House of Marley Get Together Duo Bookshelf Speakers review
Can speakers be environmentally friendly, look good AND sound great? We put the House of Marley Get Together Duo to the test.
Wireless design gives a sleek finish
Bright and versatile sound
Easy to use and great for streaming music from your phone
Fabric on top and at the sides can be a dust trap
Only one of the speakers is portable
Portable speakers often sound tinny and cheap and look a bit flimsy. These House Of Marley Get Together speakers aim to buck this trend by combining the style of a bookshelf speaker, with the portability required to listen to music when out and about. It’s worth noting that one of the speakers has a wire for power, meaning only the second can be charged up and taken out and about with 20 hours of portable music playback. It could be easy to think that both were portable without closer inspection.
Music and sustainability are important to House Of Marley, and the range was created in collaboration with the Marley family. The speakers use recycled materials and they didn’t want to compromise on sound quality either, aiming to combine Bob Marley’s love for music and the planet.
Are these speakers up to the challenge? On paper it all seems perfect, combining style and substance. Can you really have it all in one package? And are they one of the best bookshelf speakers?
House of Marley Get Together Duo: Set-up
In keeping with their commitment to sustainability, the speakers are carefully packaged in recyclable boxes. An outer cardboard sleeve highlights key features, as well as a foliage-themed design, enhancing the nature theme. Inside the box, there is a whole host of plugs, connectors, and cables, including US and EU adaptors that can slide onto the plug. Plastic is kept to a minimum, with the only foam involved being two cushioning sleeves for the speakers.
There are multiple options available for setting them up. The speakers can be used for mono and stereo, both can be connected with wires, or one wired and one portable/wireless. At first, I set up the speakers wirelessly with the House Of Marley Turn It Up Wireless Turntable. It didn’t take long to get them up and running, using the series of four buttons set into the top of both speakers.
Two lights on each speaker display whether they are charged, charging, or ready to be paired with Bluetooth. It took a few attempts to get both speakers to pair together, with the first tries seeing only the wired speaker connecting. After re-reading the instructions and (of course) switching them off and on again, they then synced together.
After testing the speakers with the House Of Marley Turn It Up Turntable, I also streamed Spotify from my iPhone. Syncing to the iPhone proved to be simpler than connecting the speakers to the turntable, as it appears in the Bluetooth list as “Get Together Duo x 2” and connects them both at once.
House Of Marley says the speaker has up to 20 hours of battery life so you would be safe to take it on a day out to the park without worrying about charging. The portable speaker contains a 5,200mAh lithium-ion battery. It is charged by the rear USB-C charging port, and the cable is included in the box. There’s no app needed to set up which also makes life easier.
House of Marley Get Together Duo: what are they like to use?
After the initial pairing glitch, the speakers worked particularly well with the House Of Marley turntable. The sound is tight and bright, although it does tend to favor the mid-low end and does suffer slightly when it comes to the bass. However, unless you are friends with serious audiophiles, this will impress with the styling and performance that is as crisp as the edges of the bamboo materials used. Both speakers have a 1-inch tweeter and a 3.5-inch woofer. Together, they deliver 20 watts total.
I also used the wireless portable speaker paired with an iPhone out on my balcony to make the most of the unseasonably warm March weather, and the battery life performed well over the course of the week. It didn’t need charging until the end of the test, after an hour or two of use each day.
Scrolling through a range of genres, the speakers stood up to the challenge of everything from metal to 1920s flapper jazz. There was one occasion on one of the last tests where the portable speaker’s Bluetooth light kept flickering on and off and the connection dropped for a split second, but this was fixed after charging. When it comes to volume, you’re best not to turn this one up as loud as you can. When setting the iPhone volume to 100% there was some distortion of the bass, but at 80% or below the sound was perfect.
House of Marley Get Together Duo: Design
The style of these speakers is undoubtedly their strongest selling point, especially when paired with the House Of Marley Turn It Up Turntable. Most people will be choosing them for the aesthetic appeal, thanks to the bamboo finish and the attractive curved edges. The speakers and turntable look perfect together without the kitschy design of many other record player setups.
The speakers are made partially from recycled materials, with their REWIND™ Fabric. It consists of 30% reclaimed organic cotton, 30% reclaimed hemp, and 40% recycled PET. While the sustainability is admirable, it might have been better to have the fabric on the sides and bamboo on the top, as even over the course of a week and a half the black fabric was a dust-magnet and lint was difficult to remove. For portability, it isn’t the most durable design with bamboo being a soft material, and this isn’t a speaker to use in a wet or rainy park. Sunny vibes only!
House of Marley Get Together Duo: Our verdict
There are undoubtedly better speakers to choose if you only want to use them on the go (as only one is portable), but for someone looking for an attractive speaker set up for an office or living space who might want to take it out into the garden every now and again, or to use on the balcony as I did, then it’s a good choice.
The design is beautiful, and the speakers could take pride of place on any bookshelf. Teamed with the turntable (and available as a deal if you buy both) they are a formidable pairing, but if vinyl isn’t your thing these speakers are an excellent option for streaming music from your phone.
About this review
A music journalist, freelance writer, and radio presenter, Jen has far too many records and spends an unreasonable amount of time listening to music. With décor that veers from red and black with leopard print to a pink and jade-green jungle bedroom, she is always keen to find items that fit in with both styles. As well as music, she is an avid fan of sewing, balcony gardening, and trying to teach her rescue dog new tricks.
Jen Thomas has been a freelance journalist and reviewer for twenty years and is a presenter for Magic Radio. She loves leopard print, houseplants, clashing patterns and buying more gadgets than any one person needs. Jen spends her free time playing with and training her Romanian rescue dog, and balcony gardening.
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