Marshall is a company associated primarily with the production of high-quality guitar amplifiers and cabinets. However, the manufacturer’s offer also includes cheaper devices such as Bluetooth speakers, headphones. Marshall Major IV – the fourth generation of valued headphones with a near-neutral sound – is a product aimed at people looking for a mobile, wireless device that will not only play well, but also allow you to forget about charging the battery for many hours. The fourth generation of “Majors” is supposed to last for 80 hours on a single charge.
The Marshall Major IV headphones are a lightweight and flexible over-ear design, which additionally offers the folding of the flaps towards the headband. All this makes it the perfect urban equipment, but not only. We can also use headphones successfully at home, even in front of a computer. I will reveal now that the design is great for positioning sounds in computer games. Perhaps many of you have discovered the perfect headphones, because they are not only well-made, energy-efficient and light, but also allow for effective gameplay.
Marshall Major IV, just like Marshall Major III, allow wired sharing of music with other headphones equipped with a 3.5 mm Jack connector – just connect the included twisted cable to both pairs of headphones to share wireless music flowing to the first pair of headphones. Speaking of the cable – in the new version, the remote control and microphone have disappeared from it (the microphone is now only built into the headphones). The microUSB charging link has also disappeared – in its place a USB-C, tailored to our times, has appeared. The working time on a single charge has also increased – from 30 hours to the already mentioned 80 hours. The “fours” also featured inductive charging and a higher version of Bluetooth. Unfortunately, despite a few steps forward, the new headphones also took one step back – at least that’s what the greatest music lovers will perceive. Namely, support for the aptX codec has disappeared from the Major IV model. We have AAC and SBC at our disposal.
Design and Quality
There is also a basic specification indicating the frequency response (20 Hz – 20 kHz) or the size of the drivers (40 mm). On the back we read that the aforementioned 4-way joystick is multi-tasking, therefore it will be used not only to increase the volume, move tracks or call the voice assistant on the smartphone, but also to accept, reject and end phone calls. As for the contents of the kit, we find here the user manual, but one that is more “premium”, because with colorful, glossy graphics explaining the joystick operation. There are also two wires: for charging USB-C with a correct length of 100 cm and a coiled cable 2x Jack 3.5 mm with a length of 120 – 160 cm. As we are dealing with an extremely mobile design, I regret that the set lacks even the most ordinary case for headphones.
the flap diagonal is only 7.5 cm, and the height and width – 6.5 cm. But don’t let this fool you – the headphones are extremely stretchy, they also have a large range of expansion on the fork, so they will “get along” with both the smallest heads and the really big ones, which usually have a problem with finding sufficiently large and at the same time headphones that are not head-hugging. Importantly – the design and size mean that they do not look weird, and it is now getting harder and harder. In fact, “fours” look largely like “threes”, but they are more subdued – the matte black of hard-to-dirty plastics fits elegantly with matte eco-leather, which resembles natural leather (the manufacturer mentions,
The assessment of the appearance is, as always, a personal feature, but there is no doubt that the whole looks very elegant, and even more there is no doubt that the structure is durable and should endure even a long-term disrespect (although an additional case is advisable, for example due to external headphone cables connecting both transducers to the battery and other “hardcore”). The structure has been designed quite sparingly in terms of design. It is true that on the outer sides of both flaps you will find clear logos of the manufacturer made of white rubber, but apart from that, there is nothing much eye-catching here. The control center is limited to the aforementioned golden multi-function button on the right hatch. Just below, there is a 3.5 mm Jack input and a USB-C charging port accompanied by a multi-colored LED and a microphone outlet. And although the headphones are not certified for water resistance, the location of these connectors in one place, and not another place, actually gives a better chance of surviving, for example, rain.
In-ear headphones can hurt, while over-ear and around-the-ear headphones are often stuffed with stuffiness, tightness and weight. Not only the auricles suffer, but also the top of the head. So I am pleased to admit that in the case of the Marshall Major IV model there are no such problems. The weight of 165 grams (so lower than in MM III) means that we appreciate it from the first wear to the next hours of use. It is a bit worse if we wear thick eyeglass frames – here about two hours are enough for the pressure behind the ears to become bothersome, even unbearable. The Major IV model enjoys such a balanced clamp that on the one hand, after a while (without glasses), we can forget that we have something on our head (fortunately, it does not turn into sliding or falling), and on the other hand, we have great isolation from outside sounds.
