Marshall Major V review: a comfortable, puncture-proof headset, but which lacks finesse

Marshall Major V review: a comfortable, puncture-proof headset, but which lacks finesse
Marshall Major V review: a comfortable, puncture-proof headset, but which lacks finesse

Sixth version of the family including the III Voice model, the Major V is a continuation of previous models. An unmistakable “rock” design, a claimed titanic battery life and a Bluetooth and wired over-ear design.

Casque Marshall Major V.

As with previous versions, the Major V does not have active noise reduction. On the other hand, Marshall did not come completely empty-handed. The manufacturer finally allows its Bluetooth headphones to work with the Marshall app and equips it with two additional codecs, AAC and LC3, therefore also Bluetooth LE Audio compatibility.

Price & availability

The Marshall Major V has been available since April 23, 2024 at the official price of €149. It is marketed in a single black version.

Test Condition

We tested the Marshall Major V with the Marshall application in version 5.3.40.

Construction & Confort

In addition to simple colorimetry, all Marshall audio products have an imitation tolex plastic covering and small chrome touches to echo the brand’s famous guitar amps. An iconic look that has made the English brand successful among the general public. Unsurprisingly, the manufacturer is back at it again with its new helmet.

Construction-wise, it’s difficult to fault the Major V much. Traces of assembly are practically non-existent, while the plastic frame is flexible enough to minimize the risk of breakage. Still square in shape with rounded corners, the shells can rotate vertically and are fitted with sufficiently padded faux leather pads. However, they are not detachable. In the event of serious damage, you will necessarily have to purchase a helmet. In the same vein, although they are quite thick, the cables connecting the rollbar to the hulls must also be treated with care.

Especially since Marshall still does not provide a cover or carrying pouch. Even though the headset is foldable and fits easily into a bag, it’s rather small. Likewise for the accessories, it is the bare minimum, namely the classic twisted 3.5 mm jack cable and a very small USB-C charging cable. A 3.5mm jack to USB-C adapter wouldn’t have been too much trouble. Finally, still surprisingly, the headset is compatible with the QI standard, so it can be recharged wirelessly by induction.

Usually, over-ear headphones are in fact less comfortable than their over-ear counterparts, but the Major V is far from unpleasant to wear. Although thick, the earpads do not suffocate the ears, while the overall lightness (186g) makes the wearing experience pleasant, even during long sessions, with the pressure exerted being fairly uniform across the entire pad. the ear. Also sufficiently padded, the headband does not exert any annoying pressure. In addition, the helmet remains stable in all circumstances, although it is not intended for sports use. The only downside is that the travel of the headband is a bit too short. As a result, keeping it around your neck is not very pleasant.

User experience

Orders

In order to offer an alternative to touch and buttons, Marshall has long specialized in joystick navigation. Very responsive, the latter allows you to carry out a complete range of commands. With a long press, the headset turns off and on, and with a tap once or twice, you can take calls or turn off Bluetooth. For navigation between tracks and volume management, simply operate it vertically or horizontally. It’s as simple as pie and minimizes handling errors.

Good initiative, the English manufacturer also includes an “M” button on the left shell. Already present on the 2020 Monitor II ANC, this customizable button provides access to Spotify Tap, a previously saved equalizer preset or the voice assistant. You will have to choose. Strange that Marshall does not give us access to all three thanks to different successive supports.

Connectivity

While the previous headphones in the family had the particularity of only supporting the SBC codec, the Major 5 features AAC and LC3, as well as compatibility with Bluetooth LE Audio. For this last point, it is an excellent thing that Marshall is turning its product towards the future.

The multipoint connection is still there, while the stability of the Bluetooth 5.3 connection is exemplary and the latency stands at 175 ms. A correct value, but still too high to play in good conditions. To avoid any latency, the Major V can be used wired thanks to its mini-jack input, the USB-C port only being usable for charging. On the other hand, the Google Fast Pair rapid fitting is absent for subscribers.

Application

Finally ! The Major V is the first headset in the Major family compatible with the dedicated Marshall application. Rather basic, it is far from being as complete as the star apps on the market from Sony or Sennheiser. Most pleasant is access to a five-band equalizer, as well as recorded monitoring presets.

Sleep management is also welcome, since the headset does not have automatic pause. This being said, it is impossible to choose your listening audio codec.

Audio

Faithful to the rock spirit of their manufacturer, Major headphones have always had an energetic sound, but which generally lacked control. The Major V is no exception to this rule since it is extremely insistent on the bass and offers a dynamic and sharp rendering which will not necessarily be to everyone’s taste.

Although the bass is relatively clean, the upward slope at the beginning of the spectrum proves that it can also sound clogged. Above all, they can quickly become tiring, especially for those who like long listening sessions at rather high volume. Mechanically, the entire beginning of the following spectrum suffers, the dip in the low-mids is there to attest to this. As a result, many instrument attacks seem almost erased.

As best it can, the Major V tries to raise the bar at the high-midrange level, but it forces too much, which makes listening inconsistent on acoustic music. The peak observed around 3000 Hz colors the music too much and the vocal timbres lose their naturalness. Certainly wanting to do well, Marshall tried to bring softness to the treble, but this area is too uneven to guarantee intelligibility at all times.


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Overall, the Major V is not devoid of quality, distortion management is good and it is an expressive headphone capable of giving pleasure. Although less subtle than the Beats Solo 4 and less precise than the JBL 670NC, the Major V fully embraces its communicative energy and very leisure listening. On the other hand, like its predecessors, its sometimes narrow soundstage ultimately makes it not very versatile in its way of providing us with this pleasure.

Points forts

  • Energetic sound reproduction.

  • Record autonomy of almost 100 hours.

  • Compact, foldable and comfortable.

  • Appreciable joystick navigation.

  • Compatible with Bluetooth LE Audio and wireless charging.

Weak points

  • Sound signature lacking control and detail.

  • Absence of RBA which makes bass isolation non-existent.

  • Hands-free kit difficult to use outdoors.

  • Summary app.

Conclusion

Global mark

How does the rating work?

For its Major V, Marshall is focusing above all – and once again – on an iconic design and marathon autonomy. Foldable, comfortable and quite well designed, this new iteration even has some new features such as support for Bluetooth LE Audio, compatibility with the Marshall app and the appearance of an additional “M” button. Although still as energetic, it is unfortunately the sound signature which fails once again with an overall lack of detail and openness.

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