A pair of noise-canceling headphones as stylish, well-made, and comfortable as Marshall’s new Monitor II Active Noise Canceling over-the-ear headphones couldn’t have come at a better time. With so many of us now working from home, A.N.C. headphones are a balm for our souls, allowing for much needed moments of solace and relief from the world outside . They’re so good, in fact, that we here at SPY just added them to our ongoing list of the best noise-canceling headphones. But what makes them pop?
The thing that immediately stands out is their retro-inspired design. The textured, pebbled caps evoke the feeling of the music company’s history with producing quality amplifiers. That design doesn’t come at the expense of comfort, as an ergonomic build allows for long-lasting comfort; the earpads themselves have a slight square to them which allows for them to sit sturdily — yet gently — on your ears for the duration of its staggering 30 hours of battery life. That design also allows for the headphones to seal over your ears nicely to bolster the noise-canceling ability.
Looks aren’t everything, however, so for many the headphones will only be as good as their quality. Luckily, that’s not an issue here; The 40 mm audio drivers included in the headphones allow for a premium level of audio quality that provides clear and crisp balanced playback no matter the genre of music. Furthermore, the active noise canceling is on par with other top-tier headphones like Sony’s XM3s or the Bose 700, as the Monitor II dynamically adapts to ambient noise and actively filters it out to keep your music experience uninterrupted. And with options to connect them via Bluetooth or by an audio jack, you can listen to them in variety of different ways.
Marshall has been a household name for decades now because of their dedication to, above all else, music. That thought and dedication are immediately present in the Monitor IIs, proving the brand is just as capable as running with the other big dogs of the A.N.C. headphones market. Sure, they might not be a well-known threat in the headphones space, but the Monitor IIs have proven the audio brand is now an absolute contender. Underestimate them at your own peril.