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The House of Marley Bag of Rhythm review:

The House of Marley Bag of Rhythm

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The Good The House of Marley Bag of Rhythm has a unique design and plays loud for its size, offering good detail and tight bass. It's equipped with a snap-on carrying bag and an integrated iPod/iPhone dock, and has a battery option for mobile use.

The Bad It's fairly expensive; there's no wireless option (Bluetooth or otherwise); and it doesn't have a rechargeable battery, requiring six D-cell batteries for mobile use.

The Bottom Line Although it's fairly pricey, the House of Marley Bag of Rhythm is a quality portable boom box that throws out a lot of sound for its size.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.1 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Value 6.0

Say ya, mon to The House of Marley Bag of Rhythm, a jammin' iPhone/iPod boom box that comes with its own rasta-esque canvas carrying sack and a battery power option for mobile use.

In case you've never heard of House of Marley, it's a newcomer to the audio electronics scene, and makes Bob Marley-inspired headphones, earphones, and other audio products like this boom box, an eye-catching piece that kicks out the tunes pretty hard with impressive sound quality.

I liked the design. The birch front makes you think skateboard -- or at least the bottom of one -- and the exterior housing is made out of eco-friendly recycled plastic.

As for the canvas carrying bag, it snaps on to the exterior of the unit and is removable. The Bag of Rhythm is not light, weighing in at 10 pounds, but can be carried on your shoulder using the strap that's integrated into the bag. Alternatively, the bag also has carrying handles, so you can tote the boom box around like a briefcase.

The sound was more impressive than I thought it would be. You can lay the unit on its side or tilt it up and have the speakers fire upward. Specs-wise, you're looking at twin 1-inch tweeters and 4.5-inch woofers in a ported enclosure. Power is rated at 32W; this thing plays loud, has tight bass, and offers good detail.

Closeup of the tweeter/woofer combo Sarah Tew/CNET

Overall, it's a well-balanced speaker, which is to say that it's got a fairly flat, natural-sounding profile. The bass is ample and has some good kick to it, but this doesn't thump it out like Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Beatbox, which retails for around the same price.

I played a variety of music, including some Bob Marley, and while it may not offer incredibly refined sound, the Bag of Rhythm's sound profile fits the intended use of the product as an on-the-go outdoor party system (it easily filled our fairly large test room with sound and works well outdoors).

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