With its iconic, eye-catching design, the Marshall Stanmore III speaker is a conversation starter that will liven up any room. But more than that, this speaker sounds great, with powerful, room-filling sound. It's worth its premium pricing, though you will have to adapt to its lack of niceties like Wi-Fi streaming, and multi-room audio.
- 50W Class D amplifier (woofer), 2x 15W Class D amplifiers (tweeters)
- Bluetooth 5.2
- Frequency range: 45Hz to 20KHz
- RCA and 3.5mm input
The Stanmore III is the middle child of the refreshed Marshall Homeline III Bluetooth speaker lineup. All three models — Acton III and Woburn III are the other two — share a similar guitar amp inspired design that should be familiar to fans of the brand. Available in three handsome faux leather finish (brown, cream, and black), these speakers have identical physical controls, such as brass analog control knobs and switches, that give them a retro look. I like having all these controls, which includes the ability to pause a track or skip forward/backward, as I won't have to reach for my phone that often.
The Stanmore III has RCA and 3.5mm inputs. The Acton III misses out on the RCA input, while the Woburn III has an additional HDMI port that lets it connect to a TV. These speakers have Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, but they don't support Wi-Fi. You also won't find any smart speaker features like a voice assistant here. At 35cm long, and weighing around 4kg, the Stanmore III fits comfortably on my bedside table. The speakers fire forward, so it's probably best to place it in front of a wall. The Marshall app has a placement compensation feature that adjusts the sound based on where the speaker is placed. For example, you can specify if the speaker is near an edge, or next to a wall. However, the resulting effect is very subtle. Besides adjusting the bass and treble, there are no preset modes in the app's extremely basic equaliser.
Marshall says that compared to the previous version, the Stanmore III's tweeters are now “angled outwards and updated waveguides” help to create a wider soundstage. Not having tested the Stanmore II, I can't say how significant this tweak is. But the Stanmore III certainly fills the room. Even at mid volumes, this speaker generates an impressive wall of sound that is rich, full, and punchy. At the same time, vocals came across clearly over the solid bass. The mids and lower bass are outstanding. As you'd expect, rock music is the Stanmore III's bread and butter, and it excels at it. The bass, though, gets messy and distorted at higher volumes, but you're unlikely to be using it at, or near the maximum volume.
At S$669, the Marshall Stanmore III isn't cheap. Yes, it sounds great, and can fill a room. But it lacks modern conveniences like multi-room audio, Wi-Fi streaming, and a voice assistant. Instead it's a speaker that will draw the eyes with its vintage looks. You and your guests will inevitably want to fiddle with its old-school knobs and switches. And that's probably worth something, too. Get it now at Shopee, Lazada, and Amazon SG.
Note: Review unit provided by Marshall.
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