Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth review: It’s almost like having a front row seat

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Top Picks

It’s a beautiful speaker that will not only make your music room look awesome but will make it sound awesome.

TA-ratings-96

So I have to admit that I’ve always wanted a Marshall JCM800 with a nice 1960AV Half Stack under it. I’ve just never been able to buy one. So when the company reached out to ask if I’d like to take the Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker for a spin. Well, I did exactly what anyone would have done: I asked for a Marshall Amp and Half Stack instead.

Marshall laughed at me of course but was still kind enough to send the Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker. The Stanmore II is the company’s latest Bluetooth and wired consumer grade speaker. Marshall is trying to further break into the consumer speaker market and the Stanmore II is certainly a top notch effort. Read on for our full review of the Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker, a 2018 Techaeris Top Pick!

Specifications

The Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker has the following features and specifications:

  • Power Amplifiers:
    • One 50 Watt Class D amplifier for the woofer
    • Two 15 Watt Class D amplifiers for the tweeters
  • Cabinet Principle: Bass-reflex
  • Maximum Sound Pressure Level: 101 dB @ 1 m
  • Frequency Range: 50-20,000Hz
  • Adjustable Bass and Treble Controls: Fine tune your music using the analogue controls on your speaker
  • Stereo/Mono: Stereo
  • Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with Qualcomm aptX
  • Wired Connectivity:
    • 3.5mm AUX
    • RCA inputs
  • Power: 100 – 240 V
  • Mains Frequency: 50 – 60 Hz
  • Dimensions: 350 x 195 x 185 mm / 13.78 x 7.68 x 7.28 in
  • Weight: 10.25lbs / 4.65 kgs

What’s In The Box

  • Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker
  • Power cord
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Legal and Safety Information

Design

Our team has reviewed Marshall gear in the past from the Stockwell Bluetooth speaker to the Major Bluetooth headphones. One of the common likes of the brand is the design. I am going to agree here and give a rare score of 10/10 for design.

I admit I have a strong bias toward the looks of the Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker. It has that classic Marshall look and could easily be mistaken for a Marshall amp head. The build quality is outstanding and the materials used are premium through and through. The speaker weighs in at 10.25 lbs which isn’t light. Normally I would say that’s just slightly too heavy for a speaker of this size. But I find myself forgiving the Stanmore II of its mass because it’s simply part of what makes the design so great.

The front of the speaker has that tweed mesh you see on the company’s amps and stacks. The iconic Marshall logo is also emblazoned across the front in all its glory. Again, I am usually not a fan of branding but this is so iconic it’s necessary that it be there. Marshall sent me the white version of the Stanmore II and I love that color accented with gold. Just below the Marshall logo is the words “Est. 1962” engraved on a brass plate.

Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth
The top of the Stanmore II

At the top of the unit is the AUX port, source switch, volume, bass, treble knobs. play/pause button, and power toggle. The volume, bass, and treble knobs have that same iconic Marshall look and feel. They are silky smooth to operate and Marshall added in a nice touch of backlit indicators. The backlit indicators cause the 0-10 to be illuminated by the LED which really screams quality here. All of these controls are mounted on a gold plated steel plate which just gives off more classic looks.

Around the back, you have the woofer port, RCA inputs, power port, and service port. The bottom has four nice thick rubber feet that support the unit very well. I do wish there was a handle of some sort on the speaker but that’s not a deal breaker at all in the design, it just may have been handy in some instances. There is also no battery power here, so don’t expect to go portable with this if you don’t have an outlet handy.

Nice brass plate with EST. 1962 on it.

Overall, the design is spot on perfect. This is hands down the best looking Bluetooth speaker in this size and price point that I’ve ever used. Again, given that I love Marshall’s design of their amps and speaker cabinets, I do have a bit of a bias here. That being said, I am confident you’ll really enjoy the design as well and most who are considering this speaker are probably considering it because of the look.

Ease of Use

Set up of the Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker is fairly simple. You will need to download the Marshall Bluetooth app form the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The Marshall app can be used with other Marshall products as well and has some granular controls for headphones. However, for the Stanmore II it is only used to update the firmware.

To start, you’ll need to power the Stanmore II up, open the app, find the Stanmore in the list, connect to it, apply any updates if needed, and then connect the speaker via Bluetooth in your device’s settings. That’s it. More on the app in the software section.

Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth
The LED lights are a nice touch.

The Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth Speaker also has multi-host functionality which means it can connect and switch between two Bluetooth sources. This means that you can play your music through your phone and if you have a friend who wants to connect and play their playlist, they can do that on the fly. Pretty slick.

The Stanmore II also has wired connections and not just the same old AUX port everyone else has. This baby has old-school RCA inputs! These inputs are perfect for a nice turntable and spinning some vinyl records, among other devices. Overall, this is a very easy speaker to setup and use.

Software

The app included with the Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker is actually super helpful. Not only does the app serve as your firmware updating hub but it also has an equalizer and presets to fine tune your sound.

You can also use the app to pair speakers together, meaning you can connect two Stanmore II’s together for a left and right experience. That’s pretty awesome if you can drop the dime for two of these. You can also control the intensity of the LED lights, not necassary but a nice touch indeed.

Overall, the app is very useful and you will get the best experience from this speaker by using it.

Sound

With a dedicated bass and treble knob, you can really dial in the sound here. If you like it bass heavy you can have it that way, if you like it more balanced then you can make it so. I like the treble set at half way with the bass set at one notch above the treble.

This speaker has some great clarity and no buzz or distortion even at full volume. It does get pretty loud but I wouldn’t classify it as a party speaker. It can hold its own though and it does every style of music justice. Lows sounded punchy and thick, mids sounded balanced, highs cut through nicely.

Overall, this is a great sounding speaker that’s well balanced with some room to play and tailor the sound to your liking.

The rear of the speaker.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of $349.99USD this baby isn’t cheap. Part of that price includes the absolute beauty of this speaker, not to mention the build quality and materials used. It’s just a very well designed and good looking speaker all around. Marshall does back up the price with great sound and it’s comparable to other high-end speakers of this size and price point.

I don’t expect everyone to be happy about the price tag, it is a lot, but for those looking for that classic Marshall design and look, this is where it’s at and there’s a lot of value in that. It doesn’t hurt that it sounds amazing.

Wrap Up

I’m going to put it simply. If you’re a guitar or bass player looking for a Bluetooth speaker and loves the look of Marshall amps and cabinets, buy the Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker. You won’t regret it. It’s a beautiful speaker that will not only make your music room look awesome but will make it sound awesome.

If you’re just someone looking for a Bluetooth speaker in this price range that sounds good, well, buy this speaker! It’s just a bonus that it looks awesome! If you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker that sounds this good but don’t want to pay this much, there are plenty of other options out there, but few that look this good.

*We received a sample of the Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth speaker for the purposes of this review.

Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth

$349.99USD
9.6

Design

10.0/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Software

10.0/10

Sound

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Top notch design and look
  • Awesome materials and construction
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Powerful sound for the size
  • Helpful app with nice control

Needs work

  • Might be pricey for some

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