You wait ages for a pair of Marshall true wireless in-ear headphones, and then three lots come along at once. Yes, the legendary British amp (and more recently headphones and speakers) manufacturer has launched a whole new line-up of true wireless in-ears, including the Motif A.N.C., the brand’s first ANC-toting buds.
You might already know about the Mode II (£159/$179), the company's first ever true wireless earphones, which caused a sizable ripple of excitement when they appeared back in March. Marshall's rock 'n' roll heritage is very much alive and well here, the buds' 6mm custom-tuned dynamic drivers helping to deliver a “thunderous audio experience” characterised by ball-busting bass, natural mids and crisp treble. Boasting a durable rubberised finish, these ergonomic 'phones are designed to fit snugly inside your lugholes, but in case your ears are freakishly big or small, Marshall has included four different tip sizes.
Marshall has always been generous when it comes to battery life (it's claimed that the noise-cancelling Major IV cans provide around 80 hours on a full charge!), and it's delivered the goods again with the Mode II. These buds offer five hours of playtime on their own, but keep the charging case close by and you'll have 25 hours of music playback at your disposal. The case can also be charged wirelessly – although a USB-C cable is included in the package in case you'd rather do it the old-fashioned way. Throw in IPX4 water resistance, touch-responsive controls for managing your music and calls, native voice assistance and Bluetooth 5.1 technology, and these are surely a no-brainer for your festive wishlist.
Or at least they would be if Marshall hadn't decided to be flash and launch another pair of killer true wirelesses. The second pair, the Minor III, have just landed and offer an impressive spec – custom-tuned 12mm drivers, 25 hours of playtime with the carry case (five without), IPX4 water resistance, touch-sensitive controls and a cosy open-fit design – all for the budget price of £119/$129.
However, the set that we're most excited about are the Motif A.N.C. (£179.99/$199, available from 30 September; pre-order from Marshall now), a premium set of earbuds that offer not only true wireless functionality but active noise cancelling, too. Powered by dynamic 6mm drivers, these conjure up what Marshall describes as “the biggest sound in the smallest package”. While that's a reason to smile, there may be times when you need to hear other stuff – i.e. the doorbell ringing or the microwave pinging. Acknowledging this, the manufacturer has installed the ability to set your own noise cancelling and transparency levels. If you’re looking for a great AirPods alternative, these could be it.
Using the touch controls, you can answer calls, too, and with dual microphones built in, your buddy will hear you like you're in the next room (maybe you are). With 4.5 hours of standalone battery life when using full active noise cancelling (20 hours with the charging case) and IPX5 water resistance also on board, we're confident in saying that you’ll struggle to find a better buy for less than 200 notes this year.
Find out more at the Marshall headphones site.