The House of Marley Champion support a high-quality audio codec in the form of the AAC format and convinced us with a successful, fun-oriented tuning, which makes the price of these cable-free in-ears seem attractive.
In keeping with House of Marley’s ecological philosophy, the Champions are made from FSC-certified bamboo, natural wood fibre composite and recycled silicone. The included USB-C to USB charging cable is also said to be made of 99 per cent recyclable polyester, while the packaging is fully recyclable. The sustainability commitment also includes that for every unit sold, a tree will be planted as part of the One Tree Planted reforestation effort.
The only thing that detracts from the positive overall impression is the limited choice of ear tips; only two sizes are included, which seems a little limited. However, the Champion sits very comfortably in the ear and fit snugly, which provides stability. Although the compact design protrudes a little from the ear, they fit under a cap if necessary. In addition, the material mix is processed to be sweat and water-resistant according to IPX4, which makes them suitable for use during sports and protects the system from weather-related moisture outdoors.
With a runtime of seven and a half hours at higher volumes, the Champion proved to be enduring in our battery test. In addition, the lightweight, handy charging case offers enough capacity to fully charge the in-ears twice and then once more two hours of listening, resulting in a total runtime of a good 24 hours. The case’s remaining battery reserve can be displayed via the four LEDs by tapping on the case, which is a handy feature. In addition, a quick-charge function is available via the USB-C port, which allows the in-ears to be charged to 60 per cent after just fifteen minutes of power supply; this corresponds to five hours of listening time. While the case is fully recharged after two hours, a charging cycle for the earphones takes just under 100 minutes.
The House of Marley Champions support Bluetooth standard 5.0 and offered a stable wireless connection during our test, and did not drop out even across several rooms and they had a range of about ten metres within an urban environment. Pairing can be done by removing them from the case; this turns the headphones on and automatically puts them into pairing mode. Putting them back in the charger switches the system off. Single-sided use in single mode is also possible, as is manually switching the headphones on and off via the bamboo surfaces. These not only represent a visually appealing style element but also serve as buttons, providing a pleasant feel. Another advantage is that these in-ears can be switched off independently of the case, but they are automatically charged in the case after each use which is not likely to help the life expectancy of the batteries.
When the Champions are paired with a device, a simple press controls starting and stopping of playback, as well as answering and ending phone calls, and this can be done on both sides. Rejecting a call can be done with a short press and hold. Titles can be selected by pressing twice, using the left button to jump back and the right button to jump forward. A triple press activates the voice assistant, and this works flawlessly for the most part because the remote buttons have clear pressure points and respond reliably. However, there is no volume control, so this has to be done either on the device itself or via voice control.
Voice quality during phone calls
In a quiet environment, the integrated microphones on the House of Marley Champion ensure good intelligibility of one’s own voice. Loud ambient noises such as street noise or background voices can affect presentation as these are not actively attenuated as with the recently tested House of Marley Rebel. Apart from this restriction, these headphones are perfectly suitable for making phone calls, as the person on the other end of the line can be understood well.
The House of Marley Champion are tuned in a modern way with powerful bass reproduction and a present high-frequency range, which sounds decidedly harmonious. Given their price, these headphones impressed with a clear, tidy and open sound image that has a well-measured basic warmth. While the low bass was kept rather slim, there was a certain fullness in the lower ranges, but it was by no means bulky or massive. On the contrary, the powerful, tight bass reproduction sounded appealingly defined across genres, and this offers a high fun factor.
Add to this a clean midrange that seemed a little more restrained compared to the bass and treble but reproduced vocals and instruments with great detail. Voices in podcasts or films sounded fresh and lively with a high level of intelligibility. The reproduction in the upper registers could be described as lively and energetic, and this does not seem obtrusive, rather providing clear accents. Only at higher volume levels, which the Champion are capable of, can the high frequencies be perceived as a bit brash. Otherwise, the reproduction seems balanced and pleasantly airy.
House of Marley’s Champion are compact, weatherproof True Wireless in-ears characterised by the use of sustainable materials and a comfortable, stable fit. These earphones also boast a great price/sound ratio, as the powerful, controlled bass and crisp treble reproduction provide plenty of listening pleasure both when listening to music and watching films.
- Comfortable, stable fit
- Compact design
- Made from sustainable materials
- IPX4 water and sweat resistant earpiece
- Case with quick charging function via USB-C port
- Support AAC format
- Very good price/sound ratio
- Quite high charging time of the earphones
- Remote without volume control
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance16 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)@1kHz@1mW: 98 ± 3 dB
- Weight without cable6 g each, Case 40 g
What's in the box
- Eartips in two sizes
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Charging case
- Available in black and white
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC
- BT version: 5.0