We check out this compact yet quality speaker and turntable setup that’s perfect for your burgeoning record collection.
A quick word about the House of Marley if you’re unfamiliar with the brand. The audio company was co-founded by Bob Marley’s son, Rohan, who announced its arrival at the 2011 CES show in Vegas. His mission was to create a brand that honoured his father’s “love of music and the planet” by using sustainable materials. The range now covers headphones, speakers and turntables.
The company’s latest release is the Get Together Duo Bluetooth 5.0 speakers. Finished in a fetching bamboo panelling and utilising REWIND fabric – a composite of reclaimed hemp, cotton and plastics – they not only look great, they’re environmentally friendly to boot.
Both speakers come with power adaptors, with the left speaker permanently attached to a power supply. The right one is actually rechargeable (via a USB-C connection) and will deliver up to 20 hours from a single charge. Bluetooth connection is automatic once both speakers are powered up; this connectivity means that not only is it possible to pair these to a smartphone, but also to a laptop, turntable (more on that later) and TV. Of course, the advantage of a rechargeable speaker is that it can double as a portable speaker for use in the garden or on a road trip – made easier thanks to the Duo’s compact build.
Despite the diminutive dimensions, there’s a lot of grunt in these speakers. As you would expect coming from the House of Marley, the bass is big, yet the audio is well-balanced overall, reproducing consistently good sound across a range of different musical genres. And unlike a standard single Bluetooth speaker, the Duo provides the benefit of true stereo – an excellent option if you’re connecting to a turntable. And that dovetails nicely into the House of Marley’s Stir It Up wireless turntable.
The Get Together Duo have an RCA output on each speaker, which means you could connect any turntable that has a built-in pre-amp to get up and running. However, given the matching bamboo aesthetic of the Stir It Up turntable (it looks fabulous paired with the speakers), it would be remiss not to marry the two.
The well documented resurgence in vinyl – that has been steadily gathering pace over the last five years – shows no sign of abating. Some have nostalgically returned to the hobby of buying and playing records, while younger music lovers have also discovered the joy of collecting and listening to vinyl. For the audio purist, there is no better way to enjoy music; consequently, the demand for turntables and speakers has increased exponentially.
“For the audio purist, there is no better way to enjoy music…”
So, how does the Stir It Up stack up? The turntable is also crafted from the same eco-friendly material used on the Duo, including an organic cotton slip mat that helps to reduce static. The main plinth on the turntable is striking solid bamboo. Belt-driven (which will appeal to vinyl enthusiasts), it has a built-in pre-amp, so you won’t have to go out and invest in an amplifier to get the party started. Hook up a pair of speakers and you’re good to go. If you already own an amplifier or want to add one, the pre-amp can simply be switched off.
At the rear, there is the aforementioned pre-amp switch, power input, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB port for recording directly to PC, and RCA outputs to connect external speakers. The advantage here of combining the Duo is the ability to connect via Bluetooth, so you’re not restricted by the length of the RCA cable at hand. And this operation couldn’t be easier – when the Duo sync with each other, there’s a small button on the turntable that when pressed will automatically connect all components.
The Stir It Up turntable uses an Audio-Technica AT3600L cartridge. Audio-Technica is renowned globally for the quality of its cartridges, so this is a great addition to the package. If you decide you don’t like the cartridge, it can easily be upgraded.
But what about the all-important sound? We paired the Stir It Up with the Get Together Duo speakers, put on a 1972 pressing of Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy a Thrill, and were genuinely surprised by the results given the price point. The sound was full and warm with a great bottom end; the combo punches well above its price tag.
If you’re steadily building a record collection and looking for a cost-effective and eye-catching solution that delivers on quality and sound, the Get Together Duo speakers and Stir It Up turntable warrant closer inspection.