Marshall Woburn Review
Marshall may be known to some of you primarily through its presence in the guitar amp sector. The amplifiers are often found at rock concerts or other public performances. However, a few years ago, Marshall also ventured into the Bluetooth speaker’s new area. Sure, the market is flooded with all JBL & Co. brands, but Marshall takes a different approach.
In today’s test, we looked at the Marshall Woburn. We have also been able to hear this speaker as a test, and you will find out what the results were at the end of the hands-on.
- Strong sound with deep bass
- Loud, stable playback
- Massive case
- AptX transmits sound via Bluetooth in CD quality
- No additional extras
- No battery operation
The Marshall Woburn has a digital power amplifier with 2 x 20 watts RMS power for the tweeter/midrange driver. An extra 50-watt power amplifier takes care of the subwoofer. Marshall promises a sound performance with a lot of bass potential with these values, but the loudspeaker should still be classified in the hi-fi class and convinced with its crystal-clear sound.
In addition to the loudspeakers themselves, the device also contains a variety of interesting connection options. However, the concise difference to the classic Bluetooth boxes should be noticeable here at the latest.
Best Bluetooth for best sound
“No, not another Bluetooth speaker,” some might say now. However, the Woburn is different from the typical howler cubes or coke cans that try to fool the listener into thinking that the sound is too bass-heavy through passive radiators (also incorrectly referred to as subwoofers). In any case, the Woburn is also equipped with a Bluetooth 4.0 module. Unfortunately, Bluetooth 5 is not available. It is also EDR-APTX for better music encoding for better quality streaming.
Small side note: APTX is only supported by Windows computers, Android smartphones, Mac computers but not by iOS devices like iPhone and iPad. So, iOS users have to deal with the somewhat inferior A2DP codec unless they want to use a cable with a jack’s connection.
Certainly not particularly, but there is also not always a 3.5 mm jack connection. With this, you can connect smartphones and tablets or computers to the Woburn speaker and transmit the sound analog via cable. Non-Bluetooth devices are also supported. In short, you can also connect the Woburn to many other devices with the jack connection or integrate it into an existing audio network, for example, between an audio interface or a mixer.
Optical PCM input
Now it’s getting a lot more interesting. The Woburn speaker can be used perfectly with an AV receiver or connected to the Apple TV with the optical digital input.
A short foretaste: The sound creates a hard-hitting atmosphere, and the connection does not appear strange or even funny!
Stereo RCA Input: RCA
You can also connect the speaker with a cinch cable. The variety of connections is therefore excellent. Apart from Bluetooth, it is not network-capable, but it is sufficiently equipped for super sound. Unfortunately, it can only be used with a cable.
Last but not least, important information: The loudspeaker can only be operated via the mains and can only be used to a limited extent on the move. Although it can be easily transported and thus carried along to any party, the sound cannot be used on the go. However, since Marshall defined the speaker more as a home speaker anyway, which should not least be due to the connection options, this point is not particularly important.
Noble retro design
The speaker has a more classic amplifier look. Anyone who sees it and has ever been to a rock concert will immediately remember such amplifiers. Except that the Marshall Woburn isn’t an amplifier; it’s a speaker.
The front of the speaker is covered with a fairly hard fabric, and the Marshall lettering catches the eye in the middle. Incidentally, the lettering can also be felt so that the company can be recognized immediately, even without eyesight. The speaker feels like a leather suitcase on the sides, and it looks high-quality.
The speaker controls are on the top. The loudspeaker can be switched on and off using a lever-like construction on the far right. There are also controls for adjusting the treble, bass, and volume from right to left.
Due to the bass-reflex design, two bass reflex openings on the back can blow out the air properly at enormous volume and exaggerated bass settings. These elements make the speaker appear powerful, but its fantastic sound is not yet clearly visible.
Awesome sound quality
Now that the sentimentalities have been clarified, we understand the most interesting part. How does the speaker sound now?
It should also be mentioned that we could not test the speaker extensively. The sound quality is only the first impression, and a long-term test is not available. The speaker was connected to an iPhone 7 Plus via Bluetooth. The music is therefore only transmitted using the A2DP codec. We don’t yet know how the sound behaves via the digital input or analog jack connection, but a test report may follow soon.
So, let’s now turn to the sound with Bluetooth 4.0 and the A2DP codec
I just called up the settings and connected to Bluetooth, and we were ready to go. The music app turned on the track “You Can’t Change Me” by Don Diablo. It turned out that the speaker did not synchronize the volume with the smartphone. Ideally, you have to turn the smartphone very loud and then adjust the volume using the volume control on the speaker. So, we turned the controller up a bit, and BOOM! The bass of the track knocked us off our feet. The bass is enormously strong and quite deep with its 35 Hz cut-off frequency of the subwoofer; the highs and mids of the loudspeaker are also convincing.
As already mentioned, these can be adjusted according to the listening pleasure. First, we turned the highs to about 3/4 of the maximum; otherwise, they seemed too shrill. Next, we turned the bass control to almost half. When we finally cranked the bass control up, we couldn’t believe our ears. For its size, the speaker banged the bass around your ears with such gigantic force that it was even noticeable.
The louder you turned the thing, the louder the bass got, and the stronger it got. In the end, you could hear the bass through the entire shopping center where we tested the speaker. However, we didn’t get to the stop. First of all, that would have been too loud for our ears, and the people couldn’t understand each other.
It is still to be said that one would probably have gotten even better sound with digital connections, especially concerning the dynamics and the peak highs.
Conclusion on the Marshall Woburn
In conclusion, one can say that the loudspeaker was convincing across the board from the first impression. Of course, we couldn’t take a close look at everything, test the speaker over a longer period and check the quality of the various connection options. Nevertheless, the loudspeaker convinces us from the first impression across the board, and Marshall also proves its already well-known quality from the amplifiers with the loudspeakers.
Another small tip: If you would like to experience real stereo sound, you can, of course, also connect two loudspeakers. In terms of connections, too, the speaker is perfect as a speaker for a good-sounding living room, thanks to the digital connections. The loudspeakers, or just one of them, will be well received at the next party.