The Marshall Major V aren't going to blow you away sonically, but a charge will last you for days

All in the name.

Marshall Major V
(Image: © Future)

iMore Verdict

The Marshall Major V are light and comfortable, and while they won’t win any sound competitions, they’re going to last you through days of listening with 100+ hours of battery life.


  • +

    Incredible battery life

  • +

    Useful ‘Marshall’ button

  • +

    Very light

  • +



  • -

    On-ear design means that the whole bus can hear your tunes

  • -

    They don’t sound amazing

  • -

    No carrying case or bag in the box

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There are three things that are most important to me when I pick up and try a pair of headphones — sound quality, comfort, and battery life. If a pair of headphones excels at any one of those without compromising the other two, then you’re onto a winner.

Enter, then, the Marshall Major V, a headphone that bears the marque of one of the world's most well-known guitar amp manufacturers in all of music-dom. They are a relatively inexpensive addition to the Marshall lineup, and they boast one thing that might well raise them above their otherwise fairly mediocre feature set: Some of the best battery life that you’ll find north of carrying a portable battery pack permanently attached to your headphones, Apple Vision Pro battery style.

Marshall Major V: Price and availability

Marshall Major V

(Image credit: Future)

The Major V are not what you might call cheap, but they’re not the most expensive headphones around. They’ll set you back £129/$149, and you can find them either on the Marshall website, or at the likes of Best Buy.

You are forgoing some features for the game-ending battery life for the price. There are options from Sony and Sennheiser for around the same price that also include noise canceling modes, amongst other things, and then slightly more expensive options that also have carrying cases to go with their more featured spec list. None of them, however, give you as much battery life as the Major V however — so that could well keep you firmly in the Marshall camp.

Marshall Major V: Build and fit

Marshall Major V

(Image credit: Future)

The headphones don’t feel expensive, but they do feel rugged and damage-proof. While very light at just 165g, they are made out of chunky-feeling plastic and feature metal adjustment rails for the earcups. The headband is lightly padded for some comfort, and it twists every which way without complaint to make them feel like they will be able to take some punishment. The black plastic shell is covered in the characteristic amp-like leather-alike coating on the outside of the earcups, and the remaining plastic has a pleasing matte finish.

The lightness and the thickness of the earcups make them very comfortable, although if you’re used to the more all-encompassing feeling of a pair of over-ears they might take a bit of getting used to. Rather than sitting around your ear, the Marshalls sit on top of them and pump the sound in from there. That means that their padding has to be very soft and deep, lest they damage the delicate cartilage of your ears.

Headbanging in them is all but entirely impossible, and the slightest introduction of head movement sends them flying into the wall, floor, or nearest screen. They’re not going to fall off with regular wear, but those prone to regular bouts of uninhibited musical movement might be better served with something that fits a little more snuggly.

Marshall Major V: Features

Marshall Major V

(Image credit: Future)

For the price that you pay, the Major V aren’t as fully featured as you might expect. There’s no noise canceling, no adaptive noise control modes, no transparency modes, no ‘reads the interior of your ear for the best sound possible’. They are, with some extras, just a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones that play music.

They can connect to the Marshall app to activate the few features they do have. There’s the Marshall button on the left earcup, and the app lets you change what it does. You can configure it to activate Spotify Tap, or you can change the EQ through some presets. The third option is to activate your voice assistant — in the case of iPhone users, that’ll be Siri. It’s a useful extra button to have, especially if you like hopping between sound presets.

The app also lets you change the sound EQ with a custom equalizer so that you can dial in the sound just how you like it. This is, obviously, limited by the sound hardware in the headphones themselves, but it’s a nice bonus. Beyond that, the app won’t do much but update the software when a new version comes out.

On the headphones themselves, you’ll find a gold rocker switch, which clicks in to turn them on and off and pause your tunes, and then up and down for volume, and left and right for skip forwards and backward. Physical controls are always a boon in my book, and the subtle click of the switch doesn’t permeate through the headset like some of the clunkier controls out there.

