A review of a set of Marshal headphones has been a long time coming for me. FInally, I bit the bullet and bought the Marshall Monitor and I have to say I'm impressed. Fashion headphones have a tendency to be nothing more than bling junk that sounds bad. Beats got a horrible reputation for ripoff prices and terrible sound and since then many others have tried and failed to impress on sound quality. One budget style headphone that has seen a massive rise in popularity in the past few year is from Marshall, the legendary guitar amp manufacturer. I'm a bit late to review their first gen models so let's get to looking at the new Marshal Black headphones.
Build Quality and Style
I have to admit that I am a big fan of the Marshal Black's styling. OK, they are definitely going to mark you out as a bit of a hipster but these are a classy and retro looking headphone if ever I saw one. They haven't gone over the top, they aren't being shouty, it's just the companies with logo on a mostly black headphone and it looks really good. When you hold them next to similarly priced headphones from Skullcandy, House of Marley and Beats those just look gaudy and downright ugly next to the Marshall Monitor's.
The build is also impressive. Most of the headphone is covered in a leatherette finish and high-quality plastics have been used in combination with the smart use of metal at crucial strain points like the swivel mechanism and headband. In the hand, they feel way more premium than a lot of other headphones in this price range.
Detachable cables are included and they are absolutely top notch. Detachable cables mean an extension to your headphones life if the original cable ever breaks just pop out the old one, put in the new one and you are good to go, no need to scrap the whole set. The jack points are a tank like knurled brass very hard wearing and also adding a nice flair to the headphones style.
Comfort and isolation
The Marshall Monitors share a lot in common with the Audio Technica ATH-M40x in that they both use over the ear circumaural closed back design and 40mm drivers. The closed back means that naturally, they are great headphones for drowning out external noise and great for use in planes, buses, and other noisy environments.
Heat build up was detected after a couple of hours during the review but for the most part, the Marshall Monitors get top marks for comfort and isolation.
The sound is definitely not tuned as a professional monitor headphone and while audiophiles might not be enamored with the sound this is one that most consumers will really love.
The Marshall Monitors have smooth and laid back highs. Really inoffensive and devoid of treble harshness. The midrange is smooth and quite warm lending itself to do well with rock and pop genres but less so Classical and Jazz. Bass is quite hard hitting, elevated above neutral and surprisingly it's also really fun and fairly tight.
Soundstage is average (something you find in a lot of closed back headphones) and detail retrieval is ok. Overall I was definitely impressed with the sound of the Marshall Monitors and I could easily use these on a day to day basis for casual listening.
The Final Verdict: Marshal Monitor Black Review
After spending a few weeks reviewing the Marshal monitors I give them a thumbs up. They are a really good looking set of headphones, with a great build and a very tasty price.
We were happy to see that the sound, whilst not up to purist standards, is way better than most other fashion headphones I have heard. If you want something more balanced and professional sounding to get the Audio Technica ATH-M40x but if you arent going to be analysing your music and want something that sounds good and looks great grab the Marshalls.
I can definitely recommend the Marshall Monitor headphones. Without a doubt the best sounding and built style headphone on the market right now.
More information on the Monitors and the companies headphones can be found here at the Marshall Audio website.