Marshall Mode II – true wireless in-ear buds from Marshall

Marshall headphones has released its first true wireless, Bluetooth in-ear earphones, the Mode II. Built with the signature looks that Marshall fans will know and love, the buds feature custom-tuned dynamic 6mm drivers that create a rich audio experience with growling bass, natural-sounding mids and crisp treble.

The buds deliver 5 hours of wireless playtime on a single charge whilst the charging case offers another 4 charges equalling 25 hours of music playback. Once the case is out of battery, it can either be charged wirelessly or via USB-C.

Realistically, people who buy Marshall products love the design theme that runs throughout their product line-up and the Mode II are no different. The rugged design and embossed Marshall script mean that the charging case works hard while looking iconic. The earbuds display the Marshall “M” for a subtle but noticeable nod to the legacy of rock ’n’ roll.

Mode II offers a truly wireless experience with Bluetooth 5.1 technology. Easily control your music and phone calls, and activate Transparency mode and native voice assistant with just a touch of your finger.

The buds are IPX4 water-resistant and will be available online from 18 March at a price of £159.99 here in the UK.

Caviar Airpods Max

It wasn’t long until we saw a modified pair of Airpods Max on the market, and surely Caviar are one of the first to do it. If you don’t know about Caviar, it is a company that creates lavishly expensive versions of the world’s most wanted tech from iPhones with pieces of the moon to a piece of Steve Jobs’ polo neck.

This time the guys at Caviar have taken a pair of Airpods Max and gone next level. The metal elements of the headphones are coated in 18ct gold and the mesh headband is replaced with black crocodile leather.

There is no mention of the smartcase but knowing what Caviar does, it will probably be as lavish as most modern watch boxes. Now the price, is a little harder to swallow. Caviar are only making one of each colour (black or white) and it will cost $108,000.

Bugatti x Tidal Audio Royale speakers

Bugatti and Tidal audio have partnered up to bring ‘the BUGATTI of home audio’. Their first foray into the home audio market is with the Royale range of speakers said to lead the way for luxury in the home audio sector.

Technical avant-garde meets a passion for design, the perfect finish and outstanding results – with the visual promise of the breathtaking performance is how it is described in the press release with multiple comparisons to Bugatti’s road cars.

When ordering the new speakers, there are two main themes: Monocoque and Duotone. A choice between piano finishes or bright color and material combinations. Each loudspeaker pair can be customized with carbon fiber, fabrics, leather, polished stainless steel, dark aluminum or precious metal surfaces.

Each unit houses four subwoofer drivers and a three-way front unit with a midrange-driver and tweeter with diamond diaphragms. The Royale is an active speaker with housing extremely powerful amplifier channels inside. The matching music controller allows to connect to all kinds of sources, including music streaming services and TV and can be controlled with smart devices.

This partnership between the two brands has manifested itself in the ‘Edition Noir’ and ‘Edition Blanc’, each limited to only 15 pairs. As with most Bugatti products, if you have to ask the price you probably weren’t the right customer anyway.

Sony LSPX-S2 Glass Sound Speaker

This is an interesting and quirky product from Sony. The company has created a wireless speaker that also functions as a lamp, designed to look like an old gas lamp.

The clear upper glass tube houses the light whilst acting as the tweeter. In fact it has over 30 settings for brightness so there is one for every mood including a candle mode which flickers.

The body of the unit houses a 35mm driver which pushes out the midrange whilst the glass tube vibrates thanks to three actuators and disperses sound in a 360-degree motion, filling the room, whilst the optimised passive radiator provides the low end notes.

The speaker has 8 hours of battery life, supports NFC and Bluetooth connectivity, LDAC for high-resolution audio and direct Spotify link. It costs £550 but its party trick is seamlessly blending technology into the surroundings, as for the price there are probably better speakers and cheaper candles.

Ultimate Ears Fits – An earbud that fits any ear

Buying earbuds is always a challenge. There is always a risk that they won’t fit properly, they will be uncomfortable or just simply fall out, to be left and never worn again.

Ultimate Ears, an American company that produces in-ear monitors generally used by musical artists has created the ultimate fitting earbud for consumers. The UE Fits use LightForm Technology to mold the gel filled tips to your ear shape with in-built LEDs to harden and take shape in under 60 seconds.

Apart from being a truly custom fitting earbud, they have Bluetooth 5.0, provide 20 hours of listening time with the carry case, offer rapid charging getting 60 mins of playback with 10 mins of charge as well as being IPX3 sweat resistant and handsfree calling.

Available in three colours, Midnight Blue, Grey and Lilac at a special pre-order price of $199 in the US until the 10th, with it expected to ship to other countries after.

Sony WH-1000XM4 – MUST HAVE

That headline might look like a typo, but I guarantee that these are the new gold standard for wireless headphones. The 4th generation of over-ear Sony wireless noise-cancelling headphones is finally here.

Carrying on from the third generation, the XM4s are more intelligent, able to adjust ambient sound automatically based on your preferences and location. As we know, the XM3s have been the ones to beat for comfort, noise cancelling, sound quality and clarity when using the microphone.

One thing that will be noticeable is the ability to connect to two devices at once, meaning when a call comes in, the headphones know which device is ringing and connect to the right one automatically. You can also switch your headphones to either of the two devices at a single tap.

Battery life is up to 30 hours of use with noise cancellation or 38 hours without and you can fast charge them to give five hours of use with only 10 minutes of charge.

Some other interesting features – ‘Speak to Chat’ allows the headphones to recognise your voice and pauses the music whilst letting in ambient sound so that you can order your coffee or have a short conversation without taking your headphones off. But if you do choose to remove them for whatever reason, the XM4s will know that they have been taken off the head and will automatically stop the music and resume playing when you put them on again.

The headphones are already available to order, priced at £350 in the UK and available in either black or silver.

Marshall Emberton – a portable speaker packing a punch

The Marshall Emberton is the most compact Bluetooth speaker to the portable speaker range. Marshall utilises True Stereophonic, a unique form of multi-directional sound allowing the user to experience 360-degree sound.

How does it do that from such a small speaker? Marshall has found a way to separate the spatial content of stereo recordings, so that the small Emberton speaker can produce a much larger and louder sound than its footprint.

The Emberton features that iconic Marshall styling, such as the solid metal grille and iconic Marshall script adorn the front of the speaker, echoing the legacy of rock ’n’ roll. Up top, the speaker is controlled with a single multi-directional control knob allowing you to play, pause, skip tracks and adjust the volume of your speaker, as well as turn it on or off.

Combine that with IPX7 water resistance and over 20 hours of playback you have a true poolside companion. If your party goes longer than 20 hours, it can be fast charged with the USB-C cable offering 5 hours of playback in 20 minutes. It is available in store now for £129.99.