Marshall products evoke a bygone age of Rock legends and mohawks, and their grunge sound signature sets them apart. With a pair of wireless cans called the Major II Bluetooth headphones, Marshall now brings this legacy into the future. Read on to find out what this reviewer thinks about it!
Build Quality and Design
The Major II BT is seriously stylish in a gender-neutral fashion. I can see why this is the most commonly seen headphones on public transport. These on-ear headphones are small and folds in for easy storage. The headband is an extendable wire-frame, and is cushioned in synthetic leather – textured on top with a smooth underside. The vinyl ear cups are simple rounded squares, inspired by the rounded edges of guitar-amps. Overall the headphones are lightweight, yet have managed to avoid feeling cheap.
The synthetic leather cushions are quite soft, but the wire-frame headband clamps a bit too tightly. I recommend a break every two hours while enjoying these cans.
It only has two small buttons, one for Power and Bluetooth pairing, and a brass one on the left ear cup handling volume and music controls. It’s more like a tiny brass knob, but instead of turning it, you press or flick it in specific directions to operate the music/call controls. They were intuitive enough that I didn’t have any issues operating those controls.
It comes with an audio cable so that the music doesn’t have to stop even when the battery dies. It’s a tangle-free spring cord that’s inspired by vintage guitar-amp cables. (Am I the only one here who loves their attention to detail?) However, I do wish that it had a case, so that I feel more at ease dumping this into my bag.
Performance and Features
When they indicated on the box that it had a 30 hour plus battery life, I thought they were pretty confident. These headphones are small, so when I tested it I didn’t expect much when I was putting it through a looping album at 50% volume. Turns out that Marshall was being modest, because I got out a whopping 50 hours 27 minutes of juice! Impressive! With these cans, you won’t have to lug around a power-bank for it. But when you do need to charge it, you can do it with the included (or any) Micro-USB cable.
These cans are tuned for deep bass. Its bass response is amazing for a pair of headphones this small. When listening to ‘One Dance’ by Drake, I enjoyed the tight thumps that hit so low, I couldn’t have missed out on any bass! When playing music that requires more dynamism such as jazz and orchestral, music will sound like it has more gravitas with a velvety deep bass extension. That’s what I got when I played ‘Mack The Knife’ by Michael Bublé. Winds were bright and airy while Michael’s vocals sounded more resonant. The soundstage was really compact (usually the case for on-ear cans) but I did enjoy decent stereo separation.
There’s quite a bit of headroom so that bass distortion is minimal despite the boost. This emphasis on bass attack can also express the energy in rock ballads very well. I figured this is the ‘guitar-amp’ sound that Marshall is popular for, but with faster and more complex music, I feel that there’s too much bass invading the mid-range. As a result, mids sound slightly muffled and track separation suffers. But for bass-heads, these headphones will delight with every drop playing Hip-hop and Rap music.
Despite sounding decent for its price, the Major II BT does not have a very low noise-floor. It will not affect the overall experience, but more discerning listeners can pick out some pink noise in the background when playing slower songs (or when no music is being played). You won’t get this pink noise if your music is coming through the cord.
The Major II BT uses aptX technology for reliable wireless connection up to a 10m distance and to minimise audio/video sync issues. I never had any signal drops within that distance or up to 2 concrete walls away, and there were no sync issues either when I watched videos. Phone call quality was excellent.
At $259, the Marshall Major II Bluetooth headphones remains quite affordable while managing to combine a distinctive style, sound and sturdy build quality. Best of all, its battery life is pure insanity, making it very good value for money. Its closest rival is the new S$229 Sudio Regent, but the Regent packs around 20 hours of battery – less than half of the Marshall’s at the same volume level!
These headphones are worth every bit of its S$259 asking price. If you’re a bass-head and prefer to stick with a timeless design, the Marshall Major II Bluetooth Headphones are a no-brainer. With its monster battery, you can use your power bank for other gadgets!
Build Quality and Design (Wireless Headphone)
- Pros: Stylish vintage guitar-amp inspired design. Small and compact. Folds in for easy storage. Lightweight yet does not feel cheap at all. Very simple operation with only 2 buttons. Comes with a nice vintage spring-coiled audio cable.
- Cons: Wire-frame headband clamps a little too tight. No carrying case.
Score: 5/7 (23.78%)
Performance and Features
- Pros: Best-in-class battery life of 50 hours (50% Volume). Deep bass response with decent stereo separation. Music sounds more weighty with a velvety bass extension. Sound signature squeezes more energy out of rock music. Flawless aptX Bluetooth connectivity up to a 10m distance with no audio/video sync issues. Excellent phone call quality.
- Cons: Lower mid-range frequencies sound slightly muffled. Track separation feels less defined with faster, more complicated music. Noise-floor (during wireless operation) is not very low, showing up as a very small and constant hum in the background.
Score: 6/9 (22.2%)
As the Marshall Major II BT Headphones scored above average for build quality and design, and above average for performance and features, these headphones are pretty good value for money.
Score: 4/5 (26.64%)