Marshall Stanmore II Review
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Marshall Stanmore II
$299.00 at Amazon
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|Pros||Makes guitars sound great, Alexa built-in, loud||Excellent Sound, Great volume, relatively compact, many connection options||Great sound quality, great volume, battery powered, easy to connect/control multiple speakers||HiFi streaming compatible, 360 reality audio, great connectivity||Incredible audio quality, powerful volume, pairs with other soundlink models|
|Cons||Expensive, not the best in its price range||Expensive, multi-speaker management leaves a bit to be desired||Expensive, somewhat heavy to move around when used in battery mode||Multiple apps required for full functionality, bass sometimes overpowering||Expensive, not the most portable|
|Bottom Line||A good speaker with classic styling, but quite expensive given it sound quality||Our first recommendation for those looking for a single speaker that can flood your main living space with incredible sound||A premium home audio experience that can also be used wirelessly for outdoor listening||If you're looking for a live music experience from the comfort of home, this is the speaker for you||If lush audio in a portable package is your top priority, this is the best speaker you can buy|
|Rating Categories||Marshall Stanmore II||Bose Home Speaker 500||Sonos Move||Sony SRS-RA3000 360||Bose SoundLink Revo...|
|Sound Quality (40%)|
|User Friendliness (20%)|
|Specs||Marshall Stanmore II||Bose Home Speaker 500||Sonos Move||Sony SRS-RA3000 360||Bose SoundLink Revo...|
|Smart Home Compatability||Alexa||Alexa, Google Home||Alexa, Google Home||Google Home, Alexa||Siri, Google Assistant|
|Inputs||Bluetooth, 3.5mm Aux, WiFi||Bluetooth, 3.5mm Aux, WiFi, AirPlay||Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPlay||Bluetooth, WiFi, Google Cast, 3.5mm Aux||Bluetooth, Micro-USB, 3.5 mm Aux|
|Dimensions||11.7" x 17.2" x 10.9"||4.3" x 6.7" x 8"||9.4" x 4.9" x 6.2"||5.75" x 9.75" x 6.13"||4.13" x 4.13" x 7.25"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Marshall Stanmore II looks great and sounds good, but it can't quite live up to the quality of the other speakers in its price range.
The Marshall Stanmore II sounds good, but didn't really set itself apart from the rest of the field in our sound quality testing.
Like its sibling, the original Marshall Stanmore, the Stanmore II excels at making electric guitars sound good. In general we found that guitars riffs sounded a bit more lively on this speaker than others. However, that's where this speaker's exceptionalism ends. Its bass quality and power is about average. It offers a solid foundation on which the rest of the music can sit, but it lacks the thump of the likes of the Bose models. The clarity is also comparably average. Nothing sounds particularly muddled, but it lacks the impressive crispness that makes the Bose and Sonos models sound so good. That being said, we still really enjoyed listening to music on the Stanmore II, it just wasn't our favorite.
The Stanmore II has pretty much all of the accouterments one could want from a user experience, but still lacks some of the streamlined feel of its competitors.
If you're used to using Alexa devices, then controlling the Stanmore II with your voice will be second nature. We found its Alexa integration to be seamless. Marshall also added an app with this new iteration of its flagship speaker, which you can use to stream music directly to the speaker via your WiFi network (which is a bit more efficient than streaming it to your phone, and then linking the phone to the speaker via Bluetooth). However, we found this app to be a bit clunkier than those from Bose and Sonos.
This is one area where the Marshall Stanmore II is really impressive. It is one of the loudest speakers we've tested.
In our testing the Stanmore II more than lived up to its loud and proud guitar amp heritage. We were able to listen to the Stanmore II in a large apartment with 10 people inside it, and still feel like the maximum volume was way too loud. The Stanmore II will likely be up to powering whatever party you'd like to throw.
The Stanmore II was one of the leaders in our connectivity testing. It offers Bluetooth, WiFi, and 3.5mm auxiliary inputs. Plus, it has Alexa built-in, so you can control its WiFi streaming with your voice.
Unfortunately, we feel the Marshall Stanmore II's list price is a bit too steep.
The Marshall Stanmore II is an attractive looking speaker that will fit right into a guitar lover's home, but its sound quality doesn't live up to its price tag.
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