Officially launched last July, Marshall‘s Major II is the update to the famous Major headphones that we reviewed last 2011. Fast forward to almost 4 years later and we have this new device with updated features. Will it live up to the good image its predecessor has established? We find out.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
Continuing the amp-like design language of the first Marshall Major, the new Major II still has the textured faux leather wrappings which will be the first thing you’d notice upon holding the device. There are three color variations available (black, white, and brown), and what we have is the solid black which throws off a simple and minimalist look.
The earcups are made of plastic that although don’t make for a premium pair of cans, aren’t so bad either since they don’t look cheap at all. In fact, it makes the entire thing light and easy to bring around. The Major II still maintains the square housing just like its younger sibling, only now with customized drivers. These are then cushioned with soft paddings for the users’ comfort.
As mentioned earlier, the company used its signature leatherette wrapping which is implemented on the outer part of the headband. The company claims that the new headband has increased flexibility. True enough it provides a good bend and feels sturdy, which we’re comfortable would fit its wearer without any problem.
Under the band, we no longer see a signature like what we saw on the first Major. Rather, we have Marshall’s logo printed on the underside using the same gold color. We prefer the informal signature that was used before rather than the more elegant-looking branding, but that’s just us.
With plastic dominating the materials used for the headphones, one of the only places you’d see metal is the gold plate indicator on both sides as well as the frame that supports the earcups. These frames slide up and down to adjust the cups and find the perfect length for its user.
What Marshall boasts about the Major II is the ambidextrous 3.5mm audio jack that both works depending on where you want to plug its connection cable. It also lets another person listen to what you’re listening to by attaching an added headset onto the extra jack.
The two ends of the cable are also designed to reflect that of an amplifier’s. One end sports an L-type jack for your media devices while the other is a straight one that connects to one of the earcups.
Adding to its overall accent, these ports were given the gold color treatment as well.
Lastly, it features a coiled cable similar to what we used on landline phones during the 90s, with a small control button with mic found along the way for answering calls while the headphones are connected to a smartphone.
Marshall’s new Major II headphones have a lot of elements taken from the first iteration. This is a good thing since it was one of the main reasons why the Major was a hit among music listeners during its time.
The Marshall Major II is a supra-aural pair of headphones meaning the pads rest on top of the ears, rather than around them. This made the pads warm our ears and occasionally strain them after prolonged use, but nothing that a simple repositioning of the cups won’t solve. However, there won’t be any issue like this when you’re using an over-the-ear headphones.
Additionally, the headband clasps to the head rather tightly so it effectively secures the ‘phones to your head. The downside, however, is that it builds pressure on the crown of the head and grows to be uncomfortable after a while. Although keep in mind that this was our experience and could vary depending on the size and shape of the head.
External sound can still be heard while using the Major II due to the less noise attenuation of its on-ear design. This has been the company’s direction since before and I personally found it useful while we used the headphones during a band rehearsal as we could still hear the riffs of the guitar while playing the drums and listening/following a track all at the same time.
We’ve used the Major II for quite a while before writing this review and we could say without a doubt that this has one of the most balanced audio levels in its range. The bass is punchy, yet not overboard as to overpower the mids and highs. Mids were authoritative while the highs generally deliver bright but crisp details.
If we would nitpick, we would say that the high levels could get quite sharp at times, and distracts from the solid performance it’s got going on. However, this could easily be overlooked if you’re not too particular about the tiniest details. Hiss and distortion were very little to none, even when volume was cranked up.
It worked great playing different tracks ranging from rock, house, acoustic, vocals, and genres in between. The Major II didn’t display any affinity towards a specific category but maintained an unbiased execution of reproducing music.
The Marshall Major II still maintained the same SRP upon launch at Php4,650. Considering its price, it still is pretty affordable for what it offers — a looker with its rugged attitude and is light to bring around. The pads sometimes strain the ears but still remains secured even when you move around. Performance-wise, we commend it for being consistent at providing balanced sound across the spectrum.
If you’re on the prowl for a headphone that’s packed with enough bells-and-whistles without going over your budget limit, the Major II is a strong contender that could even be pitted against more expensive pair of cans.
Marshall Major II specs and features:
Transducers: 40mm, dynamic
Frequency Range: 10Hz – 20kHz
Detachable double-ended coil cord with mic and remote
Dual 3.5mm jacks on headphones for sharing music
What we liked about it:
- Made of plastic but still is a looker
- Well-balanced audio levels
- Dual 3.5mm audio jack
- Affordable for what it delivers
What we didn’t like:
- Clasps to the head a bit too tight
- Highs could be sharp at times