I have been looking at speakers a lot over the last couple of years. I’ve been making do with some small Polk satelites and a large subwoofer hooked up to a modern Denon receiver for several years now. But I finally got too frustrated with all the wires trailing behind desks and the sheer bulk of the sub that I try and hide out of sight.
I tend to budget and look for good value for money but have had an eye on the Marshall Bluetooth speakers for a while. I also play the guitar and my husband is British so I was drawn to an historic British brand like Marshall. And I especially like the retro guitar amp styling of their bluetooth speaker range. Aesthetically speaking, it goes well with our hardwood floors and mix of classic modern, vintage and antique style furnishings.
I was originally going to get the Stanmore which seems like the best bang for your buck. But everything I read suggested I would be disappointed. When I brought this up with my other half I was surprised that they were ok but only if we were to spend almost double to get the one I really wanted.
Anyway, when the Woburn arrived I was very happy with the physical appearance and build quality. It appeared to be everything I hoped for and was also pretty heavy which means that it probably has good quality speakers with big heavy magnets inside. I was a little anxious because my expectations were high and I wasn’t sure how a pair of 5” woofers would produce the kind of range I am used to from the Sub.
I needn’t have worried. The Woburn is an amazing speaker and sounds perfect (as far as I am concerned) in almost every way.
It is LOUD, I actually have it on 2 out of 10 volume on the speaker which is the master volume and tweak from the device or computer I am playing from. To get the fullest sound with the broadest range without going muddy I found the best settings for my tastes was 7 Bass and 7 treble which produces the full range, from deep low rumbling bass that causes rattles around the room to the minutest details in the treble. The rest can be tweaked on your device using an equalizer.
Initially, I found the bluetooth signal a bit weak from my android phone compared to the signal I was getting from a wired device. It really helps to get one of the premium audio apps that offer high end features to get a better signal. I went with Poweramp app for Android. That app has both an equalizer and Pre Amp feature that lets you boost the output signal to match a physical cable. I’m not sure why the initial Bluetooth signal seemed somewhat muted unless it’s to save battery power on the phone or tablet.
A coiled 3.5mm aux cable that comes with the speaker is very nice. It looks a lot like an old coiled guitar cable with a flexible spring collar to prevent kinking coming out the back of knurled gold plugs. With it, the output was strong and didn’t need a preamp.
From my desktop computer I have it hooked up with the digital optical toslink connector. It might be a placebo effect, or just the expensive soundcard in my PC but it sounds the best of all.
The speaker’s relatively compact size means that even though it is stereo the soundstage it projects is quite narrow and directional. For the desktop computer I ended up getting a small speaker to place directly in front to act as an accent speaker and thus widen the soundstage. The Woburn still does most of the work; the accent speaker just widens the mids and highs to surround a bit more because I have the Woburn on a table to my far right.
Product Name: Marshall Woburn
Product Description: Marshall Woburn Bluetooth Speaker
- Build Quality
The Woburn is a truly amazing speaker. It really does produce deep and punchy bass and very crisp high detail which projects very warm and colorful midrange. It’s the closest thing to an audiophile I have heard. This is the case even with MP3’s where a lot of detail can be lost and unstruments might merge and sound seem a bit muddy. The Woburn lets you pick out separate instruments very clearly and voices sound extremely real, rich and resonant with lots of fine detailing that in my experience often gets lost. I haven’t listened to Queen in several years and was quite startled to hear all the subtle voicing in A Winter Tale; was astonished really. And it’s been the same with everything I listen to, be it a voice, guitar or a full blown orchestra. Classical, Opera, Rock, Metal, 80’s Pop, Punk, Grunge, Folk, Jazz--it all sounds great.
It didn’t take long for me to relocate my Denon and Polk setup. Now our study just has the Marshall Woburn center back of the study and a small accent speaker in front of my desktop to widen the stage somewhat. I am truly impressed and feel privileged to have such a lovely sounding speaker. It is expensive and filled me with apprehension when we first ordered it. Three months later it’s been paid off and we love it, no regrets whatsoever.