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on 4 December 2012
Headphones are very much a matter of personal taste. There is also a huge choice now, especially in the less than £100 category.I bought some AKG450 semi closed phones based on a great "What Hi Fi" review, but in spite of them bedding in with use, I still find them too bass centric, and a bit too mushy at the higher frequencies. I have never been completely happy with the sound, as I have to keep adjusting the EQfor different tracks to get a reasonable balance to my ear; although the separation and detail from the AKGs is very good (and superior to the Marleys). The AKGs would originally have been £150 (rrp) though I paid £42 so had fewer qualms about moving on from them to something else. I should also say that I dislike in-ear 'phones intensely.

These Marley Soul Rebel Headphones were in a local HMV store. I was very impressed with the performance and build quality for the money. I had already tried a wide range of `phones at a range of prices up to £100, and the Bose Around Ear, Panasonic RP-HTX7, as well as Sennheiser Hd 205, and another Marley set...'Positive Vibration' headphones stood out together with these Soul Rebels which were £24.99 (half rrp). As I said headphones are a very personal choice. The Bose were very nice sounding but still carried a bit too much bass at the expense of clarity in the treble range - very like my AKG450 but with very flimsy build quality. I was tempted by the label but knew that like my AKGs I would never be completely happy with them. Bose had an Over ear model that sounded really nice but was way out of my price range. The Panasonic had the best all round sound for the price by a short whisker but they were quite big and I was not sold on the style. The leatherette was not comfy over the ear either. The Sennheisers just felt big and clumsy on my head, and the sound was less warm, with the mid-range coming at the expense of an indistict treble. The 'Positive Vibration' from Marley sounded much the same as the Soul Rebels but the in line volume control would not work with my Nexus 7 or HTC Desire S. So I went for these Soul Rebels on Style, sound and price.

The styling of the Soul Rebel is quite unique. There are 3 colour choices in the range, but these "Midnight" pair have an urban camouflage padded canvas headband, complete with little eyelets riveted into the headband as a style statement, and brushed bronze earcups made of recycled aluminium. At first I thought they must be plastic for the price but no, they are lightweight aluminium, meaning that the `phones have a mostly metal construction which is impressive in this price range. The earpiece leatherette is very soft and comfy. The Headband is basically two pieces of steel wire separated by spacer bars so it is around 30mm wide, and wrapped in that padded canvas covering. They are very comfy, the canvas does not make you sweat like faux leather or plastic headbands can. The earpieces only swivel around one axis, and clamp firmly but comfortably on my smallish head.

The Marley Unique Selling Point (USP) is the use of sustainable materials in construction, and the donation of some of the sale proceeds to World peace causes - a worthy thing. The cable connection is very retro in that it splits to each earcup rather than entering the unit on one side. The cable itself is great, although very thin, it is fabric covered, which seems to make it less prone to tangles, and the sound of the cable catching clothing does not seem to transfer as readily to the cans as in other models I have tried. They come with a black cloth bag embroidered with red, green and yellow, and the Marley logo in red and a red drawstring. Due to the construction they do not fold into a very small package like the AKGs so they would need some consideration if you where travelling with them, but they are not as bulky as the Panasonic RP-HTX7.

The `phones have a warmth in the reproduction that is missing in my AKG450. The sound is very balanced. There is bass by the bucket load, but it does not overwhelm the upper ranges. If there was a weak area it was in the clarity of the mid ranges, though this has improved as they have bedded in with use. This does however contribute to the warm sound that I prefer to some of the sharper mid ranges that you get from other models where the sound too "clinical" to my ear. They have so much more balance to the overall sound than my AKGs that I can relax and listen to the music rather than keep faffing about with EQ settings. I have not played uncompressed music files through these phones yet, but I have read reviews of the Marley range that say that their strength is more in their suitability to compressed MP3 playback and the fact that these relatively large phones can be comfortably driven by smartphones, i-pods and other portable players without amplification. That said, I do use a FiLO 5 headphone amp and the Soul Rebels really shine when the volume is cranked up. The only reason for 4 stars is because I cannot give 4.5 stars...I would drop a half star only because the clarity of sound across the range is beaten by a short whisker by the Panasonic RP-HTX7 in a similar price bracket. They certainly knock the stuffing out of the cheap end of the Dr Dre BEATS range. Of course, if you have a bigger budget you will always find better sounding 'phones ..all I am saying is ..let your ears tell you what sounds best within your price range.. and certainly give these a demo (on your own player)if your budget like mine was up to £75 for an over-ear headphone.

