Today we will conduct a review of the Best Bluetooth headphones Marshall Monitor II ANC ($ 320) – the headphones sound good and work, have rich low frequencies and clear high frequencies, which create an excellent and clear sound. As for noise reduction, here it is quite good but it does not correspond to such a high cost.
If you’re looking for a quality alternative to the Sony WH-1000XM3, then the Marshall Monitor II ANC headphones are a great option. They sound great, have good noise reduction and boast a stylish design. Alas, the new Marshall Monitor II model could not become a cheaper alternative to Sony headphones.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Great sound. Headphones got really high-quality stuffing so that the listener can enjoy their favorite music;
- Good noise reduction. During the review, Marshall Monitor II ANC (Black) showed their best side in terms of suppressing extraneous noise;
- Customizable equalizer settings. It is possible to set the appropriate sound in the Marshall Bluetooth application. Not all models have such an opportunity;
- Stylish design. The appearance and image of the headphones, as always, is good. The company really made sure that the gadget was pleasant to use.
- Sound stage. It should be made wider, unfortunately, this omission in the Marshall Monitor II ANC is one of the most significant;
- Cost. The high price will be a real problem for potential buyers. Yes, the model is really amazing, but for a lower budget you can find similar headphones;
- No support for AptX or AAC codec.
Kit and specifications
- 3.5mm detachable audio cable
- Instructions and documentation
- USB-C Charging Cable
- Carry bag
|Type of wireless headphones||Wireless / Wired|
|A type||Full Size Closed|
|Noise suppression||Active Noise Reduction (ANC)|
|Audio jack||Jack 3.5 mm|
|Frequency range||20 – 20,000 Hz|
|Battery life||45 h|
Marshall Monitor II ANC at a Glance
Marshall gadgets are best known for iconic guitar amps. The company is growing rapidly and its models will appeal to those who love the classic design, but want modern noise reduction features and wireless headphones.
The new addition from this noise-canceling brand, Marshall Monitor II ANC, was the perfect continuation of its first wireless best Bluetooth headphone line released in 2017.
Having spent a lot of time reviewing the Marshall Monitor II ANC, we think that the headphones have really decent noise reduction, impressive sound quality and a cool look. This makes them a real alternative to the best headphones of this year Sony WH-1000XM3.
Cost Marshall Monitor II
The price of Monitor II ANC Black is $ 320 and it is $ 30 cheaper than the main competitor Sony WH-1000XM3. However, they are still significantly more expensive than the latest Major III Voice model.
Design and construction
The new models are very similar in design to their predecessor, Marshall Monitor Bluetooth – oval headphones and leather trim, which was borrowed from the guitar amplifiers of the brand, as well as the classic black (black) color.
Like the previous headphone design, the Marshall Monitor II ANC is a classic, fits into any style. And for true fans, the Marshall logo is embroidered in white on the outside of the ear cup.
On the right earphone is a gold control knob that allows you to play, stop, rewind and adjust the volume of music.
The multi-function button can also be pressed to answer, reject, and end calls. Such a golden-colored detail elegantly fits into the overall look with leather cases and open twisted cords, which only adds an old school.
|On / off||Press and hold for 2 seconds|
|Play / pause||Press once|
|Change track (forward)||Press right|
|Change track (back)||Push left|
|Flash forward||Press right and hold|
|Rewind||Press left and hold|
|Increase volume||Press up|
|Turn down the volume||Click down|
|Calls||Press once to answer the call or end the call; double tap to reject an incoming call|
A little higher is the “M” button, which allows you to switch between the equalizer settings or call the Google Assistant or Siri voice assistant on your smartphone.
On the left earphone there is an “ANC” button, which allows you to enable / disable noise reduction mode or “Monitoring mode”.
Below is a USB-C charging port and a 3.5 mm audio jack, into which the bundled spiral wire is inserted.
Also on the left earphone there is a light indicator that shows the following values:
|Red, orange, yellow and green||Charging (battery level 0-100%)|
|Flashing white every 5 seconds||Headphones are turned on, connected via Bluetooth, playback is paused|
|Flashing white||Search for previously paired devices|
|Flashing blue||Bluetooth pairing mode|
|No color||Muted or playing music|
The Marshall Monitor II is a foldable headphone with a flexible headband that can withstand any twisting if you need to pack it in a bag. To surely avoid damage to the headset, the model comes with a denim bag. Of course, such a case will not provide complete protection, but thanks to it you can avoid scratches and minor damage to the case, not to mention the cool design.
During the review of the Marshall Monitor II ANC, the headphones seemed really comfortable for continuous use thanks to soft ear cushions and a padded headband. However, they are light and not very hard on the ears.
Like the previous model, Marshall Monitor II got the opportunity to work without charge for 30 hours (the same indicator is in the Sony WH-1000XM3, and that says a lot).
Note that for 30 hours the headset works with the noise canceling mode turned on. If you turn it off, then the battery life of the wireless Bluetooth Monitor II ANC headphones will increase to 45 hours!
A charge of 15 minutes will be enough to use for 5 hours. A full 100% battery charge takes about 2 hours.
Marshall Monitor II ANC Connection
Marshall Monitor II earphones and smartphones connect quickly and seamlessly with Bluetooth 5.0 support. During testing, there were no outages or failures, although there were many sources for connection and possible interference near us. Marshals did just fine!
The headset received a classic 3.5 mm jack, and the kit comes with a removable cable, which is used with or without power.
The Bluetooth connection was reliable and without drops: iPhone, Samsung, Xiaomi – the connection was to all models. But, alas, the company decided that support for the standard SBC Bluetooth audio codec would be enough.
All modern devices and smartphones have support for improved AAC, while the Marshall Monitor II ANC also works with aptX: the more modernized Marshall codec used in previous models. The better the Bluetooth audio codec, the higher the sound quality. But there were no problems with the desync with any popular application for playing video on Android, iOS, and even YouTube on Windows 10.
When reviewing Monitor II, the call quality was good. The voice in the headphones sounded clear and loud. At the other end of the wire, a voice was also heard loud, clear and clear, even with a slight audibility of lateral extraneous noise.
Headphones Monitor II ANC provide excellent noise reduction. Of the drawbacks is hissing at high frequencies. This is especially noticeable in a quiet environment, which, of course, is not very pleasant and speaks of poor-quality noise suppression ANC. The model copes well with the isolation of low-frequency noise. It feels like you are flying on a plane or traveling on a train, but any turn of the head can change the noise level that ANC microphones block.
There are two modes of noise reduction:
- Active noise reduction: external sounds are blocked, only your music is heard;
- Transparency mode: ambient sounds are heard so that you can hear the conversations of people near you.
To quickly switch between modes, press the ANC button:
- Short press – change the active noise reduction and transparency modes;
- Button Hold – Turn ANC on or off.
In general, noise reduction is useful here, but it is not as effective as in Apple or Bose.
Using the Marshall Bluetooth application, you can adjust the degree of noise reduction and transparency, that is, what level of extraneous noise is acceptable for you from 0 to 100%.
In the Marshall Monitor II ANC review, we adjusted through the equalizer settings in the Marshall Bluetooth application. When you open it, you will see that it initially has standard factory settings that give the headphones a balanced sound with an emphasis on low, mid and high frequencies.
In addition, the program offers several ready-made presets for music genres:
- Hip hop
All have a clean balance of frequencies. During the Marshall Monitor II test, we did not find much difference between the presets and the original Marshall sound (except perhaps the emphasis on the mid frequencies). Of course, you yourself can create a personalized equalizer setting by adjusting all frequencies in the range from 160 Hz to 6.25 kHz.
But if you absolutely have no desire to understand all the intricacies, you can switch between the three ready-made settings by pressing “M” on the headphones.
How to connect via the Marshall Bluetooth app?
The Marshall Monitor II headphones work with the Marshall Bluetooth application, which allows you to switch between different noise reduction settings and try out a variety of equalizer presets.
The application has the ability to set personal settings for the headset, adjust the sound, change the name of the device, read instructions, work with software updates and much more. The program works with all brand headsets:
- Acton ii
- Stanmore ii
- Woburn ii
- Monitor II ANC and so on
Marshall really tried to achieve a balanced sound in the headphones Marshall Monitor II ANC Black. They are certainly the best in the lineup of the brand to date. Listening to Green Day, you will enjoy the detailed sound of the guitar, and the vocals will sound clean and clear. It is also impressive how the gadget handles percussion instruments, guitar solos and blurry synthesizer sounds.
In a review of Marshall Monitor II, we tested bass on the Imagine Dragons. Low frequencies (LF) proved to be excellent, balanced and unobtrusive, even in tracks with the main emphasis on them. High frequencies (HF) were also ideal and did not drown out other frequencies. The overall dynamics of the sound, all the background noise, the voice of the artist and the instrumental was really impressive!
Of the shortcomings, I still want to highlight the sound stage. It should sound wider, of course, it is not far not bad, but some tracks require more space for complete freedom of sound of instruments.
Marshall Monitor II ANC creates very high-quality sound. The microphone is legible. And thanks to the Voice Memos application on the iPhone, every word was clear and clear, there were no problems with understanding and parsing. Bluetooth 5.0 also did not disappoint – the sound was clear. The only caveat is that the microphone signal is weak.
Marshall Monitor II ANC Review Summary
Undoubtedly, the Marshall Monitor II ANC headphones are the best headphones of this brand. The sound quality far surpasses all previous models, thanks to a balanced sound, smooth mid-range frequencies (MF), as well as a generally powerful filling and a custom equalizer.
The headphones sit comfortably in your ears and look very stylish: the design is much more attractive than the recent Marshall in-ear headphones.
Good noise reduction, simple operation and a convenient application – all this makes the Marshall Monitor II headphones an interesting alternative to the fashionable Sony WH-1000XM3. However, for full-fledged competition, the company should have reduced the price to $ 280 – then the model would definitely have become one of the best models of 2020. You can safely take the gadget, because it looks favorably in terms of sound quality, noise reduction, not to mention other pumping features.
Marshall Monitor II ANC Problems and Errors
|Unable to pair with Bluetooth||Headphones are not in pairing mode.||Make sure the headphones are disconnected. Press and hold the control button for 4 seconds until the LED flashes blue. Select MONITOR II from the list of Bluetooth devices.|
|Headphones are connected by a cable of 3.5 mm.||Disconnect the 3.5 mm cable from the headphones before pairing via Bluetooth|
|ANC does not work||Headphones not included.||Press and hold the control button for 2 seconds to turn on the headphones.|
|ANC not included||Press the ANC button for 2 seconds to turn on the ANC. Briefly press the ANC button to switch between the ANC modes.|
|The ANC is set to low in the Marshall Bluetooth app.||Go to the Marshall Bluetooth app and set the ANC level in the ANC settings.|
|Phone finds 2 Monitor II devices||Monitor II ANC uses Bluetooth connectivity. One is for streaming audio, and the other is for power-saving Bluetooth connectivity.||This is normal behavior, no action required.|
|Headphones do not respond||A software error has occurred.||Perform a hardware reset. Press and hold the M-button while pressing the bottom of the control button.|
|If the problem persists, perform a factory reset.|