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Marshall Acton II Review

Smart-homes are no longer tomorrow’s world. The “Internet of Things” has become part of our daily lives, and in this review, we are going to discover why a Bluetooth speaker is an essential addition to any household.

We need a speaker that will connect to our smartphone. Connectivity needs to include access to the internet and Bluetooth. Crucially, it must deliver enough oomph to satisfy even the biggest headbanger.

With so many options and features available, it can be an arduous task. However, choosing the right Bluetooth speaker can transform our home. With hands-free control, voice activation, and a myriad of other features, the future has arrived.

Here is a contender who aims to deliver the lot! And our in-depth Marshall Acton II Review will reveal whether the legend of sound can step up and take center stage.

Court Marshall

Marshall has spent decades delivering the soundtrack to our lives. They have experience in perfecting the sonic landscape for some of the greatest ever bands and musicians. Now it’s time to invite this behemoth of amplification into our living rooms.

There are many features to examine with the Marshall Acton II, so let’s get going…

Marshall Acton II
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

First Appearance

The design of this speaker is simply stunning. It incorporates the familiar, iconic looks of Marshall’s historic amps. Put simply; we love this time-honored style!

Old school…

There are nice touches in the build. The mixture of the salt and pepper mesh, black vinyl, and brass creates a classic cool vibe. Likewise, the elegant front etched brass plate and historic Marshall Logo help to polish off the look.

That’s not all!

Other details in the aesthetics of this speaker help to jazz up the design. Volume and tone dials are delightfully lit by LED lights to display the levels. Furthermore, we can adjust the intensity of the lighting to match our mood.

Additionally, the brass controls on the top panel complement the retro motif. Boosted by a strong wooden frame, it has a robust feel. And for the finishing touch, the front LEDs complete the modern classic appearance.

Sound and Vision


So far, so good. But, is this just style over substance? Time to examine the fundamental feature of any speaker. Does this go up to eleven?

Triple Whammy!

Dual tweeters and a subwoofer provide the power for the petite yet potent Marshall Acton II. And this compact amp most certainly packs a punch! The sound projects well in rooms of different sizes without distorting at higher volumes.

Furthermore, there are easy to use analog controls which allow you to calibrate the treble and bass to suit any room. Plus, the volume can be adjusted by simply using the vintage-styled brass knob.

Plus, we can refine the tone through the Marshall Voice app, but more on this later. Overall, given the diminutive size, this speaker offers a deep, rich, sonic soundscape.

Connectivity


This is where the Marshall Acton II comes alive. There are many options on display here. Let’s start with the big guns.

Alexa has joined the party!

This is not just a standard Bluetooth speaker. The addition of Amazon’s Alexa allows us to access almost any content. It’s like having our own stage crew doing the heavy lifting.

From podcasts to playlists, the options are limitless. Whether effortlessly connecting to streaming services or searching for our favorite bands’ tour dates, she can do it all. Whatever we need, Alexa has us covered.

How can we actually use this?

Connecting through Bluetooth and WiFi, we can synchronize all our smart devices. Alexa enabled gadgets can all be managed through the speaker’s microphone. This functions as the central hub for our smart home!

A dab hand…

This speaker is truly hands-free. There is an effective array of noise-canceling microphones. This means that the voice activation feature works well, even from a distance or when blasting out the tunes!

From the toaster to the TV we can have total command over the home. Now is the time to embrace the digital networking of devices. And, this is just what is needed.

The best part?

Need to leave the room to grab a coffee? No problem. By connecting with other compatible devices, it allows us to play our favorite hits across the home. This multi-room function means we never miss a beat.

Jack of all trades…

There are not only WiFi and Bluetooth connections on offer here. A 3.5 mm input will allow a simple hook up to a turntable or other external inputs. Likewise, the switching source is as straightforward as the push of a button.

This all sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, set-up can be fiddly. We need to have the Marshall Voice app and the Amazon Alexa app installed on a smartphone. Plus, it can take a couple of attempts to connect to the apps.

That said, once up and running, there are some useful extra features on the app. An uncomplicated equalizer to fine-tune the sound. What’s more, there are further functions available, including switching between multiple speakers.

So, is there a catch?

This requires a power source and, as such, needs to be plugged into the mains. Therefore, this is is not 100% wireless so, you can’t readily move the speaker. So, if you want a fully portable rig for the poolside or the beach, then this is not the speaker for you.

Cash in hand…

Whilst not breaking the bank, it is not a budget option either. Nonetheless, we can have a piece of music royalty in the form of the Marshall Acton II. Also, having Alexa integrated within the speaker is a game-changer.

Marshall Acton II Review Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Time-honored design.
  • Connectivity.
  • Integrated Alexa.
  • Great sound quality.
  • Proven brand.

Cons

  • A little pricey.
  • Cumbersome App.
  • Mains powered.

Also see: Marshall Stanmore II Wireless Bluetooth Review

Looking for more superb powered speaker options?

Then take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers, the Best Floor Standing Speakers, the Best Powered Speakers, the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500, and the Best Wireless TV Speakers currently on the market.

Or how about the Best Computer Speakers Under $100, the Best Sonos Speaker, the Best Solar Powered Bluetooth Speakers, the Best Tailgate Speakers, and the Best Budget Studio Monitors Under $200 you can buy in 2021.

Marshall Acton II Review Final Thoughts

So what’s the real story here? Just how good is this speaker?

There is a lot to like. This will sit discreetly in your home without being conspicuous. Furthermore, the mixture of traditional looks and advanced, state-of-the-art functionality makes this a contemporary classic.

It sounds great on paper…

And it sounds great in the real world! You have just enough firepower to satisfy the average metalhead without sacrificing acoustic quality. But is the Marshall Acton II just a safe all-rounder?

Marshall Acton II Review


No way!

But, for us, Alexa seals the deal. The connectivity options this speaker unit offers is unequaled.

Turn it on, turn it up, and kick out the jams!

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