Marshall Headphones is mounting an encore performance with Major III, the third incarnation of its eight-year-old on-the-ear headphone line.
The company, a unit of Sweden’s Zound Industries, which licenses the brand and signature design elements from the iconic guitar amp manufacturer, describes Major as its best-selling Marshall headphone, having moved more than 2 million units since 2010.
Today the company is updating the line with two new models, with wired and wireless connections. Both feature new, carefully tuned 40mm dynamic drivers for a clearer, more defined sound, Zound said, with a frequency response of 20Hz–20kHZ.
Up top, a new straight-fit headband has been re-engineered with slimmed down 3D hinges and thicker loop wires with reinforced rubber dampers, while the ear cushions have been redesigned for comfortable all-day use.
Both the outer headband and ear cups feature a faux-leather vinyl suggestive of the music amps’ casing, and the cups carry Marshall founder Jim Marshall’s signature signature.
The wireless model (suggested retail $150) provides Bluetooth AptX and 30 hours of playtime on a single charge. The corded version (actually both come with cords) is priced to retail for $79, $40 below its predecessor.
Initial retailers on board for the Major III include Amazon, BestBuy.com and Crutchfield.
In light of the launch, suggested retails for the previous generation Major II models have been reduced from $119 to $49 for the wired version and from $149 to $79 for the Bluetooth unit.
Leveraging the brand’s musical heritage, Marshall Headphones introduced the new cans to the trade last month in New York with performances by alternative female-fronted bands Deap Vally and Sunflower Bean, and hosted an exhibition on the Riot Grrrl movement.
Marshall Amplification itself was born out of Jim Marshall’s London drum shop in the early 1960s, where soon-to-be rock legends Pete Townshend and Ritchie Blackmore urged him to make guitar amps with an added richness and oomph that would become the brand’s signature “crunch” sound.
Marshall Headphones parent Zound Industries also markets the Urbanears line of headphones and speakers.