The Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth, at $499.99, represents the highest of the road for the corporate’s newly revamped slate of Bluetooth audio system. We like all the fashions in its new lineup, however we’re infatuated with the Woburn II Bluetooth. It delivers a strong sonic expertise that may be sculpted with in-app EQ, in addition to bass and treble knobs on the speaker itself. Should you just like the retro guitar amp look, the clear and balanced sound will not disappoint. Regardless of its excessive value, the Woburn II Bluetooth earns our Editors’ Alternative for high-end Bluetooth audio system.
Almost all Marshall merchandise take their visible cues from amps, however the Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth seems to be like an precise guitar amp. It is enormous, measuring 12.2 by 15.eight by 7.eight inches (HWD) and weighing in at a formidable 18.9 kilos. It might sit subsequent to some small apply amps and never look misplaced. Apart from its dimensions, the Woburn II Bluetooth seems to be very very like the remainder of the brand new Marshall speaker lineup—black or white leather-like materials encases a lot of the speaker, with a tweed, front-facing grille emblazoned with the Marshall emblem on the primary panel. There are guitar amp-like controls up prime and brushed aluminum, gold-colored accents on the knobs and the entrance face. It is a big, good-looking speaker.
The management panel homes knobs for quantity, bass, and treble, in addition to an influence swap, a play/pause button, and an audio supply button for switching between Bluetooth mode and aux or RCA modes—there is a three.5mm aux enter up prime, and an RCA enter on the rear panel.
The again panel of the speaker is greatest not displayed. It is lined in painted-on warning labels and legalese that almost all producers conceal from view—the one manner this will probably be hidden is in the event you place the Woburn II Bluetooth in opposition to a wall. There are twin ports on the rear panel for air moved by drivers to flee via, in addition to the RCA enter and the connection for the facility cable. Apart from the facility cable, there are not any included cables—not for the three.5mm aux enter up prime, nor for the RCA enter on the rear. For $500, Marshall might have executed much better within the equipment division.
The free Marshall Bluetooth app delivers firmware updates for the speaker and means that you can use customized EQ presets or create your personal. The app is used together with the bass and treble knobs to dial in your preferences. You may as well alter the brightness of the crimson standing LEDs, flip audio prompts on or off, or pair the speaker with one other to make a stereo pair. The app is not important for operation, nevertheless it positively has sufficient helpful options that we advocate giving it a strive.
The five-band in-app EQ works together with the bass and treble knobs on the speaker itself, permitting you to fine-tune issues to your very best sound signature. We examined the Woburn II Bluetooth with the bass and treble knobs within the center and the app set to flat. From right here you’ll be able to alter to your coronary heart’s content material, with the bass and treble knobs coming after the app within the chain—so you’ll be able to increase lows within the app after which dial them up or down a bit with the knob.
Set to flat mode, with the bass and treble knobs within the center, the Woburn II Bluetooth packs fairly a punch. On tracks with intense sub-bass content material, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Woburn II Bluetooth delivers earth-shaking bass at reasonable to excessive volumes. At prime volumes, it sadly distorts on this monitor, however allow us to make this clear: Prime quantity on this speaker is insanely loud. You in all probability will not have to go that prime too usually, particularly you probably have neighbors or pets. At barely decrease (however nonetheless very loud) quantity ranges, the Woburn II Bluetooth delivers thunder, and if you dial up the bass, it is sufficient to shake partitions. If that is not what you are in search of, the excellent news is that the knob (and the EQ) may dial bass again.
Invoice Callahan’s “Drover,” a monitor with far much less deep bass within the combine, provides us a greater sense of the Woburn II Bluetooth’s normal sound signature. The drums on this monitor have a full, spherical sound right here at mid quantity ranges. Pump up the amount and push the bass a bit, and the drums begin to have some actual punch. It is Callahan’s baritone vocals, nevertheless, which have essentially the most low-mid presence—their richness is properly matched by the high-mids and highs to maintain issues clear and crisp. Regardless, the vocals are in all probability essentially the most notable bass presence within the combine via the Woburn II Bluetooth’s drivers. The acoustic guitar strums and better register percussion are delivered with glorious readability and may be given some further crunch and shimmer with the app’s EQ and the treble knob.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church within the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives sufficient high-mid presence in default mode for its assault to retain its punchiness, however dialing up the treble knob a bit provides it that further sharp kick that we’re used to listening to. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with critical energy right here, and at topvolume they do not distort. The vocals are delivered with strong readability and no added sibilance.
Orchestral tracks, just like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel In accordance with the Different Mary, sound magical via the Woburn II Bluetooth. In default mode, the decrease register instrumentation is given some added physique and presence, however the increased register brass, strings, and vocals nonetheless shine. Tweaking the bass and treble to style can have fantastic outcomes on tracks like this—I discovered a slight boosting of treble and a tad extra within the lows and low-mids actually makes the dynamics of this recording stand out, with out sounding wildly sculpted.
Whereas we like Marshall’s Stanmore II Bluetooth and Acton II Bluetooth, we love the Woburn II Bluetooth. Sure, it is the most costly of the bunch, however I might argue it is not too costly for the sound high quality it delivers—a case I am much less inclined to make for its extra inexpensive, however much less overwhelmingly superior, siblings. It seems to be the identical, makes use of the identical app, has the identical fundamental options, however that further woofer brings the magic, making this a unbelievable all-in-one wi-fi speaker, and our Editors’ Alternative. On this excessive value vary, there are a number of winners if the retro amp look is not your factor. Take a look at the JBL Boombox or the Sonos Beam. Irrespective of which speaker you select, you will not be dissatisfied.