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Marshall Monitor ll ANC vs Sony WH-1000XM3: Which to Buy?

This is the review of the comparison between the Marshall Monitor II ANC and the Sony WH-1000XM3. Both of these headsets come under the price range of 350. There are few features in these headsets, which appear to differ from each other and better from each other. To know which one has better features and which one is good for you to buy, go to the detailed review.

0.2 Marshall Monitor II ANC 75.1 Sony WH-1000XM3 1
Marshall Monitor II ANCSony WH-1000XM3
BUY NOWBUY NOW
PROSPROS
Unsurprisingly rich sound.
Highly effective and adjustable noise cancellation.
Extraordinary noise canceling.
Pillowy comfort.
Generous battery life (30 hours).
Sony has fixed most Mark 2 frustrations.
Lots of personalization options via the app.
CONSCONS
Setup requires mobile app.Irritating blinking LED status light on left ear cup. A premium price Google Assistant isn’t very useful. App can cause some confusion in mode selected.
Mediocre call quality.
No on-ear sensor

SPECIFICATIONS:

MODELMARSHALL MONITOR II ANCSONY WH-1000XM3
BrandMarshallSony
ModelMonitor II ANCWH-1000XM3
HEADPHONESMARSHALL MONITOR II ANCSONY WH-1000XM3
Connectivity TechnologyWirelessWireless
Frequency Response20 Hz-20 KHz20 Hz-40,000 Hz
Sensitivity96 db SPL104.5 dB/mW
Impedance32 ohm16 ohm
Diaphragm40 mm
MICROPHONEMARSHALL MONITOR II ANCSONY WH-1000XM3
Response Bandwidth50Hz-8,000Hz
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTMARSHALL MONITOR II ANCSONY WH-1000XM3
Width5.7 in7.3 in
Depth2.9 in1.2 in
Height8.1 in10.4 in
Weight11.29 oz8.99 oz
POWERMARSHALL MONITOR II ANCSONY WH-1000XM3
Battery30 Hour(s)20 Hour(s)
FEATURESMARSHALL MONITOR II ANCSONY WH-1000XM3
FeaturesUses advanced active noise cancelling technology

Delivers iconic sound with the 40 mm drivers

Provides 30 hours of playtime with the ANC and Bluetooth on

Has ergonomic construction and iconic design

Wireless freedom with Bluetooth and NFC

Google Assistant, with support for Alexa

Clear hands-free calling
Smart Listening by SENSE ENGINE

Supported Audio Format(s): SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC

Detail Review:

INTRODUCTION:

Marshall Monitor II ANC

The Marshall Monitor II ANC is currently retailing for around 320 dollars. This is a great pair of headphones and it is priced similar to the other premium headphones out there in the market. It has a custom equalizer, a mobile app, ok Google integration, noise cancellation, and so much more.

Sony WH-1000XM3

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are well-known for their active noise-canceling feature. These headsets are retailing for around 350 dollars. These headsets have a sleek and stylish design. These headsets are pretty comfortable.

0.1 Marshall Monitor II ANC 4

DESIGN:

Marshall Monitor II ANC

The Monitor II ANC in my opinion looks fantastic and it just screams rock and roll. It has all the iconic design elements of their very popular Amps and speakers lineup like from the leather-covered headband, the curly cables on the side, then ripped back on the ear cups to the golden multi-functional knob on the side. There are two physical buttons on the Marshall Monitor II ANC headphones. The first one is just dedicated to turning on or off the active noise-canceling feature and it says ANC on top of that. Another button which is called the M button, that can be customized to either toggle between equalizer presets on the fly or called Google assistant or just talk to Siri. Android users can be really happy because of their support for OK Google.

