Marshall’s Monitor headphones are the top-of-the-line model in the company’s lineup, as the only over-ear cans it offers. Marshall claims that the Monitors offer “studio quality sound” and improved noise isolation over the cheaper, on-ear Major II model, and now the company is taking them wireless with the Monitor Bluetooth.
Aside from cutting out the cord, the Monitor Bluetooth is virtually identical to its wired predecessor. If you’re familiar with any of Marshall’s other products, the style of the Monitor Bluetooth will be immediately identifiable — dark vinyl, black aluminum, and brass accents.
I’ve been using the Monitor Bluetooth headphones for a few days, and they pretty much work as promised. Marshall has taken a light touch when it comes to the tuning, so you hear mostly what you’d expect from a decent pair of headphones: very clear sound, with minimal artificial boosts on both the bass or treble ends of things.
On the hardware side of things, the Monitor Bluetooth has Bluetooth aptX for audio, and Marshall claims that the headphones will get up to 30 hours of wireless playback. And like Marshall’s other headphones, the Monitor Bluetooth uses the same single joystick scheme for volume and playback controls, which remains one of the best systems I’ve seen on a pair of headphones. The brass stick is located on the left earpiece, and works exactly like you’d expect — tilt up and down for volume, front, and back to skip tracks, and press in to toggle play / pause.
There are a few downsides to the new headphones: Marshall has cut one of the headphone jacks from the wired Monitor (presumably for more battery life), so you won’t be able to pass music through with the Bluetooth variant, and the headphones use Micro USB to charge, not the newer USB-C spec.
The Marshal Monitor Bluetooth will cost $250 — $50 more than the tethered version — and are available on Marshall’s website today.