Editor’s notice: Now that we have had an opportunity to attempt the Stanmore out in parallel with each the Acton and Woburn we have been in a position to set up its skills as a purely multi-room speaker. With all its performance examined, we have now upgraded the assessment from a arms on preview to a full assessment full with a rating.
Assessment continues beneath…
Have you ever ever been to a gig that does not have a Marshall speaker someplace on the stage? Famend for its guitar amps it could be, however the Marshall model is right here used to promote multi-room music beneath the auspices of Zound Industries.
And the result’s a basic rock sound. Wi-fi Bluetooth audio system could also be all the fad, however Zound not too long ago upgraded all of its Marshall audio system by including Wi-Fi, immediately bringing into play must-have lossless streaming options like AirPlay, ChromeCast and Spotify Join. Nonetheless, Bluetooth stays on all Marshall audio system, too.
Not that you’re going to be taking the upgraded Stanmore speaker wherever however into your front room or kitchen for a everlasting keep. The center-sized of Marshall’s three refreshed multi-room audio system, the Stanmore boasts a chunky, amp-like design, as does the even greater Woburn speaker, with solely the smaller Acton designed for mobility.
Crucially, none of them include a distant management, as an alternative relying solely on the free Marshall Multi-Room app. There are individuals who would by no means pay $450 (£399 / AU$573) for a music system and not using a devoted distant management, however it’s utterly comprehensible on condition that the Stanmore’s standout options all depend on its phone-based capabilities.
At 350x185x185mm and four.7kg, the Stanmore is a beast. It might be small for a guitar amp, however so far as Bluetooth and multi-room audio system go it is extremely giant. The Stanmore is all concerning the massive sound, and we get that. This can be a Marshall product, in spite of everything.
Constructed from wooden, and coated in black vinyl similar to an amp, the Stanmore has acquainted rounded corners, a versatile speaker grille with gold edging, and intensely retro brass knobs on the highest. It might lack a distant management, however the Stanmore’s quantity, bass, treble and supply knobs are a stylistic stand-out.
Close by are two tiny track-skip buttons and a three.5 mm aux. enter for attaching a cellphone, laptop computer or a turntable. There’s additionally a button for toggling between its multi-room and single supply modes. On the again, there is a proper and left-channel RCA audio inputs, supposed for a turntable. So regardless of its plethora of connections – greater than a Sonos Play:5, for certain – the Stanmore cuts a streamlined, if retro look.
Design-wise it is perhaps from the 1970s, however on the within the Stanmore is all about connectivity, with WiFi the massive addition alongside the present Bluetooth four.2 connectivity.
Chromecast, Spotify Join and AirPlay appropriate, the Stanmore has Web radio, too; all of that’s configured through the Marshall Multi-Room app. Contained in the Stanmore are a 50W class D amplifier for the woofer and two 15W class D amplifiers for the tweeters. That is 80W in complete; we’re anticipating some massive noise.
If you need get the Stanmore up and working instantly, it is to Bluetooth it’s best to head. A fast flick to Bluetooth mode on the highest dial, simple pairing, and also you’re away. Because it efficiently pairs, an audible guitar riff performs via the Stanmore’s speaker. It is a bit naff, however it’s brief.
Connecting through AirPlay took somewhat longer, however finally we linked it to WiFi over a 2.four GHz connection. As soon as that was completed it was all concerning the app. You may select which mode you set it into through the app, however essential for correct personalisation are the seven presets the place you possibly can retailer shortcuts to particular Web radio stations, podcasts, or Spotify playlists.
That does make it quite a bit simpler to navigate and use rapidly, significantly since you possibly can toggle between them on the supply dial on prime of the Stanmore in addition to through the app. There’s additionally a easy equaliser part inside the app the place you possibly can change the amount, bass and treble ranges of the Stanmore.
For all its iconic design riffs, the Stanmore is all about sound high quality. The benefit of utilizing WiFi is, in fact, lossless sound high quality, and it is right here that the Stanmore actually excels.
Whereas Bluetooth music lacks depth and width, tunes streamed to the Stanmore first through AirPlay after which through Spotify from an iPhone have been exceptionally full, with vocals detailed and bass-lines given an amazing carry.
We particularly favored the best way the bass and treble knobs carry solely a slight tweak to the general sound, displaying the maker’s well-placed confidence in its general steadiness. Left about half-way they lend the sound area a variety of accuracy it doesn’t matter what you are listening to.
Ditto for quantity, which matches extraordinarily loud. Far too loud, actually, for any room in your home – although there’s zero distortion. A tiny criticism is that AirPlay tracks take a second or two to start out on the Stanmore, and we additionally seen the occasional double-start (however that might have been our WiFi community).
Nonetheless, the speaker works nicely as a part of a multi-room setup. We acquired the Stanmore taking part in alongside each its siblings (the Acton and Woburn) and our chosen observe performed completely in sync throughout the three audio system.
What we most like concerning the Stanmore is its sound high quality. Okay, so it comes at the price of having to deal with a reasonably massive, cumbersome speaker in your bookshelf, however that is a small worth to pay for some well-rounded, detailed, however most of all, bassy and loud tunes we have ever streamed from cellphone. We additionally cherished the styling, particularly the brass knobs, which make it simple to regulate when your cellphone is in any other case disposed – or it is being managed by another person’s cellphone.
That stated, its lack of distant management goes to trouble some folks, particularly people who use the Stanmore as a single speaker, with a turntable connected. And whereas we’re not saying that the Marshall is not price that top worth – it sounds nice and the construct high quality is great – does anybody actually need to pay that a lot for a Wi-fi Hello-Fi?
This is a fantastic instance of a wi-fi multi-room speaker that’s wonderful, however over-specified for many customers. We love the truth that you possibly can daisy-chain it to different merchandise from Marshall, and the sound high quality is persistently wonderful. The recognisable and totally iconic design is nice, too, and can particularly go well with anybody with a musical heritage. Set-up was fairly simple and the lossless sound high quality spectacular. The dearth of a distant management might trouble some, however the brass buttons on the gadget itself are very pleasing to the attention, in addition to being useful. We cherished ’em.
Nonetheless, the 80W Stanmore is dear – not over-priced, however over-specified – as a result of it can virtually actually be too highly effective a speaker to your front room or kitchen. If you need energy and a novel look, although, the Stanmore is actually exhausting to match for multi-room.