I picked up the Marley Chant Portable Audio System on a whim. My wife and I wanted a universal speaker that we could use with either our iPhones or our BlackBerry Playbook Tablet. We are huge music lovers and we also like to listen to audiobooks together. The recording quality of many older audiobooks can be more than sub-par, so the native speakers on our devices just didnít cut it. Enter the Chant.
Sound and Sustainability
The House of Marley, makers of the Chant, have three goals: provide products with superior audio, be as environmentally conscious as possible and make the world a better place. The Chant meets all of these goals. This portable speaker is made of bamboo, reclaimed hemp and recycled plastics, which makes the environmentalist in me sing. It also sounds amazing, with great highs and lows. Lastly, like all House of Marley products, a portion of all sales go to charity.
The Chant has a two inch speaker with a passive radiator which provides great sound. You will be shocked at how much volume comes out of such a small device. The rest of the speaker is pretty simple. There is an on/off switch on top, and on the side there is a mini-USB port for charging and a 1/8 inch input jack. The Chant also has a lithium battery which boasts a six hour lifespan, however my Chant has gone well beyond slated six hours.
Areas of Improvement
Despite all the Chant has going for it, there are a few small areas where the speaker could be improved. The first in is the placement of the lid for the speaker case and the karabiner. When the speaker is hooked onto a backpack or other bag, the placement of the karabiner constantly makes the cover close over the speaker, muffling the sound. The Chant also has no volume control which means the speaker will only output as much as the player will allow. I get much more volume on my Playbook than I do on my iPhone for example. The Chant could also do with a low battery indicator. The Chant will only use one of two methods to tell you it needs to be charged: it will either stop working altogether or it will start making a rhythmic thumping noise instead of playing its intended audio. The first time I heard the thumping, I actually thought the speaker was broken, but all it needed was a little juice.
All in all, the Chant is a great little speaker for anyone on the go with awesome audio but a few quirks.