It's impossible to deny that Marshall is one of the most iconic audio brands, and just seeing the logo smiles at me, as it was one of the first guitar amps I've had. So every time they release a product, I can not help but expect it to be a product that changes the game and that I can love as much as that first amplifier. This time, that hope comes in the form of the new Marshall Minor II Bluetooth headset. Yes, the company finally has a pair of wireless headphones with enough specifications to capture the interest of anyone, but how are these headphones in practice?
Who is Marshall Minor II for?
- People who prioritize the quality of sound. While there are some negative aspects of these headphones, one thing I can not touch is the quality of the sound. The Marshall Minor II Bluetooth hearing aids sound good, and if that's all you're looking for, look no further.
- Non-travelers. It is strange to say that a pair of Bluetooth headphones is not for those who travel daily, but due to the lack of suitable hearing aids, the isolation of these is terrible. It is not a problem if you are just going to be sitting at your desk, but if you want to use them on your trip to work, be prepared to listen to everything that happens around you as well.
How is the construction of Marshall Minor II?
As I mentioned in the introduction, my first amplifier was a Marshall, and it's easy to see the resemblance when you look at the Minor II Bluetooth headset. Marshall's design team does a great job to make their products instantly recognizable, with a completely black design accented by brass. These headphones are no exception, with a gold brass multi-function button on the control module and gold logos on each handset. Normally, I'm not a fan of companies that are too flashy in headphones, but I actually like how it's done here for two reasons. The first reason is that having a bit of eye-catching brass is totally branded for Marshall. For this, its products are known, but the second reason, and more importantly, is that it also has a practical function. The golden logos are magnetic and stick together, so it's easy to keep them around your neck when you're not wearing them. As an added bonus, the music automatically stops when they click together, which is good.
In practice, this works well for me, but I must say that I do not think it works for everyone. If you have a thicker neck than me, this could be a bit tight. That's not the only problem with the adjustment either, because instead of having a lot of other hearing aid options like other headphones: the Minor II headphones have an adjustable cable design. It's almost identical to the original Minor wired hearing aids or even Google Pixel Buds. At first, I really liked this because it seemed like a simple solution to achieve a universal fit, but it does not work as expected. Where the original Minor hearing instruments had a fabric cord, the Minor II Bluetooth headphones are all plastic. So, while you can easily adjust them to fit better, I find that it becomes uncomfortable too soon. Within two hours of using them, I had to take them out to give my ears a break.
It does not help that the tips of the ears are made of a hard plastic, and even though Re molded to fit most people: it's not a perfect fit. They are not as bad for me as something like the Apple Airpods (I could not stay in my ears to save my soul), but it's not much better. They do not fall if I'm sitting at my desk, but while traveling on buses and trains I found myself needing to constantly adjust them in my ears so they would not fall off. The size of the headphones does not help either, as they are larger than the competition due to the 14.2 mm drivers inside. The control module is also abnormally large, but here I think the professionals outweigh the cons. It is made of plastic, so it is not heavy, and the large battery really helps to extend the life of the battery (more information later).
Excellent Bluetooth specifications
If you could not say it, do not I am a big fan of the manufacturing quality of the Minor II Bluetooth headset, fortunately I did not have such problems with the connection, Marshall made sure that these had some of the best technologies available today, and that these are developing Bluetooth 5.0 with Compatibility with aptX Of course, we already know that aptX adaptive will arrive soon, so unfortunately, it seems that they will soon become obsolete with regard to codec compatibility, and that said, aptX is still better than the standard SBC, especially if you're going to listen to music through most of the transmission services. The resistance of the connection was solid and I never had a problem with jumping or stuttering while staying approximately 30 feet from the source device.
In regards to playback controls, at first I was very skeptical with the single control button. Usually, when a company tries to give up the classic 3-button control module and simplify one-button controls, it does not work too well. That is not the case here. Although it took some attempts to determine the orientation of the button, once you discover it works perfectly. Pressing the knob up or down adjusts the volume, pressing to the left or right jumps between the tracks, and pressing it downwards acts as a multifunction to pause / play music or answer and end phone calls . You can also access the voice assistant of your phone with a double quick touch.
The only problem I had with the knob was when turning on and off the 'buds', since you have to press the button perfectly down. If you tilt it a little to the side, it will adjust the volume or skip the tracks instead of going off. It's not a big problem, but it was an annoying tidbit that I found in my few days of testing.
How long will the Marshall Minor II headphones last?
It is not difficult to see that the control module in the Minor II Bluetooth headset is larger than average. Its voluminous size recalls the first wireless headphones that had giant modules and terrible battery life. Fortunately, that's only half the truth here. Although I will never say that the module here is beautiful, at least it fulfills a function. Inside there is a giant battery that, according to Marshall, will give you 12 hours of constant playback, which is twice the battery life of the Jaybird Tarah that we recently reviewed. In our tests, we managed to reach exactly ten hours and 48 minutes. In addition, these also have a fast charge feature that allows you two hours in approximately twenty minutes with the charger. Sure, the module is great, but if the battery life is important to you, then it's a fair exchange.
Speaking of charge, unfortunately, these lack USB Type-C. You will have to plug them through the old micro-USB charging cables, which may be just me, but they are becoming more difficult to locate in my house. Hopefully the whole industry will soon adopt the standard, but for now, just do not lose the cable that comes with these.
What about the quality of the sound?
The only good thing about having 14.2 mm giant drivers is that the Marshall Minor II headphones sound better than many other wireless headphones I've found. The drawback is that the construction materials remove what could be a great experience. Sitting in my quiet room, I find that the lower end is basically what I want from a couple of buds.
Highlight slightly the lower notes, which makes them strong enough to follow easily. the bass line throughout the song Disaster by DA Wallach, but never enough to mask any of the middle means. This provides great clarity in background voices and instruments, especially in acoustic or popular music. The drawback is that because the "buds are made of plastic and have no ear tips, the insulation does not exist." When I was using this on the train, I heard everything that was happening around me, and the train buzzing destroyed Any of the good basses I heard at home It became almost impossible to hear the bass lines over the sounds of everything happening around me.
Luckily, this was not too much problem in the highs.Shakers throughout the song God Made the Automobile of Iron & Wine was heard loud and clear, and although the selection of the fingers did not have all the details that I liked, it was definitely awesome for a pair of headphones, although I like how Marshall Minor II sounds in ideal conditions, they suffer a lot while they are in the real world, it's not a good thing for a pair of wireless headphones for the portabili
The Marshall Minor II headphones are a pair of promising outbreaks that could have been great if they had decided to do something about it. design. They sound great and have a long battery life, but everything else, from the adjustment and lack of insulation to the price of $ 129, makes them difficult to recommend on some of the other Bluetooth headsets we've tested. While it would be difficult to find a pair of wireless headphones that last as long as the Marshall Minor II, it's worth changing a few hours of playback for a more comfortable experience. And if you plan to travel with a pair of wireless headphones, the lack of insulation here could be a decisive factor.