Marshall is getting the band back together one more time, with three of its popular Bluetooth speaker models getting an improved soundstage and an eco-conscious overhaul.
On first glance, the new Acton III, Stanmore III, and Woburn III look pretty similar to their four-year-old predecessors, but behind the trademark checked grille cloth you’ll find a host of upgrades.
Now equipped with tweeters angled outwards and updated waveguides for a more expansive sound, the new range also boasts an all-new Placement Compensation feature – and if they work as intended, it could make these real challengers to the best Bluetooth speakers.
Seemingly working in a similar manner to Sonos’ TruePlay sound correction technology on the Sonos Move and Sonos Roam, the speakers measure for nearby reflective surfaces that may affect the sound and then automatically adjust their EQ profile.
The new range also includes Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and a 3.5mm input, along with a built-in Dynamic Loudness feature which adjusts the tonal balance depending on how high the volume is for a more rounded-out sound.
The new models continue to borrow heavily from the look of the brand’s iconic stack speakers that have formed the backline for legendary guitar slingers from Jimi Hendrix to Slash for the past 60 years.
Replete with Tolex-style finishes and Marshall’s iconic brass control knobs and script logo, the third-generation models have a PVC-free build, with the company claiming each speaker is manufactured from 70% recycled plastic and fully vegan materials.
Priced at $279 / £239 and measuring 260 x 170 x 150 mm, the bookshelf-friendly Acton III is the smallest of the three, but still packs in a 30-Watt Class D amplifier for the woofer and two 15-Watt Class D amplifiers for the tweeters.
The slightly larger, but similarly specified Stanmore III comes in $379 / £329 but has a more beefy low-end output thanks to a larger 50 Watt amplifier for its woofer.
The flagship Woburn III, meanwhile, has an additional HDMI connecter, so you can also use it with your TV as well as for streaming audio, and it comes in at $579 / £499.
Each model comes in white, brown or black color options, and go on sale on June 23rd.
Analysis: New Marshall’s look set to rock harder
We were more than impressed with the second gen Acton, Stanmore and Woburn home speakers when they hit the shelves back in 2018 and 2019.
Their mix of classic rock looks coupled with a reassuringly powerful output would surely have won the late Lemmy’s approval.
However, if there was one area where they could have improved sonically, it would have been their lack of separation, but that’s something that Marshall appears 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 their headline act sound quality will be enough to justify their hefty ticket prices compared to the best wireless speakers on the market today.