The House of Marley Bag of Rhythm
The House of Marley, www.thehouseofmarley.com.au
Great looking; well made; stands out in the crowd
Audio not for classical-music lovers; no remote
Standing out in a world of bland boomboxes is the very appropriately named Bag of Rhythm from The House of Marley – a company which says its aim is to produce top-quality audio gear while giving back to 1Love, the charity started by Bob Marley’s family.
The family’s Jamaican/ Rastafarian heritage is very evident in the design, which takes a simple boombox-syle audio system and places it in a military-green canvas bag with carry handles, shoulder strap and red/yellow/green Rasta highlights.
The front/top plate is made of laminated blonde wood shaped in a definite nod to the skater culture. Set into it is an iPhone/iPod dock with power and volume buttons and an Aux input for connecting non-Apple audio sources via a supplied cable.
There are no other controls, but these days most of our audio tweaking is done using apps, so this isn’t really a problem. There also isn’t a remote control supplied.
Powering out from beside the dock are dual 1in tweeters and 4.5in woofers which port out to the sides of the unit.
The Bag of Rhythm naturally fires its sound upwards due to the nature of the case, but can be set on its side as well. The dock can take pretty much any Apple device with a dock connector, including older iPhones with relatively thick cases on them.
The sound from the Bag of Rhythm is rich, full and very listenable for long periods. It can be pushed quite loud, but with a slight degradation of quality.
The high end is surprisingly beautiful – crisp and clear – and the midrange is nicely balanced. The bass is big and pleasing on most genres. There is possibly too much colouration for classical music, but you probably wouldn’t buy this product to listen to it.
The Bag of Rhythm is probably the speaker equivalent of the hugely popular Beats By Dr Dre headphones, in that they’re tuned for beat-heavy music and probably won’t appeal to those who prefer neutral audio.
The unit can be mains- powered – the cord slips in through a hole hidden under the bag’s external accessory pocket – or taken on the road using six D-cell batteries.
The recommended price of $399.95 is right on the money for the quality and sound.