Marshall Stanmore Review

Marshall Stanmore Review

Some editors are enthusiastic amateur musicians in our publishing house, so it is hardly surprising that the current amplifier from the traditional manufacturer Marshall attracts covetous looks. Even if the Marshall Stanmore is an active Bluetooth speaker that is only visually reminiscent of the legendary guitar amplifiers, albeit strongly. And the sound? Read for yourself.

Once a universal stage design, the vintage look of the Marshall is now more of a looker. However, the robust, musician-resistant quality has remained, as has the secure footing. This is guaranteed by the full five kilos of weight resting on solid rubber feet. As befits a Marshall, the heavy case is wrapped in black imitation leather. The Stanmore is also available in Cream, i.e., with a cream-colored imitation leather cover.

In addition to black, the Stanmore is also available in Cream and white, and the cover is traditionally made of hard-wearing imitation leather. Full rotating dials and a massive old-school on/off switch are just as part of the control panel as modern LEDs to display the currently active source.

The golden controls on top and the distinctive Marshall lettering on the front grille are also reminiscent of the original. The said lettering even has the right bit of patina. However, this does not apply to the controls on top; as I said, this shine is beautifully golden, just as it should be.

Three controls with a full grip are responsible for volume, bass, and treble settings; two buttons are responsible for selecting the source and pairing with a Bluetooth connection. Next to it, the large toggle switch for switching on and off is unmissable, which of course, is made from solid. On the opposite side are the four red LEDs, which are modern yet without a break in style, to display the currently active source.

PROS:

  • Good sound
  • Very well equipped with Chromecast, Airplay, and Bluetooth
  • Very good operation with rotary controls

CONS:

  • Sound quality dependent on the music content

State-of-the-art

You can’t hook up to the beautiful piece is a lovely Gibson or Strato; there’s no input for that. On the other hand, Stanmore is very fond of all other sources; in other words, the latest technology is used inside. Any Bluetooth source can make contact completely wirelessly, and thanks to the support of the aptX protocol, the music even goes over the ether in the best quality.

The Stanmore has an optical digital input for another digital source, mobile or stationary. Analog sources are accepted either by the pair of cinch sockets or the mini-jack on top of the device. For example, the Stanmore comes with a stylish coiled cable with solid 3.5 mm plugs to connect the smartphone headphone output via the jack socket.

On stop

“They all have to be cranked up…” said the colleagues with knowledge of the subject, i.e., Marshall’s traditional guitar amplifiers. That meant bass, treble, and volume controls. And this is how it happened. The Marshall responds promptly to such sound challenges, promptly and loudly. No distortion can be heard as long as the playback device connected via Bluetooth or jack delivers what it should, i.e., also undistorted music, and if possible, also via aptX protocol. Of course, the guitar legend can also be steered on a balanced path, which I like better than the extreme loudness setting from before, especially for performances that encourage singing.

On the other hand, they can let it rip and easily cater for the party in the basement or the living room. The rear bass reflex opening actively supports the 13 cm woofer; a separate power amplifier also drives it. The two broadband systems on the left and right under the front covering supply the two stereo channels and, although they are both in one housing, can ensure a good basic width.

Marshall Stanmore: Chromecast, Bluetooth, AirPlay

A Bluetooth connection is almost normal for current WLAN speakers. This makes it easy to play music from any app and computer, even without Wi-Fi. As a rule, however, Bluetooth sounds worse than WLAN. The Wi-Fi-based Chromecast connection is a good compromise; it is just as universal as Bluetooth. In addition, it can be used directly with many music apps without the often-fiddly apps from the speaker manufacturers.

Chromecast-compatible apps play the music on the compatible speaker after tapping the radio icon. The most popular music apps and services, such as Spotify, Google Music, and various radio apps, are suitable for Chromecast. With Amazon Music and Apple Music, only two of the largest music services are missing.

So, it is all the more gratifying, at least for Apple users and Apple Music subscribers, that the Marshall Stanmore is one of the few current Wi-Fi boxes that can handle Apple AirPlay. With AirPlay, pieces of music can also be streamed via WLAN from the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Windows devices with iTunes to the speaker.

Conclusion

There’s no question that Marshall’s Stanmore is a real eye-catcher in the more modern environment of mobile devices, which are largely responsible for music these days. But, thanks to its state-of-the-art inner workings, it can stand up to its smart players at any time. It can even be elicited balanced, tame tones using the tone controls, but who wants that?

Marshall Stanmore Review
Marshall Stanmore Review

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