It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since I reviewed the Marshall Major II headphones here on Techaeris. Of course I found them to be lightweight, comfortable, and of course, fantastic sounding. Fast forward a year, and Marshall has gone wireless with the Major II headphones. Our Marshall Major II Bluetooth review takes a look and sees just how they stack up against their wired counterpart. Read on to see why the Marshall Major II Bluetooth headphones earned a spot in our Top Picks of 2016.
The Marshall Major II Bluetooth on-ear headphones feature the following features and specifications:
- Sound Principle: 40mm Dynamic Drivers
- Frequency Response: 10Hz-20kHz
- Impedance: 64Ω
- Sensitivity: 100 mV @ 1 kHz = 99dB SPL
- Connection: Bluetooth® aptX
- Battery: 680 mAh (up to 30hr playing time)
- Analog control knob
- Phone call functionality
- Music sharing
What’s in the Box
- 1x Marshall Major II Bluetooth headphones
- 1x USB charging cable
- 1x detachable 3.5mm cord w/ remote control and mic
Marshall has pretty much taken the very comfortable and great sounding Marshall Major II headphones and added wireless functionality to them. The Major II Bluetooth feature the same padded adjustable earcups, comfortably padded headband, and same Marshall logo branding in white on the outside of each earcup. And of course, they feature the same collapsible design for easy storage and transportation.
When side by side, the only thing that gives the wireless version away at first glance is the addition of the gold analog control button on the left earcup which allows you to control your music and phone calls when used wirelessly. Upon closer inspection, the underside of the right earcup includes a power button, status light, 3.5mm audio jack, and microUSB connector.
The included 3.5mm cable is coiled in the middle, and gold plated on each end. The remote control/microphone has a single button on it with the Marshall logo raised on the other side. Both the 3.5mm cable and included microUSB to USB charging cable are decent quality and don’t feel cheap at all.
Aside from that, the wired and wireless version of the Major II headphones are for all intents and purposes identical.
Ease of Use
The Marshall Major II Bluetooth headphones are super easy to use. Press and hold the power button to turn on, and the status light turns white to indicate they have power. Press and hold for 4 seconds, and the light turns red before turning off. When powered on, a simple double click of the power button initiates Bluetooth pairing and the light blinks blue during this time. When the battery level on the headphones gets low, this light will blink red, and the red battery indicator stays lit when charging and turns white when fully charged. To save battery, the headphones will turn off automatically after 10 minutes if they’re not connected to a music source.
The analog control knob moves up, down, left, and right, as well as has a click function for controlling both music and phone calls when connected to a supported device. A single click will play or pause the current track, pushing the control knob to the right will skip to the next song, push to the left for the previous song, pushing up on the control knob turns the volume up, and pushing the control knob downward turns the volume down. When using the 3.5mm cable, simply click once to play or pause your music while a double click will skip to the next track and a triple click will skip back to the previous track.
Want to share your music with someone else? Simply plug the 3.5mm cable from their headphones into the 3.5mm audio jack on your headphones and they’ll be able to listen in with you.
Like their wired counterpart, the Marshall Major II Bluetooth headphones sound fantastic when listening to all types of music. The range from the low bass tones to higher treble tones is great, and everything from rock to classic rap to EDM and classic sounds great. Even though these don’t include noise cancelling, even at lower volumes most outside noise is practically non-existent. In addition, when turned up and being worn, people around you are hard pressed to hear anything coming out of the headphones.
With Bluetooth aptX, both gaming and video watching was a great experience as well, with clear sounding dialogue that was in sync with the video.
As mentioned above, the analog control knob is used for answering and ending phone calls. A single click will answer the incoming call, while a double click will reject or end the current call. When using with the 3.5mm a simple click will answer or end the call. In addition to the mic on the 3.5mm cord, the Marshall Major II Bluetooth headphones have a built in mic for cable free phone conversations and memo taking. At any rate, call quality was clear on both ends, and there was no issue hearing the calling party or the calling party hearing me clearly during the call.
Marshall claims these on-ear wireless headphones get around 30 hours of battery life on a single charge — yes, 30 hours — when used at medium volume levels (according to the packaging). We definitely put those claims to test, and found that these claims indeed hold true. I averaged around 28 hours on a single charge using a mix of streaming from my laptop and my phone, and tried to stick around the medium volume mark, but of course you can’t help but crank a good tune now and again. The max time we were able to get out of them was just over 31 hours on maximum volume the entire time — and no, they weren’t on my ears during that test due to the loudness. Considering the box itself says the 30 hours was “calculated with randomly selected music content playing at medium volume,” our tests are definitely in line — and even exceeded — with Marshall’s claims. To say this is above the industry standard is an understatement, as (if memory serves me correctly) the most I’ve been able to get out of a wireless headset in the past is around 18 hours on a single charge, with most lasting around 10-12 hours. Adding another 16-18 hours to the average is, of course, incredibly fantastic.
On the charging side, it takes about 4 hours to recharge the headphones back up to full.
The Marshall Major II Bluetooth headphones are currently priced at $149.99USD ($189.99CAD). Given the fact that they are wireless, sound fantastic, and have a battery life of nearly 30 hours on a single charge, these headphones are definitely a good value for the price.
If you’re looking to go wireless with a premium looking and great sounding pair of headphones that last a long time between charges, you should definitely consider the Marshall Major II Bluetooth headphones — after all they did earn a spot in our Top Picks of 2016.