Review: Marley's One Foundation, A Seriously Impressive Home Speaker

Written by Alex Zaharov-Reutt      17/10/2014 | 00:00 | Category name i.e.SOUND

The House of Marley has created an impressive living room speaker that looks every bit as good as it sounds, with 220 watts of stereo power to get the party started and keep it going until the police turn up and ask you to turn it down.

Review: Marley
Remember when speakers were big boring boxes in black or brown? That was way back in the 20th century, but here in the 21st, we're seeing serious improvements in speaker design, quality and connectivity. 

The House of Marley says it best when they proclaim that One Foundation is "the new standard for all-in-one home audio". 

There's no doubt competitors will claim the statement is hyperbolic, but we're not talking about a relatively standard looking sound bar, but instead a striking piece of technology that will add to your home's sense of style. 

The unit is headlined with a stunning solid oak front baffle, as it is called, and has clearly been painstakingly engineered to fill your room with sound as Marley claims, with the One Foundation able to go really, really loud - without distorting the sound, which is exactly what you need when you want to impress friends at parties, and annoy the neighbours you didn't invite to your party. 

As The House of Marley describes it, there are two 1-inch Danish-designed silk-dome tweeters to hold up the top end, while twin 5.25-inch, wood-fibre impregnated / pressed-fibre cones housed in a custom-tuned bass-reflex enclosure hold things "down", meaning you can hear the details hiding in your music - or hiding when listened to on inferior speakers rather than the One Foundation. 

The box also contains magnetic grilles to cover each speaker for a very refined look, which can easily become a little more industrial with the grilles removed - it's up to you and what you think looks best. 

Not only is seeing believing, but so too is hearing, which you'll want to do when you see the One Foundation with your own eyes, as it really does sound and look quite spectacular.

Indeed, we tried various tracks, from easy listening to thumping techno/house/dance music and various styles in between, and no matter what we tried, the One Foundation pumped out the tunes with ease. 

The Company's marketing blurb says it best: "If your ears could slap high fives, they would". 

It's hard to argue with that. 

One Foundation also comes with a nifty remote that lets you pause and play, skip tracks and change the volume. The speaker itself has a big knob that you press down to turn the speaker on or off, and swivel to get the volume up and down. 

A blue light shimmers at the base of the speaker letting you visually see that it's on - if your ears aren't already giving you an indication that there's some serious sound to be heard. 

The rear of the speaker has RCA inputs and outputs, a TOSLINK SPDIF Digital In socket and a button for Bluetooth smartphone, tablet, PC, or mp3/digital media player pairing, while the right hand side has a USB slot for USB drives loaded with music, as well as a 3.5mm audio input AUX socket to connect audio devices without Bluetooth.  

There's also an optional channel for subwoofer use. 

The USB slot is able to play audio in the MP3, WAV, M4A, WMA and FLAC formats, with the lossless FLAC format good to see amongst the rest of the well known audio formats listed. 

This means it has all the inputs and outputs you need, you could even make the One Foundation a part of a multi-room audio system by attaching an appropriate adapter to the RCA or digital input sockets for a Sonos, Pure Jongo or other similar system. 

The One Foundation's dimensions are 8.75-inches in height x 31.06-inches in width x 4.56-inches in depth, and it plugs into a regular AC power point. 

In metric, that's 222mm H x 789mm W x 116mm D. The weight of the speaker is 17.2 kg (38 pounds) at it comes with a 2 year warranty.

Retailing for $999.95 and available in stores now, One Foundation by The House of Marley is a speaker you must see and listen to if you're in the market for a sublime new speaker!

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Pros & Cons


- Impressive looks, impressive sound
- Easy to use remote, easy to use on-speaker control
- USB port for independent digital media, plenty of input/output ports
- Bluetooth connectivity built in
- Volume doesn't distort when turned all the way up, volume gets very loud if desired


- No Airplay but it works with Bluetooth which does the job just fine and works with any Bluetooth device
- It's not cheap but what is when you want a quality device with quality sound?