The Marshall Minor III, the third version of the Minor earbuds, now offer True-Wireless technology, a long battery life and a quick-charging function. In terms of sound, they offer round bass, clearly pronounced mids and a restrained treble reproduction. This does not suit every type of music.
- Battery life
- Fast charging function
- Unbalanced sound
With the Marshall Minor III, the renowned British amplifier manufacturer Marshall adds some earbuds to their range that aim to impress with their Bluetooth as well as with their added True Wireless technology, in addition to other features. This represents a significant step forward when compared with the Minor II, which relied on a neck cable. Furthermore, the maximum operating time is now significantly longer than with the predecessor model. To find out whether the Marshall Minor III impressed us in more ways than just these few, read on for our practical review.
Marshall Minor III – package
In addition to the Marshall Minor III earbuds, a compact charging case is included in the package. The surface has the classic Tolex finish shared by Marshall amplifiers and speakers. A USB-C charging cable is also included. This has extremely generous anti-bend protectors, but at just under 20cm, it is pretty short. The enclosed written documentation includes a quick start guide.
Unlike numerous competing models, the Marshall Minor III do not come with additional pairs of ear moulds in different sizes. This is because these earphones are not placed in the ear canal but in front of it. Their ergonomic, open-fit design is said to fit all ears.
Marshall Minor III – construction and design
As befits a Marshall product, the matte black Minor IIIs feature gold trim, the curvy white Marshall M logo and a robust cross-ribbed grip on the stem. If you want to be more colourful, they are also available in cream or burgundy.
In terms of shape, we’re dealing with an Apple AirPods design. That means round earphones with a side sound port and a straight stem. Air outlets in the housing serve as a bass reflex output. Touch functions are available for playback control and telephony functions. They are triggered by touching the earbud casing. The touch control is switched off in the factory settings and has to be activated via the app.
Marshall Minor III – Technology and values
Inside, the Marshall Minor IIIs employ specially adapted 12mm drivers. They provide a frequency range that extends from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. This means they cover the entire range of typical human hearing. The maximum sound pressure level of 93 dBSPL is surprisingly much lower than that of version 2.
With a weight of four grams per earphone and 40 grams for the charging case, the Minor III hardly weigh anything at all. The headphones last for five hours before they need to be recharged. The charging case provides up to four charges. This gives the Minor III a maximum operating time of up to 25 hours. The case can be charged both via USB-C cable and wirelessly. A quick-charge function ensures 1.5 hours of playtime with only 15 minutes of charging time. The wireless connection uses Bluetooth 5.2 standard, including SBC and aptX codec and offers a wireless range of up to ten metres. The earbuds are rated IPX4 and are resistant to splashes of water, so nothing will prevent you from wearing them in the rain.
Marshall Minor III – Handling
The Marshall Minor III charging case is equipped with a small LED on the front that provides information about the battery status. If the case is not in the charging state, a small button can be pressed on its underside that causes the display to briefly light up red, orange or green for information.
The headphones fitted quite loosely in my ears. This made them comfortable to wear for a long time. However, I was worried that the earphones would fall out of my ears when I moved my head. The earbuds use a proximity sensor to start and pause audio playback when they are inserted or removed from your ears.
The touch functions for operation are housed in both earbuds. This means that the full range of functions can be used even if only one of the earbuds is in use. The controls can only manage up to three commands, so it doesn’t take long to train yourself to use them. This functions flawlessly. A free downloadable Marshall Bluetooth App is available that enables you to customise the sound of the headphones. It offers an equaliser and the option to download firmware updates.
How do the Marshall Minor III sound?
The Marshall Minor IIIs have rounded bass and full lower mids in the factory settings. There are also very restrained highs over pronounced upper mids. I was not convinced by the sound quality but the app promised a remedy. Once I went beyond the factory settings, I was able to elicit a sound from the Minor III that might not have intoxicated and inspired me but at least satisfied me. The equaliser’s seven pre-sets didn’t help me, but the options to adjust the EQ individually did. The sound of the Minor III was at its best, with the treble turned way up and the mid-range tamed. The playback dynamics of these earbuds were characterised by soft transients.
Measured by their technical values, these headphones are powerfully pitched in terms of volume. Of course, the acoustic isolation inwards and outwards will not be as great as with in-ears that reach into the ear canal and use ear moulds.
The Marshall Minor III are able to outdo their predecessor with True Wireless, long battery life, quick charging and a wirelessly rechargeable case. Design-wise, these earbuds are also streets ahead with their signature Marshall styling. Their sound has round basses but clearly pronounced mids and a restrained treble reproduction. For me, that didn’t suit every type of music or audio production. I liked the Marshall Minor III best when listening to soul and barroom jazz. If you want to buy these headphones, then you should keep in mind that their sound image does not suit every type of music.
- Ear couplingEarbuds
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance32 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)179mV@1kHz: 93 dB
- Weight without cable4 g each, case 40 g
- Cable length20 cm
What's in the box
- USB-C cable
- Charging case
- Available in black, cream and burgundy
- BT version: 5.2
- BT codecs: SBC, aptX