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Marshall Headphones - 'Major' Over Ear (Black)

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #41 in On-Ear

Posted

Pros: Kick ass mids, great very detailed bass, SMOOTH detailed highs

Cons: VERY LONG burn in period on some, conservative estimate about 250+ hours.

I'm a professional DJ/Producer. In my rider I ask that the venue supply the headphones. So I have at least 100 pairs of headphones, and that's after giving away the majority of them to friends. Not going to bother to run off every pair but I've tried just about every pair out. 

 

Just before I was about to play in Stockholm I received a pair of these Marshall Major FX headphones and out of the box they were noticeably the best sounding portable headphones I'd ever heard. A friend had just come into my room (He's also a DJ) and I let him hear them and his response was the same. He had an iPhone 5 and I had an HTC 8x Windows Phone and the latest generation iPad that I tested them on. We played Simon and Garfunkel, Carly Simon, Van Halen, The Police, and Bill Withers. 

 

My friend begged me not to DJ with the headphones because "they sounded too beautiful and sweet to DJ with" and he thought I may blow them out putting them on the DJ system's headphone jack. I decided to try them out anyway since i got them for free and I figured I'd just but another pair if I blew them. Anyway, I DJ'd with them and it was a beautiful experience, and trust me they took plenty of punishment that night. 

 

Anyway, they quickly became my go-to headphones for air travel and portable listening. Every single music business professional I exposed them to said the same thing: best sounding portables ever. I made it back to Chicago, where my family is, and did a listening test with another roomful of professional and they all agreed. Afterwards, my cousin had gotten a new iPhone and I gave her my beloved Marshalls. No problem, I'd just order a new pair off Amazon or somewhere. 

 

 The new pair came and sounded totally different. Like crap actually. The high end was completely gone. The soundstage was non existent. Everything was muddy as hell. I couldn't believe it. Now normally I would have given them 24 hours of burn in and tried them again, if they didn't sound better I'd toss them aside or give them away. But the problem here was I'd heard these at their absolute best and they were made for GOD. 

 

 So I did 24, then 48 hours of burn in and got only a slight change. I was incensed. What was the problem???? I thought that maybe I'd gotten a defective pair or worse, fake pair. Surely the difference couldn't be THAT  dissimilar?? I began emailing Marshall and asking them what the problem was and they suggested that maybe I got a defective pair and they were willing to replace them. I kept burning them in in, playing them on iPods and phones as I slept. 

 

FINALLY, after 3 weeks and 200+ hours of play, I got a noticeable breakthrough. Within the next 5 days, the sound quality was at the very least on par with my previous pair, if not even better! I've never owned a pair of headphone where burn-in made such a radical difference. I contacted Marshall and told them the crisis was over. 

 

 That part deals somewhat with the sound quality, which is phenomenal. 

 

Now, as far as build quality goes, I give low marks because they seem flimsy, but they're actually much sturdier than they look. And the non-replaceable cable is a HUGE downer for me, it means I'll have to buy and possibly burn in another damn pair if the cable craps out. And yes I WILL buy a new pair if that happens without hesitation, because I am now addicted to the sound. Comfort I can't really comment on because you have different sized heads and I've found with on-ears more than any other can that what's nirvana for one guy is hell for the next. These are comfortable for me but they're a snug fit so I'll bet they'll hurt like heck on someone else. 

 

I HAVE to give these 5 stars based on the sound alone. 

Posted

Pros: very easy to drive, portable, look good, have microphone

Cons: tight wear, bland sound, overpriced

This is my review of the Marshall Major. I am currently living in Denmark and got these as a christmas present from the company I work for. They retail for a whopping $150 US, and that puts them in a very hard competition. I had a pair of AKG K172 HD, and decided to go for these for my commuting needs.

 

Build quality/looks

The Major headphones look very nice. They are built quite solid and can handle a fair share of abuse. The jack plug is in the classic Marshall gold color, and seems quite sturdy. The cord is long enough. The headband is metal covered in synthetic leather, again a very sturdy looking combination. All in all great build quality.

 

Sound

The sound is not too bad. It's decent, but lacking detail. The headphones begin to struggle below something like 100hz. Most of the time they struggle with detail, and it sometimes feels like the sound is being muffled. I have used them for hours without pause and the sound isn't tiring. Comparing them to the AKG K172 HD (which at time of writing can be had for $20 more in DK), they fall short in the mids and in the clarity of the sound. The AKGs are not portable at all, so that's certainly something to consider.

