Roll back to 2020 and Marley released their Redemption ANC earbuds. We reviewed them, we liked them and they’ve now continued development of them and released a new pair, the Redemption ANC 2 wireless earbuds. Let’s take a look.
If you know about Marley, if you’ve had one of their products before, they’re all about sustainability and recycling. It’s great, they’re one of a few that do it and promote sustainability, so hats off to them. In this instance, the case has been constructed from Bamboo and all the packaging is fully recyclable, there is no plastic in sight.
Out of the box, a standard-looking shape and sized carry case, with a lid to the top. The case has a bamboo infill lid with the Marley logo, while the rest has this speckled black finish, which I feel is recycled plastics but I can’t confirm. There are five small indicator lights on the front of the case and also a USB C port at the bottom of the case for charging. Got a QI-enabled dock? then you can charge these buds wirelessly.
The buds themselves, are traditional in shape and size, although they are on the larger size. The inner part of the bud is moulded to suit the inner part of your ear. Obviously, it’s shaped for the masses but it’s not as generic-looking as the old gen AirPods were. There is also a rubber tip at the very end of the bud to help with noise isolation and comfort. At the other end, there is a Slim stem that sits outside your ear and includes the touch controls.
Inside the box, you get the case, buds, a short USB cable, plus small & large rubber tips. Medium-sized tips are already on the buds.
When first using the buds, they weren’t charged and each bud will come with a piece of sticky plastic covering the metal strip that connects the bud to the case for charging. So if you get there, take those sticky bits off and get charging.
Before we talk performance, what are the differences between the two? Quite a lot. Slightly different in size, although similar in shape, including that rubber tip. Although appearance is different on the bud and the case. The case lid and size are different, as the way you remove the buds and charge them too. Spec-wise, both include ANC but the newer version also includes ENC or Echo Noise Cancellation, which is a new one to me. Improved battery life by a few hours, a higher IPXX rating and the case will now also charge wirelessly. Overall, quite a few changes and improvements are welcomed.
Performance out the box is very good and it gets even better when you download the associated Marley app. Within the app, you’re able to select one of many default EQ options for the buds, or edit/create your own. Having the ability to do this really made the buds shine. The default EQ was fine, it sounded good but when I swapped it to ‘Rock’, it instantly elevated the experience. Depending on the EQ, the sound profile will change but while using Rock, it had a really nice mix, crisp cymbals, vocals were clear and loud enough, plus when the bass drum hit, you could feel the thud.
The buds come with ANC and ambient modes, which can either be selected through the app or if you hold the right bud down for two seconds, you’ll scroll through, although it doesn’t tell you which option you’ve moved onto. ANC works well, there is a good level of passive noise cancellation already thanks to the rubber tip and shape of the bud. The ANC increase this and goes some way to help reduce unwanted external sounds. Sitting at my desk, the keyboard taps from my overly loud mechanical keyboard are reduced, walking the dog along the road and the car or lorry sounds are reduced as well. Do you need ambient mode, I’m not sure but it is available and there is a subtle difference between ANC and off.
Moving onto controls, I’m excited to say they include volume control. The last few pairs of buds I’ve reviewed haven’t allowed for volume control on the buds, only via my phone. However, with these, a single tap on the right increase the volume, a single tap on the left reduces it. Other controls include changing track, activating voice control or switching modes (you get a beep when you switch ANC on). To play or pause your music, you have to actually remove the bud from your ear for this to happen. Mono mode, just a single bud? I know it’s popular and you can do that with these if desired.
Microphone quality is important now and if you’re like me, I like to have buds in while on a Teams or Zoom call. The microphones work well, they pick my voice up just fine and the overall quality is good enough. Zero complaints from anyone on the other line listening to me.
The Marley Redemption ANC 2 comes with some welcomed upgrades, improving performance and battery life. They currently retail at £149.99, so on the higher side, competing with the likes of the AirPods 3, on price, not spec or performance. For more info and to purchase, head over to the official Marley website.