Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth Review
Since 1962, Marshall guitar amps have been sharing the stages with many famous rock bands worldwide. Many famous names such as Hendrix, Slayer, Spinal Tap, and Van Halen used the Marshall kit.
The Zound Industries from Sweeden got the Marshall’s license to produce headphones and Bluetooth speakers under the Marshall brand, and today we are going to review Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth.
The manufacturer did a great job making the Stanmore II resemble an amp, but with softness and style to be suitable for homes.
- Beautiful design
- Bass and treble knobs for fine-tuning
- Good audio with rich bass depth and crisp highs
- EQ app
- Good tonal balance
- Very loud
- A bit expensive
- Distorts at high volume levels
- No audio cables included
- No battery power
- The stereo scene is not wide
Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth comes in a black and white variant and looks like a small but bulky guitar amp.
The speaker’s dimensions are 195 mm x 350 mm x 185 mm (HWD), and the weight is 4.65 kg. It is a mid-size model from the Marshall lineup, with a similar size to a Sonos Play:5.
The retro design of the speaker is visible through the leather grain exterior and gray cloth grille with the soft gold Marshall logo.
On the top, there is a control panel with knobs for volume, bass, and treble. There is also a power switch, a play/pause button, and an audio source button to switch modes between Bluetooth and aux or RCA.
A 3.5 mm aux input is on the top and an RCA input on the rear panel.
You can attach a guitar amp modeler pedal if you want to use the Stanmore II as a low-volume guitar amp. Keep in mind that there are no included cables for the 3.5 mm aux and RCA inputs.
There are LED lights around the knobs so that you can determine the volume level and bass or treble settings when controlling them from the phone.
Using the Marshall app, you can create a stereo pair. It is a free app, and, besides pairing with another Marshall unit, it delivers firmware updates for the speaker, allows custom EQ, adjustment of the LEDs brightness, and turn audio prompts on or off.
Under the grille, there are dual 15-watt tweeters (Class D amplifiers) and a single 50-watt woofer (Class D amplifier). The two smaller drivers are for high frequencies, and the larger subwoofer is in the middle, responsible also for the mid-range. The frequency range is 50 Hz to 20 kHz.
There is a handle included with the device, which helps with the portability. Although it is a Bluetooth speaker, Marshall Stanmore II needs to be plugged in electricity to work. Maybe because of its size, you might think it is normal not to work on batteries, but Harman Kardon Go + Play 2, has a similar size and can run for up to eight hours off a charge.
If you want to have a speaker with wi-fi and smart assistant features, you can have Marshall Stanmore II Voice. If you like a smaller speaker but much easier to transport, then Marshall Kilburn II is available.
Sound quality of Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth
You can use the bass and treble knobs on the speaker, together with the app EQ, to find your perfect sound. The speaker doesn’t reach its entertainment potential until the volume is at least 50 %, typical for speakers without passive radiators or long-throw drivers with more incredible performance.
The Stanmore II Bluetooth delivers powerful bass, but there is noticeable distortion at top volumes when listening to songs with heavy sub-bass content. The speaker can get quite loud, so you will probably not need to go at insanely high volume levels, so you will most likely not face the distortion.
When you listen to songs with less deep bass, the sound doesn’t distort at top volumes, and you can hear the robust and powerful presence of the drums.
The higher register brass, strings, and vocals are rich and bright, well balanced with the lows. It all depends on adjusting the things on the app and using the bass and treble knobs to your liking.
The Marshall Stanmore II is an overall good performer with a generally pleasant tonal balance. It can be pretty loud, but there are some issues with distortion when playing music with weighty sub-bass at maximum volume levels. It is noticeable the lack of separation and dynamics present at other top performers.
Stanmore II Bluetooth looks and sounds good but leaves you wanting for more.