House of Marley Bag of Rhythm iPhone/iPod dock

March 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews


The House of Marley enters the hugely competitive dock sector. Could you be loved?

Reviewed by Gordon Kelly (for TrustedReviews)
25 March 2012

Price as reviewed £299.99

Overall 6/10

Key Features

  • 40W 2.0 Speaker System
  • Carry handles
  • 3.5mm auxiliary jack
  • D Cell Battery Powered
  • Up to six hours battery life

Celebrity endorsed products come in for a lot of abuse from audiophiles, but it is impossible to ignore their value in reaching a wider audience and educating them about the benefits of superior sound quality. At the forefront of these brands is The House of Marley, founded by the family of reggae legend Bob Marley, which releases audio products it claims are founded upon his same environmental and philanthropic beliefs. To date it has proved a hugely successful combination.

The Bag of Rhythm is The House of Marley’s first iPod/iPhone dock and, as could be expected, it is unmistakeably unique.  No doubt launched to cash in with the arrival of summer, the Bag of Rhythm, more than any other dock we’ve seen recently, pushes its role as a portable sound system in the mould of yesteryear’s ghetto blasters. To (literally) carry this off the dock is wholly contained in an earthy canvass bag with hand and shoulder carry handles. This fits snugly, clipping to the dock with popper buttons and there are holes to avoid blocking the power port and bass output. Further pushing its claims for an outdoor life are useful pockets on both sides and a khaki colour scheme with numerous inevitable references to the Rastafarian flag.

As for the dock itself it looks somewhat like a skateboard attached to bongos and continues the naturalistic outdoor theme. The top surface is birch, the enclosure made from recycled plastic and notably the speakers are ceiling-facing, which assumes it will be positioned below you on the ground. Connectivity is kept to a minimum with just a 3.5mm auxiliary jack, no wireless (Bluetooth or AirPlay) and a snug iPhone/iPod dock that stops a connected device from falling out on the move (though excludes iPads). Controls are kept to a minimum too with only power, volume up and volume down buttons.

Batteries keep the Bag of Rhythm playing on the move. It swallows no less than six D cell batteries (not included), which The House of Marley says will last up to six hours. What is worth noting is the weight these batteries add. The shoulder strap makes the Bag of Rhythm relatively easy to carry, but at 6.8kg and roughly 100-150g per battery (depending on its type) you are looking at a product of around 7.5kg.

So what about the audio itself? Continue reading

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