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Marshall’s new headphones target Apple AirPods buyers

Whether you’re an Apple fan or not, it remains the most influential company when it comes to true wireless headphones, and Marshall is using it to its advantage with the launch of two new models designed to compete directly with AirPods and AirPods. . Pro: The Marshall Minor III at $ 129 and the Marshall Motif ANC at $ 199. You can pre-order the Motif ANC today from Marshall, with sales starting September 30. The Minor III can be purchased from today.

Apple headphones are incredibly popular, but the company was content to only offer them in white. This preserves the instantly recognizable look of Apple products, but it doesn’t do much for people who would prefer something a little more stylish. And style has always been Marshall’s strong suit. Building on the classic heritage of Marshall-branded guitar amps, the Minor III and Motif ANC are the stylistic equivalent of giving Apple headphones a bad boy rock’n’roll makeover.

The features of the Minor III and Motif ANC will be very familiar to Apple fans. The Minor III offers an ultra-simple wireless experience, with a set of earphones that have an open shape instead of silicone ear tips. In terms of shape, they are almost identical to AirPods. Even their wireless charging case uses the same size and shape of the flip cover. Marshall claims the Minor III will “blow your mind” with 12mm drivers that are customized to deliver enhanced bass, smooth mids, and clear highs.

I hope that’s not overdone, because aside from the sound and style, the Minor IIIs are incredibly stripped down. There’s no app for EQ settings or customization of controls, and although they mimic the AirPods’ auto-pause feature when you take out an earbud, they have no way of letting you go. trigger a voice assistant like Siri or Google Assistant. Controls are limited to play / pause, answer / end call, and skip forward / backward. Battery life is almost the same as AirPods (five hours per charge, 25 hours total with included case), and even their water protection (IPX4) is the same as Apple earphones. .

True to the cooler-than-Apple theme, the Motif ANC delivers an AirPods Pro experience. You get active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency modes, both of which can be set in the Marshall app, along with an adjustable EQ and customization of controls. Unlike the Minor III, you can choose to trigger your voice assistant by long pressing the Motif’s touch controls or toggle between three different EQ modes.

The charging case, which again looks a lot like Apple’s but clad in textured black plastic, offers wireless charging. Battery life seems to be almost the same as AirPods Pro: 4.5 hours per charge with ANC on and 20 hours more battery life in the charging case, but water protection is slightly better. (IPX5 vs. IPX4).

Marshall tends to charge extra for its products over other brands, but in this case, the company decided to come up with a set of lower-cost alternatives to Apple products. Is it worth considering? Marshall’s first true wireless headphones, the Mode II, offered powerful sound and a lot of style, but we found them overpriced. If the Motif ANC and the Minor III found a better balance, they might be a great option – we’ll let you know as soon as we try them.

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