Review Price £39.99
The House of Marley Jammin' range is home to the lower-end, slightly more interesting-looking earphones that Bob Marley has posthumously blessed us with. The People Get Ready buds differentiate themselves successfully with their look, but don't fare so well on sound.
Point one on their agenda seems to be to pump out as much bass as possible, and from a very limited perspective they succeed here. However, it's to the detriment of the sound as a whole.
The bass is big and fat, but is not of particularly good quality. It dominates the sound too often, booming out in a way that's less "in da club" and more waiting outside the club in the cold, listening to the subwoofer thudding through the walls. The mids and high-end aren't left an entirely muffled mess, but when a bass guitar will thud over a lead vocal in the mix, it's a poor consolation.
Given the right kind of music, the bass will sound great to some ears, though. Although not hugely deep or taut (not an expectation at the price), it lends an exciting weight to beat-led dance music. However, it can boom unpleasantly, which never sounds good - even when masses of bass is desirable - as it can rob tracks of their pace and urgency.
The warm, bass-heavy sound does help to wipe-out any harshness, making for a less fatiguing listen than you'd get from a top-heavy pair, but we found we had to keep the volume reasonably low to avoid wearing our ears out with the over-eager bass. Each time we try to find something to like about the sound, there's a reason to counter it. Think you're a basshead? Give these a shot, if you dare.
However, better sound can be found elsewhere, for the same or less expenditure. The Soundmagic E10 offer a taughter bass response and greater clarity for five pounds less - but, granted, won't win you any inquisitive looks from passers-by. They're pretty bland-looking. Failing that, the Jays a-JAYS Four supply plenty of bass without bombarding your ears until your cochlea rattles off into your skull, and they look fairly attractive as well.
If you demand interesting-looking designs from your earphones, you'll often come a cropper, especially at this price. A comparison to the image-conscious Skullcandy here is not unfounded, as, like that popular headphone brand, the People Get Ready earphones seem to place greater emphasis on style than sound.
The House of Marley Jammin' People Get Ready earphones represent one of the cheapest ways to get a pair "endorsed" by a famous name - Bob Marley in this case. If that's not what you care about most, you can do much better for £40. The booming bass dominates in an often uncomfortable way, and detail is unremarkable. They look interesting and are well-built, but that's not enough for us.
Trusted Reviews is part of the Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Technology Network