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Marshall Monitor II ANC vs Sony WH-1000XM4 (2021): Which Noise Cancelling Headphones Should You Buy?

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is considered the best noise cancelling over-ear headphones in the market right now. It offers excellent active noise cancellation, great sound and a bunch of features that make it easy to use. In this article, we’ll compare the Sony WH-1000XM4 to the Marshall Monitor II ANC headphones, the latest offering from Marshall. How do they fare against each other? Which one is better? Read on to find out.

Marshall Monitor II ANC vs Sony WH-1000XM4 Comparison Chart

ModelMarshall Monitor II ANC Sony WH-1000XM4
 Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for...
PriceCheck Price at MarshallHeadphones.comCheck Price at Amazon
DesignOver EarOver Ear
Weight320g254g
ConnectivityWired – 3.5mm
Wireless – Bluetooth
Wired – 3.5mm
Wireless – Bluetooth
NFCNoYes
CodecsSBCAAC, LDAC, SBC
ControlsPhysicalTouch – Swipe & Tap
Physical
Voice ControlsAlexa
Google Assistant
Alexa
Google Assistant
Active Noise CancellationYesYes
Battery Life30 hours (ANC on)30 hours (ANC on)
Charge Time2 hours (Full Charge)
15 mins (5 hours)
3 hours (Full Charge)
10 mins (5 hours)
AccessoriesUSB Type-C Charging Cable
Detachable 3.5mm Cord
Canvas Carrying Bag
Headphone Connection Cable (3.94′)
USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cable (7.9″)
Plug Adapter for In-Flight Use
Compact Carry Case
ColorsBlackBlack, Blue, Silver

Design

The Marshall Monitor II ANC has a sturdier build than the Sony WH-1000XM4.

The earcups of the Marshall Monitor II ANC (left) and Sony WH-1000XM4 (right) can rotate.

When it comes to overall build quality, the Marshall Monitor II ANC has the edge since it comes with more metal parts that give it a more premium feel. That doesn’t mean that the Sony WH-1000XM4 has a terrible build. Even though it is made with mostly hard plastic, it still feels sturdy and it can take some abuse without falling apart. That said, if you’re looking for a pair of noise cancelling headphones that is built like a tank, then the Marshall Monitor II ANC is one of the best.

Weighing 320 grams, the Marshall Monitor II ANC is heavier than the Sony WH-1000XM4, which weigh in at 254 grams. Both can be worn for extended periods without feeling uncomfortable. They both have thick cushions on the earcups and the headband.

For portability, they both have a collapsible and folding design, so you can store them easily without requiring too much space in your bag. Included with the Marshall Monitor II ANC is a canvas carrying bag, while the Sony WH-1000XM4 comes with a hard case.

Controls & ANC

Sony’s noise cancelling tech is still the best in the market.

Both the Marshall Monitor II ANC (left) and the Sony WH-1000XM4 (right) are collapsible for portability.

On the Marshall Monitor II ANC are two buttons and a knob for controls. The knob controls playback settings and it is very tactile and responsive. As for the two buttons, one is for ANC, which turns ANC on or off, and the other is a multi-function M-button, which can have different functions such as voice assistant on-the-go, EQ switch and more. You can customize the button function using the Marshall companion app.

In contrast, the Sony WH-1000XM4 features touch controls on both earcups and a couple of physical buttons. Swiping left and right, as well as up and down, controls playback with a double tap function for play/pause. One of buttons on the headphones is for power and another is for either voice controls or active noise cancelling. Similar to the Marshall headphones, you can do all sorts of customization using the Sony companion app. Both headphones are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.

As far as active noise cancelling goes, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is simply the better performer. Sony took the crown from Bose as the best when it comes to Active Noise Cancelling headphones with the release of the WH-1000XM3, the XM4’s older sibling, so you can expect the same level of performance with the WH-1000XM4, as it is a slightly improved version. The Marshall Monitor II ANC also performs well in this area, but the WH-1000XM4 is just able to cancel more noise, especially on the low-end, like A/C hum, car engine rumbling and more.

You can adjust the level of noise cancelling on both headphones and to do so with the Marshall Monitor II ANC, you’ll need the companion app. There are several levels to its noise cancelling and it also has a monitor mode to allow you to hear ambient noise. On the Sony WH-1000XM4, you’ll also need the app to do any sort of ANC adjusting. A nice feature it has is that you can cup your hand over the left earcup and it will automatically activate the mics on the headphones to amplify ambient sounds.

Sound

They both sound great and you can’t go wrong with either if you want excellent sound output.

Both headphones can be considered fashion cans due to their minimal but stylish aesthetic.

The Marshall Monitor II ANC and the Sony WH-1000XM4 both sound great. They don’t have exaggerated bass that you’ll find in other headphones. However, that doesn’t mean that their low frequency output is weak, it’s just not overemphasized. They are both capable of delivering tight and controlled bass output that is more than needed for listening. If you are a basshead, you can do some EQ tweaking to get the bass output that you like.

Both headphones have a flatter response, where the mids are not recessed and the highs are not emphasized. Vocal tracks sound good and high frequency sounds are still detailed and crisp. When it comes to the highs, the Sony WH-1000XM4 has an advantage as it can output more detailed sounds.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 supports SBC, AAC and LDAC, whereas the Marshall Monitor II ANC only supports SBC.

Connectivity & Battery Life

Both are great for travelling since they have a generous battery life of 30 hours (ANC on).

Here’s what you’ll get with both headphones.

Both headphones come with Bluetooth 5.0 with multipoint, so you can connect them to two devices at a time. They both have a 10 meter range and there are no issues when it comes to connection with both headphones. There are no stutters or connection drops as long as you’re not too far away from your source device.

Aside from Bluetooth connection, both headphones also have a 3.5mm port for wired connectivity. They both come with a 3.5mm cable and if you happen to lose it or damage it, you can use pretty much any 3.5mm audio cable that you have.

When it comes to battery life, they are pretty much the same. Both headphones can last up to 30 hours when fully charged, and this is with ANC turned on. Turning off the ANC will give you more playback time.

With the Marshall Monitor II ANC, you’ll need to 2 hours to fully charge its battery, while Sony WH-1000XM4 needs to be charged for 3 hours. The quick-charge feature for the Marshall headphones is 15 minutes for 5 hours of playback. In contrast, the Sony WH-1000XM4 only needs a quick charge of 10 minutes for the same 5 hours of playback. They both include a USB-C cable for charging.

Verdict

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is the overall better noise cancelling headphones.

With its combination of features, intuitive touch controls and better active noise cancelling, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is no doubt the better headphones. While the Marshall Monitor II ANC is also good, Sony’s offering is just better. If you’re looking to get a pair of active noise cancelling headphones and you want the best, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is the right choice.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Marshall better than Sony?

In the category of headphones, specifically noise cancelling ones, Sony offers better products. The WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4 are still two of the best noise cancelling headphones that you can buy today.

๐Ÿ“Œ When was the Sony WH-1000XM4 released?

It was released back in August of 2020.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Marshall Monitor II ANC come with Bluetooth multipoint?

Yes, it has Bluetooth multipoint. You’ll need to download the Marshall smartphone amp to get it to function.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Sony WH-1000XM4 worth buying?

While it may be a bit expensive, it is the best noise cancelling headphones available. Yes, it is worth buying if you want the best.

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.