I am very pleased with these Soul Rebel Headphones. They look great, they are very well constructed from high quality materials, they are comfy and sound very good. On paper they are not technically as good as my AKG450 but at the rrp would have cost a third of the price. However as I said sound is a very subjective and personal thing and I like them so much more than the AKG. Now they have bedded in nicely after a lot of use they are sounding a little sharper in the mid range but still very nicely balanced. They are among the nicest cans I have listened to in the up to £80 price range, and certainly the best made. Recommended even at full rrp. Very highly recommended if you can get them for under £30.

UPDATE: I have used these headphones on a seperates hi-fi system using CDs played through a Marantz amplifier and found the limits of these headphones. The clarity of treble and mid-range notes suffers and the bass sounds much more indistinct and "muddy" compared to listening to compressed MP3 versions of the same tracks - Dire Straits "Telgraph Road" and Bob Marley's "Is this Love" were used to compare. The MP3 versions still sound great on my Nexus using these Marley's...still loads better than the AKGs, but the AKGs really came into their own listening to the CD output, sounding worth the price differential. I am expecting to get an i-pod classic to store my entire music collection in uncompressed format so it will be interesting to see if as I expect that the Soul Rebels will be outperformed by the AKGs as with CD output. However I stand by my original recommendation of these phones as the best sounding for my nexus and HTC Desire S....it just goes to show how you need to research and road test 'phones with your own player wherever possible.
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on 3 March 2013
I brought these headphones somewhere else for £14.99 and I must say they have a great design I especially like the aluminium ear cups and the fabric covered lead. I don't like paying lots for headphones and as soon as I found out House of Marley were doing headphones I really wanted some.
For me the sound quality is good there is more bass than my JVC's HA-RX300 and as they are on ear I don't have to have the volume turned up as loud.
One flaw I have found is that as they are on ear they can squeeze my ear against the arm of my glasses but this is due to my odd ears and only happens on one side (unlike another pair of headphones that hurt both ears). I have counter acted this by moving them about and can now wear them without any pain.
They are a great weight I know they are on my head but they don't weigh lots, I think they are pretty portable even though you can't fold them up. The lead length is just right and I like the right angled jack.
They come with a canvas drawstring bag to carry them in which is a really nice touch.
Even given the choice I would buy them again but I wouldn't pay more than £25 for them.
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on 3 June 2013
These were to replace a pair of PX 100's which were starting to fall apart.

As sound quality is very subjective it might assist if you understand that my taste in music is 60's 70's and I am not a bass freak. I listen to music on my MP3 player and they are great in that regard but I also use them to listen to TV/Blu-Ray through my old Sony STR-DB 930. To my ears clarity is good (for the price - £30), the mid range is perhaps a little bright and forward (but I like that kind of sound) top end is fine and the bass is there when it has to be. Overall the sound is a little warmer than the PX 100's but none the less acceptable.

Only issue I have, and it is well reported on in other reviews is it being a little tight on the ears and therefore not comfortable if you want to wear them for a couple of hours. I have tried other on ear headphones of a similar style to the Marley and found them to be even more uncomfortable so the Marleys might have an edge here. Having said that I have probably been spoilt by the light as a feather PX 100's.

External noise reduction is better that the PX 100's (which is not existent) but they do leak sound and as they are quite bulky I cannot see me wearing in the street. They are fine around the house but extended listening does give me sore ears. Try before you buy.
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on 25 March 2013
These are a bargain.
They're brilliant, great bass and clear highs, mids could be a fair bit better but for the price I have no right to complain.
Everything's made out of recycled components which is nice. comes with a convenient draw string bag which looks good.
The wire is coated with string but tangles a little more than I like. They are very comfortable and definitely durable. You can also get a very small amount of distortion if you have your volume maxed on a powerful device but it's uncommon.I recommend to everyone.
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on 24 June 2013
comfy, great quality, great price. Much better than my old skulcandys which broke after a few months I have had these 6 months now. After 3 hours my ears started to ache a little but recovered after a 2 min rest.
EDIT: they broke in one ear which is a shame cuz I really loved them. Lasted about 8 months :(
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on 29 December 2013
I spent a long time in a store listening to different headphones before settling on these. Here's a brief overview of what I heard.

