Marshall Motif II Eabuds Review scaled

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Back in 2022, I reviewed the original Marshall Motif ANC, which I thought was an attractive and excellent pair of earbuds.

Marshall has now released a follow up with improved battery preservation, multi point connectivity and an upgrade to Bluetooth 5.3.

PreviewProductRatingPrice
Marshall Motif II ANC - True Wireless Active Noise... Marshall Motif II ANC - True Wireless Active Noise... No ratings yet £158.41Amazon Prime

Marshall Motif II A.N.C  vs Marshall Motif A.N.C  Specification

Marshall Motif II Eabuds Review 2
SpecificationMarshall Motif II A.N.CMarshall Motif A.N.C
ANC (Active Noise Cancellation)YesYes
Transparency ModeYesYes
App ControlledYesYes
Battery Life (ANC on)6 hours (earbuds), 30 hours (with case)4.5 hours (earbuds), 20 hours (with case)
Battery Life (ANC off)9 hours (earbuds)6 hours (earbuds), 26 hours (with case)
Quick Charging15 mins → 1 hour playtime15 mins → 1 hour playtime
Wireless ChargingYesYes
Bluetooth Version5.35.2
Bluetooth CodecsSBC, MPEG2-AACSBC, MPEG2-AAC
Bluetooth Range10 m (30 ft)10 m
Bluetooth MultipointYesNo
Drivers6 mm dynamic6 mm dynamic
Frequency Response20Hz – 20kHz20Hz – 20kHz
Water ResistanceIPX4 case, IPX5 earbudsIPX4 case, IPX5 earbuds

The key differences are that the Motif II A.N.C has longer battery life, Bluetooth 5.3 (vs 5.2 on the A.N.C), and it supports Bluetooth multipoint connectivity. The Motif A.N.C does not list support for multipoint.

Design

Marshall Motif II Eabuds Review 6

The Motif II earbuds sport Marshall’s classic industrial design with circular housings, knurled metal accents, and tactile control buttons.

The earbuds have been slightly tweaked from the previous generation, with some gold finish at the bottom of the stem and a different texture.

 The charging case is compact with a unique flip-top opening mechanism. The earbuds are relatively compact and should fit most ear sizes comfortably.

Marshall Motif II Eabuds Review 4

Build quality feels solid overall, with an IPX5 rating, making them sweat and splash-resistant. The control buttons have a satisfying click, making blind operation easy during music playback or calls. The case is sturdy, but the flip-top lid could feel a bit flimsy over time.

Fit it good, but not the best. Like most earbuds, I need to use the larger tips, and I think these could do with a larger size. They fit well in my ear with a good seal, but they don’t feel quite as secure as some other earbuds. I have used these for outdoor running and the gym and have had no problems with needed to readjust them.

Marshall Motif II Eabuds Review 5

Marshall App & EQ

Marshall provides a dedicated app that allows users to control various aspects of the Motif II A.N.C earbuds. The Marshall app is available for both iPhone and Android devices and offers additional customisation options.

Using the app, users can adjust the equaliser (EQ) settings to fine-tune the sound to their preferences. The app provides a range of EQ presets to choose from, including the default “Marshall” preset, as well as options for bass boost, mid boost, treble boost, and mid reduction. This level of control allows users to tailor the audio experience to their liking.

Additionally, the app provides firmware updates for the earbuds, ensuring that users have access to the latest features and improvements. It also allows for customisation of touch controls, enabling users to define actions like play/pause, skipping tracks, and toggling between ANC and transparency modes.

Sound Quality

The Motif II A.N.C delivers an enjoyable sound quality with tight bass, natural sounding mids, and crisp treble. The 6mm dynamic drivers are able to reproduce a fairly wide frequency range.

While these are not neutral, they are more balanced than you find with many brands. Marshall Motif II A.N.C  vs Marshall Motif A.N.C 

In the default present, bass is good, but perhaps not as extended as most mainstream earbuds; I found this preset gives a good listening experience, allowing you to enjoy more detail from many tracks.

As I mainly use earbuds for exercise, I tend to prefer something a bit more bassy. The bass boost preset gives the bass a small but nice uplift in the low end and makes genres like hip hop and electronica a bit more lively.

 Mids sound accurate for vocals and guitars. The treble is well extended without getting overly bright or harsh.

Soundstage feels intimate but has decent width.

Overall the sound leans slightly warm with elevated bass and smooth treble. It’s a fun lively sound that suits pop, rock, hip-hop, and EDM genres nicely. Those looking for a more neutral reference sound may want to try other options, similarly, those that prefer thumping bass may find these a little underwhelming.

Active Noise Cancelling

The c II provides effective noise reduction that helps minimise ambient noise from traffic, chatter, and aeroplane engines.

As usual, to test these I played airplane cabin noise on my Edifier speakers at 80% volume.

ANC performance is very similar to the original Motif A.N.C model. When using my normal airplane cabin noise test, they were able to eliminate a good amount of the low end, but they left a lot of the mid to high-end frequencies.

With many affordable earbuds offering surprisingly good ANC nowadays, it is disappointing that Marshall has not made significant improvements since the previous generation.

Transparency mode lets in ambient sound and amplifies speech for brief conversations. Call quality is decent though the mic pickup sounds somewhat muffled in noisy areas. Wind noise reduction when outdoors could be better.

Retesting with Larger Ear Tips

In my original Motif review, I suspected the ANC performance was negatively affected by the ear tips not providing the same seal as other earbuds.

I definitely have large ears, but they are not freakishly large, and most earbuds use a large ear tip that works well for me.

I retested these using the ear tips from the Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2. This changed the performance quite a bit.

Previously, I found the bass boost a bit lacking when in the gym, so I tweaked the sound using a custom preset. With the new ear tips, the bass sounded unbalanced, and the bass boost profile was much better for lively music. Similarly, the Marshall preset sounded much better, with the bass coming through a bit more without muddying the other frequencies.

It also improved the ANC quite a lot. It is still not amazing, but there was a much larger noise reduction on the low and mid-range.

Battery Life

Marshall claims 6 hours of playtime with ANC on, rising to 9 hours with ANC off. During testing at moderate volumes, I achieved around 5.5 hours per charge with ANC enabled.

The charging case provides an additional 4 charges, delivering Marshall’s 30 hour total battery life claim. The fast charging feature is handy, providing 1 hour of playtime from just 15 minutes charging.

Five and a half hours of continuous playback per charge should satisfy most users.

Microphone / Call Quality

Call quality is serviceable in quiet indoor settings. My voice sounded clear to recipients without much background noise interference. In noisier environments, the microphone quality becomes more uneven.

The Motif II A.N.C lacks any advanced call features like multiple microphone beamforming. Thus, they aren’t ideal for consistent voice/video calls on-the-go. For casual brief calls, quality is fine. But for longer conversations, consider a headset with more advanced microphone arrays.

Price and Alternative Options

PreviewProductRatingPrice
Marshall Motif II ANC - True Wireless Active Noise... Marshall Motif II ANC - True Wireless Active Noise... No ratings yet £158.41Amazon Prime

With an MSRP of £179/$199, the Motif II A.N.C are priced on the low end of the premium options.

Like all Marshall products, you seem to pay a premium for the brand name and appearance, and I would certainly say these are more attractive than most earbuds.

The Final Audio ZE8000 MK2 I recently reviewed are £300. I prefer the Marshall, but the Final are better suited for people wanting a more neutral sound profile.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 are significantly better at ANC but costs a lot more at £240.

At a low price, I am fond of the Sony LinkBuds S, which are available for around £130.

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 are priced similarly at around £180.

Overall

The Marshall Motif II A.N.C is an incremental upgrade from the previous generation, with the main benefit being the improved battery performance.

Like all the Marshall products, they have a unique, attractive industrial design to match the Marshall branding, and this makes them stand out compared to most other brands.

I personally have some issues with the limited ear tip sizes. I think premium earbuds should come with a much wider range of ear tips, and in my case, the lack of a larger ear tip had a negative impact on my experience.

They sounded good with the standard ear tips, but the bass and ANC were a bit underwhelming, with a large ear tip, there is a significant improvement for both.

Overall, I think the Marshall Motif II A.N.C are excellent earbuds and I can easily recommend them, but if you are not totally happy with the performance then I’d suggest trying alternative eartips.

Marshall Motif II A.N.C Earbuds Review
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Last update on 2024-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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