Straight out of the seventies with gold knobs, acoustic fretting, and the classic Marshall sound, all packed into a Bluetooth speaker.
Hey everyone, this is Jimmy from JimsReviewRoom. After several readers mentioned the Marshall Stanmore, I looked up some photos and read about Marshall’s history, I had to get one. This is the most expensive Bluetooth speaker that I’ve reviewed so far. I purchased this for $399 here in the states and it comes in both black which I have here, and also cream. What you receive in the box is the speaker itself, 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable, two powers cords, one for the States, the other for use over in Europe and lastly is a User Manual that’s very detailed if ever needed.
Now, Marshall is known for making amps and cabinets, more specifically, for guitar players and the genre of rock and roll. It’s actually one of the most recognized names in guitar amps. And Marshall’s been around for about 50 years now, and visiting their website, there are tons of endorsements from bands and their guitar players, sticking with the Marshall brand over the years and even decades. With the Stanmore, it sticks to the classic look and I’ll admit, its beautiful in my opinion. Everything is very well built with its black leather, and iconic gold knobs and switch. The front also has the same Acoustic Fret as the amps in keeping that classic look from the 60’s.
And this thing is not small either. It measures 13 and three-quarters inches wide, 7 ½” tall, and a little over 7 inches deep. Although its Bluetooth, it’s not meant to be portable like the other reviews I’ve done in the past.
The controls on top start with a 3.5mm input for your devices, with red lights indicating your source of audio. And we’ll go over that shortly. With the Stanmore, you can adjust your volume, bass and treble levels with these very smooth and quality finished knobs. And the Source button to select which device you have connected to, and the pairing button for wireless Bluetooth connectivity. And last to the far right is this large, yet very premium feeling on/off switch.
Rotating to the rear shows the bass port for the speakers, along with physical inputs such as digital optical audio, that uses light to transmit a near… if not lossless audio signal, and then you have your traditional RCA cables. So altogether, the Stanmore connects 4-ways, Bluetooth, 3.5mm cable, Optical, and RCA. And lastly is power saver and standard modes. European Union regulations require electronics to consume less than .5 watts of power when on standy-by, hence this switch. But leaving it on Standard will leave the Stanmore connected to your Bluetooth device after the 20-minute limit when inactive.
So everything physically is very well built, but how does it sound? The Stanmore is more of a lifestyle product from Marshall, which I believe aims more towards the general public. But playing rock music to stick to its traditions, the Stanmore to me is the clearest sound in a Bluetooth speaker that I’ve heard so far. Its really impressive, again, coming from reviewing predominantly Bluetooth speakers. Starting off slow and light, Listening to the beginning of Under the Bridge and Weezer’s Say It Ain’t So, the high’s of the guitar and snare introductions right off the bat are crisp and accurate. Moving to a song that involved more layers was Earth, Wind and Fire, September, where the highs are very pronounced and accurate. The Stanmore does a good job in distinguishing instruments as they all have their own distinct sound. And with some lower quality speakers, the clarity can sound jumbled together. Mid levels are good as well as that’s where most vocal notes reside.
And although I like bass, I do prefer clarity and balance more. But in regards to bass, the Stanmore I believe hits it almost perfectly. It may need a bit more in the sub-bass category for warmer tonalities, but overall, its a really good balance in general. Listening to something more modern, “The Sweetest Love” from Robin Thicke was very well done overall. If I Ain’t Got you from Alicia Keys, her voice is really immersive, high in fidelity in my opinion. The only genre’s that I really didn’t feel as immersive you can say was house and techno. Again, its great that I’ve noticed the mids and high’s doing well. But again, with techno and house, when the beat drops in, say Armin Van Buuren’s mix, around that 3 minute mark, I wasn’t feeling it. The rhythmic beat through the song didn’t have me bouncing, or nodding, even silently nodding in my head. Same lack of immersion with rap as well. And although Marshall does graciously provide adjustable settings with the knobs on top, the knobs I’ve noticed are subtle and conservative in adjusting how things sound.
But to wrap things up. Playing this on maximum volume with going back to 50% bass and treble did provide a mostly distortion-free experience. And when at maximum, this speaker does get very loud, enough to fill a large room or space with no problems. Testing the range, it was as good as other Bluetooth speakers. Bringing my iPad downstairs on the other side of the house and going through several walls posed no issues. And as a side note, most Bluetooth speakers do have a built-in battery, but the Stanmore is designed to stay stationary and does not have a battery pack. It has to remain plugged into the wall.
IS IT WORTH IT?
But overall, is it worth the $400 premium? For a Bluetooth speaker, I say yes. The look and finish, loudness, and quality are all great. And if you’re into this design, its a home run for you. The Bose Soundlink 3 is a premium speaker, and my personal favorite, but for $100 more, the sound is even that much louder with the Stanmore. Up several notches, you can say. If you don’t need portability, this speaker is worth it.
So I hope this review helped you in some way, please take your time to like and share this review… and be sure to find me on Facebook or Google +. This is Jimmy from JimsReviewRoom, I’l see you on the next one.