Marshall MID ANC Wireless Headphones Review

Updated Apr 17, 2018 at 06:21 pm
Marshall MID ANC Wireless Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
7.2
Mixed Usage
7.8
Neutral Sound
7.3
Commute/Travel
7.4
Sports/Fitness
6.9
Office
5.6
Wireless Gaming
7.2
Wired Gaming
6.4
Phone Call
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.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

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.

7.8 Neutral Sound

Good for neutral 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 neutral listeners. On the upside, they sound good enough for most.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
7.3 Commute/Travel

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.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
7.4 Sports/Fitness

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.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.9 Office

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.

See our Office recommendations
5.6 Wireless Gaming

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.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
7.2 Wired Gaming
6.4 Phone Call
  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Neutral Sound
  • 7.3 Commute/Travel
  • 7.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.9 Office
  • 5.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.2 Wired Gaming
  • 6.4 Phone Call
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
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

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
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
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
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Great
Feedback Great
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling 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
Design
Breathability
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
Design
Portability
L 4.3 "
W 5 "
H 2.1 "
Volume 45 Cu. Inches
Transmitter 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
Design
Case
Type Soft case
L 5 "
W 5.9 "
H 3 "
Volume 90 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
Design
Build Quality

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
Design
Stability

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.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.63 db
Treble Amount
1.41 db
8.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.61 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
0.83 dB
Mid-Bass
0.74 dB
High-Bass
-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
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.89 dB
Low-Mid
-1.72 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.14 dB
High-Mid
-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
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.57 dB
Low-Treble
1.77 dB
Mid-Treble
-0.73 dB
High-Treble
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.

7.7
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.38 db
Dips
1.37 db
8.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.65
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.75
Weighted Phase Mismatch
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.

4.5
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.77 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.31 dB
PRTF Distance
7.71 dB
Openness
3.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.6

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.

7.4
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.264
WHD @ 100
0.198
Isolation
6.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-16.31 dB
Bass
-8.35 dB
Mid
-16.1 dB
Treble
-25.23 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. If you want a better isolating pair of on-ears, check out the Beats Solo Pro, although they won't be as comfortable.

6.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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.

Microphone
6.0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
223.03 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
5.53 dB
HFE
3517.32 Hz
Weighted THD
9.8
Gain
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
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
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.

Active Features
7.7
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
17 hrs
Additional Charges
0
Total Battery Life
17 hrs
Charge Time
2.4 hrs
Power Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

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
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

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

Connectivity
7.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line of Sight Range
168 ft
Default Latency
165 ms
aptX Latency
140 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

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 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.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
0 ms

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.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
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.

In the box
In the box

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

Compared to other Headphones

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.

Marshall Major 2/Major II
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

AKG N60NC Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Solo Pro Wireless and the Marshall MID ANC Wireless are two decent pairs of on-ear headphones. The Beats Solo Pro have a noticeably better ANC feature that blocks out more noise and have a longer battery life on a single charge. On the other hand, the MID ANC have a more comfortable fit and they can be used wired, even if the battery is dead.

Grado GW100 Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

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.

Marshall MID ANC Wireless Price

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