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.
They come with two cables: a 1/8" TRRS audio cable with an in-line remote and a USB charging cable.
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. These noise-canceling on-ears like the AKG N60NC Wireless 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 (see our recommendations for the best on-ear wireless headphones). 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. See our recommendations for the best headphones for bass.
If you want the convenience of a wireless and wired design, then go for the Marshall MID ANC. However, if you only need a wired headset at a budget price, then go for the Marshall Major II instead. The MID ANC are wireless and also noise canceling, which makes them a more versatile everyday option than the Major II. They also have 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.
If sound quality and comfort are the most important criteria for you, the Marshall MID ANC are better headphones than the AKG N60NC Wireless. They have great audio reproduction, and their control scheme offers great feedback and is easy to use. They are also slightly better built and feel like more premium headphones than the AKGs. On the other hand, the N60NC have a better noise cancelling performance and can also connect to two devices simultaneously.
The Marshall MID ANC are better headphones than the Grado GW100. They are significantly better-built headphones and have an amazing audio reproduction. They also have a decent ANC feature to isolate background noise. On the other hand, they don’t have the openness of the Grados because of their closed-back design. The Marshalls offer a much better value and are more versatile thanks to their design. They're also noise cancelling and sound more neutral.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.