Since the mid-1960’s Marshall has been producing top notch sound producing devices in the way of guitar amplifiers. The brand has been known over the years for the specific sounds that its amplifiers produce. In more recent years, the English company has started producing additional sound accessories, like headphones. Let’s see how it stands up to the reputation it has made for its speakers.
Marshall was gracious enough to provide us with a set of the Marshall MID Bluetooth Headphones to review. Ringing in at $199, the MID is tied for the most expensive headphones that it offers. Left to my own devices, there isn’t much of a chance that I would be spending that much on headphones, but if you have read some of my previous reviews, my mind has been changed before.
Every time I get a new package, whether it is something from Amazon, work, or a review item I just can’t wait to tear it open and see what is inside. Receiving the MID headphones was no different. Straight out of the cardboard box it was shipped in, the packaging is something I would expect to receive a $200 set of headphones in.
Upon opening, I was presented with the prized item front and center. They come packaged in their folded state and presented nicely so that you can admire your purchase. Digging a little deeper, we can find a microUSB charging cable as well as a coiled 3.5mm audio cable with built-in microphone. Finally, we see a large owners manual that lists the instructions in multiple languages.
Upon first examination of the headset, my attention is drawn initially to the leather headband. Soft and smooth are two descriptors I would use here. Next, upon unfolding the headphones it is hard to miss the clean, vinyl lettering clearly spelling out the brand name in that signature Marshall font.
After I got over the initial giddy feeling of getting a new present, the first thing I did was thrown them on and start to listen, but we will get to how they work a little bit later. When I finally sat down and took a look at quality, I could see that we were dealing with a product that, from design and exterior quality alone, was worth the price tag.
Starting from the top, we see the leather headband that I spoke about earlier. The textured top of the band runs all the way down into the cleverly stamped vinyl speaker housings which, of course, have that beautiful stark white Marshall lettering. Moving to the inside of the band, we find the embossed company logo on the under side. Moving down each side, we see brass rivets marking R and L (yes, that is for Right and Left). Protruding out of the bottom of the leather band, coiled cables connect the two speaker housings. The steel hinges hide behind the coiled cable sporting more brass to continue the style.
On the bottom of the speaker housings, we find all of the important stuff. The right one has the input for your 3.5mm and microUSB as well as the notification light that is directly adjacent to the charging port. We also find the microphone hole if we rotate the right speaker slightly to the front.
The left speaker houses my favorite physical feature of the headphones, the brass control knob. This small, button-like feature sits to the back of the headphones making it easy and convenient to access the controls. We will get into what you can do with it more later but it is very nice to have a single point of control.
Before I get into my experience with these headphones, I would like to say a couple things. First, I am not the world’s biggest audiophile. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some music but, for the most part, I listen to music to either pass time or occupy my idle brain while I concentrate on work. Second, I have never been a large fan of on-ear headphones. All of the ones I have used in the past either hurt my ears or did not have great sound.
Getting these set up was a dream. Holding the button for 4 seconds turns the headphones on, signified by the white light flashing next to the charging port. Pushing the button twice turns on Bluetooth discovery, signified by the notification light flashing blue. The rest of the setup is straight forward.
When I eagerly slid the headphones over my ears I was greeted with a quality of sound I can easily say I have never experienced before. The sound was clear and robust. By far, my favorite part of music has always been the bassline and these headphones do not disappoint. The bass is clear and prominent within the music that I was playing. My typical choices of music consist of Rap and 90’s alternative (I know, I’m weird) and those come across better than I have ever heard them before. The more I use them, the more I become used to the quality of sound they produce and refuse to use any of the other headphones I have. My wife even went as far as to lay claim to them; I had to wrestle them away from her so I could finish the review.
Now that we have determined that these are quality headphones there is usually one question that follows, “How long do they last?” The box claims 30 hours. I cannot claim that I have used them for 30 hours straight. In fact, I did the math and since charging them the day I got them, I have used them for roughly 24 hours and they are still going strong. I think its claim is pretty close if not spot on.
These headphones can do some pretty neat things other than simply play music. First, and the most common of the features, is the ability to be used for making and receiving calls. I have made a number of calls with these headphones and only had one complaint. The noise canceling seems to cut off all sound when in a high noise area. I was making a lot of noise while feeding the horses and my wife told me that the sound went dead and she could not hear anything.
The second feature, which is pretty freaking cool, is the ability to share music through the 3.5mm audio jack. Simply plug your second device into the audio jack and begin listening. A very neat feature for road trips or long lines.
Finally, we get to the control knob. It is so nice to have a single point of control. No multiple buttons to search for, no getting frustrated trying to remember which button does what. There are a number of optional controls that range from simple to, “How do I do that again?” It does all this while fitting in perfectly with the rest of the design and the Marshall brand in general.
My experience with the Marshall MID Bluetooth headphones can only be described as wonderful. The sound was amazing and the design is classy and sleek. I will confess, I have been made a believer in purchasing quality devices to obtain quality sound. Since I started using the MID’s, I have not used any other headphones for music listening. In fact, I have been using these every day and don’t see that changing in the near future.
On a more personal note, my appreciation for what musicians and sound booth technicians do has grown. I was blown away by how much quality audio equipment can change what you hear in songs that you have listened to hundreds of time before.
I have to run, my wife has more chores for me to do, and that means I get to listen to more music.