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Best Marshall headphones 2021: from simple in-ears to premium noise cancelling cans

Best Marshall headphones: from simple in-ears to premium noise cancelling cans
(Image credit: Marshall)

One of the most iconic brands in rock, Marshall now offers a comprehensive range of headphones, all tuned for its signature hard rocking sound. From inexpensive in-ears, to a variety of wireless models, there’s something for everyone in the Marshall head-fi range, so where to begin? With this guide to the best Marshall headphones, of course!

If you’re after cutting edge noise cancelling, then prepare to compare and contrast. The latest Motif A.N.C are the first True Wireless models from the brand to offer Active Noise Cancellation, and they come in the popular stick style. Alternatively, there’s the flagship Monitor II A.N.C over-ears. 

And when it comes to value, the Major IV on-ears and Minor III earbuds have got your back. It’s quite a line-up – and right now in the US, the audio giant have cut the price of their Marshall Major IV Bluetooth headphones, knocking them down from $149.99 to $99.99. And if you’re based in the UK, Amazon have cut the price by 16%, knocking them down from £129.99 to £109.

Don't forget to check out our guides to the best Black Friday wireless headphones deals, Black Friday music dealsBlack Friday Bluetooth speaker deals, Black Friday record players deals and Black Friday vinyl deals for all the latest offers.

Marshall Major IV headphones: $149.99

Marshall Major IV headphones: $149.99, now $99.99
Over on Marshall's official website, you'll find this fine saving of $50 on the excellent Marshall Major IV Bluetooth headphones. Foldable, with great sound and epic battery life, these are perfect for music on the go.

Best Marshall headphones: The Louder Choice

Topping our best Marshall headphones chart is the Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. No surprise really, as these hard rocking over-ear headphones are the flagship headphones in the company lineup. A more tempting blend of style and performance it’s hard to imagine.

The surprise performers though are the Minor III, Marshall’s cheaper True Wireless open-fit earbuds. These confidently outperform the brand’s more expensive Motif A.N.C. noise cancellers, and are quite the deal.

Taking the third podium in our single brand Grand Prix are the Marshall Major IV. For many buyers, these on-ears will hit the sweet spot, offering a big ballsy performance with brilliant battery life and a price tag that could be construed as generous.

Best Marshall headphones: Product guide

Best Marshall headphones: Marshall Monitor II

(Image credit: Marshall)

1. Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. Bluetooth headphones

These noise cancelling Marshall cans offer a powerful performance

Price: $319.99/£279
Features: Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancelling
Battery Life: 30 hours
Reasons to buy
+Exciting performance+Comfortable
Reasons to avoid
-Not the last word in noise cancelling 

The flagship in Marshall’s Monitor line, these over-ear headphones boast low latency Bluetooth 5.0 and have Google Assistant smart functionality, in addition to fancy noise cancelling tech.

They look and wear great, Marshall’s signature multidirectional control knob managing volume and track control. The headphones fold down into a compact bundle, making it easy to transport them around, while large 40mm drivers inside deliver mighty riffs and a tight yet vicious bass.

In truth, these aren’t the most efficient noise cancellers but the technology is still worth having when you’re on the daily commute.  

Battery life is excellent, too, lasting around 30 hours with noise cancelling engaged.

Best Marshall headphones: Marshall Major IV

(Image credit: Marshall)

2. Marshall Major IV Wireless Bluetooth headphones

Surprisingly big on bass, these over-ears are enormous fun to wear

Price: $149.99/£129
Features: Bluetooth
Battery Life: 80 hours
Reasons to buy
+Great guitar tonality+Solid bass+Amazing battery life
Reasons to avoid
-No noise cancelling-No smart functionality

Marshall’s Major IV are a force to be reckoned with. Offering an astounding 80 hours of battery life, with a super-quick charging option for when you do run low, they’ll always be good to go.

Bluetooth is of the v5.0 variety, which largely explains their stamina. Just as well that they’re comfy, with a good on-ear fit. They also fold down stupidly small, making them easy to pop into a pocket or bag. Just be aware than no travel case is supplied.  

Sound quality from Marshall’s custom tuned 40mm dynamic drivers is perfect for guitar-orientated rock and driving beats. The real surprise is just how sledge-hammer heavy their bass response is.

They’re dynamic too, which can make them a little sharp at times, but ultimately this is what makes them an exciting listen. Usefully, they also come with the option of a 3.5mm chord, which allows you to share your tracks with any mates who can plug in.

Read our Marshall Major IV review

Best Marshall headphones: Marshall Minor III

(Image credit: Marshall)

3. Marshall Minor III Bluetooth headphones

Marshall’s budget True Wireless buds impress, thanks to Bluetooth aptX

Price: $129.99/£119
Features: Bluetooth
Battery Life: 5 hours
Reasons to buy
+Great usability+Strong battery life
Reasons to avoid
-No Noise cancelling

If you’re looking for great value True Wireless Marshall earbuds that don’t disappoint, then the Marshall Minor III should be your first port of call. Like the Motif model, they adopt a stick design with touch sensitive controls, but the open-fit design seems a little more comfortable, probably because it’s not trying to accommodate all that noise cancelling gubbins.

