With its enviable reputation as an amplifier manufacturer unquestionably secure, Marshall is looking to extend its repertoire with the Marshall Major headphones and Marshall Minor earphones, the latter of which we're looking at here. Combining a stylish design with Marshall’s audio expertise looks like a perfect match on paper; after all - if Dr Dre can do it with Monster and its Beats line-up, surely Marshall can match those efforts.
Certainly the Marshal Major headphones give a good first impression. The refreshingly plain cardboard packaging doesn't make much effort to grab your attention and doesn't hold anything but the headphones themselves and a 3.5mm to 6.25mm converter (so you can plug the Majors into your Marshall amp). The hope, therefore, is that all of the £90 asking price is going into giving you a high quality pair of headphones, not flashy box art and gimmicky accessories.
The Major's matt black finish and faux-leather padding definitely looks the part. If you're familiar with Marshall's amps you'll see the tribute Majors are paying (even the name references an amplifier introduced way back in '67). We definitely like the look, and we're not alone - wearing the Majors to a certain recent Apple we received more than a few favourable comments from other journalists; and this in a room full of iPads.
The design is practical too. Metal rails enable the earpieces to be adjusted to ensure a good fit. Furthermore, the ear cups to be folded inward making the Majors compact enough to be ported about easily and we even managed to cram our set into a largish jacket pocket. The kink-protector provided for the cable at the jack suggests that care and attention has been put into designing these headphones.