SciTech

Gadgets: Sounds delivered in lightweight design from sustainable materials

House of Marley's Exodus lightweight, over-the-ear headphones are the company's first release in their 2019 sustainably designed audio collection and even if it's the last (which it won't be) they are off to a great start.

Every time I see a product from the earth-friendly House of Marley, I marvel at the first class looks, environmentally friendly design and craftsmanship, obviously something they put a tremendous amount of effort into.

The Exodus wireless (Bluetooth 5.0) over-the-head headphones are constructed with FSC certified wood, stainless steel, recyclable aluminum, natural leather, and includes a rewind fabric stash bag composed of organic cotton and recycled PET, according to a recent press release. I'm not a construction/material expert, so I had to seek help from Marley on specifics.

The final product is light, with nothing but padded comfort on your head and ears. Inside the memory-foam padded ear cups are 50 mm Hi-Definition drivers, which deliver the music crisp, clean and clear. Controls are simple, with buttons on the outside of the ear chambers.

They charge in two hours for up for 30 hours of use with USB-C charging and a foldable design for portability. If you want a direct connection, a resilient braided aux cable is included. There's also a built-in mic for hands-free comfort.

If you're not familiar with House of Marley, it is connected to the famous musician Bob Marley, whose vision of great sounding music and dedication to preserving the planet is alive and well.

House of Marley gives back in a variety of ways, including Project Marley. A statement on their site states, "House of Marley is built on the principles of superior quality, sustainability and a commitment to charitable causes. We are driven to enhance lives through great product experiences as well as using proceeds from product sales to support global reforestation through Project Marley."

As for the name Exodus, I think it's a great assumption that it came from Bob Marley's 1977 album named just that; Exodus.

www.thehouseofmarley.com $199.99

I had never heard of TaoTronics when they approached me about reviewing headphones. They seem to be a relatively new audio brand that makes some budget conscious but good sounding variety of audio products.

With their newest model of over-the-ear ANC headphones, the TaoTronics TT-BH046, you have great sounding active-noise canceling headphones with a cost-friendly price.

The headphones have a padded, over the head headband that connects the speakers containing dual 40 mm drivers. Audio is clear at all levels, even with my '70s and Jimmy Buffet playlists. My personal headphone preference is that there's a good amount of bass but not an overbearing amount. These seem to hit it just right.

A switch controls the active-noise canceling, which reduces low-frequency noise by up to 96 percent.

Bluetooth 4.2 connects the headphones to your music lists and a single micro USB 45-minute charge will give you about 30 hours of playing time. With hyper-speed charging, you can get another 2 hours with just an additional 5-minute charge.

For handsfree calls, there's a built-in cVc 6.0 noise-canceling microphone.

As for construction, the headphones seem solidly built, although using them long-term is the true test for that. The pleather earbuds sat on my ears with comfort for hours at a time and with the solid construction of metal and plastic, combined with the solid sound, I'd say these are a great deal.

www.taotronics.com $99.99

Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.

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