For rock mavens and air guitarists alike, Marshall amplifiers are unassailably cool. As the company moves into consumer electronics, it faces the challenge of translating that cool factor in a product that is at its best when it’s invisible: the in-ear headphone. Marshall’s “Minor” earbuds ($59.99) sport interchangeable pads to customize the fit, but what’s most interesting is the way the details of this miniscule gear, from the packaging to the cord clips to the jack, come saturated with Marshall catchet: the famous cursive logo lands on every bronzed surface, and the black plastic housing looks so rich and supple that the marketing copy takes pains to note that it’s not real leather. What I find most interesting, however, is the pitch:
The heavy sound of Marshall has been carried over the world for nearly 50 years. Breathless roadies and roaring trucks have struggled to make it heard all across the globe. Now the time has come for you to carry this magnificent burden of rock ‘n’ roll all by yourself.
It’s pretty savvy, actually: to appeal to those who crave Marshall gear enough to stick the logo inside their ears, bypass rockstar fantasies—instead, channel their inner roadie.