Looks like rapper and entrepreneur Andre Young — better known by his stage name Dr Dre — has started a trend. First there was his range of Beats by Dr Dre headphones — good quality cans made by Beats, the company he cofounded with Interscope Geffen A&M Records. Now everyone is getting in on the act, from Justin Bieber to the estate of the late reggae legend Bob Marley.
It’s the House of Marley’s over-ear and actively noise-cancelling Destiny TTRs that are the focus of this review. Retailing for R2 999, they cost exactly the same price as a pair of noise-cancelling Beats by Dr Dre. And those are the cans the Destiny TTRs are most up against.
Opening the box, the Marley headphones come in a beautiful brown carrying case. The case looks the part, though its large size doesn’t lend itself to airline travel where space is always at a premium.
The headphones themselves are gorgeous, a fusion of brushed and anodised metal and tasteful brown leather, with the green, yellow and red of the Rastafarian flag adding a dash of colour. The use of metal has, unfortunately, added some heft to the end product. Though the build quality is excellent, the Destiny TTRs will add some serious weight to your luggage.
That weight isn’t really felt when you’re wearing them, though. The soft leather that surrounds your ears mean you feel little discomfort, even several hours into a listening session.
The box contains all the connectors you’ll need, including a 6,35mm adapter for connecting to high-end home theatre systems and a two-pin adapter for use in aircraft. Two audio cables are included in the box, the shorter of which includes a button for taking phone calls and managing volume while on the move.
Sound output is really good — of course, we fired up a couple of Bob Marley tracks first — with a comfortable balance between bass and treble. The noise-cancelling technology was less impressive, though, falling, we felt, a little short of their most direct Beats rival at keeping out unwanted noise and far short of higher-end headphones from companies like Bose. Like the Beats by Dr Dre, the Destiny TTRs use two AAA batteries, which are inserted into the right cup. Music cannot be played without engaging noise cancellation, which involves gently twisting a knob on the left cup. Just remember to switch it off to avoid battery drain between listens.
Ultimately, like the Dr Dres, consumers aren’t likely to base their purchasing decision on the quality of the audio alone. For the price, there are probably better options out there from companies such as Bose and Sennheiser. Buying the Destiny TTR headphones is more of a fashion statement, about telling people who you are, about identifying, perhaps, with a cultural group. Sure, they don’t produce the sort of aural experience demanded by serious audiophiles. But the quality is still impressive for the price. The outstanding design style and build quality make these headphones winners.
The TTRs go on sale in SA at the end of August at an estimated retail price of R2 999. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media