 

The music I found sounded best on these was some more or less hard rock, but that may vary with taste. 

 

Conclusion

These are very expensive in Denmark for some reason, and they land just in the middle of in the mid-fi sweet spot. As you can imagine I was expecting quite a lot from them, but they were just 'meh'.

The AKGs I mentioned are in the same price range, and they deliver an overall better sound. You can get quite a few 'Name your brand' headphones in the same price range that surely would outperform the Major, but Marshall Major aren't mid-fi headphones, they are streetwear. Seen as street headphones they accomplish the job pretty well, and they easily fit in your bag/purse.

 

For the $150 they cost in DK they are way overpriced, and should be avoided. If they are down to ~$70 they would be reasonably priced. 

 

The bottom line: buy them if you want decent, portable sound, but avoid them if you want hadphones for listening at home. (If you reside in Denmark: find cheaper alternatives)

Posted

Pros: Build quaity, style, comfort

Cons: Overpriced for the sound

I got these as I needed a pair of portable decent sounding headphones. These fill that role pretty well. 

 

The design is great! The dark matte finish is soft to the touch, the earcups are small and plastic but feel nice and solid, and the headband has enough padding. Even the box's design is exceptional! 

The non-detachable cable is thick enough but still flexible, doesn't tangle or get in the way. It has a coiled section which is just for show since the coil has a pretty small radius and the section's lenght is just too small to be of practical use. The straight jack is golden plated with a golden stress relief spring which works wonderfully, although I wished the jack was smaller as not to stress the source's female jack too much. They have a mic and a single button control which is also coated in matte painting and has the marshall logo painted on it.

 

They can fold into a relatively small package and after months of constant use the hinges don't show any sign of wear (although the cups themselves do, with section of the edge of the cup losing the matte coating). The headband is adjustable but if adjusted to a long lenght, the cable wire coming to the drivers limits their movement. We could say their construction is by far the greatest attribute of these headphones. They include a 1/4 in adapter and a neutral plug but don't include a carrying case, something you'd be expecting for the asking price.

 

At the beginning I thought these would be uncomfortable after a short period of time but I actually found them extremely comfortable; I don't have a small head and my ears are not small by any means, but the earpads are so cushy that I can wear them for several hours without discomfort and just need a few moments to rest, and mostly because of the heat. The earpads are leather(ette?), feel nice, and are removable (although I haven't been able to find replacements, just as a precaution).

 

If I had to describe the sound with a sentence I'd say they are "dark sounding, with average detail and with some dB drops in very weird frequency ranges, but nevertheless a somewhat fun signature". The bass is powerful and has impact (not bloated or insanely boosted), but is it not tight enough to be pleasing. The mids are good and warm, but they do drop in the mid-highs and mid-lows. The highs are non-fatiguing but they could be a little clearer. All of this make it sound like a pretty terrible pair, but they aren't that bad because of very good instrument separation (thanks in part to those weird dB drops). They work with every genre up to a certain degree, but they are clearly meant to reproduce the electric guitars of rock-related music (they won't blow you away, but for the price the guitars alone offer some real value). They are really easy to drive, too. The sound does benefit from amplification but suffers too! Mid-highs get a boost, but mid-lows don't get a volume boost as the rest of the frequencies so they sound even more recessed

 

The isolation is good, especially for this kind of headphone. They do leak sound, and it is not the earpads' fault, but the plastic cups that actually transmit the sound through them (weird since they transfer practically no vibration to the headband), but at least nothing gets in. 

 

As a headset it works remarkably well. I can hear clear voices at loud volumes and the people I've called say I sound loud and clear. It is not crisp clear, but voice calls sound really pleasing. It helps that the headphone rest at the base of the neck and doesn't rub with clothes. 

 

In conclusion, although they don't have extremely serious flaws, you could get way better sounding headphones for this price but you'd hard pressed to find headphones as comfortable and well built as these. They are also a competent headset that can get to high volumes with portable sources so they are a good smartphone companion.

Posted

Pros: Good looking, well built, very portable, easy to drive, decent sound

Cons: a bit overpriced, sound quality is slightly below the rest, comfort issues.

Marshall Major

100_1523.JPG

 

At first I had a hard time with the major and was dissapointed, mainly fit issues and sound. then I learned to "live with it" for what they are.

