Second albums are always the hardest, but iconic brand Marshall has gone for the tried and tested formula of 'more of the same, but better' with its new wireless ANC earbuds model.
The new Motif II ANC are successors to Marshall's first-ever ANC earbuds debut in 2021, and the upgraded buds feature a longer battery life, "improved" active noise-cancelling, "enhanced connectivity" with Bluetooth 5.3 and LE Audio, all while retaining its unique rock'n'roll aesthetics.
The biggest update is with battery life. The new Motif II ANC now has six hours of charge in each earbud (up from the older Motif's paltry four and a half) and a total of 30 hours using the charging case, with ANC turned on. That's 10 hours more than its predecessor, a welcome upgrade that puts it in line with Apple's AirPods Pro 2 battery life numbers. Turn ANC off, and the Motif II ANC's battery life increases to nine hours (single charge) and 43 hours (with case). That's pretty hefty.
If you're running low on juice, 15 minutes of charge (using USB-C or wireless charging) will give you one extra hour of playtime too.
Active noise-cancellation has also been improved, claims Marshall, but detail is thin on the ground in terms of exactly how and by how much (we've asked Marshall for clarification). What we do know is that Transparency Mode returns as well, and you can adjust various features (including volume) using the accompanying Marshall Bluetooth App.
What's more concrete is the inclusion of Bluetooth LE Audio, which brings with it a stronger connection for wireless streaming between devices, amongst other useful features. In short, Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) Audio offers a more power-efficient way of transmitting music wirelessly, which in turn allows for potentially higher quality audio over Bluetooth (thanks to LC3 codec, which is higher than standard SBC), as well as longer battery life, better audio over longer distances, and improvements to low latency between devices. Marshall claims the new Motif II ANC benefits from all these across the board, from increased streaming range to improved "audio sync for videos".
Small updates like this can all add up to a more streamlined wireless earbuds performance. There's no change to the 6mm drivers used in the earbuds, so any performance upgrades in the Motif II ANC will be related to the stability and quality of this "stronger" Bluetooth connection.
Elsewhere, the design remains the same, with Marshall's trademark textured black finish offering a firm grip and grunge-rock style to stand out from this crowded market. The pocket-sized charging case has a leatherette finish and is made using 70% post-consumer recycled plastic in a bid to be more environmentally friendly.
Additionally, IPX5 (earbuds) and IPX4 (charging case) ratings should keep the new model safe from water splashes and sweat as you're rocking out.
The Marshall Motif II ANC earbuds are available for pre-order now, costing £180 / $199 / €199, and will be on sale globally from 12th September.
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