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Marshall Major - Sound Quality and Verdict

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

The low end of the Majors is probably the weakest point. Drums lack the impact you’d expect the to have, and if you're into your Dubstep or Hip Hop, don't expect to hear any baselines going out of control through the Marshal Major headphones (though we'll admit, we're not exactly sure what that would sound like anyway).

The high end doesn't come through impeccably, but it's not entirely disappointing, and there's more detail up top than down below - so to speak. In some situations the mid and high end bias can work. Sacrificing our rock and roll credentials to a listen through Avril Lavigne's Goodbye Lullaby we were able to hear plenty of detail and Avril's vocals were nice and clear. And a run through of a few Louis Armstrong tracks proved that with suitibly funky the Majors can get you jiving so their certainly not a complete failure.

It's also worth mentioning that the Majors seem to take a fair bit of driving. When hooked up to an iPod rather than our desktop DAC and amp setup they definitely sounded a little more anaemic. Switching to a Samsung Omnia 7 allowed us to get a more listenable volume level without cranking the dials up to 11, but it's worth considering that your source device will need a reasonable amount of juice to get a good result from the Majors.

The problem is that the aforementioned Grado SR60s wipe the floor with the Majors with just about any type of music you could care to name, and if you shop around can be found for a good bit less money. The Grado's aren't as robustly built, and arguably aren't as stylish, but if you want the best sound for the money, they're the clear choice.

Verdict

We like the robustness and useful folding design of the Marshall Major headphones, and they definitely look and sound pretty good. However, some issues with a getting a comfortable fit and the fact that better sounding alternatives are available for less money precludes a recommendation.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Value 6
  • Sound Quality 7

weirdwilli

March 10, 2011, 1:45 pm

You Gould probably add that the Grado's leak sound lie no other, and thus are useless for use anywhere but at the home. I tried a pair of the Majors at a Dixons Travel and I was quite surprised, sounding pretty good, and being extremely comfy, although i only had them on for about 15 minutes.
I also tested them with my Omnia 7 which is a nice coincidence and I found that they went loud enough, and thanks to the clamp on your ears, they really blocked out a lot of outside noise.
I played a mixture of music, from Crystal Castles, De La Soul, Nero, and Frightened Rabbit and they sounded pretty good throughout, although i agree about the lack of bass, its still there, but far from being 'boomy'
All in all i was quite impressed, they look great, feel great and offer better than average sound quality especially for a branded pair like these and i think I'll be getting myself some!

MrGodfrey

March 11, 2011, 12:36 am

weirdwilli: You make it sound as though the Grados "leak" sound through bad design, however this is an intended consequence of the open-back design. In fairness though, as a non-audiophile I share your bafflement at the idea of buying a pair of headphones that everyone else can hear.

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