Marshall the UK sound Company that made a name flogging guitars, amps and of late speakers has moved into the Bluetooth headphone market and their pedigree shows through in their all new noise isolating offering.
The compact and affordable Marshall Mid Bluetooth headphones, packs a punch when it comes to sound and audio control.
The company that built its name in the tough Pro sound market serving up products for musicians, have dived into the world of wireless headphones. Their first release of their Bluetooth headphones, the Major II, was a hit. Now they’re back with the follow up, the Mid Bluetooth.
At first glance, Marshall’s follow-up shares similarities to its older relative, the Major II. From the black plastic retro design and Marshall’s iconic white logo splashed across both square-shaped ear cups and the padding of each cup. Even the collapsible design resembles that of the Major II.
Battery life on the Mid is impressive, boasting over 30 hours of wireless playtime, I got just under one month of common usage on just one charge. Plus, the headphones are kind enough to notify me that it was running low, beeping every few minutes when it needs to be charged.
As a lover of all things music, the sound this little beauty packs is simply outstanding. The 40mm dynamic drivers give off impressive sound and the Bluetooth aptX is a blessing. Testing a variety of music styles, from rock to hip hop to dub to jazz, they all come off sounding full, crisp and clean. Hip hop is the winner, with the Mid’s packing a tonne of bass, while maintaining the mid and treble ranges. The bass from SZA’s song ‘The Weekend’ kicks your eardrums in, then reverberates like a gunshot.
Controls are kept to a bare minimum – with one button controlling all functions. The gold joystick knob located on the left ear cup is assigned to power, pairing with devices and audio control. Push once to turn on and twice to pair, also acting as the control for volume, pausing and skipping audio.
It also allows you to share audio with another pair of headphones or any other device that supports the 3.5mm audio jack that comes with the headphones. Just plug in the cable and share music, without any noticeable dip in audio quality while sharing. And nestled in between the jack and the cup cushioning is the input for charging via the micro USB.
That cord also doubles as a means to replace the Bluetooth functionality. Just plug it into the bottom of the right ear cup and your device and all systems go. Due to my iPhone 7 lacking a 3.5mm input, that lightning to 3.5mm adapter meant quite of bit of cord was hanging loose. This sort of defeats the purpose of owning a pair of wireless headphones.
The Mid also allows for wireless call functionality. Answer and reject calls via the control joystick and the built-in microphone. The beauty of the Mid’s simple controls make phone calls so easy. Quality wise, there isn’t much to criticise here. The voice on the other end of the call was clear and my voice came out the same way to the caller. The Bluetooth connection lasted up to around 15 metres, after then the call (or audio) becomes choppy and the voice of the caller starts to sound tinny. The 3.5mm audio cable can also be used in this instance, which works similarly to the apple earphones.
While the Mid doesn’t sell itself as noise cancelling headphones, it does describe itself as “noise isolating”. And it does a bloody good job at isolating noise too! On noisy busses or busy streets, the Mid’s cut out a large majority of background noise, with very little of it bleeding into the music you’re listening to. This was great, as it let me just absorb my music or podcast, without worrying about it being drowned out by what was happening around me. On more than one occasion, I briefly took the headphones off and realised just how noisy the environment was.
Though, the Marshal’s Mid is not perfect. With all the positives just mentioned, they do come with just a touch of cons. Mainly just how tight they are, the second you feel them griping for dear life on your head and after about ten minutes of wear it starts to get a bit much. Extended wear with the Mid’s beginning to ache (it is worse for anyone with glasses), as the tightness of the headphones dug into the side of my head, it became a little uncomfortable after some time. Though after some use, they have begun to relinquish its vice grip on my head and loosened up a little.
The Mid Bluetooth model is great value, available at Myer for $299. The one-two punch of great audio quality and compatibility is a huge plus. The cost, sound quality and design outweigh the negatives and is a deceiving little thing.