Marshall Motif II ANC review: a real find

The Marshall Motif II ANC are premium TWS earphones designed to provide ‘a huge sound in a tiny package.’ I’ve been using the Marshall Motif II ANC earbuds for a while now, and they’ve been my constant companion in almost every situation, including the gym, home, office, and travel. The earbuds are priced under Rs 20,000 in India, making them a difficult purchase. Continue reading to see if the TWS prove their worth in this Marshall Motif II ANC review.

Fit and design

The Marshall Motif II ANC has a conventional shape similar to the Apple AirPods Pro and a leather-like skin covering that provides a pleasing in-hand feel and a rugged finish. This design choice also makes the audio product less prone to scratches, providing peace of mind wherever the earphones are used or stored. However, Marshall could have done a better job with the branding on the case, which has begun to fade after use. Given the premium value of the brand, this may be slightly off-putting for some.

Aside from that, the Motiff II ANC is slightly larger than the AirPods Pro. Nonetheless, the case is quite pocketable, and the earbuds themselves do not protrude too far from the ears. With an in-ear stem-shaped design and silicone tips, the earbuds fit comfortably in your ears. Despite their familiar appearance, the buds stand out with crosshatched stems and gold-plated end caps. The earbuds’ outer shell has a matte finish and is adorned with Marshall’s iconic ‘M’ etched on it.

In terms of fit, it’s ideal for everyday use. I’ve used the Marshall Motif II ANC earbuds during workouts, but they do require constant attention and adjustments to stay in place. As long as you’re not doing anything strenuous, the TWS should provide a comfortable and secure fit. To accommodate a wide range of ear canal sizes, the company offers replaceable ear tips in three sizes: small, medium, and large.

Features

Marshall has kept the feature set of the Motiff II TWS earphones to a bare minimum. As the name implies, the buds support Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) for an immersive listening experience. They also have Transparency mode to keep you aware of your surroundings, as well as touch controls to control music, receive/end calls, and enable/disable ANC. The touch controls are fairly accurate, but perhaps a little too sensitive. Even with the lightest touch, the buds would pause the music, frequently while being adjusted.

Regrettably, there is no way to regulate the intensity of the touch. You can disable the touch controls using the companion app, but doing so will result in some functionality being lost.

App companion

Marshall Bluetooth, a companion app for Android and iOS devices, is available for the Marshall Motif II ANC. On my Pixel 8, I had version 3.1.1 of the app installed, and everything worked perfectly. When I paired the earphones with the app, there were no issues, and I was able to easily manage EQ settings, noise cancellation and transparency mode intensity, auto-play/pause, battery preservation, and, of course, the limited touch controls.

ANC and sound quality

The Marshall Motif II ANC earbuds have 6mm dynamic drivers with a sensitivity of 108db. Coming from the more expensive Sony WF-1000 XM5, the Marshall TWS feels like a step down in both audio quality and ANC. The latter does not block out the outside world as effectively as the premium TWS pair. The background noise was quite noticeable with ANC turned on, regardless of the level set in the app, which could be a dealbreaker for many. Having said that, the transparency mode performs admirably on the Marshall Motif II ANC. It allows you to hear your surroundings with respectable clarity.

The Marshall Motif II ANC does not disappoint in terms of audio quality. The earbuds’ soundstage isn’t particularly large, but they provide a pleasant listening experience across genres. The buds bring out the lows while keeping the mids and highs in check.

Call quality and battery life

With or without ANC, the Marshall Motif II ANC has a playback time of six to nine hours on a single charge. The actual results may differ depending on your usage and volume preferences. Regardless, I found the battery life to be very close to the advertised duration. The case adds 20-26 hours of battery life, ensuring plenty of playtime before needing to be recharged. The Motif II ANC supports both wired and wireless charging, with the wired method being noticeably faster. The earbuds provide an additional hour of playback after only 15 minutes of charging. It takes about 3-4 hours to fully recharge both the case and the earbuds from 0% to 100%.

Verdict

The Marshall Motif II ANC is an excellent pair of TWS earphones. Despite some concerns about wear and tear, initial connectivity issues, and a slightly bulkier design when compared to competitors, the earbuds remain a comfortable fit for a variety of light-hearted activities. ANC and touch controls improve the overall user experience. However, I wish the touch controls were more adjustable and the ANC was a little stronger. When it comes to canceling out background noise, the Marshall Motif II may not match the top-tier competitors; for example, the Sony WF-1000 XM5 (review).

Editor’s rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Pros

  • The sound is rich.
  • Fit is comfortable.
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • ANC could have been more effective.
  • Touch controls that cannot be customized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *