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Marshall Stanmore II Review - A BETTER Google Home alternative?

OPPO
Marshall has recently released the next generation Stanmore with deeper integration with Google services. How does it perform though?
Marshall Stanmore II Review - A BETTER Google Home alternative?
Marshall Stanmore playing Spotify

Price at PHP 26,990, it sounds promising? Let's see if it is any good. Here's our review!

Unboxing/Accessories

Unboxed
Unboxed

The Marshall Stanmore II comes in a premium black box with branding, regulatory information, and pictures of the speaker. Inside is the speaker, quick start guide, warranty and the power cable secured in egg crate like the packaging.

Build Quality/Design

Front side
Front side

In front is speaker grill with the Marshall branding with the gold bar at the bottom with the LED lights on the left and the "Est 1962" engraved text.
At the back
At the back

At the back is the sub-woofer, the regulatory information, the RCA ports, and the power in port.
Top side
Top side

On top are the Stanmore II branding, the Auxilliary-in port, the LED indicator lights, the Source Button, the Volume, Bass and Treble Knobs with LED light indicators, the Play/Pause button, and the microphone on/silence toggle.
Bottom side
Bottom side

At the bottom are the four rubber feet that add raises the speaker so the bottom leather doesn't hit the surface and to add friction to avoid unwanted sudden movements.

The outer surface is mostly covered in this grained leather shell with brass colored accents and LED lights. These premium materials make this one of the most premium looking speakers out there with a blend of traditional and modern design.
Hand-carry capable
Hand-carry capable

Stanmore II measures at 350 x 195 x 185 mm and weighs 4.65kg which makes it big enough to be hand-carry from place to place.

Features

WiFi and Bluetooth ready
WiFi and Bluetooth ready

This year’s version of the Stanmore is compatible with Google Assistant and Google Home. It connects to other devices via WiFi and Bluetooth. When connected to your home's WiFi network, it can be detected and registered in the Google Home app.

When connected via Bluetooth, it performs like any Bluetooth connection with full playback control with a constant and reliable connection. The effective range is limited to 10 feet depending on the obstruction between the Stanmore and the paired device.

In the Google Home app, you can register the device and give it a name. In our case, we named it "Marshall Bedroom" to denote that it was the Marshall speaker in the bedroom.

You have then full control of the playback features via the Google Home app and via voice commands.

Because the Speaker has full Google Assistant support, you can ask it questions, to tell a joke, or to command other devices connected in your Wi-Fi Network. For example, I can say "Okay, Google Turn on the Living room TV" and it will turn-on the living room TV provided it is connected to the network and is registered in the Google Home App.

Aside from the Google Play Store, you can connect your Spotify account or a Netflix Account to your Google Home app which gives you the ability to cast your Spotify playlist to the speaker or if you are watching Netflix on your phone or your TV, you can simulcast the audio from that to the speaker.

This means that you can have multiple Marshall speakers in your whole house to have full Google services access. This is compatible with non-marshals products who support Google’s software ecosystem.

The Stanmore was in a small bedroom and It had no problem picking up our voice commands. It struggled when we were outside the bedroom hallway.

If you want some privacy, you have the option to turn off the microphone only or unplug the speaker entirely.

Sound Quality

Assigned as bedroom speaker with the Google Home app
Assigned as bedroom speaker with the Google Home app

The Stanmore is capable of producing one of the loudest sounds with minimal distortion. Clarity and separation are decent while the depth of the sound is okay. Bass is prominent while the mids and the treble are balanced. It has enough power to make the sound feel meaty.

It sounds better than the official Google counterpart!

The included aptX support allows for high-fidelity audio files to be played via Bluetooth connection which significantly improves sound quality.  But, it is still not as good as using a direct-wired connection via a 3.5mm input jack.

Pros - Beautiful design, premium and solid build materials, Google Home and Assistant Integration, Bluetooth 5.0, aptX support
Cons - Price

Marshall Stanmore II Specs

Drivers: 1x 5.25-inch Woofer, 2x 0.75-inch tweeter
Enclosure Type: Bass-Reflex
Frequency Response: 50Hz to 20kHz
SPL: 101dB
Amplifier Class: 3x Class-D
Amplifier Power Rating: 60W
Connectivity: 2RCA Input, 1/8-inch 3.5 input jack, Bluetooth 5.0 w/ aptX
Dimensions: 350 x 195 x 185 mm
Weight: 4,700 g
Price: PHP 26,990

Verdict

The new Marshall Stanmore II is a beautifully designed speaker that produces decent sound with great integration and compatibility with other devices via Google Home and Bluetooth.

But It comes at a premium price of PHP 26,990 that is justifiable because it is built better and sounds better than the official Google counterpart.

If you are looking for a speaker that has Google Home, and Google Assistant integration that is built solidly and beautifully and does not need audiophile-grade sound quality, the Marshall Stanmore II may be for you.

This speaker is available at Digital Walker stores nationwide.

Build/Design - 4.75
Features - 4.5
Sound - 4
Average - 4.4375/5
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