House of Marley is a newcomer to headphones and earphones. But it has arrived to the market with a force that's most un-reggae-like, despite being effectively Bob Marley-branded. There are eleven models, each with their own colour variations - and right up at the top sit the House of Marley Destiny TTR. They are over-ears noise cancelling headphones that use "natural" materials like leather more extensively than almost any other pair we could name.
The House of Marley Destiny TTR headphones have been designed with a conspicuous style in mind. In that sense, they're comparable to the Beats Noise Cancelling model, which costs £30 more than the £249.99 Destiny set. The vibe they seek to emanate is altogether different, though - more jammin' than Ja Rule. They're still visually very bold compared with the more subdued on-ears Freedom Exodus pair. You will need to either be a lot cooler than we are, or not care about what people think, to pull them off without getting the occasional disapproving glance.
While the look is an important part of the House of Marley Destiny TTR marketing, it's not style over substance in the most literal sense. Build quality is superb. The body of each earpiece and the whole frame of the headphones are made from aluminium and steel, which feels a lot stronger than the plastic used in most sets. All the metalwork is either brushed or anodised to avoid looking too garish.
All this metal predictably makes the headphones heavier than most. They weigh 390g without the cable but with a pair of batteries in, which is a good 100g heavier than most over-ear rivals. This leads to more movement on your head while walking about. These are absolutely not headphones to go out running with, but we found them fine when walking - they don't feel like a lead weight on your head like the excellent but seriously heavy Grado PS1000.
They are comfortable, although at first it feels as though they grip the area above your ears far more tightly than below them. They need a few minutes bed-in. Comfort-wise they succeed against all odds because of the great leather-lined earpads and headband. Using natural ingredients here won't please everyone - it is animal hide after all - but helps to reduce unnecessary heat more effectively than some synthetic alternatives. The headband adjusts to your noggin size automatically, and with a smooth movement that's once again indicative of the high quality of construction here.
Another feature we're happy to see included is a removable cable. Unlike the comparable Sennheiser HD 598, there's no locking mechanism to keep the cable in place, but removing it does require a firm yank and we didn't find accidental unplugging a problem. The connection is a standard stereo 3.5mm one, so you can replace it very easily - although then you'll miss out on the handsfree kit built into one of the included cables.
There are two cables: one with a right-angle jack and handsfree kit and another with a straight jack and longer ~3m cable length. Although both use 3.5mm plugs rather than the 6.35mm plug associated with more serious headphones, the latter is clearly intended for at-home use, and House of Marley includes a 6.35mm adapter for just this purpose.
Other accessories included as part of the standard package include an airplane adaptor and an excellent headphone case. It's lined with fabric but has a rigid skeleton to protect the contents from knocks. As the headphones don't fold up, it's fairly large, but looks classy in black fabric and brown leather, with neat white stitching the stylistic white chocolate sprinkles on top.