This is a Marshall Major headphones review. The Marshall Major on ear closed back headphones first appeared in 2010 as a small, portable, over head headphones version of the electronic amplifiers that the company has been famous for. At about the same time, the company produced the Marshall Minors as an in ear headphone version of Marshall amplifiers. The latest upgrade of the over the head headphones is the Marshall Major II, coming out in January 2015.
Originally the Majors (as well as the Minors) came with an on cord microphone and remote, handy to use with iPhones and other mobile phones. Unfortunately, that original model remote had only one button to accept and hang up phone calls. That was useful, but it had no volume control. Later they came out with the Marshall Major FX headphones (and the Marshall Minor FX earphones) with a three button remote microphone and remote that includes volume control.
In 2012 they came out with the Marshall Major 50 FX. This had no basic design or function changes. The only thing different was the fancy logo and special markings to commemorate the 50 th anniversary of the company’s beginning in 1962.
There are several varieties of the Marshall headsets. Prices change every day, but at the time of this review, the basic model of the Marshall Major headset costs about $76 on Amazon. In the opinion of this site, Amazon is usually the best place on the internet to buy hi fi headphones. First, many products qualify for the 30-day Amazon review policy, which often is better than the company warranty. Second, Amazon usually has lots of customer reviews to check about their products. Third, and most important, Amazon usually has the lowest price that you can find online.
What’s New With The Marshal Major II Headset?
Now we are pleased to announce the arrival in January of 2015 of the new Marshal’s Major II on-ear headphones. This newest model does have four basic changes in design and functionality. First, the headband is now more flexible so that it will be more damage resistant. Second, the ear cushions are softer to make them more comfortable and to give better sound isolation. (This first edition features the old style one button remote and microphone.)
Third, instead of the permanently fixed, one-side entry connecting cable, the new Major II has a removable connection cord which you can connect to either of the two ear cups, whichever you prefer. With this new feature you can attach the cable to one ear cup, and then connect from the other ear cup to a different headphone so that a friend can listen along with you.
The fourth new feature is probably the most important. They have improved the sound. Before the frequency range was 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz. Mid tones and high tones were pretty well covered, but it didn’t have much base. Now the bass has been improved substantially. The new frequency range is not yet widely published, but the base is much more emphasized and “punchy.”
What’s Are The Specifications Of The Marshal Major Headset?
Because the newer Marshll Major II headset has only recently been produced, the specifications of the newer model are not yet widely published. Those specifications will be revised in a later update. For the time being, this site will list the original specifications of the headphones.
- 32 ohms of impedance at 100 hertz (+/- 15%)
- 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz frequency range
- 15 mW rated input power
- 20 mW max. input power
- 121 dB of sensitivity at 1,000 hertz (+/- 3 dB)
- 40 mm dynamic moving coil speaker transducers
What’s Special Features Does The Marshal Headset Offer?
The Marshall Headset Major is not a top of the line headphone. It’s designed to offer convenience and reasonable quality at an affordable price. As mentioned above, some features have been improved and some features are totally new in the latest model, while many remain the same. In the newer Marshall Major II headset you can expect qualities like those listed below.
The Major headphones have an ear cup design that supports sound isolation. The design includes closed back ear cups and soft, leather-covered ear cushions. As mentioned before, the noise isolation has been improved with softer ear cushions than in previous models. For better sound protection, the headband clamps the ear cups tightly on the listener’s ears.
Unfortunately, many users find the tight fit to be quite uncomfortable. But all this noise isolation does keep the outside noises from penetrating to disturb your listening, and it does keep your sounds from bleeding out to annoy people around you.
The coiled length stretches when you need a longer reach, and then retracts so that it won’t drag on the floor. The cable connects to your listening device with a standard 1/8 inch jack plug, and, in case you need it, a 1/4 inch jack adapter is included. In earlier models, a neutral cord stereo adapter plug is included to reduce static interference between the listening device and the connecting jack plug.