Finally, that 100-hour battery life is going to be the best feature for most people who are considering these headphones beyond just ‘wow, cool rock and roll headphones dude’. And that battery life is wicked. Ignoring a couple of the shortcomings of the Major V, the battery life could well be exactly what you’ve been looking for if you’ve ever popped your headphones on for the commute, only for them to die halfway through the train journey. I’ve been using the headphones for about a week, and I’ve not had to charge them once. Admittedly, I have other headphones that I use on occasion and others that I’m testing, but those have all had multiple charges over their use.

Marshall Major V: Sound Quality

Marshall Major V

(Image credit: Future)

This is where the Major V trip up — at least, in my testing. In as few words as possible, the Major V are an excitable pair of headphones that unfortunately leave you feeling left out of the music, as it happens too far away from your ears.

There’s a tangible distance between your hearing bits and the drivers in the headphones, mostly due to the nature of the thicker pads that come with a pair of on-ear headphones. Usually, this would serve to make the soundscape wider, but here it means that crucial bits of the music are lost to the outside world, and absorbed by the ear cushions. Not only does this mean that music feels like it’s happening in the next room over rather than the space you’re in, but it means that the music leaks out to everyone around you so that they can clearly hear the contents of your ‘80s pop classic bangers’ whether they want to or not.

As for the sound itself, it’s mostly fine. There’s some bass to be snapped up if the music allows and a wide mid-range. High frequencies are clear, but they might just be lost to the restrictively thick earcups. For most listeners, they’re going to be a lot of fun, but if you pay attention to the kind of sound your headphones can pump out, you might find them slightly lacking.

Slowdive’s ‘Alison’ is a mystifying soundscape, although the cymbals and the drums are lost in the distance. The vocals are clear, however, and if you crank it loud enough you’ll get all the sadness you really need from the 90s depression rockers.

BabyMetal’s ‘METAL KINGDOM’ starts their latest album off with a bang, but the Major V struggle to give the impact it really needs. It’s all because it sounds like it's coming from miles away — the drums are dulled, the guitars nulled, and while the vocals manage to break through, they are alone in a sea of audio mess.

Marshall Major V: Competition

1More Sonoflow

(Image credit: Tammy Rogers/ iMore)

At this price, you’d expect things like noise-canceling — although if you want Marshall over-head headphones with noise canceling, you’ll have to opt for the over-ear Monitor II. Those cost a whole £130/$200 more than these ones, so you’ll want to look outside of the Marshall stable.

If you shop around, however, there are some excellent options out there that give you better sound and more features. The 1More Sonoflow, for example, are under $100 and have a case, noise canceling, and more for a whole lot less money.

If, however, you want the best battery life you’ll find in a pair of wireless headphones above all other considerations, then the Major V might just be the headphones you’ve been looking for.

Marshall Major V: Should you buy them?

You should buy it if…

  • You want the best battery life bar none
  • You like over-ear headphones
  • You want something that feels like it will take a beating

You shouldn’t buy it if…

  • You like your music to sound good
  • You don’t like on-ear headphones
  • You don’t want to spend over $100

Marshall Major V: Verdict

Marshall Major V

(Image credit: Future)

The Marshall Major V are not the best-sounding headphones, and they fail to pack a punch in some of the features that you might expect even at their slightly lower cost like noise canceling. They do have one big standout feature in the form of their monstrous battery life, however, which might pull you in with their retro-cool vibe.

The end result is a pair of headphones that aren’t bad — anything with 100 hours battery life, no matter the sound quality, is worth a look — but that aren’t particularly good either. For me, it’s ‘what’s the point of long battery life if you don’t enjoy listening to them?’ but to some, it won’t matter how they sound, only that they won’t have to charge them up all the time. And if that’s you, then these could well be your next pair of headphones.

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.