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.
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.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 7
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