Marshall is bringing the band back together once more, with three of their popular Bluetooth speaker models receiving an improved soundstage and eco-friendly overhaul.
At first glance, the new Acton III, Stanmore III and Woburn III look quite similar to their four-year-old predecessors, but behind the trademark checkered grid cloth you’ll find a host of updates.
Now equipped with outward-angled tweeters and updated waveguides for more expansive sound, the new lineup also has a new positioning compensation feature – and if it works as intended, it could make these real challengers to the best Bluetooth speakers.
Seemingly functioning similarly to Sonos’ TruePlay sound correction technology in the Sonos Move and Sonos Roam, the speakers measure nearby reflective surfaces that can affect the sound, then automatically adjust their EQ profile.
The new range also includes Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and a 3.5mm jack, along with a built-in Dynamic Loudness feature that adjusts tonal balance depending on how loud the volume is for a more rounded sound.
The new models continue to draw heavily on the look and feel of the brand’s iconic speakers that have formed the bottom line for legendary guitar launchers from Jimi Hendrix to Slash over the past 60 years.
Filled with Tolex-style finishes and Marshall’s iconic brass control knobs and script logo, the third-generation models have a PVC-free construction, with the company claiming that each speaker is made from 70% recycled plastic and fully vegan materials.
Priced at $279 / £239 and measuring 260 x 170 x 150mm, the Acton III is the smallest of the three but still includes a 30 Watt Class D amplifier for the woofer and two 15 Watt Class D amplifiers for the tweeters. .
The slightly larger but similarly spec Stanmore III is $379 / £329 but has a beefier low-end output thanks to a larger 50 Watt amplifier for its woofer.
The flagship Woburn III meanwhile has an additional HDMI connector, so you can also use it with your TV and for audio streaming, and it’s priced at $579 / £499.
Each model comes in white, brown or black color options and goes on sale June 23.
Analysis: The look of the new Marshall is ready to rock
We were more than impressed with the second-generation Acton, Stanmore and Woburn home speakers when they hit shelves in 2018 and 2019.
Its mix of classic rock looks coupled with a reassuringly powerful outlet would surely have won the late Lemmy’s approval.
However, if there was one area they could improve sonically it would be the lack of separation, but that’s something Marshall seems to be trying to address with the wider soundstage promised with these new models.
With no built-in Wi-Fi and therefore no smart assistant functionality, the big question is whether the title’s sound quality will be enough to justify the high ticket prices compared to the best wireless speakers on the market today.