Marshall has always been a company that’s been on my personal radar because I am a guitar player, and they make some of the best guitar amplifiers on the market – in my humble opinion. Who wouldn’t recognize Marshall’s signature script lettering on a stack of giant amps on stage at an old Guns N Roses show–or any live 80’s rock show, for that matter. So to hear Marshall’s name again, but this time associated with headphones? Now these I had to get my hands on!
The design of the Marshall Major is iconic; the same white script lettering and material found on their famous amps have made their way into the design of the Majors, giving them a rustic, unique look and feel that simply live and breathe the Marshall name. A simple over-the-head design, these headphones hug your ears snugly removing most outside noise–leaving you to enjoy the audio that you’re going pumping through them.
The small and foldable design makes the Majors an ideal travel companion, and the coiled cable means that there’ll be less fussing while packing them away in your backpack before your flight takes off. When you see the Majors in pictures they definitely seem larger than they actually are; in fact, they are not even as big as most over-the-ear headphones on the market. The ear cups themselves are extremely comfortable, packed with a memory-foam style material ensuring that they are indeed quite comfortable. The headband rests snugly on your head and is padded as well for extra comfort. You can also tell that Marshall left no detail unattended, as the audio jack itself has that old metal and spring “instrument-style” plug. Standard in the package is a mini plug for your everyday use and a ¼” adapter for those plugging into higher-end equipment.
These are the first headphones from Marshall and will run you only $99. So what do you get in terms of audio quality from a company known in an entirely different segment in the music world? You actually get pretty good sound. From an average consumer point of view, for $99 these are great headphones and delivery a truly comfortable and pleasant listening experience; but they are bearing the Marshall name, so we have to dig down to the audiophile inside ourselves and really break it down. I’ll try not to get too technical, so gone will be the Hertz and ranges. The bass on these headphones is very present, but doesn’t seem to separate itself from the mids–offering a soft, mellow, low sound overall, but not as “kicking” as you might expect. Meanwhile, the highs are great and compliment the rest of the sound well…they just don’t offer the clarity that some audiophiles may expect. As you bring up the volume, the ranges separate better and give you a nice, almost-surround-sound feel; this is particularly the case when listening to live albums (example: Eagles, Hell Freezes Over), or watching a good action movie.
I must admit, the design is rocking; no detail is left astray by Marshall whatsoever, and it makes me feel like I’m wearing an amp right on my head. (Not the best description in the world, but you get where I’m going) For the $99 price tag you’re getting a heck of a set of headphones–ideal for on the go, watching movies and personal audio consumption. I recently took a long distance trek with the Majors and they didn’t disappoint. Are they on par with the higher-end kit offered by Bowers & Wilkins and the like? No…but for $99, you’ll be hard pressed to find better sounding headphones that pack this much style.