Review: House of Marley Destiny Trenchtown Rock

With their green, yellow, and red color schemes and extra fondness for wood and other “earthy” materials, you’d be forgiven for thinking the House of Marley line of headphones and earphones represent another attempt to cash in on a big celebrity name. You’d be wrong though. Since early 2011, the company has delivered a solid line-up of affordable, well-built, and good-sounding headphones.

The TTR Destiny is no exception — well, at least the sound and build part. As with the HOM’s other headphones, bass gets plenty of extra love here. But it’s not enough to make the other frequency ranges feel neglected. Treble was smooth and detailed. The mids, while slightly recessed, were never overpowered. Obviously, the Destiny’s sound signature makes it a great headphone for listening to reggae, but it also excelled at acoustic and vocal performances too. It’s worth noting that these can go very loud without a hint of distortion — louder really than anyone should be listening to them.

As luck would have it, the Destiny is also the only active (i.e., battery-powered) noise canceling headphone we reviewed. Not surprisingly, it’s also the most expensive. While the added feature performed adequately while buzzing under the San Francisco Bay on BART, I could still make out those horrible, screeching track “ripples” with NC engaged. In fact, when compared to other snug fitting models, particularly the Sennheiser 280s, the Destiny really didn’t do any better at squelching the rumble of the outside world. That’s a shame because in most other respects, it’s great headphone. The good news is that the Destiny’s mediocre NC doesn’t affect sound signature much. That’s actually is good because you have no choice but to use it — the headphones don’t have a passive mode, so the noise canceling (and the battery) must be engaged in order for them to make any noise at all.

Despite the perceivable hiss, the Destiny’s 40mm drivers still managed to hit us with music that was full of rich bass and smooth treble. Yes, things occasionally get boomy with genres like rap, but a quick EQ adjustment makes everything irie.

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