Advertiser Disclosure

Marshall Stanmore Speaker Review: Old-School Style Meets Modern Technology

Aug. 10, 2016
Product Comparisons, Shopping
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Marshall is an iconic audio equipment brand that was born during the 1960s, the heyday of rock ’n’ roll music. Speaker technology has evolved quite a bit since then, but Marshall still designs products with its classic look and power in mind.

If you’re looking for a stylish speaker that doesn’t skimp on sound, the Marshall Stanmore is a strong contender. We analyzed this model’s characteristics to help you determine whether it’s the right one for you.

Designmarshall-stanmore

The Marshall Stanmore is a Bluetooth speaker that’s disguised as a retro rock ’n’ roll amplifier.

The box-shaped speaker has the Marshall logo on its grille and knobs on top that control basic functions like volume, bass and treble.

It’s relatively small, measuring 7.3 inches high, 13.8 inches wide and 7.3 inches deep. But at 11.2 pounds, it’s on the heavy side for a Bluetooth speaker. For example, the JBL Xtreme, which is roughly the same size, weighs 4.7 pounds.

It’s portable enough to move from room to room, but because you have to plug it into a wall outlet, it’s not ideal for travel.

Marshall sells the Stanmore for $395, but you might find it for less at Amazon and other retailers. It’s available in black, pitch black, brown and cream.

Connectivity

Aside from its volume, bass and treble controls, the Stanmore’s main features are its diverse connection capabilities. It offers a Bluetooth connection, which lets you play music wirelessly from devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets. It also has several input options for other devices. Use the RCA input to hook up your record player, optical input for your TV or 3.5mm for your MP3 player.

When it’s not playing audio from one of your connected gadgets, the Stanmore conserves energy using two standby modes: power saver and standard.

» MORE: The best Bluetooth speakers

The reviews

Is the Stanmore truly, as Marshall says, “small in size, but not subtle in sound”?

We analyzed reviews of some of the most popular speakers on the market, including the Stanmore, to find out. We looked at expert opinions from review sites such as The Sweethome and CNET and analyzed user reviews to see what shoppers had to say about the various attributes of each speaker.

According to the reviews, the Stanmore produces stunning sound. Users noted that it blasts rich, clear audio. In addition to its loud, superior sound, the speaker earned praise for its ample inputs.

However, some reviewers said their Bluetooth connection was weak, even within close range. Many thought this was unacceptable, especially considering the speaker’s high price. Others would have preferred a handle and a battery to make the Stanmore more portable.

The verdict

We recommend the Marshall Stanmore for audiophiles and nostalgic music lovers alike because of its high-quality sound, versatility and vintage look. Because it’s somewhat heavy and must be plugged in, it’s a good choice if you mostly listen to music at home.

But if you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker, there are better options. Consider the JBL Flip 3, which has a 10-hour battery life, weighs just 1 pound and fits easily in most bags. Plus it’s about $300 cheaper than the Stanmore.

More from NerdWallet
The best iHome speakers
The Jawbone Big Jambox: A compact speaker with big sound
Bose SoundDock Series III: A compact alternative to a traditional stereo

Lauren Schwahn is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: lschwahn@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lauren_schwahn.