Celebrity-endorsed headphones are all the rage these days. The phenomenon started with Lady Gaga and P Diddy. The latest to join the fray is the 'Bob Marley-inspired' House of Marley range.line and gathered pace with spin-offs from
Eleven Marley offerings are available, but its top of the range £250 Destiny TTR model promises noise-cancelling electronics and a specification that puts it in direct competition with the Beats by Dre Studio. We put it through its paces to see whether it could hold its own in a sound clash.
The House of Marley Destiny TTR is a good-looking, highly distinctive set of headphones. They really do stand out from the crowd thanks to twin metal bars above the matching brown leather headband and inner ear cups, and the subtle Rastafarian red, green and gold colouring on the two supplied audio cables.
We're not fully satisfied with the slightly plastic-looking faux metal used on the outside of the ear cups -- at this price surely the Marley clan could have given them a more premium feel -- but we were certainly happy to wear these headphones knowing that we stood out from a sea of people rocking cans that sport the distinctive 'b' of the good Dr.
We're happy to report that the Destiny TTR is very comfortable despite its size and weight. The soft leather ear cups are well padded and fit beautifully around our ears. The headband adjusts automatically to the size of your head, so wearing them for long periods is no problem at all.
Both cables are removable. The longer of the two stretches for roughly three metres, and is ideal for use around the home or at a desk, but is entirely unsuitable for travelling with. The shorter of the two is a more standard length and features an in-line remote that allows users to play, pause and skip through tracks played via iOS devices by tapping a single button once, twice, three or four times in quick succession.
The Destiny TTR features noise-cancelling electronics that are designed to reduce annoying ambient sounds. As a result, it'll need to be loaded up with a pair of AAA batteries, which slot into the right ear cup. The noise-cancelling feature activates whenever the earphones are switched on. It's not possible to play music without noise cancellation enabled, so if your batteries are flat, you'll get no sound whatsover.
Sadly, the noise-cancelling technology isn't very effective. It does a passable job of filtering out quiet, low-frequency ambient sounds such as the whir of an office air conditioning unit, but the headphones produce a hissing sound of their own whenever they're switched on, meaning they only swap one annoying din for another.
The noise-cancellation effect is slightly more useful in louder environments such as a plane or train. Here, the hissing noise from the eletronics is barely audible, but that's only because it's being drowned out by the ambient noise that the noise-cancelling system is failing so dismally to eliminate.