We’re fans of Marshall here at SPY, long-time lovers of their audio products from Mode II all the way through to their latest release, the Minor III. The brand is known for its attention to quality sound and stylish branding. So we jumped at the chance to review their latest, entry-level offering, the Minor III. Marshall was kind enough to send us a pair for review.
Our thoughts below.
Marshall Minor III Earbuds: What We Liked
You’ll notice right away the Minor III looks pretty similar to another popular style of earbuds. The Minor IIIs are definitely meant to evoke feelings of AirPods when you look at them, down to the shape of the buds themselves and even the case. The stick design will certainly be recognizable to most, but the ubiquitous nature of this specific style is pretty commonplace nowadays. Overall, the case and the earbuds themselves are small, which means they won’t take up too much space in your pocket or bag.
As with all Marshall products, the case and the buds have a faux-pebble grain appearance, which gives some good texture to both. The sleek black design and textured ends of the earbuds do make them stand apart from AirPods, however. Included on the Minor III is an IP4 rating (the same as the AirPods Pro) that ensures sweat and water resistance. The case includes IPX3 protection, which is pretty atypical for earbud cases.
The buds themselves fit me pretty well (more on that in a bit), and I had no issue with them falling out during a 5K run, where they provided plenty of great audio. Marshall always nails their sound quality, and the Minor III doesn’t disappoint. The booming barks of DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” in particular gave me the energy I needed to push myself through the last half mile. On the other side of the musical spectrum, the electric tones of Tame Impala’s “Let It Happen” sounded equally as rich. Plus, the touch controls embedded in the buds themselves worked extremely well. Oh, and you can charge the case pretty quickly, thanks to the Qi-enabled functionality.
Marshall Minor III Earbuds: What We Didn’t Like
While it wasn’t an issue with me, I’ve read repeated reviews that mentioned the stem design of the Minor III caused the earbuds to fall out. It’s a problem that’s been well-charted with AirPods, so it’s worth mentioning here that those who have suffered the same fate will likely see this with the Minor III.
Those looking for any digital assistant will need to look elsewhere though, as the Minor III does not include this functionality. This doesn’t matter so much to me, as I’ve been using the earbuds as my go-to for running and working out where Siri isn’t a huge need, but the fact it’s not included on a set of earbuds released in 2021 is a bit strange — especially at this price. The cost is something else buyers will likely have to reckon with, as the $129 tag will likely be a barrier to entry, even with the strong sound quality. Oh, and you can’t do any EQ on the Minor IIIs as well. It’s a move meant to make the use of the earbuds simple and streamlined, but audiophiles may want that feature back.
The Verdict: The Marshall Minor III Earbuds Are Pretty Good but Left Us Wanting More
The Minor IIIs are great if you’re focused on audio first and foremost but might be a little more disappointing if you’re looking for a bevy of features to round out that package. The price complicates this relationship, as the tag indicates buyers will be playing for a higher-end product and might be let down accordingly. There’s plenty to like about the Minor IIIs but also a few things that may be a dealbreaker in the long run.