Home of Marley Exodus ANC headphones evaluate: Balancing act
“The Exodus ANC hit upon options, however their balanced sound is refreshing.”
Nice battery life
Poor name high quality
Bodily change can rattle
The noise-canceling headphone market is busier than a subway automotive in rush hour. The most important 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 do exactly that with its $250 Exodus ANC, its first wi-fi noise-canceling headphones.
With options and specs which can 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 fame for environmentally-conscious supplies and designs. Do they ship efficiency the place it counts, or must you be trying elsewhere? Right here’s our full evaluate.
The Exodus ANC bears a powerful resemblance to its $200 non-ANC Exodus sibling. Each use deeply padded earcups mixed with uncovered braided wire and distinguished 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 tender and never too agency. Let’s name them the Goldilocks mannequin.
I’ll supply one caveat. I didn’t thoughts the tiny quantity of tilt afforded by the invisible ear cup pivots, however some could discover it’s not sufficient in comparison with a extra articulated design.
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 a very good quantity of every. By varied genres from laborious 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 benefit from the content material. Feed them one thing slightly 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 perform acts as a sort of increase. As a substitute of merely eradicating exterior 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 traces like Stevie Surprise’s Greater Floor.
Really feel the noise
Noise-cancellation with the Exodus ANC is usually a bit hit and miss. They deal with some sounds nicely, just like the drone of a fan from just a few ft away. Different sounds, like site visitors from a busy avenue, 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.
You possibly can briefly let exterior sounds in utilizing the helpful and efficient Monitoring Mode button on the backside of the precise earcup. It’s good for bettering your situational consciousness and speaking to individuals while not having to take away your cans. Sadly, it’s not suitable with telephone calls.
For $250, I’d be shocked if the Exodus ANC delivered the sort 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 feel 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 wonderful.
Tin can calls
Exodus ANC falls quick on telephone calls. Although callers sounded wonderful on my finish, a number of of them complained that I appeared like I used to be speaking by way of a tin can. One buddy instructed me that if her husband appeared like that on the telephone, she’d make him get totally different headphones.
The issue appears to be tied to the way in which the microphones do noise-canceling. Once I wasn’t talking, sounds on my finish have been successfully silenced. Once I would discuss, nevertheless, even in a quiet setting, 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 manner, these cans can face up to a full day of journey. Once they do should be topped up, you possibly can squeeze an extra 6 hours out of simply 15 minutes of quick-charge time by way of 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 exactly how a lot juice is left, however a fast press on the ability button offers you a low/medium/excessive indicator through a triple set of LEDs.
I recognize the positioning of the button controls on the Exodus’ earcup. My proper hand can comfortably entry quantity, play/pause, and monitor management with an index finger, whereas my thumb appears nearly magnetically drawn to the monitor mode button on the underside of the earcup. My left thumb additionally discovered the distinguished ANC on/off change effortlessly.
There’s one downside to utilizing a bodily change, nevertheless. It will probably transfer, even when it shouldn’t. For those who’re sitting nonetheless or strolling casually, it’s not an issue. However if you happen to plan on any vigorous exercise with the Exodus ANC like operating, stair climbing, or bounce squat lunges, it’s possible you’ll discover a definite rattling sound because the ANC change strikes about in its housing.
That apart, I discovered the Exodus ANC’s bodily buttons simple 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 very best factor for the planet. Most headphones use an abundance of supplies which can be non-sustainable, non-recyclable, or constructed 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 selections like sustainably-sourced woods and simply recyclable aluminum when it may possibly. The inclusion of higher-quality supplies like steel as an alternative of plastic for components similar to hinges that get a variety of put on and tear can improve its lifespan — one other essential step to decreasing the impression of our consumption.
The Exodus ANC are a snug and good-sounding set of headphones. With a superb battery life, they make for a stable journey companion.
Sadly, so-so lively noise canceling and poor name high quality preserve them from being a standout choice within the crowded noise-canceling headphone market. For those who can see past these drawbacks, their enticing value and sustainable alternative of supplies make them value your consideration.
Is there a greater different?
If killer ANC is excessive in your wishlist, contemplate 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 massive of a deal, the common Home of Marley Exodus headphones price $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 building is excellent, so I count on they’ll have the ability to 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 instructed that, “primarily based on 300 cycles and heavy use (12 hr/day utilizing BT + ANC on) the product ought to proceed to perform 2.5 years and past.”
It’s laborious to know if that is higher or worse than different wi-fi ANC headphones, nevertheless it’s one thing we’re going to control.
Must you purchase them?
For those who’re OK with their shortcomings, you’ll be pleased with the Exodus ANC. For $250, there’s loads to love, and also you received’t get considerably higher efficiency with out spending much more.