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Hands-on with Marshall’s first true wireless earbuds: Mode II was worth the wait

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Today, Marshall is unveiling the latest addition to its collection of retro-themed audio products. Marking the first time the brand is getting into the true wireless earbud space, the new Marshall Mode II arrive with all of the usual vinyl-wrapped stylings you’d expect, but also with transparency mode, a compact design, and up to 25-hour playback per charge. Head below for all of the details on the new unveils as we take a hands-on look at the latest that Marshall has to offer.

Marshall unveils new Mode II earbuds

The new Mode II True Wireless Earbuds enter with a design that is unmistakably Marshall. As with just about everything the brand makes from its over-ear headphones to portable speakers, you’ll find a vinyl-wrapped exterior that allows these to stand out from other buds on the market. That retro styling is quite apparent on the charging case, with a more toned-down design on the earbuds themselves.

Now, where Mode II differs from what we’ve seen from Marshall in the past is that these are the brand’s very first pair of true wireless earbuds. Sure the cable-free form factor has been around for years now, and Marshall even acknowledges they’ve taken their time to enter the market. But not without good reason, as you’ll find all of the brand’s signature features here alongside some inclusions that allow the earbuds to stand out from other premium offerings on the market. 

Compact size, balanced sound 

On top of the retro stylings present here, one of the first things that caught my eye was just how tiny the entire package is. From the charging case to the Mode II buds themselves, Marshall has delivered one of the more compact offerings out there. Compared to AirPods Pro, the new release clocks in with an even more pocket-friendly form factor. That’s alongside the earbuds which ditch the stem found on Apple’s versions for a design that is notably more dense. 

But looks aside, there is plenty more to like here with the new Mode II. Arguably the most enticing feature will be the noise isolation and transparent mode, which arrives to block out the world around you. The in-ear design blends quite well with the 6mm drivers to dish out Marshall’s signature sound, but also create a distraction-free listening experience. 

Marshall has also built touch controls onto the Mode II earbuds that round out the package alongside sweat resistance. Tapping the left earbuds will enable the ambient sound mode, while a longer press will summon Siri or whichever voice assistant your connected device is imbued with. Over on the right earbud, a tap will play or pause your tunes, but there the Mode II will also handle that automatically when taken out of your ears.

You’ll also be able to enjoy 25 hours of battery life thanks to the charging case. Then on top of being able to refuel the Marshall Mode II with a USB-C cable, there’s also built-in support for using a wireless charger. 

Marshall Mode II now available for purchase

Marshall’s all-new Mode II True Wireless Earbuds enter with a $179 price tag and are now available for purchase directly from the brand’s online storefront. Shipping is slated for later in the month on March 18.

9to5Toys’ Take

At the end of the day, Marshall Modes II enter into an already crowded market, yet somehow manage standout in more ways than one. After getting to use these over the past week, the earbuds have quickly become my go-to for rocking out during the day. I find myself reaching for them over my AirPods Pro on nearly every occasion now because how well-rounded of an experience Marshall has cooked up here. 

Sound quality is balanced with the right amount of punch from bass, and they’re so comfortable that on more than one occasion I’ve forgotten I was even wearing them to begin with. 

They manage to check all of the right boxes at the price point and enter with a design that looks as good as they sound. Sure you’re missing out on the typical Apple Magic that many have come to expect, but that is more than okay in my book.

For starters, the Marshall Mode II earbuds are not only notably more affordable, but also arrive with a robust list of features and slick overall design. Even if these don’t pack best-in-class in active noise cancellation or have the tight-knit Apple ecosystem functionality, these earbuds have a rock-solid execution that make them easy to recommend. 

Buy the new Marshall Mode II earbuds

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