We take a look at the latest of Marshall’s headphone line, the Monitor II ANC. These headphones are designed, to be Marshall’s most premium.
From Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin, Eric Clapton and Joe Satriani to Slash, Oasis and Muse and, Marshall is one of the most celebrated brands in Rock history. Unlike some of the other brands that would typically be exclusive to Rock and the people that worship it, it’s amazing how the brand has transcended its Hard Rock and Metal heritage and broke into mainstream lifestyle with their made for everybody, and every home, headphones and speakers.
Out of the box, you’ll immediately note that Marshall haven’t gone crazy with the design of the Monitor II Active Noise Cancelling headphones. In fact it’s the direct opposite. The headphones retrain that trademark Marshall amplifier, and now headphone, look with the black leathery top an minimalist design.
The frame looks as sturdy as it feels with the metal reinforced frame. The earcups feel extremely comfortable with their soft cushions that don’t really need much breaking in, and the hinges that allow them to collapse inwards for storage don’t look like they’ll fall off after a couple of uses.
Now in the box, you’ll get the Marshall Monitor II ANC Headphones, a USB-C charging cable, a detachable 3.5 mm cord and and a canvas-carrying bag.
The headphones are mainly controlled by the gold “joystick” which is within thumbs reach and quite intuitive. The gold also adds some flair to headphones as they contrast against the black leather.
The earcups can swivel inward that help with storage, and at the same time feel great around your neck with the earcups turned in when you want to take a break.
The headphones connect to smartphones and devices via Bluetooth 5.0 technology that provides a very steady connection. You can further customize your experience by downloading the Marshall app.
The app offers a number of presets based on musical genres, including Rock, Metal, Pop, Hip-Hop, Electronic, Jazz and Flat. You are also able to adjust the “transparency” of the active noise cancelling.
You will find that there are two buttons on the frame of the headset – ‘ANC’ and the ‘M’ button. The ANC button is pretty straightforward and toggles Active Noise Cancelling. The ‘M’ button though, has a couple of functions which can be set through the app. You can set the ‘M’ button to either switch music presets, or to access Google assistant or Apple Siri.
Firmware updates for Monitor II A.N.C. occur automatically via the Marshall app as well.
The moment you turn on the ANC you can tell the difference. Ambient sounds are immediately muted. However, while it certainly does work, it isn’t the best we’ve ever heard. Other premium headsets do perform better where strictly the ANC is concerned.
The Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. features custom tuned 40 mm dynamic drivers that are tuned to produce the signature Marshall sound. Being a Marshall headset you’ve got to get some Jimi Hendrix on there and for the review I listened to tracks from Queen, Steve Vai and Billy Eilish to not just test across a variety of genres but also listen to tracks that have layers upon layers.
While that signature Marshall sound is very suited to Rock and Metal, the Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. performs well across other genres. You get a nice wide soundscape well with controlled bass and full mids… however, the treble might be a little light, but still good.
The Monitor II A.N.C. keeps the music going strong with up to 30 hours of wireless playtime with active noise cancelling and up to 45 hours without the added power consumption of the ANC. If you need to charge in a hurry, you can get up to five hours of wireless playtime after just 15 minutes of charging.
Call quality is pretty decent and controlled from the headset itself. The microphone picks up clearly from the headset – albeit slightly soft for the receiving end.
The 3.5mm cord looks amazing, but it does not have an integrated mic that you can pull to you in noisy environments. But in typical conditions it should work very well.
The Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. headphones are truly designed to deliver an ergonomic all-day listening experience with super soft ear cushions and headband to the metal swivel rotation hinges that perfectly adapt to your head shape.
Priced at SGD 549, it certainly is priced in the premium bracket, but it does perform and it’s around the same price point as competitors in the market.
The iconic Marshall look has firmly planted its place in mainstream fashion and lifestyle and looks great while providing great audio reproduction. The Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. deserves its spot as the most premium of the Marshal headphone line and a headphone to consider if you’re shopping.