MOTIF II A.N.C. experience: waterproof with 30 hours of battery life, Marshall has made some practical upgrades in the signature rock style

Back in the summer of 2023, Marshall launched a new generation of true wireless noise-canceling headphones MOTIF II ANC, priced at 1,599 yuan in China.

MOTIF II continues the appearance design of the first generation MOTIF. The charging box is as round as a small soap and is very compact in the hand. The outline is somewhat similar to AirPods Pro.

Marshall's most iconic lychee leather texture treatment has been added to the surface of the box, and the handwritten logo in the middle is white like other Marshall true wireless headphones.

The physical buttons are placed on the front of the charging box just like the original MOTIF ANC. Marshall integrated the buttons into the pebbled leather pattern of the charging box in a way that looks like making a protective case, so that it doesn't look too obtrusive.

The back of the charging box is flat, and there is a small area under the hinge with MOTIF II ANC printed on it to print the earphone and charging box parameters. The purpose of making the back so flat is also to place the coil for wireless charging.

The MOTIF II ANC earphones also adopt a "two-stage" design. The part where the original components such as the unit are placed is made of a matte black shell with fine particles. The inside is smooth glossy black, and the charging contacts are placed underneath the inside.

The ear stems are made of metal, and the metallic black squares and golden chassis design are reminiscent of the previous designs of Marshall speakers. The ear stems are not vertical to the body, but tilted forward so that the earphones can be adjusted to a suitable angle when worn.

The size of the in-ear is moderate, just enough to fit into the gap of the outer ear without causing any outward pressure on the helix body. It is also stable enough when wearing the earphones, which may be a bit uncomfortable if you are running fast or doing other strenuous exercises with a large range of physical activity. Pressure, but won't fall off easily with daily use.

Marshall provides earmuffs in three sizes: large, medium, and small. The earmuffs are soft and have a certain sense of friction, which ensures stability and does not make it easy to feel that the ears are stretched.

There is a mesh inside the mouthpiece to prevent earwax from falling into the mouthpiece, making cleaning much easier.

In terms of protection function, the charging box of MOTIF II ANC supports IPX4 waterproofing, and the waterproof level of the earphones is IPX5. Simple splashing and outdoor use are not a big problem.

In terms of configuration, MOTIF II ANC has built-in wireless solutions that support Bluetooth 5.3 and LE Audio, and supports the most basic SBC and AAC Bluetooth coding. Considering that Marshall's sound performance is mainly reflected in its own style rather than sound specifications, it is understandable that MOTIF II ANC does not support high-standard encoding such as LDAC and aptX Adaptive.

In terms of noise reduction, both sides of the MOTIF II ANC headphones are equipped with a dual-microphone system for active noise reduction and a microphone dedicated to call noise reduction. The dual microphones for active noise reduction are distributed on the upper and inner sides of the earphones, which is a commonly used configuration mode at present.

In addition, Marshall has upgraded the noise reduction algorithm. MOTIF II ANC users can adjust the noise reduction intensity in the Marshall application. When switching from active noise reduction mode to transparency mode, there will be a smoother transition than the previous generation.

Judging from actual experience, the noise reduction effect of MOTIF II ANC is stronger than that of the old model. It can block the sound of fans, keyboards and background music in offices and coffee shops, and can stay quiet when no music is playing.

The noise reduction effect has been improved, and the pressure caused by noise reduction is also stronger. If some users feel that the highest level of noise reduction is still a bit tiring after listening to it, they can adjust the noise reduction intensity in the app.

The switching between noise reduction mode and ambient sound is at a normal level, and there will be a smooth and obvious startup sound at the beginning. This is not much different from the same type of noise reduction headphones.

In terms of sound configuration, MOTIF II ANC uses a driver unit with an impedance of 16Ω. The sound characteristics and advantages are concentrated on low frequencies.

When listening to rock-flavored songs, the drum beats of MOTIF II ANC give people a very full and impactful feeling. The overwhelming drum beats will give people a blood-boiling impulse. Moreover, the earphones don't feel stiff like digital synthesis when processing drum beat rebound, and the overall sound is well packaged, sounding richer than simple beats.

Marshall also enhanced the vocals. They used a very traditional method to make the vocals sharper and more prominent, and the distance between them and the singers was also much closer. The overall feeling of the headphones to me is that they are using new units and tuning to restore the effect of a traditional rock EQ preset.

The battery life of MOTIF II ANC is also good. The playback time of 6 hours on a single machine is quite satisfactory. With the charging box, it can reach 30 hours. It can be used continuously for three days without touching the charging pad.

In addition, the earphones support fast charging mode that charges for 15 minutes and plays for one hour, so I basically don’t need to connect the charging cable when commuting during the day or at work. When I get home and go to bed, I put the charging box on the wireless charging pad, which is not enough for daily use. Sometimes I use a wired short-term charger for 15-20 minutes while writing, and I don’t need to worry about battery life.

After the overall experience, you will find that MOTIF II ANC is still a very Marshall headset.

The sound performance is mainly low-frequency, and with the signature of "Marshall-style bass", the sound of MOTIF II ANC can go further, making the style it is good at better, and attracting more users who love Marshall style.

Adjustments such as optimizing the wearing experience, improving battery life, and enhancing noise reduction performance are all aimed at enhancing the overall performance of the headphones, and making some practical experience upgrades on the Marshall-style noise reduction flagship to make it better to use.

Therefore, if you are a heavy user who pursues Marshall style, and you have a need for noise-cancelling headphones, and want to find a portable noise-cancelling headset that is flexible and easy to use, then MOTIF II ANC is still worth trying.

"Buy it, it's not expensive."

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