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