There is also no leakage of music outside. And only in the summer, when we use it for many hours, we can complain about a feeling of stuffiness. To be precise – the pads in the MM IV are exchangeable, so even if they get damaged in a dozen or so (several dozen) months, we can always buy a second one, at a quite low price. The quality of the whole thing is also supported by the fact that the materials from which the headphones are made do not get dirty very easily – they do not catch greasy fingers and dust does not settle on them.
The new generation of headphones actually still sounds relatively neutral (but not flat in a negative sense), thanks to which we get a detailed, really “smooth” midrange not covered by either low or high tones. Ultimately, however, the “fours” fall into a slightly entertaining sound on the set of a delicate “V”. This makes the construction accessible to a larger number of people, but musical “purists” used to the sound of even “three” not entirely convinced. The bass is rather warm here, more lazy than responsive, spilled over the low frequency ranges, and generally speaking – sufficient (stronger than in most competing designs, but not too strong), but certainly not “roaring” either.
The sopranos, on the other hand, could be slightly less exposed, because with some pieces they tend to tire (although without any sibilant features). As I have noticed, the vocals (and broadly understood midrange) are not covered by the top and bottom – the vocalists’ voices are full and “lively”. The whole thing also sounds satisfying spatially, though not overly analytical. The Major IV is a set that actually serves a whole lot of energy, sonic bursts, without favoring any of the bands too much. Thanks to this, we get a cultured, energizing sound that will work primarily in rock, metal, alternative or hip hop. However, one cannot ignore the fact that the wireless listening session loses a bit of clarity and spaciousness (but not to a gross degree). As I noticed before headphones also work phenomenally as a gaming device. I will not exaggerate if I write that many typical gaming models should envy the MM IV for sound positioning.
Battery and Connectivity
The headphones reviewed today work on the basis of a Bluetooth 5.0 connection. The suggested range is about 10 m. Regardless of whether the headphones were connected to a computer or a smartphone, I did not experience any connection problems – no breaks or sound distortions, which can be expected from both this version of Bluetooth, and at the same price of headphones. Marshall Major IV work on the basic AAC and SBC codecs. Sound purists may be bothered by the lack of aptX, which was present a generation ago. Taking into account the overall sound quality, the lack of this codec did not bother me, but there is no denying that the decision to stop at AAC and SBC is somewhat disgusting. However, more on the audio issue on the next page.
The aforementioned disgust has a chance to disappear when it turns out that that the manufacturer’s promises in terms of battery performance aren’t just bragging rights. Although the duration of the test did not allow me to test the battery from 100% to zero, the device indicated 50% of the battery after about 38 hours of use at 60% volume. So you can safely assume that the headphones are able to work for the mentioned 80 hours. Also, the video-audio delay test showed no deviations – no noticeable shifts that would affect the quality of use (movies, gaming).
First of all, the price for the premiere is not the lowest (but it is still more affordable than in the case of the MM III premiere). You also need to know that these are headphones for people who know what they want in music – in this case quite neutral, but also nice-sounding, slightly tuned up and “explosive” sound. Generally, it seems that the manufacturer, together with this model, is slowly going into an increasingly entertaining sound. For this reason, the sound may not appeal to people who appreciate an even more neutral frequency response as in the MM III, and on the other hand, it may still be too flat for the rest of the audience, brought up on a “sharp V”.
Personally, I have no objections to the sound of the construction – it took a few hours to switch from the current sound habits to fully appreciate the music of the Major IV model (although electronic music, due to the large number of sopranos, was not pleasant without interfering with the equalizer ).
Major Model IV would be ideal , but only if the price arrived in the ANC instead of inductive charging. Of course, this is only my point of view, and I have no doubt that many people will enjoy the use of Qi technology.