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Marshall is a name synonymous with top-notch quality when it comes to guitar amplification. With the passing of Jim Marshall, founder of Marshall Amplification, a little over a year ago, the company remains one of the top competitors in the amplification industry. Their decision to move into the realm of personal sound amplification, therefore, was not a surprise to many. With the claim “50 years in the making,” the Marshall Monitor has been aimed to take on other boutique over-the-ear headphones, such as Beats by Dr. Dre. So how do they fare? Read on and find out.
Marshall Monitor

Marshall Monitor

The Word

When Marshall announced they would be entering the headphone market, guitar players around the world rejoiced. However, it probably didn’t mean a lot to those unfamiliar with the iconic nature of Marshall’s amps. The blog posts leading up to the release seemed to highlight one concern, especially from DJs: the Marshall Monitor would be tuned for guitarists, and miss the mark for other musicians, DJs and music-lovers. Despite these concerns, the Monitor has been received well and has proven to be much less biased than many expected.

The Specs

Another mantra of the Marshall monitor, “Hi-fi prowess and epic sound,” is the first thing you see when you visit marshallheadphones.com. The headphones are smaller than you would expect, a vital part of Marshall’s sales pitch: amazing sound isolation without the bulk its competitors. The headphones feature a felt insert dubbed the F.T.F. (felt treble filter) designed to “warm” the sound of brighter instruments, or in layman’s terms, tame some of the shrill high frequencies. Depending on what kind of music you are listening to, you may want to leave the insert in place or remove it; the process is simple so it is totally user preference. The rectangular design of the can is a unique aspect of the Monitor, and is much more comfortable than one might expect. The set folds neatly for easy storage or carrying.
Marshall Monitor

Marshall Monitor, folded

These headphone feature a 40mm driver, and a partially coiled cord that gives off a vintage quarter-inch guitar cable feel. The cord is detachable and includes an integrated microphone, as well as a 3.5 mm pass-through jack so that you can share your audio with friends. They also come with a canvas drawstring pouch for travel.

Final Thoughts

In terms of portability vs. quality, you aren’t going to find a better set of over-ear headphones. The design is great, sound quality is super, and you can actually tweak the set to fit your preference by inserting or removing the F.T.F. There aren’t many, if any, other headphones that allow you to physically tweak with no knowledge of the technical specs. Sound-wise, the Monitor is on par with sets such as Beats by Dr. Dre, however, the lack the low-end bass quality of the Beats. What it lacks in bass, in more than makes up for in size, clarity, and over usability. At $200, the price may be a little high right now. However, expect prices to drop once the initial introduction period is over, and snatch up a pair.

Marshall Monitor


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