The Liberate Air from House of Marley not only provide eye-catching bamboo finishes, but also offer technical refinements like integrated touch control for Android and iOS systems. These headphones sound good and support Bluetooth standard 5.0 as well as the high-quality audio codec aptX, they also have a quick charging function.
In keeping with the company’s mission statement, these in-ears and their transport case, which also serves as a charging station, are made from sustainable materials. The mix of natural wood fibre composite, recycled REWIND fabric, FSC-certified bamboo and recyclable aluminium gives an impeccable high-quality finish. At the same time, the bamboo gives the surfaces of the headphones and the inner surface of the case a pleasant feel. In accordance with IPX4, the system is protected against sweat and moisture, which makes them easy to clean. Although these in-ears protrude slightly, they embed themselves into your ear to such an extent that they can still fit under a cap if necessary. The fit is stable enough to withstand slight vibrations so that a short intermediate sprint is possible.
While these headphones will run for a good six hours at higher levels, the quick-charge function offers the option of a further four hours of use after just ten minutes of charging, making the Liberate Air ideal for longer trips. Complete charging of the in-ears in the transport case takes almost exactly 40 minutes, and the available battery reserve of 550mAh is sufficient for almost three charging cycles until the case needs to be connected to power via USB-C connection. The charging case has a handy battery status display in form of four LEDs, which gives information about the remaining capacity; this is activated by tapping the surface. In addition, the LEDs indicate the progress of charging the case, which takes a little over 90 minutes using the USB-C to USB-A charging cable provided.
Pairing the headphones offers a stable range of seven to eight metres in combination with various iOS and Android devices, and takes place as soon as the case is opened. Opening the case switches the system on and automatically puts it into pairing mode. With an existing wireless connection, a double tap on the bamboo surface of the right in-ear controls the play /stop function as well as answers and ends phone calls. On the left side, however, double-clicking activates your device’s voice assistant. In addition, triple-touching the right-hand side of the handset allows you to jump forward, and the left-hand side controls backward skips. The remote reacts very precisely and reliably, especially since accidental contact is virtually impossible. However, the volume must be adjusted either by voice control or on the device itself.
A positive feature of these headphones is the extremely good microphone quality, which ensures very clear speech intelligibility when making phone calls. A full single mode is also supported when using one earpiece, which is possible with both the left and right sides. In mono mode, voice control can be activated by double tapping and calls can also be answered this way, while triple tapping picks the next track.
The Liberate Air sounds well balanced, has a rather bright, open sound and reproduces details and clear contours. Only the low bass range lacks a bit of precision, whereas the deep bass is rich and energetic without being overloaded. Vocals with a soft character are impressively and pleasingly staged, sounding fresh and lively, while very clear trebles show presence without falling off. These in-ears only reveal their weaknesses with increasing volume, because at high levels a certain hardness in the high-frequency range can be perceived and there is a tendency to overdraw sibilants. Otherwise, the sound was convincing with powerful basses and strong mids, from which depth both vocals and bass-heavy music benefit. All in all, the sound impression is present, direct and dynamic, the sound stage is not too narrow and appears well structured.
If you can do without a volume control, House of Marley’s Liberate Air makes a handy, sustainable package consisting of completely wireless in-ears and a transport case with stylish bamboo finishes. The fast-charging headphones score points with precise touch control, good microphone quality and aptX codec support. Apart from the limited level stability in the trebles, the sound also meets more sophisticated demands and has strengths for listening to vocals and bass-heavy music.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance16 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)@ 1Khz: 103B +/- 3 dB
- Weight without cableIn-Ears 14 g, Case 58 g
What's in the box
- 3 pairs of eartips in two sizes (1x S/ 2x M)
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Charging case
- BT codecs: SBC, aptX
- BT version: 5.0