But one minor gripe of mine is that the inside of the ear cups don’t have any marking saying which one’s left or which ones right which is a little annoying. To find that info, you will have to look inside the bottom of the end of the headband to know which one’s left or which ones right. I think the top selling point for this Marshall Monitor II ANC should be their size. Even when they are fully open they have a really small footprint and when collapsed you can either pack it flat or in a more conventional way, both of which will save a lot of space when you’re trying to put this tightly packed in a backpack. This really sets them aside from other over-ear headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM3

The build quality on these headphones is actually pretty good though. They feel a little too light because of plastic when I got them at first but they’ve held up very well. There is some minor creaking coming from the band not much but a little bit and at the same time, it shows no sign of breaking. The pleather on both the ear cups and the headband has not deteriorated a bit also and I’ve used it pretty much every single day since I bought them. So, build quality wise its pretty good.

There are buttons to control the active noise cancellation and to turn off or turn on the headset but having to swipe up/down and left/right on the ear cup gets odd since it’s unnatural to swipe something up by your ear that you can’t see. It’s pretty easy to swipe the wrong way, causing you to turn up the volume instead of skipping a track or something like that. So, you need to be careful with the touch panel.

COMFORT:

Marshall Monitor II ANC

It only weighs around 320 grams and I found it very comfortable to wear for a long period of time. The headband is adjustable to any head size and I especially liked how they have the mark on both sides to help you align the two ends evenly. The ear cups also rotate 180 degrees for a good fit and are made of pure leather which feels really good against the skin. They are really very comfortable with their premium quality.

Sony WH-1000XM3

I find this headset to be very comfortable whether I’m wearing glasses or not. The only complaint I have from the comfort standpoint is the closed-back nature of these headphones and the pleather around the ear cups. They do make your ears heat up over time, so they’re not the best pair of headphones for long-term gaming sessions or something like that. Other than that, it’s really comfortable if you are wearing this for a short period of time.

0.1 Sony WH-1000XM3 1

FEATURES:

Marshall Monitor II ANC

The box claims that it has active noise cancellation, 30 hours of playtime, voice assistant and it comes with the collapsible design, 3.5 mm removable cable, USB-C charging cable which is one meter long, user manual, and legal & safety docs and canvas carrying bag.

I love the size of the USB cable very much. Unlike other big companies, this is actually long enough meaning I don’t have to keep the headphones close to a power outlet while it’s getting charged. Then the 3.5-millimeter spring coiled cable that goes into the Amp is so well made and I really love that fact as well. What I don’t care much for is that canvas carrying bag. I mean it does fit everything like the headphones and the cables inside but if it was a hard case it would have given better protection while traveling.

You need to press the golden knob on the earcup to turn on the headphone. The same knob can be used to do a variety of call functions like reject a call or accept a call as well as changing songs or controlling the music volume. Some might say that it would have been better with touch controls but I don’t think so. I think those types of surfaces are always a little fidgety. There’s always a chance of accidentally doing something that you didn’t mean to do, whereas here you have finer controls and just by feeling the button at the back of your head, you will know exactly what to do. So, I have to say that this is much more intuitive than the touch control panel.

Sony WH-1000XM3

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is a pair of noise-canceling headphones that have many features. They connect via Bluetooth to any device and have a touchpad on the right side of the headphones for audio control. They’re advertised to have a total of 30 hours of battery life but they also have a 3.5-millimeter audio jack so that you can have a wired connection without needing a charged battery. The headphones can take calls, activate virtual assistants like Siri and Google Assistant, and have a lot of different settings that can be controlled via an app on your mobile device.

The active noise cancellation is probably one of the most important features of these headphones. I will not say that the ANC doesn’t do anything at all. Active noise cancellation will help but they will not completely block out the sound of human voices. The technology just isn’t there yet, you’ll still hear them if you’re playing music or watching movies. Where this active noise cancelation shines are in areas like airplanes and cars that have a constant and fairly even sound. It can almost completely drown out the noise from a loud airplane engine and completely block out the sound from the car ride. I have no doubt that the active noise cancellation on these headphones is some of the best on the market. If you’re a traveler and you want a pair of quality headphones for listening to when you’re on a plane or a train or a boat or car ride or anything like that then these are really good.

