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Saturday, March 23, 2013
Marshall Major Pitch Black headphones review
There’s hardly any doubt that Marshall audio products have achieved cult status after decades of being the sound equipment of choice for legendary music artists of all genres. The company has also made an entry into the highly lucrative market for audio headphones with the Minor line of earbuds and the Major on-ear collection. Given Marshall’s reputation for quality, I barely hesitated when I got a chance to spend time with a pair of its on-ear creations.
The Marshall Major Pitch Black headphones are fairly affordable for the brand cachet they carry – a lot of major retailers sell them for under $100. Now, let’s find out if they are worth your hard-earned money.
The Marshall Major Pitch Black headphones come in a cool-looking, fairly large retail box. Inside it, you will find the headphones, a 6.3mm audio adapter, as well as an L-shaped adapter for the standard 3.5mm jack.
The retail box
The 6.3mm audio adapter certainly reminds of Marshall’s proud heritage. I do however doubt there’s a major necessity for such an accessory.
Design and build quality
The Marshall Major Pitch Black headphones look somewhat retro, fashion-forward, and understated at the same time. The soft-edged square shape of the speakers, combined with the thin wire connecting them to the headband certainly hark back at older days. The denim covered headband, combined with the faux leather accents on the speakers point at fashion-oriented design as well.
Marshall Major Pitch Black live photos
The all black color scheme of the headphones keeps the headphones under the radar. However, in order to remind you that you are wearing a Marshall product, there are six company logos scattered around the headphones.
Build quality is a mixed bag. The Achilles heel of most headphones, their 3.5mm jack connector, looks and feels incredibly sturdy here – it is made of solid metal and is further reinforced with a metal spring. Honestly, it would have been great if such a finish was standard for all headphones, regardless of their particular brand.
The rest of the headphones’ construction however, isn’t particularly reassuring. The quality of the plastics used in some areas is far from great – the faux leather caps covering the headset’s speakers are downright fiddly. The metal wire which is used to regulate the headphones’ size doesn’t scream durability either.
Naturally, the Marshall Major Pitch Black headphones do come with a one year warranty, but as far as perceived quality goes, they are far from the greatest products I have experienced, especially given the brand heritage they carry.
The Marshall Major Pitch Black headphones are really light for an on-ear model, which means that prolonged use will not be an issue. Storage is fairly easy too – the headphones are easy to fold, though there’s no carrying pouch included in the retail package.
The cable is tangle-free, so there’s nothing to worry about. The sole button for operating the phone call functions feels great – it is finished in soft-touch plastic.
The Marshall Major Pitch Black headset sports a 40mm moving coil dynamic speaker with impedance of 32 Ohms. The sensitivity is 98.9 dB at 1 KHz and the frequency response ranges between 20 Hz and 20 kHz.
After playing a variety of music styles with the headset plugged both to a smartphone and a pc, I found the headphones a bit lacking in the bass department. Highs came out nice and crisp, as long as you don’t crank up the volume to the maximum.
Phone calls sounded great both ways – there’s nothing to complain about here.
The Marshall Major Pitch Black headphones are certainly a world away from the professional audio products which carry the same name. While the product’s looks and ergonomics are quite appealing, build quality raises doubts – the headphones simply do not feel solid enough.
The sonic experience could have been better considering the brand cachet. There were some corners cut there, too.
The Marshall Major Pitch Black headphones carry a suggested price of $120. For this kind of cash, it is difficult to recommend the headphones – there are simply better alternatives out there.
However, a number of retailers, including Amazon, sell the headphones for as low as $75, which is quite acceptable. Keep in mind the whole time though that you are buying a fashion product, not a serious audio tool.