Marshall first dipped its toes into the headphone market with the excellent Major on-ear headphones and Minor in-ear monitors launched in 2010. The iconic brand has now announced its first over-ear model, the Marshall Monitor, which allows users to choose between two different listening experiences.
I admit to being impressed by the sound quality of the Marshall Majors, but suffered throbbing discomfort after about 15 minutes of use. Resting on the head, rather than on the ears, that's hopefully something that won't afflict wearers of the new Monitor over-ear headphones.
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The new cans come with low distortion 40-mm custom drivers that deliver a signature described as punchy, dynamic and clear – though, on paper at least, it does appear to lean more toward the bass end than my pair of Pitch Black Majors. The frequency response runs from 10 Hz to 20 kHz, there's 99 dB sensitivity (at 100 mV / 1 kHz) and a 40-ohm impedance.
Users are given some control over the listening experience thanks to the inclusion of something called the F.T.F. system. Out of the box, an F.T.F. insert (F.T.F. simply means First To File, a patent-pending system) is in place behind each ear cushion, which can be left where it lies for a warm, laid-back sound. If you fancy brighter, clearer output, the magnetic ear cushions can be pulled away from the driver housing and the inserts removed.
As you might expect, classic Marshall styling is very much in evidence, from faux leather detailing to metal hinges and brass accenting. The detachable audio cable is coiled like a guitar cord, and can be plugged in either ear piece according to user preference, or to cater for daisy chaining with friends. It also sports an integrated playback device control/mic.
The Marshall Monitor over-ear headphones are set to hit the streets next month for US$200, and come supplied with a canvas carry pouch suitably embossed with a script Marshall logo.
Product page: Marshall MonitorView gallery - 15 images