Marshall, the iconic British guitar amplifier brand, has revealed its first set of true wireless earbuds, the $179 Mode II. The earbuds are available for pre-order today, with shipping starting March 18.
And just in case you’re not obsessively paying attention to tech publications like Digital Trends, Marshall intends to make everyone aware of these new earbuds (plus its $319 Monitor II ANC and $149 Major IV wireless headphones) via a “Never Stop Listening” ad campaign featuring none other than veteran punk rocker Iggy Pop.
We’re not quite sure what to make of the Marshall Mode II. Its price, at $179, suggests that it should be a premium product with premium features, and yet Marshall’s claimed specifications seem a little underwhelming:
- IPX4 water resistance
- Tunable EQ via a mobile app
- Transparency (ambient) mode
- Five hours of battery life per charge, 25 hours total with the charging case
- Wireless or USB-C charging
- Voice assistant compatible
There’s no active noise cancellation (ANC), and no mention of things like auto-pause, touch control customization, single earbud use, or Bluetooth Multipoint, all of which are features we’ve found on true wireless earbuds for the same price or less.
What these specs don’t tell us is how the Mode II will perform in terms of sound quality. If they live up to Marshall’s promise of “growling bass, natural-sounding mids, and crisp treble,” then it’s possible these earbuds will be more than the sum of their parts.
What’s clear from looking at the press photos is that Marshall has found a way to bring its signature, amp-inspired aesthetics to the true wireless earbud category. The charging case uses the same textured finish and instantly recognizable Marshall logo as the company’s line of Bluetooth speakers, which helps to set them apart from the sea of black-encased earbuds you’ll find on Amazon.
In looking at Marshall’s specs for the Mode II, something else becomes immediately apparent: These earbuds and their case are really light — just 44.5 grams in total. That’s lighter than the Apple AirPods with wireless charging case (48 grams), which are some of the lightest true wireless earbuds you can buy.
Marshall was kind enough to pass along a sample of the Mode II, and our first impressions are very positive — these things sound great. Check back with us soon for our full review.
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