Difficulties often arise when trying to host a party regardless of the size, and more often than not, it is down to the dilemma of the audio system. As events in our contemporary day and age are so fluid in that they can pop up anywhere at anytime, having a portable audio system that can be easily carried around, as well as packing a sonic punch is what creates the ultimate ambiance for any occasion. The House of Marley aims to do just that with the Liberate BT Bluetooth Portable Audio System and we present our review of which encompasses three key categories: Look, Portability and Sound. As the brand name suggests, the philosophy of this burgeoning audio company is to transport users to a different realm of audio experience by placing an emphasis on “functionality, the purpose of it, and really having that quality and sound,” says Rohan Marley, co-founder of The House of Marley. Not only does the label stand out in the saturated marketplace, it has a focus on producing environmentally-friendly equipment via its use of sustainable materials such as recycled plastics and Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods. By combining the aspects of functionality, aesthetics and environmental awareness, The House of Marley is paving the way for other brands to follow suit. Despite its deceptively simple look, the system boasts modern Bluetooth connectivity as well as a rechargeable function under its hood, which allows for wireless transmissions from countless personal devices for an impressive amount of time.
The understated piece may not look like a speaker at first glance and could easily fit in as a tasteful home furnishing with the two-layer grill design on the front and bamboo touch on the rear. Coming in at just 1.75 inches in height by 2.90 inches and 8.60” by width and diameter respectively, this audio system is perfect for anything from a table, desk or even any surface. The Rewind material that wraps around the entire speaker then further enhances the brand’s focus of environmental awareness as well as instantly removing any notions that recycling (or “upscaling” as The House of Marley calls it) cannot produce something aesthetically pleasing. Finishing touches of the simple button symbols on the top of the piece and the concealed power and audio inputs round things out neatly from an aesthetic standpoint.
Being lightweight and portable is what one looks for in an audio system, and this piece of kit succeeds in both aspects as it is incredibly light for something that packs a plethora of features. The streamlined design and angled edges allow for a comfortable feel when one is holding it, and this also makes it easy to store and find if it is carried around in any type of bag. Furthermore, the two-layer grill design is extremely useful in protecting the area of audio projection so there is no need to worry about other items you are transporting, which you fear may damage this part. Lightweight and easy to carry, the Liberate BT is perfect for both traveling and keeping in one place.
Notwithstanding what is arguably the most important factor when deliberating on a piece of audio equipment, The House of Marley product packs quite a sonic punch for its unassuming size. The premium sound that comes out boasts a premium quality and creates a great sound stage even at higher levels of volume, without taking away from crisp notes at higher frequencies. Bass lines can also be easily distinguished and the way in which the speaker is angled at approximately 45 degrees means the sound is consistently balanced for all those in its range. Finally, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery boasts a life of eight hours with one full charge, which enables it to maintain the audio experience for extended periods of time, such as at a party or when you’re looking for something to accompany you while you work.
The House of Marley Liberate BT Bluetooth Portable Audio System is available now for $100 USD. Check out the previous installment where we reviewed the Liberate XLBT headphones from The House of Marley as well, and head over to its site for more information.