SOUND

The sound quality of these is punchy and a decent bass line, but most importantly the mid-range is still very clear, giving a decent overall sound. They are slightly bass heavy, but not a lot so and very tolerable. Hardcore techno fans would probably want something a bit more bassy, classical musicians something a little more balanced, but for most pop/electro/soul/dance/dubstep tracks the balance is good. It goes without saying that, at this price range, they are for mid quality-mp3 playback.

On certain songs and certain volumes, I can definitely hear a lack of clarity. When compared to the £160 Sennheiser Momentum On headphones I tried, there was a massive difference and you could easily hear the fuzziness, especially in the bass, but overall the sound was still clear. Compared to similar products (Sony MDRZX600s, Sennheiser MD219s etc)they have better sound quality in my opinion. With a budget of about £70, I found these headphones sounded better for me than anything else in that price range (comparing to Sony, Sennheiser, Panasonic and SkullCandy), despite being under budget and some of the least expensive headphones I tried.

BUILD QUALITY and APPEARANCE

As for appearance, the main reason for buying if I'm honest, they look much cooler than most on-ear headphones. They aren't simply large chunks of black plastic with a giant brand marks plastered on to them like most are (or pure 'bling' like Beats headphones etc). Also, these don't look cheap or nasty at all, in case you are wondering from the Amazon picture they look decent and well made. They are also small enough to be easily portable. They come with a decent fabric case.

"NOISE ISOLATION"

Played at about 70% volume on an Iphone 5, I couldn't hear the four year old child screaming his guts out five seats ahead of me . Quadruple bonus. I guess mainly, 'noise isolation' means they are a bit tighter on your head than a lot of earphones, meaning you hear a little less of your surroundings at the expense of a little comfort. Seeing as I'd rather stab my ears out completely than be able to hear the other people on my commute, this works fine for me. Whether it works for you will probably depend on how noisy an environment you intend on using them in.

OVERALL

Overall, a big thumbs up HoM. If you are buying a headphones on a budget of about £50 or under, I'd recommend either these, or the slightly more expensive House of Marley Exodus Harvest headphones, which sounded slightly better than these ones, but only slightly and were £20 more expensive and not really my style.
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on 29 December 2013
I spent a long time in a store listening to different headphones before settling on these. Here's a brief overview of what I heard.

SOUND

The sound quality of these is punchy and a decent bass line, but most importantly the mid-range is still very clear, giving a decent overall sound. They are slightly bass heavy, but not a lot so and very tolerable. Hardcore techno fans would probably want something a bit more bassy, classical musicians something a little more balanced, but for most pop/electro/soul/dance/dubstep tracks the balance is good. It goes without saying that, at this price range, they are for mid quality-mp3 playback.

On certain songs and certain volumes, I can definitely hear a lack of clarity. When compared to the £160 Sennheiser Momentum On headphones I tried, there was a massive difference and you could easily hear the fuzziness, especially in the bass, but overall the sound was still clear. Compared to similar products (Sony MDRZX600s, Sennheiser MD219s etc)they have better sound quality in my opinion. With a budget of about £70, I found these headphones sounded better for me than anything else in that price range (comparing to Sony, Sennheiser, Panasonic and SkullCandy), despite being under budget and some of the least expensive headphones I tried.

BUILD QUALITY and APPEARANCE

As for appearance, the main reason for buying if I'm honest, they look much cooler than most on-ear headphones. They aren't simply large chunks of black plastic with a giant brand marks plastered on to them like most are (or pure 'bling' like Beats headphones etc). Also, these don't look cheap or nasty at all, in case you are wondering from the Amazon picture they look decent and well made. They are also small enough to be easily portable. They come with a decent fabric case.