 

Build: no complains here, the build up is tough, nothing feels loose or flacid, the headband is well padded but not so flexible, the cups are made of plastic with a rubery feeling to it, hinges are metal attached to the leather( or leather look?) headband with a plastic pieces responsible of the folding. the fold nicely to a small ball, very practical.

the cable is about 1 meter and 1/4 of it is coiled, it doesn get in the way because it is a very thin and dosile and easy to handle cable.

 

A Design flaw: the cups are fix, they wont move but upside down, not even swivel to the sides a bit, this make them press hard on the back part of your ear, sometimes too hard.

 

Look: The Major look like an old rocker, something you would match with an old leather jacket and heavy boots. See the picts at the end of the review.

 

Comfort: the headband is well cushioned and soft, the material is like hard leather on top (black) and brown soft leatherette (below). earpads are square and very soft. They clamp hard, because of teh lack of flexibility of the headband and the lack of movement of the cups makes the bad note here, they can put pressure in the back of your ear and press it against the skull. I used to hate them because of this but playing with the fit I can find a comfortable spot, basically wearing them more in the back that I usually do, so the back of my ear dont get in the edge of the cup, where the pressure is bigger. also the earcushions + pressure makes my ears hot.

 

Isolation: they manage to Isolate a big deal, over average than most over ear portables.

 

 

Sound signature is leaned just a little bit to the dark side, you could tell if you wear them after a bright or neutral headphone. Laid back and mellow sound, something I can listen for hours without getting tired or exahusted. but at the same time sounds powerful and full bodied. all this without the need of an amplifier, tried a couple and all they did was volume up the headphone, and not that it needs it, the clip+ manage to get it at very high volume levels.

 

Detail is average. not deatil champions by far, but not muddy either. I dont mid using low bitrate recording with it.

 

The bass hits hard, but it feels loose, not too loose, just not tight either, bass extensions is nothing to call home about but it doesnt lack either, basically mediocre in the bass section. lets say something a bass freak and a regular fella would agree on: the major has adecuate ammount of bass, not too much and not too little.

 

And the Mids are slighty recesed in the way that you hear the voices warmer than they actually are. but brings out a nice guitar texture, this and the treble makes the whole presentation mellow and laid back.

 

The highs are clear enough but sound veiled, this helps to the melow and laid back feeling. nothing impressive here.

 

Final words / Summary

A good all rounder, and would make for a great portable if you dont mind paying what it cost, at $99 it feels overpriced, I could pay $75 and be OK with it, they would be hard to bea in the $60 to $75 price bracket.

 

The combination of hard hitting bass and warm mids makes them sound powerful for metal and despite the boom of the bass, they manage fast technical stuff pretty damn well. it is indeed a rocker.

 

Leaving price aside, it is a good package, you get a great looking, well built and decent isolation with a non tiring sound. I can relax with this listening some pop-rock like radiohead, but I can also rock out with some heavier music like Blotted Science and they turn into powerful little bastards. 

 

This is the thing, soundwise the Major's is not something impressive, but they dont lack either, they just dont do anything bad, for the price, the only problem the Major's have is the fact that is priced in a very competitive area.

 

Would I recommend it at $100? no, there are better headphones at that price, unless you really dig the look, like I do. if you can get ti at something like $70 or even $80, it would be awesome, though even then they will have to fight against the Sony V6, not an easy rival for any headphone in that price if you ask me.

 

 

Photos:

 

Folded:

 

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In its natural form:

 

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Marshall Headphones - 'Major' Over Ear (Black)
Description:

The Major encloses vast amounts of the massive Marshall legacy. The exterior of the headband is made out of the same vinyl used in Marshall amplifiers and it bears the original Marshall texture. Besides being straight up dazzling.\n\nThe Major is a solid workhorse with great stamina, designed with non-stop, all-day listening in mind.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandMarshall
ColorBlack
FeatureSuper soft ear cushion
Weight1 pounds
LabelMarshall Headphones
ManufacturerMarshall Headphones
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameCONSUMER_ELECTRONICS
PublisherMarshall Headphones
StudioMarshall Headphones
TitleMarshall Headphones - 'Major' Over Ear (Black)
SKUmarsh_1000mhp_blk-0001
SizeOne Size
Departmentunisex-adult
Clothing SizeOne Size
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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