Evaluation: The headline characteristic of Marshall’s Mid ANC on-ear wi-fi headphones is the least-impressive factor about them

After being impressed by Marshall’s Stanmore AirPlay speaker earlier this yr, the agency requested me if I’d be fascinated about making an attempt its newest headphones, the Marshall Mid ANC. That is an replace to the sooner Mid mannequin with the addition of energetic noise cancellation.

Sarcastically, it’s the brand new characteristic – the energetic noise cancellation – that I believe is the least-impressive one. However that’s to not say I believe that the headphones themselves are unimpressive; removed from it …


Look & really feel

These headphones are unmistakably Marshall. They’ve the identical black design with gold lettering the corporate makes use of for every thing, they usually additionally share the retro look of the audio system. They consists of coiled cables rising from the scarf to the ear-cups, wanting considerably paying homage to guitar cables.

The design is precisely what you’d anticipate: primary, old school, no-nonsense. There’s an anodized steel headband lined on the skin with a leather-like microfibre and on the within with felt. Each black, after all. The microfibre earcups are deliciously smooth and comfortable.

They don’t have the identical luxurious leather-based really feel you affiliate with high-end audio manufacturers. They really feel extra primary, they usually don’t have the identical heft to them as my regular manufacturers. However they nonetheless feel and appear like the actual deal, and their relative light-weight nature makes them very snug to put on.

There are solely two controls, of which extra in a second. The underside of the correct cup has a microUSB socket for charging, and a dual-purpose 3.5mm headphone socket – extra on that later too.

My head is on the massive facet (dimension 58), so I discover most headphone bands have to be stretched considerably earlier than they’re snug, and that’s true with these too. However as soon as that was accomplished, they had been very snug.

The earcups fold beneath the scarf to kind a reasonably compact unit in terms of storing them in a bag. They don’t have the identical intelligent twist mechanism as my much-loved B&W P5 Wireless, however they don’t take up an excessive amount of room.

Twin-function cable

Marshall provides a double-ended 3.5mm cable with the headphones, and you should use this in two methods. Should you’re connecting to one thing with a headphone jack, then you should use the cable to show your wi-fi headphones into wired ones.

However you can too use the cable to share your music. When the headphones are streaming music by way of Bluetooth, then the headphone socket acts as output quite than enter. Use the cable to plug into one other pair of headphones with a 3.5mm socket they usually can take heed to the music alongside you. Or, if their headphones don’t have a socket, they will plug their 3.5mm jack into your socket.

It is a actually neat characteristic. Once more, I’d like to see this extra extensively supported by headphone producers.


The controls are to me the only greatest characteristic of those headphones. The precise cup has solely a two-position swap, for the noise-cancelling characteristic. The crimson dot is off, the gold dot is on.

The left cup has what appears like a single button, in gold, however this disguises a extremely incredible piece of design. It’s truly a combo button and mini joystick that permits a single management to do every thing:

  • press and maintain to energy on and off
  • press when on to hook up with a beforehand paired gadget
  • press longer to pair
  • press briefly to pause/play/reply name
  • flick as much as improve quantity
  • flick right down to lower quantity
  • flick proper for subsequent monitor
  • flick left for earlier monitor

If that sounds difficult, it’s truly fantastically simple in real-life use. I really like, love, love this management, and need all headphones labored the identical means.

My solely criticism concerning the controls is that they aren’t the place my fingers anticipated them to be – they’re set additional again and down than most headphone controls.

Sound high quality

One factor that at all times impresses me about Marshall merchandise is the consistency of the sound. There’s a signature Marshall sound – with each bass and treble boosted, considerably on the expense of mid-tones. You get it with the corporate’s stage package. You get it with the speaker I reviewed. And also you get it with these headphones.

As I discussed final time, my tastes usually run to very impartial sound – suppose B&O and B&W. However I do discover the Marshall sound a enjoyable one: it really works rather well for the kind of music the corporate is all about – rock. I wouldn’t use these headphones to take heed to a ballad or a classical monitor, however placed on a rock monitor, they usually sound nice.

There’s loads of quantity, and no distortion when maxed-out. Should you select a Marshall product, precisely what you’re getting, and also you gained’t be disillusioned right here.

Energetic noise cancellation

The passive noise cancellation is actually good – the earcups block out a shocking quantity of sound. Flicking on the energetic noise cancellation (ANC) swap is an attention-grabbing expertise …

Should you’ve ever used Bose QuietComfort headphones, you’ll know the way miraculous the noise-cancellation is. The surface world merely disappears.

Marshall takes a very completely different strategy. Whereas Bose designed its headphones with airplane journeys in thoughts, the place you need to block out as a lot noise as doable, Marshall says its headphones are designed for city use. The place you need to block sufficient exterior sound to benefit from the music, however you continue to need to hear some sounds, like a automobile horn.

Personally, I discovered this the least-impressive facet of the headphones. The ANC is nice at coping with low-frequency sounds, just like the rumbling of site visitors. However not that nice at blocking increased frequencies. I’m completely prepared to imagine that was a deliberate choice on the corporate’s half – the corporate is simply too good at these things to get it improper – however I did discover that the distinction between ANC on and off was much less marked than I’d anticipated.

However, to be trustworthy, the passive cancellation is so good that this isn’t an enormous deal.

Battery life

Marshall claims 20 hours with ANC on, 30 with it off. I’m penning this overview after simply a few days’ use, totalling about 5 hours, so I can’t touch upon this but – will replace once I can.

One factor to notice, although, is that the headphones don’t appear to have an auto-power-down time-out: I used them within the early night yesterday, after which this morning observed I had no sound from my Mac as a result of it had reconnected to them. That may clearly dramatically scale back battery-life until you get into the behavior of switching them off after use.

Pricing & conclusions

The headphones value $269. That’s a $70 premium over the official worth of the non-ANC mannequin, however you are able to do significantly better on Amazon. Personally, given my expertise of it, I’d go for the non-ANC model – however your ears could fluctuate, so I’d positively suggest taking the ANC mannequin for a spin.

Should you do need the energetic noise cancellation, these are an amazing pair of headphones. They’re light-weight, snug, ship that signature Marshall sound – and the all-in-one joystick management is how all headphones ought to work.

Marshall Mid ANC headphones value $269 direct from Marshall. Try Amazon for the older non-ANC mannequin, and different Marshall headphones.

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