The Marshall Motif II ANC noise-cancelling true wi-fi earphones ($199.99) are an incremental replace to the unique mannequin. They provide the same amp-inspired design and an articulate sound signature, however they last more per cost and include a waterproof case. Their underwhelming energetic noise cancellation (ANC), nevertheless, hasn’t seen any noticeable enchancment. For a similar value, Jabra’s Elite 8 Energetic earbuds provide higher noise cancellation, a extra sturdy construct, and superior battery life, making them a greater purchase.
A Rockin’ Look
Marshall goes above and past with the design of its earphones. Whereas most competing fashions look pretty comparable, the stem-style Motif II ANC earbuds stand out due to their script M emblem, matte black shells, crosshatched metallic stems, and gold finish caps. Within the bundle, you get three pairs of silicone eartips that assist create a safe, comfy match.
Internally, 6mm dynamic drivers ship a frequency vary of 20Hz to 20kHz with an impedance of 16 ohms. The earphones are suitable with Bluetooth 5.3 and help simply the AAC and SBC codecs for now. Marshall plans to push out help for LC3 sooner or later however hasn’t mentioned when that may occur. You’ll be able to join the earbuds with as much as two gadgets concurrently.
The capacitive contact controls are comparatively simple to function. A single faucet on the outer panel of both earpiece handles playback, two faucets skips ahead a observe, and three faucets takes you to the earlier observe. An extended press on both facet cycles by the ANC and Transparency modes. Faucet twice to reply or finish calls, and maintain all the way down to reject an incoming name. You can also make fundamental adjustments to the management scheme within the app, however surprisingly, the lengthy press gesture is the one one that may have distinct capabilities for every earpiece.
An IPX5 ranking for the earbuds means they will face up to reasonable water projections from any path, so neither rain nor sweat ought to pose an issue. Simply do not submerge them or rinse them off beneath a faucet. For comparability, the Jabra Elite 8 Energetic earphones have a totally dustproof and waterproof IP68 ranking, making them a greater choice for exercises.
The charging case’s IPX4 ranking is much better than what we normally see, however Jabra wins out right here once more due to a extra spectacular IP54 ranking. The Marshall case is kind of fashionable, with a script emblem on the entrance and a smooth silicone exterior that has a leather-based grain sample. A pairing button and a standing LED are additionally on the entrance, whereas a USB-C port for the included USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable is on the again. The crosshatch sample on the sleeves of the charging cable provides it some further aptitude, and I like that the case helps Qi wi-fi charging.
Marshall estimates that the earphones can final roughly 6 hours with ANC enabled, or 9 hours with it off (up from 4.5 hours and 6 hours, respectively, for the unique). The case holds between 30 and 43 hours of battery life relying in your use of noise cancellation (up from between 20 and 26 hours). In fact, your outcomes will differ relying in your typical quantity stage. Charging both the case or earphones from empty to full takes 1.5 hours, however docking the earbuds for quarter-hour ought to get you about an hour of playback.
Marshall Motif II ANC App Expertise
The principle display of the Marshall app (accessible for Android and iOS) exhibits a picture of the earbuds and the case with battery readouts for every. The Noise Management part that follows helps you to change between the ANC, Transparency, and Off modes. Each the ANC and Transparency picks carry up a fader that permits you to alter their depth. Additional down, the EQ part gives a number of non-adjustable presets and a customized choice with 5 bands that vary from 160Hz to six.25kHz. The customized EQ is the most effective factor concerning the app by far.
In any other case, a Contact Controls part largely simply helps you to customise the operate of the lengthy press gesture. For example, you may set it to change between the Noise Management modes (the default), change EQ presets, launch your voice assistant, or management the quantity. You may as well add an off choice to the ANC cycle. The remaining settings are all fairly commonplace. You’ll be able to toggle Auto-Play and audio prompts, obtain firmware updates, and open a hyperlink to the Marshall web site.
Beneath-Common Noise Cancellation
The Motif II ANC earphones ship a subpar noise cancellation expertise, whatever the stage you set within the app. In testing, they solely incrementally dialed again highly effective, low-frequency rumble. Moreover, they simply considerably reduce the lows and mids from a posh cafe recording, letting the upper midrange noise go by untouched. Additionally they added a noticeable hiss to the sign. Merely put, I anticipate rather more from noise-cancelling fashions on this value vary.
For comparability, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC earbuds, which value half as a lot, are notably more practical towards low-frequency rumble and midrange noise. Furthermore, the aforementioned Jabra pair performs even higher. You would possibly be capable of excuse this exhibiting in gentle of the cool design, however in the event you care in any respect about noise cancellation, far superior choices exist.
Marshall’s Transparency mode works as you would possibly anticipate. It helps you to clearly hear your environment and emphasizes greater frequencies to enhance readability. The power to regulate the degrees through the fader within the app is useful, too.
Crisp Sound and Clear Mics
On tracks with intense sub-bass content material, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones ship a full-bodied low-frequency response. The bass sounds thick at reasonable volumes however does not overpower the highs. At greater volumes, the lows are strong and freed from distortion.
The earphones don’t have any bother reproducing the sub-bass starting on the 34-second mark of Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty.” Simply take into account that though the drivers attain these low frequencies, they do not ship critical subwoofer-like rumble. In the meantime, the assorted vocals come throughout clearly. From this observe, I observe a naturally brighter tone in contrast with most different fashions I overview.
Invoice Callahan’s “Drover,” a observe with far much less deep bass, provides us a greater sense of the sound signature. The drums right here sound wealthy, with out an excessive amount of boosting. Callahan’s baritone vocals get a nice mix of low-mid richness and high-mid crispness, a mix that provides some treble edge and element to the combination. For reference, the in-app EQ is much less dynamic than most others I’ve examined, with the Bass Enhance preset including only a slight further thump.
On orchestral tracks, just like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel In keeping with the Different Mary, the earphones obtain an acceptable steadiness. They push the lower-register instrumentation barely ahead within the combine, however the highlight largely stays with the higher-register brass, strings, and vocals. When deep bass sometimes turns up, the drivers ship it with a full-bodied richness that by no means sounds unnatural.
The mic array works reliably. I might perceive each phrase in a take a look at recording on my iPhone due to the clear, sufficiently loud sign.
Daring and Vivid, However Gentle on the ANC
The Marshall Motif II ANC earphones profit from a daring type according to Marshall’s well-known amps. Additionally they sound crisp and do not overdo it by way of boosting bass. However they fall brief within the noise cancellation division, underperforming fashions that value half as a lot. Within the $200 value bracket, we favor Jabra’s Elite 8 Energetic earphones for his or her superior ANC, barely extra pronounced bass, and stronger sturdiness.