We review this seriously smart speaker
In an age where smart speakers tend to blend into the background, Marshall’s Stanmore II Voice is a big, brash and unapologetic ode to awesome sound. Don’t be fooled by its chunky, old-school looks – the tech inside is anything but.
Sporting advanced Bluetooth 5.0, aptX and Google Home capability, the Marshall Stanmore II Voice is the best smart speaker you can get – it’s too bad it’s so expensive.
Marshall’s speakers and audio gear have this certain old-school charm to them, and the Stanmore II Voice is no exception. This chunky speaker measures 350 x 195 x 185mm and takes up quite a bit of space. Unlike Google and Amazon’s smart speakers, the Stanmore II Voice doesn’t blend into the background, so much as it dominates its surroundings.
The speaker is certainly built well, patterned after Marshall’s trademark amp design. There’s brass plating on the top where the control knobs sit, along with LED indicator lights. The body of the speaker itself is made from wood and is covered with Marshall’s trademark black vinyl finish.
There’s not a lot of ports available, save for a single 3.5mm jack for plugging an audio device the old-fashioned way.
Easy setup with Google Home
But most people would obviously buy the Stanmore II Voice because of its capability to connect to your home network via Google Home, and setting it up couldn’t be easier. Just download the Google Home app on your phone, follow the instructions and you’re golden. You can connect to the Stanmore II Voice via regular Bluetooth as well if that’s your thing.
As for audio quality, well you can expect thunderous sound if you crank up the volume. Even with the volume cranked up though sound doesn’t distort nor break up, which makes it perfect for those days you just want to listen to something, anything, and listen loud.
The speaker has a 50-watt subwoofer that produces enough bass that you can feel it in your bones when the beat drops. The subwoofer is accompanied by two 15-watt speakers.
Despite the power of the sub, the speaker has enough definition that you can still hear the mids and trebles in a, particularly busy song.
I liked the LED indicators on the knobs on top though I was a little bummed out to learn that the dials don’t “click”, and instead smoothly rotate as you increase or decrease volume, bass or treble.
Surprisingly enough the microphones on the speaker still managed to pick up my voice as I said: “OK Google” while Sarah Barthel was belting her heart out in “Calling All” with the volume midway, on 5. Incidentally, you can also answer a call via the speaker as well if someone decides to rudely interrupt you while you’re rocking out to your artist of choice.
Verdict: Not for everyone, but definitely buy it if you can afford it
The Marshall Stanmore II Voice is one of the smartest, hardest-hitting smart speakers we’ve tested this year.
Just like Marshall’s other products, the Stanmore II Voice look and sound great, and has enough tech in it to satisfy most audiophiles looking for a handsome and hi-tech speaker to add to their home.
Unfortunately, you’ll be paying quite a lot to add the Marshall Stanmore II Voice in your home. Digital Walker has it for Php 26,990 – quite a price for a speaker like this.