Most of Marshall’s consumer lineup focuses on over-ear or on-ear headphones, but today, the Zound Industries-licensed branch of the guitar amp company is announcing an upgrade to its Minor in-ear wireless headphones called the Minor II Bluetooth.
The Minor II Bluetooth are the first pair of wireless in-ear headphones that Marshall has made. They have the same basic design as the original Minor wired headphones that were released in 2011, but they add a few big updates to make the jump the Bluetooth.
There’s a new ear loop design to help the headphones stay in your ears and a microphone / battery module that hangs on the right side of the connecting cable that also features one of Marshall’s excellent joystick-style control knobs for raising / lowering the volume and skipping tracks. There’s also a new auto-pause feature: stick the two magnetic earbuds together, and your song will automatically pause.
Marshall says Minor II Bluetooth earbuds should get up to 12 hours off a charge, and its quick-charge tech will get you two hours of music off a 20-minute charge (or two hours of charging to get back to full). On the spec side of things, the Minor II Bluetooth support Bluetooth aptX audio and the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard.
And since they’re Marshall headphones, there are some lovely-looking brass accents.
The Minor II Bluetooth earbuds are available today from Marshall’s website for $129.
Additionally, Marshall is upgrading the regular Bluetooth versions of its home speakers with a new visual design and better sound. (The Wi-Fi versions already got a similar update at IFA that also added Alexa support.)
The updated Acton II, Stanmore II, and Woburn II Bluetooth speakers now have the same gray and gold grilles on the front (which are meant to evoke a stage microphone) and an improved digital signal processor that Marshall says should allow for better sound even at higher volumes. The new versions of the speakers also feature Bluetooth 5.0 and support the option to connect two phones at once.
All three speakers still offer all the things that made the first generation of Marshall Bluetooth speakers great: high-quality sound, good design, and fantastic tactile volume-control knobs for adjusting volume, bass, and treble straight from the speaker.
There’s no Wi-Fi or multiroom audio, though. Those features are limited to the Stanmore II Voice and Acton II Voice models that Marshall announced earlier this year. The largest Woburn model hasn’t gotten an Alexa-equipped Voice variant yet.