House of Marley Positive Vibration XL Review

House of Marley Positive Vibration XL Review

Written by Ramsay, In Headset, Published On
July 1, 2023

The House of Marley Positive Vibration XL ANC is a set of active noise-canceling (ANC) headphones that can be used wirelessly or wired. The $99.99 Positive Vibration XL headphones from House of Marley are made with mostly eco-friendly materials, just like all of the company’s other goods. As the name suggests, these headphones have a deep bass. They could be better for people who want accurate frequency responses. Still, the lows are well-balanced with the highs, which are also well-made. The on-ear settings and clarity of the mic could be better, but other than that, the headphones sound good for the price.

House of Marley Positive Vibration XL Headphone Specs

Connection Bluetooth 5.0
Type Over-ear
Back Design Closed-back
Drivers 40mm
Mic & Controls YES
Weight 8.9 oz (252g)
Water resistance NO
Charging Time 2h + quick charge – USB-C
Microphone Built-in
Wireless range 33ft (10m)


  • Good sound quality for the price.
  • It can be used in a wired mode that is not active.


  • Lacklustre control panel.
  • Bad sound quality from the mic.


House of Marley Positive Vibration XL

The Positive Vibration XL headphones come in black, blue, or copper. They have a circumaural (over-ear) design with faux-leather earpads and a collar made of cloth. Memory foam is used to pad the earcups and the bottom of the headband, making it easy to wear for long amounts of time. The House of Marley name is carved into FSC-certified wood on the outside panel, and 40mm drivers are housed inside the casings. The three-button control panel is on the right earcup. A single button in the middle controls playing manages calls, and turns the phone on and off.

When you hold the same button for three seconds, your phone’s voice helper will come on; at least, that’s what the quick start guide says. But pushing down the button for two seconds turns off the headphones, so this is wrong, and we couldn’t figure out how to get the voice helper to work. Depending on how long you hold the plus and minus buttons, they change the volume or move you to the next track. This makes it way too easy to skip a track when you meant to change the volume.


House of Marley Positive Vibration XL

On songs with many sub-bass, like “Silent Shout” by The Knife, the headphones offer deep, powerful bass and a surprising mix between the highs and high mids. Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” which has much less deep bass in the mix, shows us how the Positive Vibration XL generally sounds. The drums have a deep bass sound, but they sound quiet. Callahan’s voice gets more low-mid depth and a lot of treble edges to keep things clear and crisp. The strums of the acoustic guitar and the percussive hits in the higher registers also have a bright presence. It gives the sound a molded but balanced sound identity.

Eco Friendly

House of Marley Positive Vibration XL

The House of Marley Positive Vibration XL ANC headphones are better for the environment than most, but they could be better. House of Marley’s promise to give “a meaningful contribution” to the One Tree Planted project every year makes it stand out. One Tree Planted with House of Marley has planted 286,000 trees since 2017 (as of March 2022). How much of your buy goes to the cause must be clarified. The goal is to work on replanting all over the world. It will lead to better air quality, more diverse environments, cleaner water, less land erosion, and many other good things.


House of Marley Positive Vibration XL

Positive Vibration XL headphones have thick foam earpads, a strap that can be stretched out, and a flexible build. You can wear them for hours without getting tired of them. But there are a few things you need to know. The ear holes are a little small. There are other over-ears where you can get bigger. Since these are made to be movable and can be folded up, the ear cups are just big enough (if you have normal adult ears) to cover your ears.

You can feel the ear pads brushing against the edges of your ears. You can feel it, but it’s never painful. The foam in the pads is soft and fits well to the shape of your head. Even though it’s called “memory foam,” it seems to us like it’s just regular foam that returns to its original shape as soon as you remove it. And that’s fine because the padding is more than enough.


House of Marley Positive Vibration XL

These Marleys’ Bluetooth 5.0 connection usually works over two walls, which is unusual. Also, there is no delay that you can tell when you watch a movie. Most Bluetooth 5.0 headphones work well and can connect to other devices wirelessly, but some limits remain. Distortions and small hiccups happen often. And most headphones don’t work well when two walls are in the way.  But these work fine even though there are two things in the way. Even when we were behind two things, we saw no signs of a weaker signal. It’s very strong and durable. Still, the normal range is about 30 feet (10 meters), which is plenty.


House of Marley Positive Vibration XL

Positive Vibration XL headphones are well-made and strong. They are made of stainless steel and metal and fold up. The only sign of weakness is that the headband could be more flexible. They feel good in your hands and don’t seem to be weak. You can find much right with the way it was made. The materials are of high quality, they fit together well, and everything feels like it was made with care. They have some weight to them, likely because they are made of metal. The outside of the earcups are made of glossy plastic, and wooden logos give them a high-end look and feel.

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