It looks like Marshall has fully-committed to producing high-quality wireless audio solutions. The best evidence we have is the latest iteration of the Marshall Stanmore II with Alexa-enabled voice commands and controls.
Marshall has put its stamp all over this speaker. Aside from the Bluetooth and wireless connections, as well as Alexa voice commands, this compact speaker is a pure Marshall machine. One look almost says it all. It is clear that Marshall has effectively taken their soundstage for live guitars and applied it to audio recreation from digital formats.
So, what does this little “combo-esque” speaker hold in store?
You’re about to find out in our Marshall Stanmore II Wireless Wi-Fi Alexa Voice Review…
For anyone who is unaware, Marshall is arguably the leading maker of electric guitar amplifiers in history. Currently, there is some dispute on the matter. But there is no question that Marshall amps ruled for nearly 50 years.
Today, it seems the company has decided the formula that went into creating those iconic and glorious amps could be applied to different mediums. Should that also happen to be an increasingly lucrative market sector? Well, all the better.
A new tradition?
The Stanmore II is not the first foray by Marshall into personal audio solutions. And we are quite certain it will not be the last.
The next few years should be very interesting to see what Marshall will come up with next. Our money is on a USB audio interface paired with a premium DAW.
For now, let’s see how this pretty piece of kit performs…
First of all, the build is pure Marshall aesthetics. It features black and white speaker cloth that evokes the classic image of a Marshall stack. Of course, a gold-plated Marshall logo sits right in the middle.
The finish is a lovely black leatherette. Likewise, the control panel on the to features a gold-plated mounting plate. Again, a nod to the look Marshall is known for.
Compact, but not really portable…
It is a fairly compact speaker. The measurements are 16.7 x 11 x 10.4 inches. As a result, you can place it almost anywhere in your home where space is available. While it is compact, it doesn’t have the same portability as other similar speakers.
There is no carrying handle or strap. Furthermore, it weighs just over ten pounds. So, without a handle, you will have to carry it around in both hands. The portability is also limited by the power supply. It must be plugged into the mains since there is no built-in battery. As a result, you cannot really take it anywhere at any time.
Overall, this speaker is sturdy and durable. Not to mention quite appealing to just look at. Credit goes to Marshall for knowing how to build speaker cabinets in the first place.
How this speaker actually performs is pretty important. And we can say the sound on this speaker is superb. Can it serve as a party speaker? Probably not. Will it fill larger and small rooms in your home with detailed and clear audio? Most definitely.
We can’t say we were surprised at the sound quality of this speaker. We have been using Marshall gear for playing live for years. And this speaker lives up to those performance standards.
The sound is clear, balanced, detailed, and powerful. However, it is geared towards rock and roll, blues, and similar musical genres. EDM, House, and some Hip Hip might come across as a little thin on the low-end. But that is not a deal-breaker in our eyes.
Furthermore, we found no distortion or loss of clarity when the volume was cranked up. It certainly can fill a room in your home. And does a great job in the backyard as well.
Powering the sound of this speaker are two 15-watt Class D amplifiers for the tweeters. As well as a 50-watt Class D amplifier for the subwoofer. Combined, they offer a rich, powerful, and balanced audio reproduction.
The frequency response is a respectable 50 – 20,000 Hz and a generous sound pressure level of 101 dB. Both add to the clarity and precision of the sound. And allow for uncolored playback at high volume levels.
The bottom line is that this speaker can handle a variety of music, even when played loudly. It will deliver your favorite tunes with sweet and lively accuracy.
First of all, are the physical analog controls. These are located on the top and look identical to the control knobs on a classic Marshall stack. There are knobs for Volume, Bass, and Treble. This allows you to shape your sound quickly and easily.
Likewise, there are control buttons for audio source, play/pause, and mute/unmute for the microphone.
Virtual and digital controls…
In addition to the analog control knobs, this speaker includes the Marshall Voice app. You can use your smartphone to customize your preferred sound with this app. And you can even create and save different presets.
Furthermore, the app allows you to create playlists, select tracks, play/pause a song, and adjust the volume.
But there is more…
Alexa is listening…
One of the main features of this speaker is Amazon’s Alexa. When Alexa is enabled, you don’t even need to lift a finger to play and control your music. Simply ask Alexa to play a song, adjust the volume, and even shut down the unit.
Plus, you can still ask Alexa to find information for you. In other words, you get the same Alexa experience as you would with a simple Alexa unit but with much higher sound quality and in a far more stylish housing.
When Alexa is active, there an LED indicator will light up. Just make sure you mute the microphone when singing along to your jams. Otherwise, Alexa might just answer, “Where is my mind?”
This speaker offers some good versatility when it comes to connections.
There are a 3.5mm and RCA input jacks. This means you can connect to your mobile, tablet, or even computer. Plus, you can even connect to your stereo system or TV.
However, this speaker is not designed for cinematic audio reproduction. So, bear that in mind if you are looking to improve your home theater.
In addition to the standard wired connection, the Marshall Stanmore offers several wireless connections.
The first is Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. This gives you a lossless sound that works for a range of up to thirty feet. However, there are no codecs for aptX or AAC. Second, you have Alexa voice command as well as Spotify connect. This gives you more options for sourcing your musical tastes.
And third, you have basic WiFi connectivity. You can easily connect to your home WiFi network and play tunes from your commuter or other devices on the network.
Marshall Stanmore II Wireless Wi-Fi Alexa Voice Review Pros and Cons
- Excellent soundstage.
- Stylish and iconic appearance.
- Convenient, durable, and compact.
- Alexa voice commands enabled.
- Customizable sound settings.
- Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
- Wired 3.5mm and RCA connection.
- Marshall Bluetooth app.
- No aptX or AAC codecs.
- No crying handle or strap.
- Slightly expensive.
Looking for Something Else?
Marshall Stanmore II Wireless Wi-Fi Alexa Voice Review Final Thoughts
If you like the convenience of Alexa voice command and also enjoy listening to clear and precise musical reproductions, this speaker could be perfect for you.
On the flip side, the inclusion of Alexa makes this particular Marshall speaker more expensive. There is a Marshall Stanmore without Alexa that costs less and still offers the same high-quality soundstage.
Some may find the Alexa option seals the deal. Others may find it to be an unnecessary luxury.
That being said, this speaker is certainly a sign of things to come for Marshall. The kind of sound quality, durability, and style Marshall has built a reputation on are all here. Plus, some new functions, like the Marshall Voice app, that shows this legendary company may not have reached its peak.
Until next time, happy listening.