Marshall, it’s a sound. From the end of the sixties, the American brand became one of the cornerstones of rock’n’roll. His guitar amplifiers were used both on stage and in the studio by Jimi Hendrix who, from 1969, became its most popular and sultry ambassador.

The sound signature of the American brand, with buzzing distortion and a “crunch” effect due to saturation, then capsized the necks of representatives of hard rock like Jimmy Page, guitarist of Led Zeppelin, or of Frenchman Norbert Krief, of Trust. . Others guitar heros Eric Clapton, Slash from Guns N’Roses and members of AC / DC who love it will follow in their monstrous concerts. Even pop and hip-hop stars who also climb amp walls during their show, like Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar or Lana Del Rey.

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This long story of passionate love, Marshall has been cultivating it since 1962! Before celebrating, with great fanfare we are told, its 60 spring, the electrified giant enriched, a few weeks ago, its catalog of in-ear headphones. Via the release of its Motif ANC, it promises the sound “of the pit” of a concert hall, plus adjustable active noise reduction. Deal ?

Small but strong

Barely launched, already out of stock. Last September, Marshall launched its Motif ANC on the market with great fanfare, ie true wireless headphones “with amplified sound quality”. When unpacking the package, we find with pleasure the rock and dark design of the brand, from which comes out a plastic case in imitation cracked leather, flocked with its eternal white logo. Case which, when recharged, especially wirelessly, provides 20 hours of additional reading time per charge.

Inside, the two headphones seem to crash like two jacks on an amp. At first glance, unlike some of their competitors Sony or Nothing, this ultralight black plastic pair looks relatively fragile. The first manipulations are hesitant, for fear of breaking them. But as they are used, and more or less unfortunate falls – test requires, the pair seems to take the blows pretty well. Solid like rock, then.

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Marshall rock sound

If you like metallic, relaxed, cold, punchy and ultimately very rock sounds, you will be served. We find the sound signature of Marshall. Fans of hard rock, metal and other booming guitars will be in heaven. The reissue of Metallica’s “Black Album”, to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of its release, will sound like never before with its new mixing and mastering.

The same goes, finally, for the hip-hop or ragga productions of the moment. The finesse is held thanks to the plump bass; high mids and highs are well balanced by the 6mm drivers. But if you do not adore loud chords, and prefer classical or folk music, it is better to go your way and choose other musical companions less typical and temperamental.

Listening, for only example, the work of Velvet Underground, the original mix seems to have taken a hell of a blow of old with these Motif, saturating at times. Horrible to listen to with them, a little less with others. It is true that when you choose Marshall, you wait impatiently for its crunch (saturation produced by pushing your tube amp to a certain volume)… Unfortunately, as close to the ears, the crush is not there.

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Modular noise reduction

Side active noise reduction, the American manufacturer gives the possibility via its Marshall Bluetooth to be able to precisely adjust its level of intensity. And it’s a small revolution, unlike the vast majority of its competitors who only offer predefined universes. Surprisingly, even in the middle of the city on a large boulevard, there is no need to fully push this feature, which can make you nauseous when it is too high.

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Is this made possible by the natural isolation of these two headphones, similar in shape to that of Nothing Ear (1) or AirPods Pro? It would seem good. It should also be noted that, like their case, they are of good resistance to water splashes (IPX5 certification for the Motifs and IPX4 for the case).

Big downside, however: if the pair is well equipped with touch controls, to control the skip of the song played, call the voice control of the smartphone or play on the equalizer or noise reduction, it is impossible to control the volume. Pity.

Conclusion:

Sold at a price of 199.99 euros, the Motif ANC keep their promise for Marshall’s great plunge into the ultra-competitive world of true wireless headphones with adjustable active noise reduction. The great strength of this product is undoubtedly its iconic sound signature, with crunchy harmony, which will suit the rocker who may lie dormant in you but will undoubtedly disappoint the listener who is more demanding in the classic balance of sounds. .

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But with a light weight, a sleek design and good water resistance, these headphones turn out to be a nice surprise for our audiophile ears, despite the few prejudices we had at the start, and the absence of the mentioned functions. higher (like touch volume control). The American promised “an enormous sound” offering “real concerts in our pocket”. The promise is kept, and his punchline hits the mark.

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