When it comes to wireless headphones, sound quality of course remains a top priority at this publication. But when your listening gear is dependent solely on its own onboard battery (and not the battery of the source) even the best-sounding set can be let down by poor stamina. So when we hear that Marshall has just launched a pair of wireless on-ear headphones that can keep playing music for 80 hours straight and better yet, you don't have to pay a huge premium for it, we sit up and take notice.
The Milton Keynes UK-based firm's new Major IV headphones boast more than three full days of power, an improved ergonomic design, wireless charging (you sit the right earcup on a wireless charging pad to juice up – sold separately), collapsibility for easy transport and the company's traditional metal multi-function control knob – because invisible touch-controls on a Marshall earcup wouldn't feel right.
You'll also get custom-tuned 40mm dynamic drivers, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C quick-charge capability so that 15 minutes of charging equals a whopping 15 hours of playtime, and if you do ever find yourself without power, you can plug the supplied 3.5mm cord into your device (if it still has a headphone jack, that is) to keep listening. This 3.5mm socket also allows a friend to plug in and enjoy the same music that's going through your cans – if you fancy letting them.
Marshall says the Major IV’s ear cushions are softer to the touch and more faithfully fit the shape of your ear, rendering the headphones more comfortable and wearable over time. With the multi-directional control knob you can play, pause, skip and adjust the volume of your device, as well as power your headphones on or off, and phone functionality is also included so you can answer, reject or end a call.
The new fold clip means that Major IV folds away into an even more compact size, and the earcups are better protected from wear and tear in transit. You'll also get the textured black vinyl and Marshall script, and a build finish which Marshall describes as a "rugged durability that’s necessary for the anarchy of everyday life".
The Marshall Major IV headphones are available for pre-order online now, and will be in stores/online from 14th October.
And the price? £129 ($149, AU$249) which makes them less than half the price of the company's premium 2020 release Monitor II ANC proposition.
The 14th will be a busy day – it's the second installment of Amazon Prime Day, after all – but if it's got to be a Marshall aesthetic (and despite the lack of ANC) there's an awful lot to like here on paper.
Read all our Marshall reviews