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Reviewed on Apr 17, 2018 , Marc Henney, Yannick Khong

Marshall MID ANC
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.0
Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.6
Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.0
Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.2
Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.1
Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.0
Home Theater
Score components:
5.7
Gaming
Score components:
Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Marshall MID ANC are good-sounding, mixed usage on-ear headphones with an efficient control scheme. They are lightweight yet durable, and have a good battery life and a great wireless range. They're also noise-canceling headphones which should be good enough for public transit. However, their ANC is a bit weak compared to other noise canceling models and their on-ear design is not as comfortable for all listeners.

Test Results
Design 7.2
Sound 7.7
Isolation 6.4
Microphone 6.1
Active Features 6.3
Connectivity 6.5
Pros
  • Efficient and easy-to-use control scheme
  • Lightweight and decently durable design
  • Good audio reproduction
Cons
  • Mediocre noise canceling
  • A bit bright on treble-heavy tracks

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7.2

Design

Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Design Picture

The Marshall MID ANC are great looking on-ears with a better design than the Marshall Major II. They have the iconic Marshall aesthetic, with small square-ish ear cups and a low profile metal headband that's flexible and feels durable. They're lightweight, decently comfortable, stable, and breathable enough to jog with. They also have a unique yet efficient control scheme and come with a good soft case to carry them in. However, they're not the most compact on-ears even if they fold and although sturdy, their build quality doesn't quite feel as well-made as the Beats Solo3 Wireless or the Bose SoundLink On-Ear. The ear cup pads also feel a bit cheaper than the rest of the design.

Style
Marshall MID ANC Design Picture 2

The Marshall MID ANC are fairly stylish-looking on-ears. They look and feel more premium than the Marshall Major II but keep the same Marshall design language with a rugged textured coating on the ear cups reminiscent of Marshall guitar amps. They have small square-ish earcups that do not protrude much, and a low-profile headband that fits well the contour of your head. They also have a few golden accents for the branding logos and the control knob, which creates a great-looking contrast and make the headphones look a bit more high-end. They only come in a black color scheme for now, but the understated look will work for most.

7.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Marshall MID ANC Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
1.1 lbs

The Marshall MID ANC are decently comfortable headphones. They are not as tight on the head as some of the other on-ears we've tested like the Solo3 Wireless. They're lightweight and decently well-padded, especially the headband. Unfortunately, the ear cup pads are not as soft as the Bose SoundLink On-Ear or the Skullcandy Grind. Also like most on-ears, they do clamp your ears a bit which is slightly more noticeable when wearing glasses. It can get a bit fatiguing during long listening sessions, but they're comfortable enough for most listeners.

7.6 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Marshall MID ANC Controls Picture
Ease of use : Great
Feedback : Great
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through : No
Additional Buttons : N/A

These headphones have a good control scheme that's easy-to-use and efficient. They have a multi-directional control knob on the left ear cup that's responsive and tactile, so you know exactly when you've triggered a function. Flicking the knob up and down changes volume levels, and left/right skip and rewind tracks. Pressing directly on the knob pauses and plays tracks while holding it down will switch the headphones On or Off and also enables the Bluetooth pairing mode. They also have a noise canceling switch on the right ear cup to enable and disable their ANC. It's one of the better control schemes for any wireless Bluetooth headset we've tested, and you also get a lot of auditory feedback. However, the layout is a bit cramped and may not be as intuitive as the original Plantronics Backbeat Pro or the BackBeat Pro 2. They also lack a talk-through/ambient mode for their noise canceling.

7.5 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 3 C

The Marshall MID ANC are breathable headphones. Your outer-ear remains relatively cool, and since they are on-ears, they do not obstruct as much airflow as some of the closed-back over-ear models we've tested. They will not make you sweat more than average during casual listening sessions but won't be as good as in-ears when working out and exercising.

6.8 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Portability Picture
L : 4.3 "
W : 5 "
H : 2.1 "
Volume : 45 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The MID ANC are decently portable headphones but won't fit in any pockets. They fold into a more compact format and come with a pretty great soft case, so you can easily put them in your bag. Unfortunately, they're still a little too large and cumbersome to comfortably carry around on your person if you don't have a bag or backpack.

7.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Marshall MID ANC Case Picture
Type : Soft case
L : 5 "
W : 5.9 "
H : 3 "
Volume : Cu. Inches

These headphones come with a premium looking soft case that will shield them against scratches and mild impacts. However, since it is a soft case, it doesn't offer as much protection as a hard case against drops and water damage. On the upside, it doesn't add much bulk to the headphones, and the soft case is collapsible to save space.

