Marshall is not necessarily known for his headphones, but he is known for his high-end audio equipment, especially his beloved guitar amplifiers. Recently, however, the company has been dipping its toes into the audio world - like the new Marshall ANC AI monitor headphones.
The headphones aim to deliver that legendary Marshall sound quality into a pair of high quality headphones. But they are relatively expensive. At $320, are the headphones worth buying, or should you go for something like the Sony VG-1000XM3 headphones? We're putting the Marshall Monitor JK second headphone to the test to find out.
The first thing to notice about the headphones is their design and they look like a Marshall product. What can I say, the headphones offer a retro look to them, thanks to the leather-look finish that is reminiscent of the company's guitar amps and other pro products.
The headphones offer oval ear cushions that hug your head snugly when they're on - but not in an uncomfortable position. On the right ear cup, you'll get a golden joystick power/play control button, while on the right, where you'll be able to find the buttons to control noise cancellation, as well as a USB-C charging port and an AUX port. I especially like the placement of the noise canceling button, as it blends in nicely with the rest of the headphones. I couldn't find the button at all in the first one, and had to look into the manual to double-check that you could even turn the noise reduction off.
The earbuds fold up nicely, ensuring they're relatively portable and easy to take on the road. They have a good amount of padding on the ear cups and under the headband too, which plays into how comfortable they are.
Generally speaking, I really like the design of the Marshall ANC AI monitor headphones. They are created from high quality materials and look unique, subtly meaning they are still sleek and stylish.
In the box, in addition to the headphones themselves, you will receive a carrying case, a USB-C cable for charging, and an AUX cable. It's pretty much everything you need, but a case rather than a case would be nice.
As mentioned, the Marshall Monitor ANC's second headphones offer stuffed ear pads and under the headband. The result, fortunately, is that the earbuds provide a reasonably comfortable fit, ensuring that they can be worn for hours without any issues.
Headphone-level comfort is good, but it's not perfect. The headphone clip is a bit stiff, and while you get used to it, it would still be nice if it was a little lighter.
When you buy a Marshall product, perhaps the biggest expectation will be for sound quality. Luckily, these headphones provide - with a well-tuned frequency response that you will most enjoy.
The lows, for starters, are deep and powerful enough without going too far and offering a muddy sound. They're probably not headphones for mega bass lovers, but others will appreciate the well-tuned lows on offer here.
The mids are pretty well tuned too. There is a nice, warm low-mid, and a lot of bite in the high-mids, which is perfect for the guitar bite that these headphones were made for.
Treble is crisp and detailed, which is relatively good sounding in all genres, but especially with rock music. At times, there seems to be a bit of hiss, but it's never too much, and vice versa, a lot of the time it's added to the overall frequency response.
Noise cancellation on these headphones is very good. It doesn't beat the Sony VG-1000XM3 headphones, so if noise cancellation is your top priority, then it's worth taking a look at those instead.
Marshall's Monitor ANC's second headphones connect a bugging device via Bluetooth 5.0, and we found they maintained good connectivity throughout testing.
The battery life in the headphones is excellent. You'll get up to a hefty 30 hours with noise cancellation, or an even more impressive 45 hours without noise cancellation. In other words, you should get at least a few weeks of normal use out of the earphones, and they should last even on long, long trips.
Marshall's monitor second ANC headphones have a lot to offer. They are well built and designed, plus they sound great, and offer the added bonus of noise cancellation.
However, if noise cancellation and modern features are your top priority, it might be worth looking elsewhere. The Sony WHAT-1000XM3 headphones are our favorite noise canceling headphones, plus they offer great design and amazing touch controls. That said, if you like Marshall's aesthetic and want the company's signature sound, then this is still a great option.
Considering the great earphone design, good sound quality, and more, we present them with the Silver Earphone Medal commentary.
|frequency range||20Hz - 20kHz||Active Noise Cancellation||Yes|
|Driver size||40mm||Noise suppression||Unknown|
|Driver type||Dynamic||Headphone controls||Yes|
|Sensitivity||96db||Ear pads material||memory foam|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||30 hours (with ANC), 45 hours (without KNS)|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity||Length of cable||Unknown|
||Yes||In the box||
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