The interesting thing is though if you don’t want to use Bluetooth but you do want the active noise cancellation, then you can turn on the headset to use the ANC and just use the wired connection for audio. The XM3’s don’t actually require an active Bluetooth connection for the active noise-cancellation to work, they just need to be powered on.

You can use the included 3.5-millimeter cable to connect to your device to get a wired connection that doesn’t use the headphones battery. This means if the battery in the XM3’s is completely dead then your headphones won’t be useless. But that does come with a few drawbacks. First of all the volume of the headset is slightly lower without them being turned on. There’s also a slight decrease in the punchiness of the sound and the headset overall will sound a little better on their own power. The other drawback is that the headset needs to be powered on to make use of the active noise canceling features, so if the headset is off, you can’t use the ANC at all.

Sony has reportedly fixed the cold weather issue, whereby if you took your headphones outside the cold after being inside the normal weather, they would start working on their own. In that case, they would skip songs, the volume would turn up and down, they would do all sorts of weird things. So apparently, that’s been sort of resolved if you update your firmware to the latest firmware inside the official Sony app. You’re gonna get control over that in the app, which allows you to disable the touch controls when you’re outside in the cold. So, they didn’t necessarily completely fix the issue but they just have a better workaround whereby you can disable the touch controls which is great. The touchpad is still isn’t great regardless of whether it did have the cold weather issue or not. Even though they look pretty slick and they’re flat on both your cups but the user experience suffers because of the lack of tactile feedback.

0.1 Marshall Monitor II ANC 3

BATTERY:

Marshall Monitor II ANC

In idle conditions, you should get approximately 30 hours of playtime but if you have the noise canceling off then you will get a battery life up to 45 hours. But these are all theoretical numbers and really depends on how you use it. If you’re running low on battery life then just 15 minutes of charge will give you 5 hours of playtime. It will take around 2 hours to charge from 0 to 100 percent.

Another great thing is if you want to save battery life then you can adjust the auto-off timer function on the app and then the headphones will automatically turn off, after a certain amount of time that you have selected. This is good because you might forget to turn off the headphones as it requires manual intervention. You will have to press the golden button right there on the ear cup to turn this off and you might forget to do it, so with this function even if you forget to turn off, your headphones it will turn it off automatically. But you have to remember to set on the timer each and every time you turn on the headphones. The app is also good to show you the battery percentage of the headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM3

Battery life on the XM3 has been pretty consistent. Sony has advertised a total of 30 hours of battery life and that’s fairly accurate. Since they have a USB-C port for charging it takes them no time at all to recharge if they die on. You can also use the 3.5-millimeter cable to use your headset as wired so that you can save your charge at times.

MICROPHONE:

Marshall Monitor II ANC

The call quality is excellent as well. There is a mic on the left cup that picks up your voice and amplifies it while canceling out the ambient noise, which makes the Monitor adjoin to take a call in a noisy environment. Also in the app, you can adjust the level of noise cancellation which is really good. You can also adjust a monitor transparency mode, which allows how much surrounding sound you want to let in. So, depending on where you are and what you are doing, you can always stay alert by adjusting this setting.

Sony WH-1000XM3

The built-in microphones are actually not bad but at the same time not so good too. There are a couple of mics built into the headset in various places that serve two functions. First is for a sort of the ambient sound profile where the headphones take the sound from all around you and then project it into your ears. It’s a really neat feature that makes you feel like you’re not wearing headphones. It sounds good and it works great. What doesn’t sound or work great is the other mic there for phone calls. The headset will allow you to use the built-in microphone to accept phone calls but it sounds terrible. You’re much better of accepting the phone calls on your phone instead of the XM3, otherwise, you might get some complaints from people on the other end.

