This is a multi-room speaker that appears unashamedly like a cumbersome Marshall amplifier you may discover on stage at a gig. Want your personal Wall of Sound at dwelling? For those who do, the Woburn spits out a fairly critical 110W from any machine with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Appropriate not solely with AirPlay, ChromeCast and Spotify Join, but additionally with two different wi-fi audio system in Zound’s Marshall assortment – the Acton and Stanmore – the Marshall Woburn makes one helluva sound.
The brand new assortment of Marshall multi-room audio system are all about presenting a stylistic various to Sonos. And like its nemesis, the Sonos Play:5, the Woburn has no distant management. Appropriate with Apple AirPlay, Google ChromeCast and likewise baked-in to Spotify, the Woburn will be put in utilizing the Google Dwelling app on both OS, and linked to through WiFi or Bluetooth. Nevertheless, it does have hard-button controls.
The discharge of the Woburn and its smaller stablemates, the Acton and Stanmore, has led to some confusion as a result of the producer Zound used these names a few years in the past on some fundamental Bluetooth audio system. The newer merchandise’ a lot increased costs are the one giveaway. The Marshall Woburn is accessible in black or cream, and sells for $599 (£539 / AU$700).
Stylistically all three audio system in Zound’s Marshall multi-room assortment are of apparent Marshall heritage, however solely the Woburn is sufficiently big to keep away from trying like a novelty product. It does truly appear like a small apply amplifier from Marshall. It nearly seems like a disgrace you possibly can’t plug an actual guitar in.
Measuring 400x308x200mm and weighing 7.9kg, the Woburn is adorned by a giant brassy Marshall emblem and matching beading across the fringe of a properly stitched material speaker grille. On the highest are some brass knobs for quantity, bass, treble, and for choosing the audio supply. They permit for some fairly finely-grained tweaks to the soundstage, and close by are some extra handbook controls; forward-skip and backwards-skip buttons.
Up there’s additionally a three.5 mm socket auxiliary enter for wiring-in a cellphone, pill or laptop computer, and within the field is a cable for that objective that stretches effectively over a metre. It is even partially coiled to imitate a guitar lead.
Other than its centrepiece measurement, what we love in regards to the Woburn are some proper and left-channel RCA audio inputs on its rear. They make the Woburn excellent for hooking-up a turntable or CD participant, which matches a lot additional in the direction of setting-up a house hi-fi system that the somewhat slender idea of smartphone-led wi-fi streaming and/or multi-room.
With WiFi and Bluetooth four.2, the Woburn is suitable with ChromeCast, Apple AirPlay and Spotify Join, whereas on the within are a two 15W Class D amplifiers for the tweeters and two 40W Class D amplifiers for the woofer. That is a whopping 110W in complete.
Whether or not you have got an iPhone or Android machine, setting-up the Woburn takes place inside the Google Dwelling app. It immediately positioned the speaker as quickly because it was connected to the mains (there is no such thing as a on or off change), and linked it to a house Wi-Fi community.
Nevertheless, after we tried to community its smaller sibling, the Acton, Google Dwelling immediately recognised the presence of the latter, however then misplaced all hint of it. Not one of the trademark guitar riffs have been audible, nevertheless it did hyperlink to it efficiently within the background. There are clearly just a few bugs that want ironing-out.
The sound high quality provided by the Woburn is as pleasing as its iconic styling. The volumes go unbelievably excessive, however there is no hint of distortion, and the power to tweak the bass and treble ranges is welcome. In actual fact, anybody who likes massive bass goes to like the Woburn, which manages to ship reams of low-frequency response with out muddying the midrange. It is a clear, detailed and dynamic, but heat sound.
Nevertheless, there are just a few quirks. The Woburn appears obsessive about excessive volumes; we discovered that it was not possible to get it right down to a really quiet quantity for listening to at evening. That is a life-style factor, however personally, that places us off. Additionally, whereas listening to an web radio station, when you select to assign it to an empty preset through the Multi-Room app, the Woburn performs a fast guitar riff earlier than ceasing streaming. Extra bugs.
As a pure multi-room system, it then labored fairly effectively. Hooked-up to the 2 different audio system within the assortment, Acton and Stanmore, we had Bjork’s Utopia album taking part in in excellent sync in three rooms.
The Marshall Multi-Room app is fairly simple; every ‘zone’ speaker will be toggled to ‘single’ or ‘multi’, so it is simple to see which speaker is dwell and taking part in.
Nevertheless, controlling all of it will not be as straightforward as on a the Sonos app. You possibly can’t cue-up songs, and the spectacular versatility throughout units and numerous apps does result in a barely disjointed consumer expertise.
Except for having Apple AirPlay, Spotify Join and ChromeCast built-in, and its glorious all-round sound high quality, the brass knobs on prime of the Woburn are its stylistic spotlight.
In addition to making the general design extra convincing, it makes advantageous tuning of the system a lot simpler. It additionally creates a strategy to shortly flip the music right down to reply the entrance door, or the cellphone (notably because the Woburn carries on taking part in music if a name is obtained), which not all multi-room speaker designers consider.
It is also nice which you can have a number of units linked to the Woburn without delay; whereas somebody has the multi-room set-up, one other supply will be linked by AirPlay, and one other via the aux enter.
We do not thoughts the shortage of a distant management, however the app used to manage the Woburn is a little bit fussy and buggy. It wants streamlining, and we’re not satisfied that hiving-off the preliminary set-up to the Google Dwelling app is a superb present of confidence in that app.
General, it took many apps to set-up and use what is known as a quite simple wi-fi speaker.
Would you like a wi-fi speaker appears like a guitar apply amp? Maybe you do, and although there is no doubt that this Marshall speaker is extremely iconic-looking.
However would you like three, 4 or 5 of them in your house? We’re undecided about that.
Fortunate, then, that the Woburn works simply as effectively, if not higher, as a stand-alone wi-fi speaker for AirPlay and ChromeCast. The unbelievable volumes are undoubtedly overkill, however there is no doubting the depth and high quality of its sound.