7.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Marshall MID ANC Build Quality Picture

The Marshall MID ANC have a good build quality that feels decently durable. They're lightweight and have a metal headband that's flexible yet sturdy enough that you won't worry much if you accidentally drop the headphones once or twice. The ear cups also feel decently dense but their padding doesn't feel or look as premium as the pad on the headband. Also since they fold, they have a few more susceptible joints than the Skullcandy Grind, but the hinges are well made and feel durable enough to last you a while.

7.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Marshall MID ANC Stability Picture

These headphones are stable enough to jog with but won't be the ideal option for more intense exercises. They're not as tight on the head as the Solo3 Wireless so they will slide from time to time when tilting your head. However they're wireless so they won't get yanked off your ears because the audio cable got hooked on something. They also have a fairly low profile headband and lightweight ear cups so they do not sway as much as some over-ears when shaking your head side to side.

Cable
Marshall MID ANC Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

They come with two cables: a 1/8" TRRS audio cable with an in-line remote and a USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.7

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Marshall MID ANC Frequency Response

The Marshall MID ANC is a good sounding pair of closed-back on-ear headphones. They have an excellent, well-balanced, extended, and consistent bass, a flat and even mid-range, and a good treble. This makes them a very versatile pair of headphones, suitable for a wide range of genres from EDM and Hip-hop, to rock, indie/folk, and audiobooks. However, their mid-range is a tad recessed, underemphasizing vocals and lead instruments a bit, and their treble is noticeably bright, which could sound a bit too sharp on overly bright tracks. Additionally, they have elevated amounts of harmonic distortion, and like most other headphones, don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

9.6 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.61 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.83 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.74 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.08 dB

The bass of the MID ANC is excellent. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, and low-bass is within 1dB of our neutral target. This means that the Marshall have a deep and extended bass, with just the right amount of thump and rumble, making them suitable for bass-heavy genres like EDM, Hip-hop and film scores. Mid-bass and high-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars, punch of the kick drums, and warmth of the vocals, are also quite flat and within 1dB of our target.

8.6 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.89 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.72 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.14 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.34 dB

The MID ANC has a great mid-range performance. The overall response is flat and even, indicating a clear and well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. However, their mid-range is consistently recessed and underemphasized by about 1.5dB. This nudges vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix, by giving more emphasis to the bass and treble ranges.

7.9 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.57 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.77 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.73 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.58 dB

The treble performance of the MID ANC is good, but a bit uneven throughout the range. There are some dips present, but treble range overall is rather overemphasized and bright sounding. This is especially noticeable around 4KHz and 7KHz, which brings excessive emphasis to vocals and leads and could make S and Ts a bit sharp and piercing on overly bright tracks.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
8.6 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Consistency L Marshall MID ANC Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.28 dB

The frequency response consistency of the MID ANC is great. In the bass range, there is barely any variance across our five human subjects, even for the one who wears glasses. In the treble range, below 10KHz, the maximum deviation is less than 2dB, which is also very good. This means that the Marshal will have a consistent bass and treble delivery across multiple users and re-seats.

8.0 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Marshall MID ANC Group Delay Marshall MID ANC Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.65
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.75
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
15.71

The MID ANC has a very good imaging performance. Their weighted group delay is at 0.23, which is within good limits. The GD graph also shows that their group delay never crosses the audibility threshold. This indicates a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. In terms of driver matching, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in amplitude and frequency response, ensuring accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, and video game effects) in the stereo image. But we measured a significant mismatch in their phase response. This could make the stereo image a bit weak in the higher frequencies and give the sense that a hole is in the middle of the stereo field.

4.7 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Marshall MID ANC PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.77 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.31 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
7.71 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.6
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the MID ANC is sub-par. Like most other on-ear headphones, the Marshall don't interact with the pinna that much, and therefore, don't activate its resonances like a loudspeaker does. This can also be seen in the PRTF graph, where there's basically no activation below 5KHz, and there is no "10KHz notch" present either. This suggests that their soundstage will be perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head, as opposed to in-front. The closed-back design of these headphones also means that their soundstage won't sound as open and spacious compared to that of open-back headphones.

