House of Marley (HoM) is one of the few audio companies to put a specific focus on the sustainability of its products. Its use of materials like bamboo and recycled plastics has become a signature element of its entire product line from turntables to headphones. That eco-friendly theme returns with the $130 House of Marley Rebel, a set of true wireless earbuds that mimic the look and feel of its $200 Redemption ANC, but with a different set of features.
The Rebel are noteworthy for being HoM’s first true wireless earbuds to offer wireless charging, a feature we’re beginning to see in earbuds at a variety of prices. They’ve got a claimed eight-hour battery life per charge, and a total of 30 hours when you include the capacity of their charging case. When wireless charging isn’t available, you can still use a USB-C connection. If needed, you can use the case’s quick-charge feature to give yourself an extra one hour of playback after 15-minutes of charging.
And though they may look similar to the Redemption ANC, H0M says the Rebel are 24% smaller, which makes them both lighter and more comfortable. The Rebel miss out on the Redemption ANC’s biggest feature (active noise cancellation), but they make up for that with a lower price, the wireless charging capability, and a new auto-play capability — onboard wear sensors can pause and resume your tunes when you remove and replace each earbud.
The Rebel are also the most water-resistant of HoM’s lineup of true wireless earbuds, with an IPX5 rating, which means it can withstand sweat, rain, and even being rinsed off under running water as long as you don’t use high pressure.
HoM has given the Rebel two EQ modes, Signature and Bass Boost, and you can switch between them using the earbuds’ touch controls instead of needing to open an app on your phone. Thanks to the placement of microphones at the end of the stems, plus the use of echo noise cancellation, HoM says the Rebel have been designed for “exceptional call quality.”
When we reviewed the Redemption ANC a year ago, we noted that both their bulk and inaccurate touch controls prevented them from earning our unqualified recommendation, despite having decent sound and ANC. Given that the Rebel are significantly smaller, if HoM has been able to address the touch control issue, these could be a serious contender for folks looking for AirPods alternatives.
You’ll find the HoM Rebel on HouseOfMarley.com and Amazon.com in black and cream colors, starting today.
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