In fact the cable is so cool, with its coiled design and brass jacks that you may forget that it also supports Bluetooth. If you wish, you can even connect the Stanmore up using the optical audio inports on the back of the case. There’s no AirPlay, though, which is a shame. It’s pretty large, too, and unlike other Bluetooth speakers the Stanmore doesn’t offer a built-in battery. And even if you did want to go portable, you’ll have trouble carrying it very far; at 5.1kg it’s hefty. Thankfully, it’s more likely to simply sit on your shelf, looking beautiful and sounding even better.
Ah yes, the sound. From orchestral recordings to heavy rock numbers to thumping dance tracks, the Marshall comfortably managed everything we threw at it without breaking a sweat. The high tones were clean and crisp and the bass was strong without overpowering. The Bass and Treble controls on top of the speaker
didn’t make a huge impact, and we found the best results came with them both near the top of their ranges,with our iPhone volume on full and the volume knob on the speaker at around 4 or 5. We did pump all the dials right up to 10, but there was no distortion and everything still sounded pristine.The price tag, lack of AirPlay and weight means it won’t appeal to everyone, but for excellent design and sound that will make you weep tears of joy we can’t help but give this our stamp of approval.
Marshall has graduated from Amp School, and is now branching out into high-quality consumer electronics. We were big fans of the Marshall Major headphones, and now we’ve got our hands on the frankly beautiful Marshall Stanmore – a Bluetooth speaker that oozes cool. We would’ve been disappointed had the £349.95/$399.95 Stanmore looked like anything but an amp, so the leather covering, rubber feet and brassy controls are a welcome sight. We had a black model, but you can also choose cream or brown leather, both of which look just as retro. Everything is designed to feel like you’re plugging in your guitar and rocking out, from the unbelievably satisfying on/ off switch to the included 3.5mm connector cable.