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Marshall Minor IV

True Wireless Earbuds with over 30 hours of runtime

In a nutshell

The legendary guitar amp manufacturer Marshall places a new iron in the fire with the Minor IV True Wireless Bluetooth earbuds, which can send sound to your ears for 30 hours. Thanks to Bluetooth 5.3, they are equipped and ready for the promising LC3 audio codec. Their very spacious sound is defined by restrained bass with emphasised mids and highs.

Pros:
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Simple operation
  • Very good spatial imaging
  • LE Audio support
  • Multipoint
Cons:
  • Inconsistent sound image
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At the same time as they launched the Major V, which we also reviewed, the famous guitar amp manufacturer Marshall have released their improved Minor IV wireless earbuds, which above all score points because of their longer runtime of 30 hours. To keep ahead of the times, Marshall has opted to use Bluetooth 5.3, which supports LE Audio technology and, therefore, the improved sound of the LC3 audio codec. Sounds of the future coming from a classic-looking design in typical Marshall style.

The manufacturer’s familiar lettering adorns the small black leather-look charging case. The magic “M” is also prominently emblazoned on both of the earphones, which resemble EarPods in terms of their shape and long shaft. The ribbed shaft gives the smooth plastic more grip and also looks high quality, as do the charging pins, the protective grill on the drivers and the earphone at the end of the shaft; a rose gold finish adds shine, the result of a subtle facelift. The Minor IVs are currently only available in black.

Technical details

The small earphones conceal 12-millimetre dynamic drivers with a frequency range of 20 to 20,000 hertz and 32-ohm impedance.

The EarBuds last seven hours of the 30 hours of playtime without intermediate charging, with the case accounting for the remaining 23 hours. Charging was quite quick: the earbuds picked up three hours of playtime within 15 minutes, and this was confirmed by my test. The headphone’s battery was fully charged after around one hour, and the case was fully charged after two hours. This can either be done using the USB-C cable provided or inductively by placing them on a charging pad, which always takes a little longer.

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Bluetooth: new audio codec as part of the package

The Minor IV uses AAC, SBC and, in future, LC3 as audio codecs, along with support for LE audio technology, which enables Bluetooth 5.3. This audio codec promises improved audio quality, streaming range and audio synchronisation. The range was ten metres. Multi-point connectivity allows you to connect the headphones to a second Bluetooth device. Sustainability is important to Marshall. Accordingly, they use 90% recycled plastics from used items such as CDs, washing machines and e-bikes.

Marshall Minor IV – Wearing comfort

In contrast to in-ears with silicone tips, you place the Minor IV EarBuds in your ear canal, and thanks to the newly developed shape of the earphones and the shafts, they were even more comfortable than their predecessor. They did not block the ear canal, and this allows you to hear ambient noise very well. However, this functional openness does affect the sound, but I will say more on that later. At 7.39 grams, they felt light and fit quite loosely, but thanks to their texture and design, they did not give me the feeling that they would slip out. They remained in my ear during vigorous head movements and sporting activities such as jogging. Their resistance to splashes of water, according to IPX4, highlights their suitability for mobile use.

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An app for certain settings

The Minor IV can also be customised via a downloadable app. This provides information about the current battery status. The sound can be customised using the five-band equaliser, with five pre-sets and options for your own settings. The “Touch controls” tab takes care of the assignment of the multifunctional touch buttons. To save the battery, the app allows you to set the charging capacity, charging speed and temperature.

Marshall Minor IV in practice

You can start, stop and skip streamed content by lightly tapping the earpiece. Phone calls can be accepted, rejected, and of course, ended. I was also able to call up pre-sets for the equaliser and voice assistant and change the volume by tapping and holding. As the touch buttons reacted sensitively, the earbuds did not slip during operation. The earbuds also respond with short acoustic and tactile feedback as confirmation of commands.

I found the voice quality when making calls to be quite good. The voices sounded somewhat flat, emphasised in the upper frequencies, but this meant improved intelligibility. Even strong background noises, such as vacuuming, were filtered out; the caller’s voice sounded a little muffled and washed out but remained understandable.

A sound defined by mids and highs

It is rather unusual for Marshall headphones to have a conspicuously restrained bass. But with the Minor IV, I missed the low bass. This was partly due to the design of the earbuds, which do not completely close off the ear canal. They only gave a chance to the upper basses; unfortunately, warmth and volume fell by the wayside. On the other hand, the sound image in the mids and highs was a little more pronounced, so there was no lack of audible detail.

These headphones receive special praise for their spatial imaging. Kool & The Gang’s “Summer Madness” began with a striking effect on which all the other instruments rested and sounded as if you were sitting in a studio. The floating strings and the electric guitar stood out, but the underlaying bass, which was voluminous in itself, was shrunk to a flat drone. Towards the end, the lead synth spiralled into an almost painful frequency range. This phenomenon was also confirmed when listening to Jan Blomqvist’s “More”. Lead synths and vocals had an exaggerated need to be the acoustic centre of attention, which I sometimes found exhausting. Sibilants also sounded exaggerated. The equaliser provided some relief. For example, with a full 160 Hz, a strongly boosted 400 Hz and all other bands reduced to their minimum, I found the sound more pleasing and less biting. The details still came across very well.

Conclusion

The Marshall Minor IV True Wireless Bluetooth earbuds impressed us with their long playing time and pleasant wearing comfort. Thanks to their lightweight yet confident fit and simple operation, we would also recommend these earbuds for use during sporting activities. The Minor IVs also earned our praise for their spatial imaging. Their sound lacked volume and warmth, and the mids and highs were too prominent. However, this shortcoming can be somewhat rectified with the adjustable equaliser that is available in the app.

2 months ago by Dirk Duske
  • Rating: 3.75
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingEarbuds
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance32 ohms
  • Weight without cable7,3 g each g

What's in the box

  • USB-C charging cable

Special features

  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC, LC3
  • BT version: 5.3

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