6.2 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
13.625
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
45.396

The harmonic distortion performance of the MID ANC is mediocre. The overall amount of THD in the bass range is above-average, even under heavier loads. However, the mid and treble ranges show elevated amounts of THD, which could make the sound of those frequencies a bit harsh and brittle, especially on vocals and cymbals.

6.4

Isolation

Score components:

The Marshall MID ANC's noise cancellation is okay but not as strong as some of the other noise-canceling headphones we've tested. They're are able to block some low-frequency noise, so the rumbling sound of an engine won't easily seep into your audio. However, it won't be enough for loud environments so they won't be the ideal choice for commuting or traveling. You can mask some of the ambient noise and chatter by playing your music a little louder, but they also leak a bit at high volumes so they may distract those around you.

6.2 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-16.31 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-8.35 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-16.1 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-25.23 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
20.49 dB

The isolation of MID ANC is below-average. With active noise cancellation (ANC) enabled, they reduce outside noise in the bass range by about 8dB, which is mediocre for cancelling out the rumble of bus and airplane engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking speech, they achieved 16dB of isolation which is good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they reduce outside noise by more than 25dB, which is above-average.

6.9 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
40.35 dB

The Marshall MID ANC have a decent leakage performance. The significant portion of their leakage is spread from 1KHz to 5KHz, which is a relatively narrow range and will mostly consist of speech, leads, and cymbals. The overall level of the leakage is not very loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away will average around 40dB SPL and peaks at 53dB SPL, which is the same as the noise floor of most offices.

6.1

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The Marshall MID ANC have a mediocre integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded with this mic will sound relatively thin and noticeably muffled and lacking in detail, but it will still be relatively easy to understand. In noisy situations, however, they will struggle to separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud environments, like a busy street. However, using the in-line microphone on the audio cable should provide a better recording quality.

6.1 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
223.03 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
5.53 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3517.32 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
9.8
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
11.47 dB

The recording quality of the MID ANC's microphone is mediocre. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 223Hz suggests that speech recorded with this mic will sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.5KHz indicates a speech that sounds noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. The response between the LFE and HFE is quite uneven which negatively affects the quality of speech. However, it'll still be decently understandable in quiet environments, since speech intelligibility mostly depends on the 500Hz-4KHz range.

6.1 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Marshall MID ANC SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
13.59 dB

The Marshall MID ANC's integrated microphone is mediocre at noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 14dB, indicating that this microphone is best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud environments.

6.3

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Marshall MID ANC have a decent battery life of 17 hours but no app support. They should easily last you a whole day even if you're a heavy user, but their lack of an auto-off timer means their battery will continue to drain when inactive if they're still connected to your Bluetooth source. They also take quite a bit of time to charge and have no customization options since they do not have an app. On the upside, you can squeeze a bit more battery life if you switch off the ANC when you do not need it.

7.0 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
17 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2.4 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

These headphones have a good battery life of 17 hours when Bluetooth and ANC are enabled but last much longer if you use just the ANC or just Bluetooth. Unfortunately, they take quite a bit of time to charge and do not automatically turn off when inactive. This means if you forget to switch them off, the battery will continue to drain as long as they are paired to a device which is a little disappointing.

0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones do not have a dedicated app for added customization options.

6.5

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Marshall MID ANC do not have simultaneous multi-device pairing or NFC support. On the upside, they have a good wireless range, and they come with a versatile cable that has an in-line mic compatible with most consoles. Unfortunately, like most Bluetooth headphones they have a bit too much latency for watching movies and gaming.

6.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.0
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

They connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, they can't pair simultaneously with multiple devices and do not have NFC support. On the upside, they're fairly easy to pair thanks to their great control scheme.

9.1 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone

The Marshall MID ANC comes with a non-OS-specific audio cable with an in-line remote microphone that's compatible with the PS4 and the Xbox One. This gives them a secondary connection option in case you do not want to use Bluetooth.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7.

8.4 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
42 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
168 ft

The MID ANC have a great wireless range. They reached up to 42ft when the Bluetooth source was obstructed and almost 168ft in direct line-of-sight. This should be more than enough for most use cases and office environments, making them a decent option if you have a fixed source like a TV or PC.

4.1 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
165 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
140 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The Marshall MID ANC perform a bit better than most Bluetooth headsets (with no low latency codecs) at 165ms and 140ms with aptX enabled. Unfortunately, it's still a bit too much latency for gaming and watching movies.

