I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to open up the review sample box and get to testing out the House of Marley Get Up Stand Up Home Audio System. For the most part, many iPod docking speaker systems in the $250-$400 price range sound pretty similar, and there's usually only the most subtle of differences between competing systems. But the House of Marley speaker dock surprised with a few notable features that warmed me up to its earth-friendly vibe...
Even without any instructions included with the review unit, I was able to setup the Get Up Stand Up in 2 minutes flat. Plug it in, dock your iOS device, press "play" via your iPhone/ iPod or use the included remote. Nothing fussy, which makes it a truly plug and play affair.
But the first thing you'll notice upon unpacking is the beautifully crafted curved and sustainably sourced birch wood front of the speaker system. I'd argue 50% of the reason anyone would consider purchasing this speaker dock system over a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air (more expensive, but includes Airplay), Bose SoundDock (similarly priced), or any of the multitude of other audio docks would be the overall aesthetic House of Marley has designed around their speaker system...perhaps even more so than the audio performance itself.
Placed inside our midcentury-ish living room with its plentitude of rosewood and birch furniture, the House of Marley Get Up Stand Up Home Audio System blended into the room, a harmonious visual edition rather than a "look at me!" type of design that often plagues the category of speaker docks.
But of course how it sounds is really as important as how it looks, and that's where the 25 watts x 2 powered two 4.5-inch woofers and two 1-inch tweeters come into play, producing an overall sound just a notch under the more expensive Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air I normally listen to. Perhaps it's due to the close proximity between woofers, but there's a much more noticeable specific directional quality when compared to the Zeppelin Air.
Whether tested with the harmonious Americana tunes from The Avett Brothers or the musical tidal wave of Explosions in the Sky, the Get Up Stand Up performed admirably in overall balanced sound. And thankfully so, since there are no additional controls to fine tune the output. And if bass-heavy music is your preference, the system's dual 4.5-inch woofers are more than sufficient to shake small items off the shelf when pushed over into moderately loud territory (at least in our small living room).
The system does lose a few points for not offering any wireless audio options, so we're hoping a future version will incorporate Bluetooth or Airplay connectivity, an increasingly desired feature in the era of digital audio.
Overall the House of Marley Get Up Stand Up Home Audio System was a surprise performer. The system sounds great, looks even better, and it's good to see a company sourcing materials with sustainability in mind, making the Get Up Stand Up Home Audio System a stand out choice in the crowded speaker dock category.
Pros: Very tasteful, decor-friendly birch wood design, sustainably sourced materials, two 4.5-inch woofers and two 1-inch tweeters produce overall pleasant sound in small to medium size rooms.
Cons: No Airplay built-in, easy to lose small remote, iOS device only docking (includes additional audio cable for connection with other audio devices).
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by House of Marley for testing and review purposes.