Marshall Mid ANC Active Noise Cancelling On-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphone, Black (04092138)
These Marshall Monitor II headphones are definitely the best headphones I’ve ever used. When I travel to work, you see the same headphones so often that you may think you need to buy from the same brands to get noise-canceling headphones. These Marshall cans break the mold and deliver excellent sound quality to match their legendary Marshall style.
After unpacking, I admired the feel and premium look of these headphones. I love how the included (optional) cable is partially wrapped, both for the style and the lack of tangles. The headphones have 2 buttons and a joystick for control and are cleverly camouflaged. The name Marshall is prominent, more than I would normally like to have, but that’s also the attraction of these headphones, they have the classic look of a stage amp. Additional praise to Marshall for the denim bag (or at least like that) instead of a cheap vinyl thing. Even the USB-C charging cable is cool: Instead of a generic cable, you get soft-touch plastics on the connectors with a structured surface and a sleek Marshall logo on the edge of the connector.
If virus blocking is fully effective, I don’t have a chance to test noise cancellation on a flight for a while. However, my home is probably the “next best” environment to test ANC: I have 4-year-old twins who are full of power and constant noise, and I have a media rack in my home with multiple servers and a business POE switch. . Makes a lot of fan noise. I’m pleased to say that the ANC on the Monitor II headset was up to the task and incredibly quiet. The included social mode is great – just press a button and the ANC will switch to amplify ambient noise so you can have a conversation. Social mode also stops whatever media is listening, which is very convenient.
To listen, I first listened to my ‘go to’ track for Avett brothers’ “Shame” music demos. The sound stage was surprisingly open to closed headphones and the sound was warm and smooth. The bass and banjo details at the beginning of the song were tight and clear, and the piano at the end of the song was not uncomfortably distorted.
After a couple of hints, I switched to another popular travel audio source: an audiobook. Especially “Ender’s Shadow” by Orson Scott Card. As multi-narrator audio performance, I found the quality of the headphones in the mid to high price range as expected and was against open sound and narrow mid range. Here the ANC seems to reduce background distractions.
Finally, I watched “Rise of Skywalker” for a few minutes to get a feel for the bass and boom of Monitor II, and was happy with its performance again.
Final Thoughts: These Marshall Monitor II Active Noise Canceling Headphones have earned a place in my carry-on luggage and will compete for listening time with my standard audiophile dosages. They just have a really nice, warm sound that I love. Do yourself a favor and take it!