LE Audio — the next big thing in Bluetooth — is rapidly approaching, and Marshall wants you to know that the latest versions of its full-size home Bluetooth speakers will be ready when it gets here. The Woburn III, Stanmore III, and Acton III are now compatible with the Marshall Bluetooth app, and as such will be able to receive software updates, including Bluetooth LE Audio compatibility as well as Marshall’s own multispeaker system for pairing several of its speakers to a single phone.
With LE Audio, compatible speakers and phones should be able to deliver a lower-latency audio stream that’s both higher quality and gentler on battery life.
All three models are available to buy via Marshall’s website right now: $580 for the Woburn III (black or cream) — the largest of the three — $380 for the Stanmore III, and $280 for the Acton III, (black, cream, or brown).
Beyond the new software and Bluetooth features, these speakers have also received hardware redesigns that are aimed at improving their overall sound. All three now feature tweeters that have been angled outward, and updated waveguides that help create a wider soundstage. Marshall promises that it’s a consistently solid sound that is so wide, “it chases you around the room.”
There’s also a new placement compensation feature that supposedly corrects for any nearby reflective surfaces. It’s not entirely clear how this feature works, but we do know that you need to use the Marshall app on your phone to take advantage of it.
As on previous versions, the speakers have independent controls on their top surface for volume, treble, and bass, and there are buttons for controlling music playback too: play/pause and track-skipping.
All three speakers give you a choice of Bluetooth or an analog stereo auxiliary input, but the Woburn III has also been given an HDMI ARC input for high-quality digital audio, so it can be used as a soundbar of sorts with your TV. Though with a boxy and large set of dimensions, placing the Woburn III under or in front of your TV might be a challenge.
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