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  • Cheryl Tan

Marshall Major IV Review: Pretty Basic On-Ear Headphones… But 80 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE?!

The Marshall Major IV headphones come on the heels of the Major three headphones, which were pretty good, so expectations are high for these. 

The Major IV are on-ear headphones, which means the ear cushions sit on your ear instead of surrounding your ear. I have to say I’m not a big fan of this type of headphones typically, because I wear spectacles and most on-ear headphones tend to be a bit painful to wear for long periods of time.

These, though, are really comfortable. They weigh just 165 grams and they can be folded up pretty compactly so that they don’t take up too much space in your bag. Speaking of compact, look at these small earcups. It’s insane how good they sound, when you consider their size. Adding on to that, you get wireless charging and 80 hours of battery life on a single charge. That’s crazy!

You get Marshall’s standard design aesthetic, which is pretty nice, with a pebbled leather covering the headband. There’s the iconic gold multi-directional control knob that controls power, volume, track skipping, Bluetooth pairing and all that.

There’s also a 3.5mm port that you can use for wired listening, or to share what you’re listening to with a friend, although I reckon most people wouldn’t really use this feature.

There’s no noise cancelling on these or other features that you might have come to expect from newer headphones, but you typically don’t see those with on-ear headphones anyway. There’s Bluetooth 5.0 so no issues with connectivity or drop outs.

As for sound quality, these are pretty balanced, with a slight skew towards bass. Surprisingly, the bass isn’t quite as strong as I expected, but the mids and treble is pretty decent. I do have to note here that because there’s basically no isolation, you’ll end up having to listen to music at a higher volume than normal, but it’s pretty standard for on-ear headphones.

Despite the really comfortable fit, on-ear headphones just aren’t meant for prolonged use. After about 2 hours or so, my ears do start to hurt after being bent around the arm of my spectacles. If you’re just looking to get these for commutes on the train or bus, these work fine. Using them for a whole day’s worth of work though? You’re definitely going to have to take them off occasionally to give your ears a break.

Some downsides though, there’s no protection in the box for these at all. No hard case, not even a fabric case, it’s a bit of a bummer. Next, you don’t even get the most basic feature, auto-pause or wearing detection. Most headphones will at least have a sensor so that your headphones stop playing music when you take them off your ears, not so for the Major four.

At S$269, I can’t say I recommend these, because that’s a pretty hefty price to pay for a really basic pair of on-ear headphones. That being said, if you just want decent sounding headphones that can really last you a long time on a single charge, these are probably one of the longest lasting headphones on the market.


Content by Cheryl Tan

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