Yes, that's right, we just tied a 70's Judy Blume novel to British rock amplification! Let's do this!
Marshall Amplification is going a bit above and beyond their traditions lately, having just crossed into making boutique headphones (a la Beats by Dre, but minus all that horrible shiny plastic). So, if you've been craving a pair of head cans that have that snazzy look but don't want to look like a suburban rapper, you can get a set of Marshall headphones that have the look and sound that musicians would appreciate!
A balanced frequency response (seriously, if only my Marshall had that much low end!) on the Marshall Major headphones makes all music sound great, and is only further enhanced with onboard EQ.
Plus it is FAR better sounding than those terrible iHeadphones that you get with your phone. Seriously, don't mess up your ears any more with those horrid things!
So what's the next step for Marshall? Well, I couldn't quite believe it either, but the London-based amp company have actually designed a smart phone!
It's running Android Lollipop and features all the same things you know and love about your traditional android phones, but in a Tolex-covered frame AND with some crazy extras that have never been done on a phone until now.
So if you are Marshall, and creating a new smart phone, what do you name this phone that actually does go "one louder"?
I mean, c'mon, seems fitting right that you'd name it after the city of true punk and rock legends?
Not too shabby at all! I think my favorite thing about this phone is how utterly dedicated it is to music. Music dominates this phone's entire existence. It's not a phone first and a music player sixth, it's really a phone with an iPod living inside of it- totally separate from the rest of the system, but more on that later.
It looks amazing and boasts all the usual features that make smart phones great, plus some newer features that would impress the guys in Spinal Tap. First of all, this is the first phone to offer dual headphone jacks with dual volume controls.
This means you a either enjoy music and movies with friends, or listen to a monitor mix while recording in with the other jack. The fact that you have twin volumes means no fighting over who has lost more hearing and having one guy cranking the sound and blasting your ear drums. The best thing about the volumes? Rather than those terrible buttons that move on their own, you have a recessed scroll wheel that gives you FINE tuning of volumes, especially when the phone is in your pocket.
Next on the list is the "M" button. This gold Marshall M button is front and top center, and launches your dedicated music platform of choice, instantly and easily. This also means you can control your music over the top of whatever else is currently on your phone's screen. Talk about dedication to the tunes. Furthermore, this may be the loudest smartphone on both sides of the Atlantic. You get twin front facing speakers, rather than the usual single rear speaker to give you your phone calls, music, games, or videos that "one louder" experience. Although, cell phone speakers suck, this stereo set up could possibly be a modest improvement!
And what was that earlier about being a dedicated music machine?! Marshall explains more about the phone's dedicated audio soundcard and processor:
"Marshall London packs a lot of heat under the hood; take for example the Wolfson WM8281 Audio Hub. This soundcard gives the London a separate processor for music, allowing it to play at a higher resolution. Higher resolution means that even the best quality MP3 will sound phenomenally better when played with London. Additionally it lets you play uncompressed music such as FLAC format. This cannot be emphasized enough; the London is boss!"
The London also gives you full EQ set ups, with both factory and user-made presets, realtime stereo Bluetooth in HIFI, a suite of cool software like an allegedly bad-ass recording-ready mic, mobile DJ-app, plus Loopstack! LoopStack is a 4-channel recorder that allows you to record four tracks independently. The app offers high quality 44KHz 16bit recording and processing! Best of all, if you ARE recording, looping, jamming, or talking, Android Lollipop's low latency audio input ensures that music and communication applications provide an amazing realtime experience without the nonsense of lag.
Oh yeah, it also features an SD card slot, removable and user-changeable battery, AND comes with a set of badass Marshall Mode earbuds! I mean, that alone makes it better than having to listen to one more song on those awful white Apple earbuds of death.
Being called the "London" of course, it is not currently available to us California crunch guitarists... yet! Soon however, this phone should make its way over the pond and allow all US music lovers to get their hands on a phone that offers serious style and versatility. While this probably won't derail Samsung and Apple at all, it is likely that these features on this phone that are groundbreaking could become a new norm for future smart phones! I commend Marshall on this really cool new product!