Marshall never fails to come out with sleek, stylish products, and the Marshall Motif ANC is no different. Hey guys, we have the Marshall Motif ANC earbuds with us today, and boy, do they look good.
So let’s talk design first. You get a plastic case that’s covered with a pebbled leather texture, and the Marshall logo where the lid meets the case. The Marshall logo is set above a mesh grill texture that’s very reminiscent of Marshall’s amps, which is a nice touch. There’s also a LED indicator, as well as a pairing button under that. There’s a USB-C port on the bottom of the case, although there’s also wireless charging here, which is very nice.
Inside, you get the earbuds. They’re definitely quite interesting, with a knurled diamond texture on the stems that kind of reinforces that mesh design, and it also helps with grip, which is great since the stems aren’t like, really big either.
Comfort-wise, they’re pretty decent, I’d say most people won’t have an issue with these and I can wear them for quite a few hours on end.
You get the Marshall Bluetooth App with these, and it’s pretty thorough. There are individual battery levels for the earbuds, the ANC/Transparency toggle, an EQ feature that’s somewhat limited, and the ability to customise what a long press does for the earbuds. It’s either just toggling ANC/Transparency, switching between EQ presets, pulling up the voice assistant or turned off.
As for touch controls, they’re pretty much the same across both sides. A single tap for play/pause, a double tap to skip forward and a triple tap to skip backwards. There’s also in-ear detection and it’s actually quite responsive, which is nice.
Marshall has included ANC in these, although it’s surprisingly… not that effective. Wearing these on public transport, I could hear the train announcer incredibly clearly, even though most other earbuds would have muffled it a bit. That being said, the train rumble was reduced though, so it’s probably just a problem with higher pitched noises like female voices and the likes. It’s fine for dampening the rumble of a car engine though, so that’s something to consider if you mostly take ride-sharing services.
There’s Bluetooth 5.2 on this, which is nice, and connection is pretty solid. Unfortunately, these only pair to one device at a time, so you’ll have to repair them constantly if you’re used to switching between your laptop and phone. There is SBC and AAC, but no aptX, which is a bit of a shame.
Battery life isn’t great either. You get 4.5 hours with ANC on, and this goes up to 6 hours with ANC off. You get a total of 20 hours with ANC on or 26 hours with ANC off when you include the case. 4.5 hours really is at the lower end of the range nowadays, with other earbuds providing 6 and even 8 hours with ANC. This is definitely one area Marshall needs to look at moving forward.
There’s IPX5 water resistance on the earbuds and IPX4 water resistance on the case, which is nice, because you typically don’t get a rating on the case. With how securely these sit in the ear, I think they’ll be pretty decent for exercise or runs.
As for mic quality, well, you probably won’t want to buy these for calls. I had a few complaints about my voice sounding very muffled, with cut off words from time to time. Indoors, it’s not too bad, but there’s still a bit of muffling.
Sound quality, though, is pretty good. You get a pretty good amount of bass, but what’s really nice is how crisp the mids and highs are. There’s plenty of detail and clarity, and vocals are definitely more forward and there’s a nice brightness and energy to the highs.
The soundstage is okay, if a smidge narrow, but layering and accuracy is quite good.
At S$349 or US$199, it’s not really affordable. In fact, I’d say the S$349 price tag is a bit much. If you really like the design and the sound, then by all means, but I would probably only be willing to go up to around S$269 for these, simply because of the subpar battery life and the average ANC.