Skip to main content

House of Marley’s Champion: Sustainable, affordable true wireless earbuds

House of Marley stands apart in the world of personal audio for its efforts at creating more sustainable, eco-friendly products. Its latest true wireless earbuds, the $70 Champion, will be available starting November 24 and are notable for their use of sustainable materials, as well as their low price.

House of Marley Champion True Wireless Earbuds
House of Marley

The Champion offer a claimed 8-hour battery life between charges, with 28 hours of total playing time when you include the charging case. They’re IPX4 rated for water resistance and sweatproofing.

Prior to the Champion, House of Marley created the $150 Liberate Air and the $200 Redemption ANC, both of which made copious use of HoM’s signature material, bamboo. These models deliver decent audio, but they’re both relatively bulky, and we often had problems getting the touch controls to respond consistently. They were also pricier than the competition.

The Champion appear to be a response to these concerns. At $70, they’re way more affordable, and both the earbuds and charging cases are smaller than the Liberate Air’s.

“We wanted to offer a greener alternative within the under-$70 category for true wireless earbuds,” said Josh Poulsen, House of Marley’s director of product development. “For the Champion, we’ve taken our popular Liberate Air and reduced the charging case by 30% to offer a sleeker, smaller design for those looking for even more portability and convenience.”

The Champion use bamboo, as well as the company’s Regrind natural fiber composite and recycled silicone. The packaging itself is also part of an effort to create more sustainable choices in the personal audio space: It’s made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials and recycled paper, and uses paper fiber ties instead of plastic twist ties, for a 100% recyclable container.

While the Champion’s technical features aren’t especially noteworthy — there’s no wireless charging, active noise cancellation (ANC), ambient noise passthrough, or the ability to tweak EQ via an app — they represent a new, more affordable option for those who want all of the convenience of a set of true wireless earbuds and the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re just a bit better for the planet.

How do they perform? We’ll let you know as soon as we get a chance to try them out.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
Sony’s PlayStation wireless earbuds promise audiophile quality for $200
Sony Pulse Explore wireless earbuds for PlayStation.

Sony's very best wireless audio tech is usually reserved for its flagship headphones and earbuds, currently the WH-1000XM5 and WF-1000XM5. However, it looks like the company is going break with that tradition -- partially, at least -- for its latest PlayStation gaming accessory, a set of wireless earbuds called the Pulse Explore.

The Pulse Explore are unmistakably PlayStation-themed, with a white, winged design that mimics the lines of the PlayStation 5 console, as well as its controller. But lurking beneath that gaming-inspired exterior is some very high-end audio tech. The Pulse Explore use planar magnetic drivers, which have traditionally been reserved for expensive, audiophile-grade headphones and wired earbuds due to their cost.

Read more
House of Marley goes Lux with its revamped Stir it Up turntable
The revamped House of Marley Stir It Up Lux turntable with its zoetrope slip mat.

House of Marley's popular Stir it Up line of sustainable turntables has gotten a sharp new look, some upgraded parts, and a trippy zoetrope slipmat that features some dancing animated Bob Marleys for when you, er, blaze your fire. The House of Marley Stir it Up Lux Bluetooth turntable, sales of which go toward supporting its Project Marley reforestation initiative, is available as of today for $400.

With sustainability and environmental awareness at its forefront, House of Marley's bamboo-emblazoned headphones, speakers, and turntables have been popular among planet-conscious and audio-loving customers alike. The Stir it Up turntable has been turning heads since we reviewed it in 2017. And for 2023, the record player has gotten its most significant face-lift yet, adding the apt moniker of "Lux" to its model name. The belt-driven, Bluetooth-capable turntable has sidestepped its usual silver accents for a sleeker, more striking black color, but is still made from recycled aluminum. The speed-select switch has been redesigned into a dial and now includes a 3.5-mm headphone input and a bright blue accent around its base. It's also been moved to the left front of the plinth, switching places with the House of Marley logo.

Read more
Astell&Kern refreshes its UW100 wireless earbuds
Astell&Kern UW100 MK II wireless earbuds held in hand.

We're guessing Astell&Kern (A&K) must have been pretty happy with how its first wireless earbuds -- the A&K UW100 -- worked out because the company has just announced a second generation and you'll need to look very closely to find the changes. The Astell&Kern UW100 MK II will be available in September for the same $299 price as the original.

On the outside, the MK II look exactly the same as their predecessors. A&K has kept the same two-tone, rounded pentagon shape, which, while a bit on the big side, has still proven to be quite comfortable. Even the internal components are unchanged -- A&K has kept the single full-range Knowles balanced armature (BA) driver, which it powers using a combo of its own amp technology and an Asahi Kasei AKM 32-bit Hi-Fi digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The earbuds make use of Qualcomm's aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec to deliver up to 24-bit/96kHz hi-res audio when used with a compatible Android smartphone.

Read more