SOUND:

Marshall Monitor II ANC

Not only does it look good like it belongs in the head of a rockstar in a studio working away on these gems, but it also sounds like an absolute monster. You will enjoy listening to all genres of music as well as watching movies or playing games because it is a beast in terms of sound quality. I don’t know if it has support for AptX Codec though because it does not say anywhere on the website or on the package itself, so I’m gonna assume no. I think the sound quality is also top-notch in this headset.

It has a 40-millimeter dynamic driver and a custom equalizer from which you can adjust to any setting you like for the type of music you’re listening to. Just for testing, I cranked up the bass so that I too see if it cracks but surprisingly, it did not and it sounded crisp. It performed really well for all the genres of songs I played and change the equalizer settings too. There was always a clear separation between all the layers and all the instruments and voices were very clear. I thought the top volume level was a little mellow for my taste. I would have liked it to be a little bit louder but other than that I thought it had a solid performance when it came to sound.

Sony WH-1000XM3

The XM3 has a pretty flat profile without any really exaggerated areas. They’re not like most Beats with a real punchy low end and they’re not a cheap pair of tinny-sounding headphones either. They sound decent. I like the way they sound personally, but if you don’t, then you can add a little more kick in the low end or something like that. You can adjust that with the equalizer in the official Sony app so that you get it to sound as you want better.

0.1 Sony WH-1000XM3 2

WHICH TO BUY?

In my opinion, you should buy the Marshall Monitor II ANC because it sounds better than the Sony, and the microphone also works better than the Sony. Also, there is a cold issue with the touch panel in Sony’s headphone. But, if you want better noise cancellation then you can go for Sony. 

Expert Reviews of Marshall Monitor II ANC:

By TechAdvisor
The Marshall Monitor II ANC headphones are an excellent choice for those looking for comfortable over-ear cans with noise canceling. They offer a well-rounded balance of design, comfort, features, and performance at a competitive price.

By Sound Guys
The Marshall Monitor II ANC headphones are good at active noise canceling, have a great build and design, are easy to use, and are perfect for commuters and frequent flyers alike. Unfortunately, they don’t exist in a vacuum and for a similar price…

By Mashable
Marshall’s new headphones provide excellent sound, effective noise cancellation, and physical convenience at a more reasonable price point than some competitors.

By TechRadar
The Marshall Monitor II ANC is undoubtedly the brand’s best headphones yet; the audio quality on offer here far surpasses any of its previous models, with a balanced presentation, smooth mids, and a generally powerful, rock-ready sound. They feel…

By Trusted Reviews
It’s hard to find anything to truly dislike about Marshall’s ANC headphones. Their sound is enjoyable and fairly well balanced; they look smart; plus the collapsible design makes them a good travel companion. Other similarly priced headphones offer…

Expert Review of Sony WH-1000XM3:

By TechRadar
While they’re not an all-out upgrade on the WH-1000XM2, the Sony WH-1000XM3 makes a lot of subtle tweaks to an already amazing pair of noise-canceling headphones.

By hardwarezone.com.sg
I’m an audio geek, what codecs does it support? For those fussy about sound quality, one of the most enticing features of Sony’s noise-canceling headphones is that they support a wide range of codecs – easily one of the widest. The new WH-1000XM3 is no…

By Android Authority
The WH-1000XM3 is a worthy successor to the popular WH-1000XM2 headphones, improving on them in a few subtle ways with the addition of USB-C charging and new ear pads.

By T3 Magazine
With the Sony WH-1000XM3, excellent sound quality meets the best noise-canceling tech in the world, while the ‘extra’ features are useful without being gimmicky. In short, these are brilliant.

By goodhousekeeping.co.uk
If money’s no object, then you’ll struggle to do better than the Sony WH-1000XM3. Not only do they sound great, but they offer 30 hours of listening time and have excellent noise-canceling built-in that really helps immerse you in your music or podcast. Even better, if you want to temporarily let outside noise in such as an announcement at a station, you can just cover the right ear to do that.

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