The Marshall Monitor over-ear headphones are an upgrade from the Marshall Major on-ear model we reviewed last year. The Monitors retail for $199 but you can find them for about $150 online. They're a great gift for the Marshall amp-loving guitarist in your life.
Zounds manufactures Marshall products under license, but they've done a great job of creating the kind of serious audio product that honors the Marshall name while adding some fun design elements. The audio cable coils like a guitar cable and the gold connections mimic guitar pickup plugs.
The outside of the ear cups have a similar texture to the black covering a Marshall amp head and the left and right spears are identified with gold badges riveted to the headband. Plus more coiled cable connecting the cups to the headband.
Both earpieces have a connector so you can connect the audio cable on whichever side you prefer. There's a microphone and controller on the cable. The controller lets you pause and play your music and answer/end phone calls but it doesn't have a volume control.
The ear pads connect to the speaks magnetically, which means you won't have to deal with pads that slip off. The novel feature here is the Felt Treble Filter, designed to take the edge off the high notes and reduced ear fatigue. They definitely work on that front but listeners who don't like the effect can easily take them out.
Unlike most manufactures, Zounds sells reasonably-priced parts. If you lost your ear cushions, monitor cable or felt pads, replacements are easily available from the Marshall headphones website.
The Monitors also come with a good quality black canvas carry back with a black Marshall logo printed on. It's not going to protect your headphones as well as a hard case, but it looks great and provides some protection when you throw your headphones into a suitcase or backpack.
Are there headphones of equal or greater quality for the same money (or even a little less)? Sure. But part of the appeal here is the design. True Marshall lovers might buy everything from sneakers to wallets to umbrellas if they came with a Marshall logo. For those people, these headphones are a real winner.