Review: Marshall Monitor Bluetooth Headphones

Marshall first came to my attention decades ago, when as a young, preteen, I first started going to rock 'n' roll concerts and hanging out with musicians. To say Marshall amplifiers were all the rage back then would be a vast understatement. In fact, Marshall has a history that goes back before I was even born, with sound systems that powered some of the most memorable and well-known musical acts of the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Fast forward to today and the Marshall Monitor Bluetooth headphone ($249). As soon as I heard that Marshall was developing the Monitor Bluetooth I got excited; and when I got the chance to actually sample them, I jumped at the opportunity.

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Related: 10 Best Wireless Bluetooth Speakers & Headphones for iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus

The Montiors exemplify the look of the iconic Marshal amplifier, with simple but elegant faux leather finishing and a classic, almost vintage feel to their design. They are lightweight and collapsible for convenience of travel and transport.

The audio quality is on par with other reputable manufacturers of Bluetooth headphones, delivering CD quality (utilizing aptX technology) sound up to about 30 to 40 feet away from your source. For anyone still not entirely sold on the merits of Bluetooth audio, the Monitor come with a 3.5mm audio cable which lets you opt to plug directly into your audio source, eliminating any chance of lagginess or dropout. The auxiliary cable also comes in handy if the Monitor's internal battery is low or out of juice as it allows you to continue to enjoy your audio uninterrupted.

The Monitors allow you to control your audio (including phone functions) all from a single, joystick-like control knob on the earcup. I suspect some users might take issue with this feature, as there are no clearly defined and delineated directional controls. So while skipping a track forward or backward, turning up or down volume, and dealing with phone functionality can all be managed from this knob, knowing and remembering which sequence of pressing or pushing will elicit the desired response will take some practice and may not be to everyone's liking.

Pros:

  • Fully capable 40mm drivers deliver rich, crystal-clear acoustics worthy of the Marshall name.
  • Convenient collapsible design, ideal for the traveling music aficionado.
  • 30-plus hours of use on a single charge.
  • Passive noise isolation thanks to the Monitor's fully encompassing, over-ear design.
  • Share your music. When listening wirelessly you can use the empty 3.5mm socket to connect and share audio with someone else.
  • Multidirectional control knob on the earcup allows you to easily and conveniently control your music and phone calls.
  • I appreciated the use of metal in the Monitor design, a nice change from the typical plastic construction employed by so many popular  brands.

Cons:

  • Comfort: too snug for anyone with a larger cranium or big ears.
  • Lack of a multidirectional gimbaled hinge where the earcup joins the headband is a drawback for anyone who listens to their headphones DJ style (one earcup on, one earcup off) or anyone who appreciates the added comfort of a more ergonomic and spacious earcup design.
  • While the components that make up the Monitor are not bad, with the exception of their long-lasting internal battery, they are not particularly remarkable. From the imitation leather vinyl to the standard quality drivers and structural components the Monitor did not overly impress.

Final Verdict:

There were plenty of things I appreciated about the Marshall Bluetooth Monitor headphones. That said, their mediocre comfort level combined with their average quality components made it so that I have a hard time justifying the relatively high price. In fact, if they were $50 to $60 less, I'd probably feel differently about them; but at $250, I can't help but feel like they are a little overpriced. However, if you are a fan of the Marshall brand and you happen to see the Monitior Bluetooth on sale for under $200, I'd say grab 'em!

Review: Marshall Monitor Bluetooth Headphones

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Dig Om's picture

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech