As the latest brand to offer truly wireless earbuds (separate earpieces with a charging case), House of Marley’s Liberate Air packs all the expected features, but sets itself apart from the rest for its sustainably conscious approach with its development.
The Liberate Air is made from a mixture of bamboo, recyclable aluminium, natural wood fibre composite made from sawdust, as well as the brand’s signature REWIND fabric, which is made from recycled plastic bottles.
Aesthetically, that all comes together beautifully in a sleek design, complete with the trademark House of Marley wood finish (which I’m a big fan of) on the outer housings of the buds and within the charging case.
The sweat/weather-resistant buds also fit nice and snug in my ear, which was great, but I could see how it might be a bit uncomfortable for those with smaller ears.
As for performance, the Liberate Air packs long battery life – giving me a bit over 8 hours of play on a single charge, which I was able extend on-the-go with the charging case.
I was able to get about 3 charges from the case while out and about, giving me an extra 30+ hours of play.
As for the sound quality, it’s great, especially for those that love strong bass. The crispness of the sound and its clarity is fine within the low-end and the midrange, but it’s in the high-end where the quality starts to slip, which I guess makes sense considering how punchy the bass is.
In terms of control, the outer housings of the buds feature touch-sensitive controls for management of music playback and volume, which I found to be pretty hit-or-miss as far as how consistently it reacted to my actions.
The Liberate Air comes with a built-in microphone for answering calls, which worked great – both for making calls and receiving calls. It is also compatible with personal assistant apps like Google Assistant and Siri, which I was able to summon with a tap of the earbud.
As for connectivity, it comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and promises a “seamless pairing experience”. According to House of Marley, once you’ve first paired the buds with your device, they’ll automatically connect as soon as you open the charging case.
This worked fine in most cases, but there were several times where it wouldn’t pair up smoothly (for e.g. pairing would drop out completely or only one bud would automatically connect), especially when paired with older devices.
The Liberate Air is a beautiful looking, sustainable addition to the truly wireless buds’ market that comes with all the bells and whistles plus the addition of longer battery life and strong bass. However, inconsistencies with touch control responsiveness and a dip in sound quality in the higher-end keeps this from scoring higher than it has.