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Get Up Stand Up listen up: A review

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House of Marley makes some great stuff. As can be seen in this article, a set of their Zion earbuds was described as being “as good as earbuds get.” Be assured that they are still being used daily, and they are still thought of in the same way.

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Whether it is something small enough to fit in a pocket, or big enough to fill a room full of Yuja Wang finessing Rach. 3 from a giant piano, House of Marley, which is just a couple years old, has achieved a feat at which many lesser brands have failed. Right out of the box, they made a big splash at their first Consumer Electronics Show back in 2011, inked contracts with Ellen Degeneres, the Vans Warped Tour, and Apple in 2012, and followed up in 2013 by deals with Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks and skateboard legend Karl Watson from San Francisco. Bob Marley’s spirit lives on through the House of Marley and their charitable organization, 1Love.

Today, the new Get Up Stand Up Bluetooth sound system is up for inspection. This is sort of the 2.0 version of its Apple-centric predecessor that has abandoned the iPhone dock in favor of simplicity. Now, instead of being that thing that can interface with an Apple device and then everything else, just by chance, the whole unit is aimed at interfacing with everything equally through its 3.5mm auxiliary input or rear-mounted RCA jacks.

Surprisingly, at least at first, it seemed like the Get Up Stand Up performed differently depending on what it was connected to, and how. When connected via Bluetooth to a Macbook Air (running 10.9.1), Samsung Chromebook, iPad (2 running iOS7), or HTC Vivid (running 4.0.3), it was as close to flawless as something like this could be. The unit is clear at any volume, and movingly loud when unmercilessly cranked to its limit. When connected via its RCA or 3.5mm inputs to the various televisions of the household, there was a bit of a buzz that was found to be rather perplexing.

This buzz, though innocuous at first, became a bit of an issue after a while. Though low in volume, the buzz was ever-present, and after watching television for a while it grew to be very annoying (it was like electronic tinnitus). After a couple weeks of just dealing with it, the time to experiment with the various connections became imminent. After a going from television to television, mixing and matching the various outputs and inputs, a solution was found. The sound, an electronic hiss or buzz, exists in just about any amplified sound system. It happens when the device that does the amplifying has little to work with in regard to the level of sound to be amplified. If the source is turned way down and the amplifier is turned way up, the result is a constant noise that accompanies the sources sound. Turning the source up and the amplifier down took care of the issue.

All and all, the Get Up Stand Up, with its Birch and Walnut bent wood facade, recycled plastic enclosure, and four powerful speakers (two 1” tweeters/two 4.5” woofers) is a thing of beauty, both for the ears as well as the eyes. It nestles nicely into just about any home environment, and it plays well with just about anything to which it can connect. For more information about this or any of the Earth-friendly products from House of Marley, click here.

**Full disclosure: This Bluetooth sound system was provided at no cost for the purpose of testing/reviewing. To think otherwise would be unsound.


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