In the box

Marshall MID ANC In the box Picture

  • Marshall MID ANC Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manuals
  • Carrying case

Compared to other Headphones

Marshall MID ANC Compare Picture

The Marshall MID ANC are decently versatile headphones with a well-balanced sound. They are one of the best sounding on-ears we've tested, and they have a decently durable design with great aesthetics. They also have a great control scheme that's easy to use, a good wireless range, and a decently long battery life. Unfortunately, their noise canceling feature is not as good as some of the other noise-canceling headphones we've tested, and they're not as comfortable as some of the competing on-ears below.

Marshall Major II

If you wan't the convenince of a wireless an wired design then go for the Marshall MID ANC however if you only need a wired headset at a budget price than go for the Marshall Major II instead. The MID ANC are wireless and also noise cancelling which makes them a more versatile every day option than the Major II. They also have a better balanced sound quality and come with a cable so you can use them passively if the battery dies. On the other hand the Major II are completely passive so you do not have to worry about a battery in the first place. They also have a slightly more compact design but do not look or feel as premium as the MID ANC.

JBL E45BT

The JBL E45BT are decent wireless headphones for most use cases. They have a better range and battery life than the Marshall MID ANC but do not sound as well-balanced and are not noise canceling. This makes them a bit worse for commuting and traveling so if you're looking for a compact on-ear for your daily commutes that's still versatile enough for most use cases, then the Marshall Mid ANC are the better choice.

Beats Solo3 Wireless

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are the most up-to-date version of the wireless on-ear design by Beats. They deliver a decent sound quality but are not as well-balanced as the Marshall MID ANC, although, they do perform a bit better in the treble range. On the upside, they have a much greater range and battery life than the MID ANC, especially with their quick charge feature that gives them a lot of playtime from a 5 to 10-minute charge. They also have a bit more features on iOS devices thanks to the W1 chip so if you're an iOS user and you have the budget, then the Solo3 Wireless would be the better option but the Marshall MID ANC are also a great choice.

Bose SoundLink On-Ear

The Bose SoundLink On-Ear are decent mixed usage headphones and one of the most comfortable on-ears we've tested. They sound as good as the Marshall MID ANC and are not as bright on treble-heavy tracks. However, they do not have as much low-bass and they are not active noise canceling headphones. This means they will struggle a bit more in loud environments than the MID ANC, but if you like the compact format of on-ears and don't typically find them comfortable, then the Bose are a good option. 

Conclusion

7.0Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Decent for mixed-usage. The Marshall MID ANC have a good battery life, great wireless range, and a good sound. They have a better build quality than the Marshall Major II and they're a decent option for most use cases. Unfortunately, like most Bluetooth headphones, they have a bit too much latency for gaming and their on-ear fit is not the most comfortable for all listeners, especially if you wear glasses.
7.6Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. They have a well-balanced audio reproduction that packs a good amount of bass and isn't too forward or recessed with instruments and vocals. However, they can sound a bit bright on treble-heavy tracks and their small ear cups and closed-back design doesn't create the best soundstage for more critical listeners. On the upside, they sound good enough for most.
7.0Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Above-average for commuting. They're lightweight, easy-to-use, and decently portable. Also, although their noise cancellation isn't the strongest it should be good enough for public transit especially if you're playing your music at higher than average volumes.
7.2Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Above-average for sports. They're lightweight, breathable and stable enough when jogging. Their wireless design also makes them less likely to fall and they have a great and efficient control scheme. However, they're not the most portable headphones and they will slide off your ears during more intense workout routines.
7.1Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Above-average for office use. They have a long battery life and a good sound for hours of continuous listening. However, their on-ear fit might not be the most comfortable for all listeners and they may let a bit of ambient noise and chatter seep into your audio because their ANC is not as strong. They also leak a bit at high volumes, so you may distract some of your colleagues in quieter conditions.
6.0Home Theater
Score components:
Mediocre for home theater use. They have a good sound and have a great wireless range, but a bit too much latency for watching movies and video content. They come with an audio cable which can alleviate some of the latency issues, but it's fairly short and won't be suitable for most home theater setups unless you have an extension cord.
5.7Gaming
Score components:
Sub-par for gaming. They have a bit too much latency, a mediocre integrated mic and no customization options. Also, they're not the most comfortable headphones to use for long gaming sessions but at least they come with a versatile audio cable with an in-line mic that is compatible with most console controllers and PCs.

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