Coming back to the earcups, you’ll notice that the leather ear cushions are rather thin, compared to the chunky ones you find on other on-ear headphones. Noise isolation on the Positive Vibration works by the headband pressing the earcups very tightly over your ears. The advantage is that you can barely hear loud noises, even in crowded places. Consequently people sitting close to you will not hear much, if anything, at mid-levels; but crank the volume up and the noise bleed is pretty obvious.
The biggest disadvantage of all this noise isolation is discomfort. At first I thought it was just me as usual with on-ear headphones pressing down on my ears, with my specs. However, the Positive Vibrations press in really hard, pretty much stopping the blood flow to my ears, making my ears extremely itchy and sore after just 10 to 15 minutes of wearing them. Even when I gave the Positive Vibrations to my colleagues to try out, none of who wear glasses, everyone complained of discomfort within 5 minutes of wearing them.
It’s a shame, really, because once the music started I really didn’t want to put down the Positive Vibrations, the sound was that good. Given its frequency range of 17Hz to 20kHz, the Positive Vibration’s large 50mm drivers sound really impressive for the price. Sound clarity is great of acoustic guitars, pianos and vocals. Bass is equally impressive with deep thumping sound for hip hop songs and pop songs. The best part is that the sound doesn’t get muddled up when low frequencies and vocals are playing together.
All musical instruments have a real sense of transparency to them, as the sound reverberates nicely when listening to acoustic tracks. Too bad that as much as I’m enjoying the aural experience, I’m hating the physical one.
The Marley Jammin’ Collection Positive Vibration have everything going for them: funky looks, environmentally friendly materials, as well as charitable (to a small extent). The sound is great and they’re very practical with the non-tangle cable and foldable earcups. The price point is just about right too.
I’m just disappointed with how uncomfortable they are. I have read online that many people are happy with the earcups, so it could just be that at the Tbreak office we all have sensitive ears. If you’re planning to buy these, definitely give them a try; if you’re OK with them after 15 minutes, then the Positive Vibrations are a really good purchase.