As mentioned above, unlike the permanently fixed cable on the earlier models, the newer Marshall II model has a detachable cable which can plug into whichever ear cup the user desires. With this system, should the connecting cord ever be damaged, the cord can be replaced without the need to throw away the whole headset.
Remote and Microphone
The first edition of the newer Marshall Major II headset model features the on-cable microphone and 1-button remote which allows the user to answer or hang up phone calls, start listening, stop, pause, or skip a sound track. It is great to use with iPhone or with other mobile phones. Unfortunately, the 1-button remote control doesn’t include volume control. However, any of the FX models does have a 3-button remote which allows the user to adjust volume along with the other functions.
The Major headset has a hinged, sliding wire adjustment. The sliding wire adjustment allows the user to lengthen or shorten the headband to the size of his head for a more comfortable head. The hinges allow the headphones to adjust to the shape of the listener’s ears, and also allow the headphones to collapse and fold into a very small, compact unit for easy portability or storage.
Originally, the Major was meant for powerful sound, with a normal sustained rated power of 15 mW, and a maximum power capability of 20 mW. Because of the extra power, this site does not recommend the use of these headphones for children because of the potential danger of hearing loss.
The frequency range of 20 hertz – 20,000 hertz in the original models is not premium. Mid and high tones are fine, but base was lacking. In the newer Major II model, however, the drivers have been redesigned for a much more powerful bass which the company describes as being “punchy.”
The Marshall headphones have a 1 year premium warranty. According to the warranty, for one year after the date of your purchase, you can return the unit for a replacement if it has any manufacture defects. If you purchase this product from Amazon (as this site recommends), some products may be returned within 30 days for a refund, in case you don’t like the headphones and would rather have a refund than a replacement. Just make sure you keep the original box in a safe place with all it’s contents and with the receipt (or print out a receipt if you bought on the internet) and any other important documentation.
If you use the Amazon return system, go the page of the item you bought. At the bottom of the page, under the orange-coloured title, “Let Us Help You,” click the link, Returns & Replacements. The site will guide you from there.
What Styles Are Available?
Basic functions in all styles are the same, except for the 3-button remote in the FX models and the new features mentioned above that come with the new Marshall Major II. But there is a limited selection in colours. The selection includes:
- Marshall Headphones Major FX Black 04090420,
- Marshall Headphones Major FX White
- Marshall Major Brown Headphones (available only with 1-button remote)
- Marshall Major On-Ear Headphones Pitch Black (available only with 1-button remote)
- Marshall Major 50 FX with Mic Wired Stereo Headphone – Black / One Size with a 1-button remote and mike
What Do Reviewers Say About These Headphones?
Of course, the Marshall company has a lot of good to say about their products. But what do people say after they have had a chance to try it and for themselves? Of course, some are very satisfied, and some are very disappointed. At the time of this review, the Marshall Audio Major On-Ear Stereo Headphones get a grade of about 4.1 stars out of 5. That means that many more owners like it than dislike it. Here is what some say they like or dislike it for:
The one quality that is most positively mentioned by reviewers is the sound quality, even in the original Major headset models the bass was somewhat lacking. Although very low base pitches were not present, the available bass, mids, and high pitches are very clear. Now, with the new and improved Marshall Major II, the bass is much deeper and more powerful. However, since this latest model is so new, review comments are not yet available.
Other positive qualities that reviewers have commented on include the sturdy construction, the sound isolation, and the portability. The Major headset has always been well built. This site has only seen one report of a unit breaking, and this site has seen no complaints of poor noise isolation. Now the new Major II has a more flexible headband and softer ear cushions, so durability and sound isolation should be even better.
The most common complaint about the Major headset is that some find it to be quite uncomfortable. In order to make the sound isolation work, the headband clamps the ear cups tightly to the ears. Some people say that they can only wear the Major headphones for a few minutes before they have to take them off, though some people say that discomfort has not been a problem with this headset.