Marshall's new noise cancelling earbuds offer next-gen Bluetooth and battery life

Marshall Motif ANC II
(Image credit: Marshall)

The newly launched Motif II ANC earbuds by Marshall promise to deliver that signature studio sound alongside improved active noise cancellation and battery playtime – they're also better connected too.  The news buds are set to go on sale on September 12, with a price tag of £179.99 / $199 / €199.

Marshall's amps have powered generations of classic rock, from Jimi Hendrix and Joe Satriani to Biffy Clyro and Muse, and the brand's audio adventures have taken it into smart speakers and of course ANC earbuds.

In our Marshall Motif ANC review, we said that they offered incredible sound and envious style, great battery life and fast charging that make them excellent competitors to the best AirPods. That's even more so now, as this model offers some useful improvements.

What's new in the Marshall Motif II ANC earbuds?

The new Marshall Motif II promise ten more hours of noise cancelling playtime than before: six hours from the buds alone and a further 24 hours from the case, with one hour extra playtime from a 15-minute fast charge; full recharging from flat is 1.5 hours over USB-C. 

The improved battery life is partly due to the use of Bluetooth LE Audio here, which manages to sip battery while delivering good audio performance. It should be more stable than previous Bluetooth versions too, which is always a plus.

The second generation offers improved ANC with an added microphone, transparency mode for letting the outside in and customisation via the Marshall phone app. The 6mm dynamic drivers deliver a frequency range from 20Hz to 20kHz and each bud weighs a relatively titchy 4.312g, so they should be comfortable for long listening sessions. And as these are in-ears they're less likely to fall out of your ears when head banging than Apple's less snug-fitting buds.

The current version of the Marshall Motif earbuds doesn't feature in our guide to the best wireless earbuds, but the combination of improved ANC and better battery life could well change that. Keep your eyes peeled for our in-depth review to discover how they compare to their impressive rivals such as my favorite, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.