Marshall  - Marshall Major III Bluetooth


Marshall Major III Bluetooth headset: mixed developments

Aprox. 99€ - see price -

The Major is undoubtedly the most popular helmet from Marshall, and one of the few that has been able to boast of competing with Beats in terms of popularity. If, like his rival, his first models had not convinced us, Marshall (that is to say Zound Industries) has raised the bar, especially with the Major II Bluetooth. Let's discover together what the III has in store for us ...

Our review


Unlike those of all products in the latest Marshall range (including the Mid ANC), the logo of the Major III Bluetooth was not given a facelift. Why, we do not know, still it is that instead of adorning itself with the soft bronze shade, it remains confined to good old white plastic.

In accordance with the manufacturer's promises, the helmet design has been reworked, in a subtle but undeniable way. Marshall makes a definitive cross on the ovoid shape of the hoop so criticized and gratifies his newborn with considerably thicker pads. All this offers undoubtedly superior comfort to previous models: the support is very good, while avoiding the pincer effect thanks to the better distribution of the pressure on the skull and the softness of the pads. After five or six hours, however, a slight discomfort may be felt in the cartilage.

The distribution of commands has also been redesigned: the helmet is now fully controlled from the multifunction button, responsive and intuitive. A long press turns it on / off, a long press turns it on and activates Bluetooth pairing, the longitudinal axis (up / down) allows you to adjust the listening volume and the anteroposterior axis (front / back), to navigate between the tracks . Finally, a simple press allows you to take / reject calls and a double press invokes the personal assistant of your chapel.

Like that of the majority of wireless headsets, the hands-free kit of Major III Bluetooth fails to offer good intelligibility. The attenuation of the parasitic noises is not satisfactory, and the voice of the user suffers from this famous "underwater" effect, very close to a quantization noise.

We can also observe more surprising developments, such as the disappearance of metal rings that conveyed the spirit and aesthetics of the amp manufacturer. It turns out that the hinges have been completely modified to lighten and offer better ergonomics and longevity to the foldable helmet. By the way, the indication of the left / right channels is now soberly engraved on the imitation vinyl fabric, as is the logo under the arch which no longer spreads in flaming letters. Marshall promises increased durability of his helmet, the only promise that we can not verify during a test, but it must be said that over the years, we have already noticed very little deterioration on previous models.

The supra is accompanied by a twisted cable in the event of a battery failure as well as a micro-USB charging cable, with connectors always screened. In terms of autonomy, the Major III Bluetooth is worthy of its august lineage by ensuring more than thirty hours of wireless music on a single charge (38 hours at 75% of maximum volume).



It's not just the design of the Major that changes: Marshall also equips its latest model with new "optimized" transducers promising a crystal-clear sound, better defined, with improved low frequency power - in short, a V signature.

And V signature there is! This is almost a 180 ° turn for Marshall, whose headsets were known on the contrary to highlight (sometimes too much) the midrange. As always, the frequency response curve announced is fully in line with the results of our measurements: flattered bass, low mid / low midrange, then high backward midrange. While the previous models gave pride of place to the frequency range between 1 and 2 kHz, it is now that between 2 and 5 kHz that gives voice, or rather cymbal. Unlike Marshall, we would not call this rendering "crystalline" (as a Sony or an Audio-Technica can be), but rather "pinched", even slightly garish. Fortunately, it flirts with shine, certainly, but never becomes truly aggressive and spares our eardrums the joys of sibilance. On the other hand, all the breaths, the "ch", "f", "s" are propelled to the front of the stage, impossible to ignore.

That being said, the bass, despite a certain roundness, is well controlled, surprisingly clean and dynamic on the attacks. The mediums, although in retreat, are in no way relegated to the last row and remain perfectly intelligible. The precision is rather good in the bass and treble, less convincing in the mid / high mids, especially on sources mixed in the background, or when the instrumentation is particularly rich.

The explanation is also on the side of the harmonic distortion rate, exemplary throughout the spectrum except around 4 kHz (in Bluetooth), where it gets carried away a little. The stereophonic scene is quite ample and clearly detailed, helped by an excellent separation of the left / right channels, in Bluetooth as in wire. The power in Bluetooth is astounding: at maximum volume, the Major III Bluetooth only requires 70 mV (against 100 to 150 usually) to reach 94 dB SPL in our model's ears.

Latency is finally measured at 140 ms, a value quite average but too high for us to watch videos without perceiving the difference between image and sound. To remedy this, we recommend using software to adjust this offset (such as VLC), or to switch to wired listening.



Many elements have been redesigned by Marshall since the Major II Bluetooth - some to the advantage of Major III, like comfort, others more questionable, like the new transducers. In addition, we find the rock'n roll aesthetic, the excellent autonomy and the complete and intuitive management of orders. The III and II therefore each make valid arguments, which will give advantage to one or the other depending on the needs and expectations of the user.