Marshall expands its repertoire of stylish audio gear with the Mode II – its first pair of true wireless ear buds following the wave brought on by Apple’s AirPods.
For £159/$179, the iconic amp-maker promises fans powerful sound from 6mm drivers, along with a features list that tick many boxes, including a 25-hour battery life, Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, a wireless charging case, IPX4 water resistance, in-app EQ customisation and transparency mode.
Marshall also does away with the wires on the original Mode earbuds.
With no active noise cancellation (ANC), however, the real challenge will be standing out in a crowd of impressive yet cheaper non-ANC alternatives that also boast fierce sound.
The market-leading RHA TrueConnect 2, currently the best true wireless earbuds around, offers a 44-hour battery life and IP55 durability for £129.95.
Meanwhile, the Cambridge Melomania Touch, also priced at £129.95, boast an even more powerful 50-hour battery life, along with a customisable EQ and a transparency mode.
It’s worth noting, ANC is no longer reserved for premium earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM3 and the Bose QuietComfort.
You can pick it up for under £100 from budget options like Huawei Freebuds 3i and Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC, which cost £89.99 and £79.99, respectively. If you want value for money, there are plenty of options.
But Marshall is playing to a different tune – even though its included ANC before in the over-ear Monitor II ANC.
Marshall knows its value lies in its product as much as it lies in its legacy. It is a lifestyle brand with the swaggering cultural cachet newcomers (relatively speaking) like RHA or Anker can only envy.
It’s unlikely Marshall will compromise on sound, as that is the basis of its history, but until we get our hands on a pair to review, it’s impossible to tell just how much the Mode II will impress – or stumble into biting issues as the first-gen true wireless for the brand. But we’re keen to find out.
The Mode II is available to pre-order from 4 March and goes on sale on 18 March directly from Marshall.