GADGETS by Gregg Ellman :: June 30, 2021

The House of Marley Positive Vibration XL ANC over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones have taken over as my morning coffee companion. Not that they aren’t great for almost any use, but just as I reach for putting cream in my coffee, I reach for the headphones to turn off the world for an hour of so every morning.

Regardless of the style, I’ve always thought the most important feature to consider when buying headphones is comfort. Without it, the sound doesn’t matter. So like every other style of headphones I’ve tried, when I started testing these they didn’t get charged, paired, or play one note of music until they sat on my head.

After a few minutes, my ears and head were sold on the Ultra comfort memory foam ear cushions and headband, meaning it was time to move on with the music, which will be heard through 40mm high-definition drivers. Trust me, I love the true wireless earbuds, HOM has a great set with the Champion, but sometimes I want the full headphone feeling, which makes it easier to shut out the world ambient sounds.

It’s worth noting that the HOM Positive Vibration XL ANC headphones carry on the company’s tradition of using eco-friendly materials for the headphones. According to HOM, they are crafted using environmentally conscious materials including FSC certified wood, recycled material fabric, recyclable aluminum, and cables from 99 percent post-consumer PE. 

While all that’s great, the sound passed my non-scientific testing with flying colors. In a quiet atmosphere, with the Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation turned on, the isolation of the sound was crystal clear, and had the right amount of bass. And all without any outside ambient noise. Even with the ANC off Jimmy Buffett played just the same.

The headphones feature advanced quick-charging (USB-C) for 26 hours of play with AND on and 35 hours with it off. A built-in microphone works fine for handsfree calls and they are built with a foldable hinge design for compact storage. 

Controls for ANC, hands-free calls, music, and track navigation are on the ear cups and worked well. A storage bag, tangle-free braided aux cable (for wired listening), USB-C charging cable, paperwork, and a Marley sticker are included. $149.99 available in black and copper

Fugoo’s new line of 2.0 portable speakers adds 20 percent louder volume and can be paired with any other Fugoo 2.0 speaker to create a full surround sound atmosphere at any social gathering, regardless of the weather or surroundings.

There’s so much to like about the Fugoo Tough 2.0 Bluetooth (5.0) speaker ($89.99) all year round. The virtually indestructible body design, including an IP67 rating, makes it  perfect for the beach or poolside. The rating makes them water-proof, shock-proof, dust-proof, and mud-proof. But can also be rinsed off if needed. 

The solid Tough 2.0 is built (2.5-by-8-by-3-inches, 1.2 pounds) to look exactly as the name describes. It’s tough appearance is real, making it virtually indestructible with waterproof seals, enhanced shock engineering with resilient end caps to absorb drops, bumps, and scrapes. It can go into up to 3 feet of water and snow for up to 30 minutes.

A handheld ergonomic design is great for portability and an upward angle of the speakers directs the sound toward your ears. The speaker’s design lets sound escape from all four sides, resulting in 360-degree audio. Inside are two tweeters, two mid/woofers, and one passive radiator.

The enhanced sound quality is a result of Fugoo’s redesigned speaker topology, which according to Fugoo, delivers enhanced, richer, fuller sound at significantly louder volumes than the original models. Specific to the Tough, the driver topology creates an enhanced psycho-acoustic effect for a better overall soundstage. 

What I hear is an amazing sound at any volume. They are true to their word about the increased volume, which often results in distorted sound with other speakers. But that’s not the case with the Tough 2.0. It’s able to take on the loudest volume setting while maintaining clarity the whole way.

Having them paired with another Fugoo for stereo sounds makes it twice as good, if not better.  My testing had one Tough 2.0 and Fugoo Sport 2.0 ($79.99). The sport has an attractive black and teal design, with many of the same durability features including the IP67 rating. 

The third in the lineup of speakers from Fugoo is the Style 2.0 ($69.99) featuring an attractive cutting-edge design, IP67 rating, and most of the same features as above with a 10-hour battery life. The appearance of the Style 2.0 lets it fit in a living room or poolside.

Fugoo speakers work handsfree as a speakerphone with the built-in omnidirectional microphone. They also support Google Now and Siri voice support. The battery is rated for 12 hours of sound before the 3.4v 2500mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery needs a USB charge. 

by Gregg Ellman

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.