In recent years, Marshall has made a name for itself in headphones and speakers in the slightly more sensible price segments. What is it like to use one of their long-distance drivers, Major III Bluetooth?
The wireless variant of Marshall Major III is, despite a launch in early 2018, still one of the most popular wireless headphones on the market. This month I was a little on the lookout for new headphones for easier use in front of the computer and via the phone. Preferably of the on-ear type. Said and done, I chose to strike at the said model. A decision that for me turned out to be a bit half good. Here’s why.
Design and build quality
Appearance has Marshall succeeded really well with Major III. I come from a couple Jabra Move which despite lack of battery life and sound quality still had a nice minimalist and simple design. Major III stands out a little more and the thoughts go as usual when it comes Marshall in the rockier direction. If, on the other hand, you are okay with it, the build quality and choice of materials are generally good. The headphones, despite their small size, feel proper and robust. It is also flexible that they can be folded into a small ball if needed.
To control music playback, there is a joystick-like button on the left cover. This makes it possible to jump forwards and backwards in song lists and adjust the volume. The joystick can also be pressed to answer calls and start and stop music playback. Here has Marshall succeeded extremely well and the joystick button is both robust, responsive and logical to use. Should I complain about something, it is that the time you need to keep the button pressed to start the headphones from off mode is in the longest team (4-5 seconds). But it can be considered a petitess in the context.
In the package, the headphones are accompanied by a charging cable (micro-USB to USB-A) and a 3.5 mm audio cable for those times when you do not want or can not run wirelessly. You can also use the 3.5 mm input on the headphones to send the music to another pair of headphones. A cool bonus!
Sound and battery life
The biggest complaint when it comes to the sound of Major III, yes maybe even Marshalls headphones in general, is that it pulls a little in the sloping direction with a slightly oversized treble. Here I have to agree and even though the bass is surprisingly deep, it shines a little rockier (if you may say so) the sound image through almost no matter what you listen to.
Despite this, the sound is far from bad. Rather, it plays at a similar level as other headphones in the price range. The battery life stated is a generous 30 hours, a measure that seems to fit quite well. One thing that should be pointed out, however, is that the headphones have a slightly hoarse sound in both covers when you run them wirelessly. This is not heard during normal music listening, but for podcasts and other things where silent parts often occur, the background noise, even if it is low, is still quite clear. As I said, this only occurs when the headphones are run wirelessly. Connecting them via cord completely eliminates the noise. But then also unfortunately the finesse of having wireless headphones.
The microphone performs okay for what it is. The sound works well for conversation and is reasonably clear without either impressing or disappointing. However, the microphone does not like wind, something that is rather common than unusual for this type of headphone / headset.
But they are too tight
Despite a good build quality, good battery life and an overall still quite okay sound for the price, there is one thing that makes it difficult for me to recommend Major III. At least not without first testing them properly. The nice fit with an initial good pressure against the head does not give in enough to adapt to the actual head size of the person using the headphones. Something that for me, at least at first, contributed to headaches after a few hours of use.
The above is of course extremely personal and of course has to do with both the size of the head and the sensitivity around and on the ears. But for me, out-of-the-box headphones are crazy too tight. Nor would I claim to have a giant head. Now, of course, the jumper brings with it something with time. But after almost two months of daily use, the headphones are still far too tight and create too much pressure on the head to sit comfortably.