It’s been a long time since I tried out anything from Marley, so I was rather excited when their new Positive Vibration XL ANC headphones landed on my desk.

Tech spec 

  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • 26hr battery life with anc on
  • Memory foam ear cushions
  • 40mm high def drivers
  • Quick charge
  • Made from FSC certified wood

Initial thoughts when opening the box, these are a premium set of cans. Good size and weight to them. A mix of aluminium and plastic for the housing and headband. It feels like aluminium casing on the cans, plastic elsewhere. Adjustable headband with a cushion to the underside to sit ontop of your head. It’s fabric to the top which is a little weird but it is completely in keeping with previous Marley products. Thick memory foam cushions to each ear cup and these are over the ear, not on the ear. Some nice branding to each cup, a nice piece of wood with the chrome M logo within it. Good amount of flex to the headband but not so much to each ear cup as they are somewhat restricted by the internal wiring. They do fold in on themselves for easy storage.

The right cup has the power on button and volume/content control, while the left has the USB C port, aux port, ANC and ambient buttons. Looks like the microphone is on the left too, along with a small indicator light.

In the box you get the headphones, a braided usb cable for charging (A to C), braided aux lead for a wired connection and thin canvas carry case.

Audio performance is good and is what I expected at this price tag of under £150. Fairly well balanced, well rounded, good clarity and punchy. I listened to a vareity of tracks and videos, all of which, very enjoyable. I would say these would favour bass heavy listeners, listening to some rap or R&B, those smooth bass lines really shon through.

ANC works very well. I always put headphones on, without any music playing, unless its in the background and listen to the difference between ANC on and off, to see if it works and how well. It’s works very well on these, one because of the over the ear design and memory foam pads, not letting audio in or out, plus the built in ANC ofcourse. External sounds are dampened considerably, allowing you to enjoy your content in peace. However, if you want something in between, turn ambient on and there is this happy medium between ANC on and off, that may prove helpful to some.

I found the headphones to be incredibly comfortable. They have a very good weight to them and tension on the headband, so it’s a firm, confident grip on your head while wearing them. I don’t run but I imagine these would be secure enough for jogs, if you’re into that.

Controls wise, functional, well positioned and worked without a problem. ANC and ambient include voice prompts, so you know what’s been selected. The buttons on the right ear, volume up or down when pushed once, forward or backwards on content with a held push. 

Battery life at 26hrs with ANC on is good, may last you a week of commutes if thats how you’d use them. Microphone for taking calls, it’s fine, no complaints but I’ve heard better.

Overall, a very enjoyable time with the Positive Vibrations XL ANC from Marley. Good audio performance, very good ANC, comfortable with a good battery life. Now, they do offer the XL model without the ANC which is almost half the price, so bare that in mind when you’re purchasing and whether the ANC is worth that for you. Having experieneced the ANC version, for me, It would be a must have.

For more info and to purchase, head over to the official Marley website.