Review: Marshall Minor III True Wireless Earbuds

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Rating
8

These really pack a punch where it counts – in the sound department. For that, I’m willing to overlook the way they’re not tailored exclusively to my ears.

They look a treat, with the famous Marshall logo and faux leather charging case.

They sound great, especially for guitars, though they don’t skimp on audio quality for more bass-heavy hip-hop styles.

They don’t feel very suited to my ears and I spend a lot of time having to push them back further in, which cuts the sound off.

There’s no app linked to them.

The first striking thing about Marshall’s entry-level Minor III true wireless open fit earbuds is the cool wireless charging case. Instantly reminding you of an iconic Marshall amp with its faux leather exterior, this is set to be a hit with guitar fans as well as anyone into classic rock.

But that’s just where the winning elements start, with grunt coming from 12mm drivers with impedance of 32 Ohm, all custom-EQ’d for what they claim is enhanced bass, smooth mids and clear highs, and that’s pretty much what they deliver – and more.

When Jim Marshall OBE, known as the Lord of Loud, founded Marshall Amplification in 1962, it was because musicians were seeking a certain level of equipment to create their magic out to the people. Now, Marshall are also seeking ways to recreate that music with the best clarity.

With 25 hours use when teamed with the wireless charging case, five hours on a single charge, and at RRP $199.99, $199 at JB Hi-Fi, the Minor III have got the goods right across the sonic spectrum, plus they have IPX4 water resistance and touch-sensitive controls so you can keep your phone wherever you want while you handle your music and calls.

I’ll admit straight off the bat that I’m a serious Marshall nerd, so as soon as I saw these I was sold. But it was exciting to have that expectation backed up in most chief sections.

marshall minor III 0397 SEP 2021 scaled Review: Marshall Minor III True Wireless Earbuds

If there’s one bummer, the Minor III don’t link to an app. Their big brothers the Motif ANC buds do, and I look forward to getting into the nitty gritty with them very soon, but for what I put this pair through – which was a wide range of tunes – I wasn’t disappointed at not being able to adjust the EQ.

There also isn’t ANC here, but that’s a feature I personally don’t go in for much as I tend to miss announcements on trains or almost get hit by cars enough at the best of times.

Straight out of the box, they were a snap to pair, so that’s a plus. Then it was time to go through a hefty range of sounds to see what works best with them. Unsurprisingly for Marshall’s heritage, they’re more attuned to guitar-based work, packing a 20Hz – 20kHz frequency range.

They still come through great with soul, country and hip-hop and its derivatives – I teamed them with everything from Marvin Gaye to bass-driven Dr Dre through to N.E.R.D and other Pharrell Williams projects. But they really come into their own when six strings are tearing through them in overdrive, with the mids sounding as warm as you need, and the highs sitting just right.

Besides running them through some modern-era punk and hard rock, where they reacted brilliantly, the Minor IIIs hit their stride when I dialed up some Jimi Hendrix – specifically his 1970 burner The Cry Of Love, which mixes up funky jams with more gentle workouts, to gain a full picture of what these buds can do. Listening to the same album straight afterwards on my older over-ear cans was kind of deflating, when normally it puts a spring in my step.

Going through Matt Walker and Ashley Davies’ ARIA Blues And Roots-winner Soul Witness was also a revelation, with the drums bouncing, Walker’s slide guitar illuminating and Chris Abrahams’ keys tinkling delightfully around Ken Gormley’s bass.

They also reveled in classic tunes by the likes of Black Sabbath, AC/DC and The Who, all bands that built their sound on a Marshall.

mARSHALLbUDS scaled Review: Marshall Minor III True Wireless Earbuds

Either way, the Minor IIIs and I seem to be on the same more-guitars-the-better page.

I did have a bit of trouble with fit, and feel they could work out better for me if they had something more textured on the tip so it isn’t smooth. I also had issues with tunes cutting out due to the touch controls when I try to push them deeper into my ear canal, which is pretty often.

As a result, I kept going back to my over-ear cans on crowded trains and the like in fear of them falling out when bumped.

But enough of my irrational fears, because, running on Bluetooth V5.2 with a 10m range, the Bluetooth codec is either SBC, or the newer aptX, which is perfect for Android phones with Qualcomm chips.

They charge off USB-C, but unfortunately a cable isn’t included.

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Rating
8

These really pack a punch where it counts – in the sound department. For that, I’m willing to overlook the way they’re not tailored exclusively to my ears.

They look a treat, with the famous Marshall logo and faux leather charging case.

They sound great, especially for guitars, though they don’t skimp on audio quality for more bass-heavy hip-hop styles.

They don’t feel very suited to my ears and I spend a lot of time having to push them back further in, which cuts the sound off.

There’s no app linked to them.