When Marshall first started making products styled to look like their classic amplifiers, we thought it was a passing novelty. We mean, nobody was going to take something like the Marshall Fridge that seriously. We felt the same way, of course, when they did the same thing with speakers. You know, it’s kind of cute and we kind of want one, but we’ll all be collectively tired of it soon enough. Except, they kept making the speakers. And folks kept buying them. At this point, the guitar amp styling is more than a novelty – it’s a signature style. That singularly successful design element continues in their newest speaker, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice.
Like their previous speakers, this thing looks like one of their guitar amps – so much so that people can easily mistake it for a miniature amplifier. Except, it’s really just a compact speaker that’s trading primarily on that novelty to make its case as a way more fun alternative to Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers.
The Marshall Uxbridge Voice is an intelligent speaker that comes with Amazon’s Alexa onboard, so it’s got both Bluetooth for pairing with phones and Wi-Fi for hopping onto your home network. That means, you can operate it using voice commands, ask it questions, and have it do any of the thousand or so things that the virtual assistant is capable of doing. From what we can tell, it’s pretty up to par with other voice-controlled speakers in the market, with a far-field microphone array for smart voice recognition and dynamic noise cancellation, ensuring all your commands are heard clearly and accurately even if the speaker is blasting loud music.
According to the outfit, the speaker has been engineered to produce powerful sound from that compact frame, delivering a music experience that they describe as “clean and precise.” It has a 30-watt Class D amplifier that drives the woofer and tweeter inside the boxy enclosure, with a maximum sound level of 96db, so this can get pretty loud if you crank it up.
The Marshall Uxbridge Voice has physical controls on top of the speaker, so you can control playback and adjust settings without using any voice commands, complete with the ability to modify the bass and treble settings, so you can fine-tune the music exactly to your liking. Like many modern home speakers, it can be paired with another Uxbridge Voice to switch to a stereo setup, allowing you to expand the soundstage without having to make any complicated adjustments, apart from supporting a multi-room setup when combined with other Alexa-powered speakers or speakers with Airplay 2 enabled.
Dimensions are 5 x 6.6 x 4.8 inches (width x height x depth), which makes it small enough to find its place on a side table in the living room, the desk in your home office, and the nightstand in the bedroom. In case Alexa isn’t your intelligent assistant of choice, the speaker will also be releasing with Google Assistant on June 11th and Tencent Xiaowei on May 4th.
The Marshall Uxbridge Voice ships April 8th, priced at $199.