House of Marley Get Together Duo Bluetooth speakers review

House of Marley Get Together Duo Bluetooth speakers review


House of Marley has managed an impressive feat with its Get Together Duo speakers, which deliver tight, punchy sound in an earthy, eye-catching package for a surprisingly affordable sticker price. Capable of connecting to audio sources via wired connections or via Bluetooth, the speakers can be used as a stereo pair, while the right speaker contains a rechargeable battery for portable mono sound.

But while the Get Together Duo speakers offer impressive performance and value for just $150, there are caveats. The speakers’ sound, while crisp and alive, may disappoint those looking for huge beats, while fans of high-resolution audio will decry the lack of not only lossless Bluetooth codecs but also the lossy AAC codec, which leaves only SBC, the default Bluetooth audio codec. Finally, while the battery-powered right speaker is portable, its exposed wood and drivers look like they could be easily damaged by moisture, drops, or (heaven forbid) pokes from stray items in a backpack.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best Bluetooth speakers, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.

Design

Measuring 7.9 x 4.1 x 5.1 inches (HxWxD), the twin Get Together Duo speakers cut fine figures. With their natural bamboo housings (in keeping with its sustainability theme, House of Marley notes that bamboo is “one of the fastest growing plants in the world”) and “Rewind” fabric coverings (a mix of reclaimed and recycled cotton, hemp, and polyester), the Get Together Duos boast a stylish yet earthy look that matches its other Get Together speakers. It’s worth noting, however, that the dark fabric covering is a lint magnet.

The two speakers are reasonably light, with the mains-powered 2.3-pound left speaker a tad lighter than the battery-powered 2.7-pound right speaker. With their boxy shape and lack of a handle, the speakers can be a bit awkward to carry around, and while you can pick each one up with a single hand, you probably wouldn’t want to hold them that way for long.

House of Marley Get Together Duo Bluetooth speakers review Ben Patterson/IDG

I’d be fine with taking the portable right Get Together Duo speaker for a sunny backyard BBQ, but I’d be afraid for its exposed wood and drivers out in the rain.

The House of Marley’s promotional materials show enthusiastic listeners toting the portable right speaker around in the great outdoors, but you might want to think twice before doing so.

A House of Marley rep told me that the speakers could probably endure some light sprinkles (they lack an actual IP rating), but with their exposed drivers, the fabric covering, and the bamboo casing, the Get Together Duo speakers look too delicate for taking out into the rain or any type of rough-and-tumble activity. I was also concerned by a small but noticeable nick in the top-left corner of my review unit’s right speaker, which seems to have occurred before the review units even came out of the box.

house of marley get together duo nick Ben Patterson/IDG

The right speaker of my Get Together Duo review unit arrived with a small nick in the top-front corner of the (otherwise handsome) bamboo cabinet.

Configuration

Each 20-watt Get Together Duo speaker has two drivers: a 1-inch, silk-dome tweeter and a 3.5-inch paper cone woofer with a polypropylene dust cover. The two drivers in each speaker share a single Class D amplifier.

As far as power goes, only the left Get Together Duo speaker requires a power adapter, which comes in the form of a roughly five-foot cord with a chunky 15V/0.8A power adapter at the end. The portable right speaker, on the other hand, contains a 5,200mAh lithium ion battery that you can charge via a rear USB-C charging port. House of Marley promises about 20 hours of battery life on a single charge; I’ll talk more about battery life in the performance section.



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