley headphones have evolved nicely over the years, and the new flagship wireless Liberate XLBT model is ready to take on the best of the wireless headphones on the market.

House of Marley Liberate XLBT headphones

Overview

The over-ear Liberate XL headphones comes packed with the House of Marley mantra of using earth-friendly materials, including FTC certified wood for the ear ups with the nicely engraved House of Marley logo, making the headphones easily recognisable. Combined with the wood is the stainless steel headband and soft leather ear cushions.

Read more! House of Marley product reviews

The 50mm dynamic coil drivers comes with custom enclosing ready to deliver the signature Marley sound. Wireless streaming is supported through both bluetooth AAC and AptX encoding to ensure the highest quality audio across a large variety of supported devices. The Liberate XL also comes with detachable cable should you wish to use them wired, or in case you run out of battery.

House of Marley Liberate XLBT headphones

Review

After testing the House of Marley Liberate XL over the last few weeks I’m impressed with its performance. The bass is well presented, but not overstated, which has become something of a signature House of Marley sound, and the mids are well balanced. I’ve read reports that high’s can get a bit lost in the bass, but I’ve not found that to be an issue with higher quality audio files, and it does vary a bit by genre, something you find in most headphones. Liberate XL is not noise cancelling, but the isolation is decent with the over-ear, closed back design.

The bluetooth connection is very good and I’ve yet to experience lost signal with the phone in the pocket etc. Something I’ve often experienced with other bluetooth based headphones. Even without aptX use, I still find the streaming experience to be near equal to the wired connection. With all the buttons sitting on the right earcup it did take some getting used to before I naturally went for the right buttons. Let’s just say I often ended up reducing volume instead of skipping track to begin with.

Read more! House of Marley Liberate on-ear headphone review

I’ve also found build quality to be very good from House of Marley, and that is true with the Liberate XL as well. Mostly built from stainless steel and wood, everything just feels sturdy, including the hinges for folding the earcups in for transport. The over-ear design (closed back) Design allows for comfortable wear, and despite the materials used, they feel quite light to wear and comfortable for extended use, like a 4 hour flight. I also love the fact that it has a fairly compact footprint, which means they don’t look like big blocks on the side of your head!

Positives

  • Overall I like the look and feel of the Liberate XL
  • Build quality is outstanding
  • Good comfort factor
  • Well balanced sound with good bass performance
  • Good battery operating time between charges
  • Amongst the best value for money wireless headphones in its class

Negatives

  • Isolation could have been slightly better

Overall

At just under £165 you will struggle to find better looking and performing wireless headphones than the House of Marley Liberate XL. Good and powerful sound combined with quality build and comfort is a winning recipe.

Price & availability


 

Filed in: Accessories, House of Marley, Reviews, wireless headphones

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