Usability is good – one touch controls Play/Pause, two touches will skip you forward. The buds will Auto Pause when you take them from your ears.

The Minor III have a playtime of five hours, with a 20 hour reserve held in the classically styled charging case. The latter works with wireless charging pads, as well as standard USB C. 15 mins of Quick Charging will give you 15 hours on the go.

The Minor III have that distinctly stippled Marshall finish and are IPX4 rated, so you can play out in the rain. More importantly, they use relatively chunky 12mm dynamic drivers, for enhanced bass and the brand’s guitar-friendly mid-range. Bluetooth aptX gives them a sonic edge too.

Best Marshall headphones: Marshall Motif ANC

(Image credit: Marshall)

4. Marshall Motif A.N.C Bluetooth headphones

Marshall adopts a stick style for its first True Wireless ANC earbuds

Price: $199.99/£179.99
Features: Bluetooth
Battery Life: 4.5 hours
Reasons to buy
+Noise cancelling+Splash proof
Reasons to avoid
-Light on bass-Touch control is hit or miss

The Motif A.N.C. are Marshall’s first True Wireless earbuds to offer Active Noise Cancellation. They also embrace the popular stick design, with touch sensitive controls, one tap to Play/Pause, a long touch to engage noise cancelling and so on. Unfortunately, this can be a little hit and miss. 

Battery playtime is a reasonably good 4.5 hours, and there’s 20 hours more in the provided charging case.

The Marshall Motif A.N.C.allow you to select your own level of active noise, via sliders in the accompanying Marshall Bluetooth app. They’re splash proof IPX5-rated too. However the little 6mm dynamic drivers struggle to deliver appreciable bass, which really undermines their hard rockin’ appeal. 

Best Marshall headphones: Marshall Minor II

(Image credit: Marshall)

5. Marshall Minor II Bluetooth headphones

Feeling sporty? These necklace earbuds offer peace of mind when working out

Price: $129.99/£119
Features: Bluetooth
Battery Life: 12 hours
Reasons to buy
+Practical neckband design+Robust 12 battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Lack the rock aesthetic

Available in black, white and brown finishes, the Marshall Minor II are cute neckband style wireless buds ideal for those with a predilection for fitness. An ear-fit system with an adjustable loop ensures they’ll stay in place. 

This isn’t to say they don’t put an emphasis on performance. The use of Bluetooth aptX signals a better than average listening performance, and the drivers are chunky, at 14.2mm.

Battery Life is limited to around 12 hours, when fully charged. One touch controls Play/Pause, two touches will skip you forward. The buds will Auto Pause when you take them out.

Best Marshall headphones: Marshall Mode

(Image credit: Marshall)

6. Marshall Mode wired headphones

The entry level Marshall Mode will do nicely for an old school wired experience

Price: $59.99/£49
Features: 35mm wired
Battery Life: N/A
Reasons to buy
+3.5mm wired connector+Plug ‘n’ play simplicity
Reasons to avoid
-Jack inputs are becoming rare

Headphones don’t get any more straightforward than the Marshall Mode. Featuring a rubber-coated tangle resistant chord, these 3.5mm wired earbuds plug straight into your smartphone or dedicated music player - note that L-shaped jack angle - and are good to go. 

Of course, there are plenty of cheap wired in-ears to be had, but only the Mode boast the Marshall logo on the cable microphone clip, and distinctive Marshall ‘M’ on the buds. Inside are high output, low distortion drivers, tuned for a smooth mid-range and toppy treble.

Four different size sleeves are included in the pack, so you can ensure a snug, comfortable fit.

Best Marshall headphones: Buying advice

Best Marshall headphones

(Image credit: Marshall)

How to choose the best Marshall headphones for you

When it comes to buying the best Marshall headphones for you, it’s best first to decide just how, and where, you want to use them. If you’re after the last word in unobtrusive convenience, then True Wireless earbuds are the way to go. They come in a highly pocketable charging case, and don’t have any irksome linking cables. This makes them really easy to pop in a pocket.

However, if absolute comfort and audio quality are your key requirements, look to the brand’s on and over-ear models, with their comfy cushions and powerful 40mm drivers. The benefits here generally outweigh the extra bulk.

Obviously, battery life is a major consideration with any wireless headphones, and while features like noise cancelling are well worth having, doing without can deliver a remarkable battery bonus - the Marshall Major IV’s will run for an astonishing 80 hours between charges.

If you’re after the last word in unobtrusive convenience, then Marshall’s True Wireless earbuds are probably the way to go. They come with a pocketable charging case, and don’t have any irksome linking cables. 

However, if absolute comfort and audio quality are your key requirements, look to Marshall’s on- and -over ear models, with their comfy cushions and powerful 40mm drivers.

Are Marshall headphones any good?

A fair question, seeing as Marshall’s focus for decades was guitar amps. The answer is, at least for some models (the ones featured in this guide, basically), very. The brand channels a formidable live music legacy, and that plays a part in how they’re tuned and their distinctive style look. The same goes for Marshall speakers, too.

Marshall’s most obvious competitor in the headphone market is JBL, a brand which also comes with considerable live music credibility. JBL offers a comparable mix of headphone styles, but somehow the Marshall design just feels a little more granular – they get you closer to the stage.

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