For around a week, I tested the Marley Positive Vibration Frequency headphones. I used them for exercise at the gym, relaxation at home, and focus at a cafe. During this time, I paid great attention to the Marley headphone’s adaptability and value as an audio companion in terms of fit, functionality, and sound. Read on for the full review, including what I loved most about these headphones and how I plan to use them in the future!
True to the Marley brand’s commitment to sustainability, the Positive Vibration Frequency headphones come in recyclable packaging. To unbox, you have to slide off the side packaging and lift the top flap of the box. Inside, you’ll first find a black drawstring pouch with the Marley logo in the centre. Then, the headphones themselves are wrapped in Marley-styled tissue paper. You’ll also find a charging cable inside the box. Just a note: If you’re looking for the warranty and manual, they are actually inside the pouch! I hadn’t noticed until they accidentally fell out of the pouch while I was trying to store the headphones. What a surprise!
To pair the headphones with my phone via Bluetooth connection, I pressed and held the middle button on one of the ear cups for a couple of seconds. Then, soon enough, my phone’s Bluetooth was able to pick up on the connection called “Positive Vibration Frequency”. As a quick two-step process, the set up was hassle-free and painless. And once I set the connection up, my phone would just automatically pair with the headphones for future uses. I never had to reset the pairing. The headphones came charged as well, making for a speedy set up.
It’s rare that I will have a section entirely on design when reviewing headphones, but I felt compelled to do so here because of these headphones’ clever and beautiful design. Firstly, the headband is adjustable in two ways. You can retract or push upwards parts of the side band to find the perfect fit lengthwise. It’s quite simple to do—there’s no need to unclasp, unclamp, or otherwise fumble with these adjustments. They just simply slide in and out of place as you wish. The second fit adjustment requires even less work on your part. Attached at the top of each ear cup is a springy connection, allowing them to move inwards or outwards naturally. These two adjustments make for a comfortable, relaxed fit around your ears. On the topic of fit, I found the ear paddings, which have a soft feel to them, quite cozy on my ears. They hug them without being overbearing.
This headphones’ design also provides another type of adjustment. The bottom halves of both sides of the headband are foldable, making for easy storage inside the given pouch. All you have to do is push the ear cups upwards, then push them inwards. You’ll hear a “click” once they snap into storage position. Headphones are such an awkward shape to transport. They often don’t fit nicely into my bag. I worry that they’ll get bent out of shape or otherwise damaged. At the same time, I can’t always wear my headphones around my neck as “storage,” especially in Vancouver where it pours quite often. So, I’m a big fan of Marley’s collapsible design—it’s truly genius!
In terms of function, the Marley Positive Vibration Frequency headphones are incredibly simple to operate. On one of the ear cups (could be the left or the right, depending on how you are wearing the headphone), there are three buttons. The top one is for increasing volume and skipping to the next track. To increase volume, press the button once. If skipping tracks, press and hold the button for a couple of seconds. To decrease volume or return to a previous track, do the same thing with the bottom button. To pause or replay, press the button in the middle once (the same one used to connect with the Bluetooth).
Overall, I found these functions easy to learn and operate. I will note that if you want to skip forward more than one track, you will have to press and hold, then let go once the next song starts playing. Then, press and hold again. In other words, treat these functions as self-contained—you can’t press and hold for 10 seconds and expect to skip to the fourth song on the playlist, so to speak. The same applies if you’re going backwards on the playlist. This doesn’t really bother me as I find it’s standard for headphones. It does take some time to skip more than one track, so I found myself just using my phone if I wanted to sprint through my playlist.
When exercising on the treadmill, these headphones held their own! They stayed securely on my head, blasting music that pumped me up. I do suggest that you adjust your headphones, so they wrap around your head securely before sprinting. I tried adjusting them while running and found it a bit difficult to push and pull the sidebands. Once I did secure them, they didn’t wobble around at all! In terms of noise cancellation, I could still hear the treadmill next to me. It didn’t bother me though as it was quite a faint sound. If you plan to exercise with these headphones, another tip is to get familiar with the button functions prior to your workout. I didn’t notice the buttons were quite small until I started running, and I had to feel around for the right button. Once my fingers figured out the exact location of each button, I was able to enjoy my workout!
In addition to the gym, I also took these headphones to a loud café. They did muffle external sounds, but I could still hear faint murmurs of the chatter happening around me. On a slightly unrelated note, for safety reasons, I appreciate this combination of music but still some external noise during my outdoor city walks. Now, back to the café! The soft and squishy ear cups remained comfortable for long wear, but I found the top of the headband started to feel hard against my head after 2 hours. With that being said, I would still enjoy using these headphones while working at a café for the comfort of their ear cups and high sound quality.
I was quite impressed by the Marley Positive Vibration Frequency headphones’ sound quality! They have a precision to their sound—in both the beats and vocals of songs—that make me feel immersed in the music. I also found the sound design suitable for a range of music. For ballads, I appreciated how the crispness came with a sense of depth, with a nice balance between the singer’s voice and the instrumentals. For more beat-heavy music, like rap, I like how the beats were clearly audible. My favourite music to play with these headphones are pop songs. I like how their precision and balance of sound create a hip, energizing sound experience.
Overall, I can see myself reaching for these Marley headphones when I’m reading at a café or just enjoying music while relaxing on the couch. I also think these headphones are a great companion for my long, city walks because they are so transportable. As for battery life, they are marketed as having up to 34 hours. I used them for a couple of hours over several days and didn’t need to recharge! Lastly, I’m someone who loves all things artistic, and honestly, the clever and creative foldable design of these headphones are a big attraction. And what’s more? They sound wonderful too!
If you’re ready to explore Marley Positive Vibration Frequency headphones, check them out at Best Buy.