The first thing you realize after listening to a few songs on Roar, the latest development from House of Marley, is that they're not for detail. For under £30 though it's perhaps not fair to expect too much but give them the wrong song - for example, Jesus And Mary Chain's 'The Living End' from their seminal Psychocandy - and they can't handle the noise and nuances. These are, though, Marley headphones, and it would be unfair to judge them on songs they probably didn't have in mind.

The songs that they probably did have in mind do sound good. Songs where the bass is heavy and the middle is sharp but without too many layers - modern dance, hip-hop and reggae do sound brilliant, probably better than should be expected from a budget range. Giving them 'Reckless Driving' from J Dilla's Ruff Draft emphasized their value as a budget pair for select genres - the bass was smooth and deep and Dilla's production wasn't lost in the mix, sounding fresh with that iconic drone sounding as intense as hoped.

While they're clearly designed for a particular audience, it's nice to hear the odd leftfield choice shine on them - in particular Micachu's Jewellary album was a standout, with Levi's use of very low bass notes picked up brilliantly.

As for design - despite being perhaps a little too close to the seemingly everywhere Urban Ears range - they look smart and feel sturdy. There's a subtle logo on one ear but apart from that nothing else, they're certainly not as garish as some of the previous headphones in the Marley range. They're fitted with a mic as well, ideal for iPhone users, and with a button for pausing and skipping tracks which is useful.

If you're looking to buy a pair of headphones for the commute to work and are planning to plug them into your phone then these are great. Hardwearing, smart and budget, they're ideal for commuters and casual listeners. However, their sound is very weighted (think the complete opposite of studio headphones) and that could be frustrating for a lot of people. They're a cheap and easy way to get a lot more out of a lot of music, but they are limiting and not for those that want a good pair of headphones for universal listening.