A couple of years ago I tried out the Positive Vibration XL ANC headphones from Marley, and now, they’ve released a slightly different pair of headphones with the Positive Vibration Frequency. Upgraded design, new look and no ANC with these, although the retail price as of making this video and from their website, has both pair of headphones at £99. These have been my go-to headphones for the last month and here are my thoughts.
Out of the box, I love the retro vibe to these. The wood logo is striking, it looks smart. Metal headband, with cushion to the top, and the adjustable earcup metal/cable part is on show. Thick cushion ear cups, over the ear, not on the ear. Plenty of flex and adjustment, plus the cups fold in on themselves for easy storage. Controls are on the right earcup, as well as the USB C port used for charging. There is no 3.5mm aux port, so these can only be used via Bluetooth. Also in the box is a lightweight canvas bag to store the headphones, as well as a USB cable for charging. The bag is just a bag, it will store the headphones but unlike a case, this doesn’t really provide much protection.
As for specs and features, these include 34 hour of playback via a 2 hour charge. 40mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.2, built-in microphone and onboard controls. They can be paired with the Marley app and as with all Marley products, they’re built with sustainable materials. Which materials you may be asking? They say they use FSC-certified wood, plus recycled aluminium, and rewind fabric, which is a blend of organic cotton, hemp and recycled plastics.
Using the headphones for the first time, my instant reaction was, there is no ANC on these but I don’t need it. Listening to some music at mid-volume, there is enough passive noise cancellation to remove quite a few external sounds, especially around the house, like the TV being on, other music playing, chatting, kids playing and so forth.
As for the audio performance, I think it’s pretty good for the price tag and I’ve been really enjoying them. Out of the box, It’s fairly well-balanced but not it’s not perfect. It’s bass-heavy which is fine for me and the music I listen to. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I feel it needs a bit more clarity, it needs to be brighter. Don’t get me wrong, I am really enjoying these, there is just something that is not perfect. Video content is equally good. I’ve been watching Hijacked on Apple TV Plus and that was very enjoyable.
This can be paired with the Marley app but…the app can only be used if you provide location data to Marley to provide regional customer support and product information. Is that needed? I dont feel they need to know where I am but I’m locked out of the app if I don’t provide that information. That being said, download with caution. The app doesn’t work for me, it will not find the headphones, the screen and buttons are misaligned, and the user experience is poor. The app did get an update 3 weeks ago, so it will likely get another and maybe it will work. I was hoping to connect to the app and see some EQ options but time will tell.
Controls work well and as expected. There is enough there to control your content without needing to get to your phone. Play, pause, and take a call via the main button, then the two smaller buttons on either side are volume control via a tap or if held down, will change tracks.
Moving onto comfort and yeah, they are pretty comfortable. I wasn’t sure about the headband at first because the padding was minimal but It was okay. The thick cushions to each can are comfortable and sit well around my ears. They’re secure enough but not tight, and there is also enough adjustment for any sized head I’m sure.
Battery life is fine, I managed to get around 30 hours out of them which I was happy with.
Overall, a solid 8/10 for me, given the spec, performance and comfort. I could happily use these and listen to my playlists for hours at a time. The app doesn’t work, or it didn’t for me. It may in the future and if it does, hopefully, I’m given the option to tweak the EQ. If not, that’s a real shame. At £99 right now, that’s a fair price in my opinion when compared to what else is on the market. I also reckon these could be a £79.99 sale item at some point, making them even more appealing.
For more info and to purchase, head over to the official Marley website.