Marshall Headphones’ Monitor II A.N.C headphones have arrived, as the brand best associated with guitar amps and rock ‘n’ roll continues its foray into the headphone hemisphere. The latest in Marshall’s lineup, the Monitor II A.N.C., are also the brand’s first over-ear active noise-canceling headphones.
Marshall unveiled the new headphones on Tuesday, hailing the Monitor II A.N.C. as the premium product of Marshall’s family. With a retail price of $319, the Monitor II A.N.C. come with several intriguing features, headlined by noise-canceling abilities and built-in support for Google Assistant.
For its own active noise cancellation, Marshall says it is utilizing technology that “continuously pinpoints and measures ambient noise” in order to block outside interferences. The headphones feature an ANC button, allowing listeners to toggle between active noise canceling, “Monitoring Mode,” or off.
The headphones also boast up to 30 hours of wireless playtime when using active noise canceling, and up to 45 hours without it. The Monitor II A.N.C. also boast quick charging for up to five hours of playtime on a 15-minute charge.
As with the previous Marshall Monitors, the new Marshall headphones will rely on 40mm dynamic drivers. The previous edition had powerful bass and a detailed upper register, albeit some occasional balance issues among the frequencies. We’ll have to wait until we get these over-ear headphones, well, over the ears before we can comment on what Marshall calls a “superior sound” with “bright and crisp highs, punchy mids and deep bass.”
Integrated into the Monitor II A.N.C. is Google Assistant, activated by pressing the M-Button on the headphones. Pulling up Google Assistant will let you access playlists, read text messages, or get directions without having to navigate to your phone.
Another physical feature of the headphones is a familiar one in the form of the company’s Multi-Directional Control Knob, which provides easy control over music playback and calling functions. Aside from the buttons and knobs, Marshall maintains the Rock ’n Roll aesthetic that’s not only featured prominently in the original Monitors but has been a longtime calling card of the brand itself.
The headphones also have a collapsible design, and come with a USB-C charging cable, a detachable 3.5mm cable, and a canvas carrying bag for storage. We’ll be bringing in the headphones soon, so we’ll let you know how they fare against top challengers in the ultra-competitive travel-headphone space like Sony’s WH-1000XM3 and the Bose 700.
How my noise-canceling headphones have become an anxiety-soothing silent escape
Ever wanted to close yourself off from the world around you? I used to have no interest in doing so, but the coronavirus pandemic and a long, mentally challenging lockdown in the U.K. at the end of 2020 made me feel very differently. I needed an escape, and I chose to use noise-canceling headphones to create my own Fortress of Solitude.
Once something I only really used to drown out the sound of loud conversations in a coffee shop or the drone of an airplane’s engine, active noise cancellation (ANC) created a wonderfully hushed idyllic space I still look forward to visiting.
How it started
It wasn’t until a resurgence of the coronavirus in the U.K., and the resulting lockdown between December 2020 until April 2021, that I found myself craving solitude. I’d moved into a new home a few months prior and everything was still relatively unfamiliar to me, which combined with a frightening public health situation and depressing winter weather, and further exasperated by noise from a new neighbor below me, left me feeling anxious, exposed, and vulnerable.
Bang & Olufsen’s latest headphones offer improved ANC and a 35-hour battery
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The Beoplay HX is the latest in the company's line of luxury wireless headphones. It follows the $499 Beoplay H9 and the more recent $800 Beoplay H95. The HX's key feature is an improved form of active noise cancellation (ANC), which B&O calls its "next generation of Digital Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation." The HX is equipped with four microphones for ANC, two of which are shared for voice calls.
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And just in case you're not obsessively paying attention to tech publications like Digital Trends, Marshall intends to make everyone aware of these new earbuds (plus its $319 Monitor II ANC and $149 Major IV wireless headphones) via a "Never Stop Listening" ad campaign featuring none other than veteran punk rocker Iggy Pop.