The brand name “Marshall” is no stranger to those who are into music. Probably best known for their amplifiers used by famous rock bands at jamming sessions and gigs, Marshall has that cool rock ‘n roll vibe and an affinity with great sound performance.
I am no rock ‘n roll girl but I enjoy music and it has been an integral part of aiding my productivity since I was a student. Even today, I find that I’m able to concentrate better at work when I’m tuned in to good music – best with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Relaxing at the sofa with some good music is also one of the best ways for me to wind down at the end of a busy or stressful day.
Marshall has recently launched the Monitor II A.N.C headphones and I had to put them to the test, given that I had never owned any Marshall gadgets despite knowing the brand for so long.
Excellent noise-cancelling ability
The first thing that I noticed when I first put on the Monitor II A.N.C headphones is its ability to block out sound from the environment so that you can enjoy only what you want to focus on – the music. The advanced noise-cancelling technology is able to pinpoint and measure ambient noise to block it out thoroughly. When the headphones are put on without any music playing, the deafening silence can feel slightly uncomfortable, so I would recommend playing your music first before putting on the headphones if you’re uncomfortable with total noise blockage.
The headphones come with the ANC button to allow you to toggle between active noise-cancelling, “Monitoring Mode”, and turning off noise-cancelling – great for when I need to keep a ear out for the doorbell if I expect delivery or when I want to hear what my kid is doing at the play area.
Superior sound performance
But the spotlight is definitely on its ability to deliver great sound. Monitor II A.N.C. features custom-tuned 40 mm dynamic drivers that produce a superior sound that’s signature to Marshall: bright and crisp highs, punchy mids, and deep bass are balanced and clear, regardless of the volume you’re at.
To test it, I listened to a variety of music to see how each of them sound: pop, rock, and even Broadway. The superiority of its sound performance is evident right from the first beat; you’ll feel as if you’re at a live performance – at a concert or a theatre, which is amazing.
Another feature that I appreciated: comfort. I’ve had gone through several headphones – and they aren’t cheap, priced in the low-hundreds – that eventually hurt my ears if I were to wear them for the entire day. The Marshall Monitor II A.N.C headphones have an ergonomic over-ear design coupled with super soft ear cushions and a plush headband so they exert no pressure on my ears and head.
On top of these, it also has metal swivel rotation hinges that allow me to flex the shape of the headphones to adapt to my head shape for a comfortable and snug fit.
In fact, although I used to suffer from discomfort and pain whenever I use my regular headphones while wearing spectacles because of the pressure they exert on my face, these Marshall ones pose no such problem at all.
For those with a tech geek streak, you’d love that it has a few functionalities that make the Marshall Monitor II A.N.C extra smart.
One of these features is the combination of the headphones with Google Assistant. If the headphones are synced up with your phone (that has Google Assistant), you’ll be able control it using the M-button on your headphones. Features such as playing your favourite music, reading your text messages, or even giving you directions (I don’t recommend this for drivers, but certainly great if you’re walking to a new destination). Besides activating the Google Voice Assistant, the M-button also controls customised equaliser presets.
Other than the M-button, there’s a Multi-Directional Control Knob on the headphone that you can use to control music and phone functionality, an ANC button to control the noise-cancellation function.
Firmware updates for the Monitor II A.N.C can also be done automatically via the Marshall Bluetooth app.
Other note-worthy features
You can get up to five hours of wireless playtime with just 15 minutes of charging if you’re in a hurry, but a full charge can allow you to achieve 30 hours of wireless play-time with active noise cancelling and up to 45 hours without. I’ve tested this claim out and it checks out. With a full charge, I was able to go on for around three to four days of playtime at my work desk (and sometimes beyond).
While we’re working from home now and travel plans aren’t going to happen anytime soon, it’s still good to know that the Marshall Monitor II A.N.C headphones have a collapsible design. The kit also provides a canvas carrying bag so you can stow the headphones away.
All these, plus good looks to boot, there’s really nothing I would complain about this set of headphones. In fact, I’d say that it has contributed significantly to my productivity and after-work relaxation – I think it’s certainly a worthy investment for those who value a good music-listening experience.
The Marshall Monitor II A.N.C headphones retails at S$549 and is available at TC Acoustic (click on the link to see the shop page).