"NOISE ISOLATION"

Played at about 70% volume on an Iphone 5, I couldn't hear the four year old child screaming his guts out five seats ahead of me . Quadruple bonus. I guess mainly, 'noise isolation' means they are a bit tighter on your head than a lot of earphones, meaning you hear a little less of your surroundings at the expense of a little comfort. Seeing as I'd rather stab my ears out completely than be able to hear the other people on my commute, this works fine for me. Whether it works for you will probably depend on how noisy an environment you intend on using them in.

OVERALL

Overall, a big thumbs up HoM. If you are buying a headphones on a budget of about £50 or under, I'd recommend either these, or the slightly more expensive House of Marley Exodus Harvest headphones, which sounded slightly better than these ones, but only slightly and were £20 more expensive and not really my style.
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on 27 May 2016
I tried these headphones some time ago in-store, and quite liked the signature of them. I purchased recently when the price was £14.99 as I needed a new pair, as my current ones were dying. All I can say is I’m delighted with these. Whilst they may not be to the liking of some audiophiles, I find the sound from these really nice. Rich deep and smooth bass, which I don’t find overpowering, and detailed bright top end, with nice clear mids. In fact I’m picking up details in these that didn’t come through in my previous headphones (sony). Build quality seems good, but only time will tell with that, but I find them a good fit, and comfortable. Not too tight, which is good as I use them often for watching films on my tablet, and have found with previous headphones, there’s been too much pressure, making my ears sore after an hour or so. I landed a great bargain getting these for £14.99, but I have to say I would have been equally happy if I’d paid £24.99 for them. They also come with a really nice embroidered cloth carrying pouch.
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VINE VOICEon 23 May 2015
Punchy, good sense of space, detailed and clean, things swing along without the terrors of bass smothered 'everything' or harsh, overly bright treble. Not the last word in anything, but not dull or extreme either. Vocals are properly articulated. For the price, this is all well above average.

Build is good, not going to survive a nuclear blast, not going to come to pieces in your hands either.

Style? Well, you can't miss them. Value? Work well for 'on the go' MP3 listening. Things go awry when they's exposed to CD - the bass swarms over the mid-range and the sound becomes less coherent.

For the bus, train, mooching about, 'Soul Rebel' are an affordable, involving and easy to drive by a smartphone, won't break the bank and - as can happen - if ever there is a loud crunching noise or a broken cable, a full state funeral ('Oh my God, £200! What have I done!') won't be necessary.

Excitingly, they also come with a small bag for you to lose or misplace at some point.
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on 13 January 2014
The styling, construction and build quality of these headphones is beyond belief - I have a pair of Sennheisers that I paid £130 for and they're made exclusively from plastic, the Soul Rebels have two plastic headband terminators just above the ear cups and that's it, the rest is an orgy of aluminium, stitched canvas, rivets and steel piping - they retail at £24.99.

Not that I'm against the use of plastics but the Soul Rebels were designed, constructed and aptly named with purpose in mind - from recycled materials to boot, even the box they came in was too good to throw away!

The premium build of the Soul Rebels comes into play again when describing the sound quality - in one word; AWESOME!

Trying to sum up the sound of the Soul Rebels would probably take me a lifetime but I'll start with saying that the overall balance of these headphones is very biased; deep bass, clear midrange and rolled off but sweet sounding treble.
I thought this would put me off but this is what actually makes these headphones so musical! The Cardigans, John Coltrane, Erykah Badu and Joyce Moreno have always sounded great and there's a mile long list of headphone models that will faithfully recreate every recorded moment from them but with the Soul Rebels it's like you're actually in the studio with these great artists.

The soundstage just opens up, cymbals float above your ears, vocals penetrate your skull, keyboards make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, basses rumble pleasantly while massaging the sides of your face, guitars linger about the mix menacingly jabbing here and there. The stereo separation is just insane - it feels like the ear cups are ten feet long!

There can be no doubt that Marley have fitted high quality drivers but I think that its the combination of the drivers and the deep aluminium enclosure cups that really catapult the Soul Rebels into legendary status in my opinion.

If you can find better sounding headphones for £25 please tell me because I would honestly like to try them out - meanwhile my £130 Sennheiser HD25s have been relegated to studio duties and I've personally tested headphones in excess of £340 that don't even come close to being as refined as the Soul Rebels.

All I know is that the long headphone search is pretty much over for me, I can't see these headphones being toppled from their throne anytime soon.
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