House of Marley’s Sport Chant ($120) is a portable Bluetooth speaker that can fit in “most cup holders or water bottle cages,” not unlike Scosche’s BoomBottle series. While House of Marley’s own website claims Sport Chant is “water-resistant,” the speaker’s IP67 rating seems to indicate that it’s waterproof. Chant Sport is made from bio-plastic, silicone, and recyclable aluminum housings. The speaker features two 4.5W, 1.75″ drivers and two passive radiators in its small body. Chant Sport, which is designed to float, uses Bluetooth 4.0, and a built-in microphone can be used as a speakerphone. A carabiner clip and micro-USB cable for recharging are included — House of Marley claims Chant Sport gets up to 8 hours of playtime.
Chant Sport is about 6.25” long and roughly 3” in diameter, and it weighs about 1 pound, making it easy to grab, store, and carry. Though the body is mostly plastic, we like the look, which is at least a bit different from many competitors. The speaker grille nearly wraps around Chant Sport, and buttons on the top control volume, power, and Bluetooth pairing. A sealed rubber flap on the rear of the speaker covers the micro-USB charging input and line-in ports, and a small strap near the top of the speaker is there for the carabiner clip.
Regarding the question of waterproof or water-resistant: We contacted a PR representative who said that Chant Sport would survive a drop into water, “but is not meant to be submerged for long periods of time.” The IP67 rating does denote waterproof, but HoM is playing it safe, and is only saying the speaker is water-resistant.
Sound is pretty good for its size and price, as it stacks up well to other good speakers in the $100-$150 range. Vocals are clear, though perhaps not quite as “forward” sounding as some competitors, blending a bit more into the mix. Some listeners may prefer this. Chant Sport lacks bass power, though that should be expected at this size. The speaker gets loud enough for its size, but for what it’s worth, peak volume on the speaker appears to top out a few ticks before our iPhone’s volume hit its top level. Overall, Chant Sport attempts to put out well-rounded sound in a smaller speaker, and for the most part, it succeeds. The speakerphone testing went well, but we did get a few robotic sounds on our end during a call.
There’s a lot to like about House of Marley’s Chant Sport, though — one could argue — nothing to really love. The speaker lacks a standout feature, and doesn’t truly excel at one particular thing or another, though some may feel the speaker’s 360-degree sound qualifies as noteworthy. However, few will be disappointed by Chant Sport — it’s a solid, compact speaker and we appreciate the eco-friendly design. It earns our strong general recommendation.
Company and Price
Company: House of Marley
Model: Chant Sport
Compatible: Bluetooth-enabled iPads, iPhones + iPods