Home of Marley Exodus ANC headphones evaluate: Balancing act

“The Exodus ANC hit upon options, however their balanced sound is refreshing.”

Very comfy

Sustainable supplies

Nice battery life

Good sound

Uneven noise-canceling

Poor name high quality

Bodily swap can rattle

The noise-canceling headphone market is busier than a subway automobile in rush hour. The largest manufacturers are all right here like Sony, Bose, Beats, JBL, Sennheiser, and so forth. A brand new entrant should supply one thing distinctive if it hopes to draw patrons. Home of Marley hopes to just do that with its $250 Exodus ANC, its first wi-fi noise-canceling headphones.

With options and specs which might be run-of-the-mill, Exodus ANC has two issues going for it. A value that’s significantly lower than most noise-canceling fashions, and Home of Marley’s popularity for environmentally-conscious supplies and designs. Do they ship efficiency the place it counts, or do you have to be wanting elsewhere? Right here’s our full evaluate.

Soft consolation

The Exodus ANC bears a robust resemblance to its $200 non-ANC Exodus sibling. Each use deeply padded earcups mixed with uncovered braided wire and outstanding earcup slider posts.

I’m not particularly enamored of the look — it’s a bit too Cyberman-esque for me — however there’s no denying these are comfy cans. The ANC mannequin has higher padding on each the earcups and headband, and the result’s like sticking your head in a memory-foam mattress (in a great way). They’re not too mushy and never too agency. Let’s name them the Goldilocks mannequin.

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I’ll supply one caveat. I didn’t thoughts the tiny quantity of tilt afforded by the invisible ear cup pivots, however some might discover it’s not sufficient in comparison with a extra articulated design.

Stable sound

The frequency response on the Exodus ANC is surprisingly impartial. In a world that appears more and more dominated by bass-heavy headphones, they’re refreshingly flat, delivering a sound that appears to favor lows, mids, and highs equally.

Even higher, there’s quantity of every. By way of varied genres from onerous rock to classical and a beneficiant serving to of jazz, I discovered myself having fun with all of them.

Hearken to tracks from Apple Music and Spotify on an iPhone 11, and the Exodus ANC profit from the content material. Feed them one thing somewhat richer, like Tidal’s Masters recordings, and also you’ll recognize how the Exodus ANC tease out particulars missed on a bass-heavy competitor.

In a world that appears more and more dominated by bass-heavy headphones, they’re refreshingly flat.

Surprisingly, the ANC operate acts as a form of enhance. As an alternative of merely eradicating outdoors sounds, it pushes extra energy to the bass and midrange.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be joyful about that. Nonetheless, it did reveal extra element, particularly in tracks with complicated bass strains like Stevie Surprise’s Increased Floor.

Really feel the noise

Noise-cancellation with the Exodus ANC could be a bit hit and miss. They deal with some sounds properly, just like the drone of a fan from just a few toes away. Different sounds, like site visitors from a busy road, or loud conversations at a espresso store, are extra of a problem. In quiet settings, with out music enjoying, there’s a noticeable hiss that grew tiring.

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You’ll be able to quickly let outdoors sounds in utilizing the helpful and efficient Monitoring Mode button on the backside of the best earcup. It’s good for enhancing your situational consciousness and speaking to folks while not having to take away your cans. Sadly, it’s not suitable with telephone calls.

For $250, I’d be stunned if the Exodus ANC delivered the form of make-the-outside-world-disappear ANC magic of a Bose QC35 II or a Sony WH-1000XM3, and so they don’t. Nonetheless, for the noises I believe most individuals must have suppressed, just like the low-level din of a jet engine or the background buzz of a busy workplace, they’ll work simply fantastic.

Tin can calls

Exodus ANC falls brief on telephone calls. Although callers sounded fantastic on my finish, a number of of them complained that I seemed like I used to be speaking via a tin can. One buddy informed me that if her husband seemed like that on the telephone, she’d make him get completely different headphones.

The issue appears to be tied to the best way the microphones do noise-canceling. Once I wasn’t talking, sounds on my finish have been successfully silenced. Once I would discuss, nonetheless, even in a quiet surroundings, the mics had hassle specializing in my voice.

A greater battery

The Exodus ANC has glorious battery life at 28 hours with ANC turned on. With ANC off, Home of Marley claims that quantity skyrockets to 80. Both method, these cans can stand up to a full day of journey. After they do must be topped up, you may squeeze a further 6 hours out of simply 15 minutes of quick-charge time via the USB-C connector.

I didn’t take a look at the total 80 hours with out ANC, however I can vouch for the 28 with it turned on. There’s no app to let you already know exactly how a lot juice is left, however a fast press on the ability button offers you a low/medium/excessive indicator by way of a triple set of LEDs.

Good ergo

I recognize the positioning of the button controls on the Exodus’ earcup. My proper hand can comfortably entry quantity, play/pause, and observe management with an index finger, whereas my thumb appears virtually magnetically drawn to the monitor mode button on the underside of the earcup. My left thumb additionally discovered the outstanding ANC on/off swap effortlessly.

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There may be one downside to utilizing a bodily swap, nonetheless. It will possibly transfer, even when it shouldn’t. In case you’re sitting nonetheless or strolling casually, it’s not an issue. However in the event you plan on any vigorous exercise with the Exodus ANC like operating, stair climbing, or leap squat lunges, you could discover a definite rattling sound because the ANC swap strikes about in its housing.

That apart, I discovered the Exodus ANC’s bodily buttons straightforward to make use of. The folding design minimizes the majority when touring, and the included carry pouch is a pleasant contact.

A extra sustainable alternative

Let’s face it, our habit to devices isn’t the perfect factor for the planet. Most headphones use an abundance of supplies which might be non-sustainable, non-recyclable, or created from petrochemicals.

We recognize that Home of Marley has minimized these supplies on the Exodus ANC the place it should use them, and switched to sustainable decisions like sustainably-sourced woods and simply recyclable aluminum when it might probably. The inclusion of higher-quality supplies like steel as an alternative of plastic for elements equivalent to hinges that get lots of put on and tear can improve its lifespan — one other necessary step to lowering the affect of our consumption.

Our take

The Exodus ANC are a snug and good-sounding set of headphones. With a wonderful battery life, they make for a strong journey companion.

Sadly, so-so lively noise canceling and poor name high quality preserve them from being a standout possibility within the crowded noise-canceling headphone market. In case you can see past these drawbacks, their engaging value and sustainable alternative of supplies make them value your consideration.

Is there a greater various?

If killer ANC is excessive in your wishlist, think about spending extra. You’ll discover that for about one other $100 or so, a set of Sony, Bose, or Sennheisers will carry out so much higher. Then again, if noise-canceling isn’t that huge of a deal, the common Home of Marley Exodus headphones value $50 much less and may nonetheless ship the entire non-ANC advantages like consolation, sound high quality, and sustainable design.

How lengthy will they final?

Within the U.S. the Exodus ANC include a two-year guarantee. Total development is excellent, so I anticipate they’ll be capable of deal with years of use.

I’m not so positive concerning the battery. It’s not user-replaceable and Home of Marley solely ensures 300 cost cycles. We have been informed that, “based mostly on 300 cycles and heavy use (12 hr/day utilizing BT + ANC on) the product ought to proceed to operate 2.5 years and past.”

It’s onerous to know if that is higher or worse than different wi-fi ANC headphones, but it surely’s one thing we’re going to regulate.

Must you purchase them?

In case you’re OK with their shortcomings, you’ll be proud of the Exodus ANC. For $250, there’s loads to love, and also you gained’t get considerably higher efficiency with out spending much more.

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