The Uxrbidge is the latest good speaker to affix Marshall’s good speaker line of amp lookalikes, which at present consists of the bigger Acton II Voice and Stanmore II Voice.
We reviewed the mannequin that provides Amazon Alexa help, however Marshall additionally provides a mannequin that makes use of Google Assistant as a substitute.
The Uxbridge is undeniably attractive, however does it surpass merely being quirky eye-candy for gig-going followers? We discover out.
Design & Construct – Amp it up
The Marshall Uxbridge is a press release piece.
Marshall unapologetically rejects the space-age minimalism that drives the Amazon Echos and Google Nests’ designs and swings in the direction of cultural nostalgia as a substitute: by packing good options into its basic amp. The Uxbridge appears modern, combining fashionable class with a rugged rock ‘n’ roll allure. I simply want I might plug in my guitar.
Throughout the entrance, you get a woven grill material, very like you’ll on an precise amp – absolutely emblazoned with the long-lasting Marshall emblem, whereas 4 quick legs maintain the unit sturdy.
It’s a compact dice once you have a look at it, measuring 128 x 168 x 123mm, roughly the dimensions of a four-pack of beer. This makes it barely bigger than its rivals, the Amazon Echo 3, which measures 148 x 99mm and the Google Residence which measures 143 x 96mm, each of that are in regards to the measurement of a pint glass. (I would as nicely use beer-related measurement references when the system is so rock ‘n’ roll).
On the high of the Uxbridge, you’ll discover the amount in addition to bass and treble rockers, all in a horny copper end. These are joined by a Play/Pause button and a mic mute button. Surprisingly, Marshall put the Bluetooth button on the again of the system, the place you could anticipate an influence swap – nonetheless, there isn’t an influence swap. The one option to flip it off is to unplug it. It is little question a acutely aware choice that Marshall needs you to have the speaker on always, with Alexa (or Google) all the time on stand-by (extra on Alexa under).
On that word, the Uxbridge operates solely from the ability mains, so it’s not supposed to be moveable. In truth, at 1.39kg it outweighs each the Echo 3 (780g) and Google Residence (477g), that are lithe as compared.
For those who favor portability, Marshall provides the Stockwell II, Kilburn II and Tufton II – although these lack good performance. For a battery-powered speaker, the waterproof Marshall Emberton packs 20 hours of battery life and 360-degree sound. See Marshall’s full speaker assortment.
Additionally see our shortlist of the very best Bluetooth audio system of 2020
Alongside the Uxbridge’s base, you will discover 4 LED lights much like what you’ll discover on an Echo system. These sit on a brushed copper panel and point out ranges – whether or not that is quantity, bass, or treble. The lights additionally flip blue when Alexa is energetic.
Marshall Voice App
Establishing the Uxbridge was simple. You’ll want to put in the Marshall Voice app (free on Android and iOS) and hook up with the speaker by way of Bluetooth. The Uxbridge provides Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, so you’ll be able to solely join to at least one system at a time.
When you do not want the Marshall Voice app to make use of the speaker as soon as it is arrange, you do want for in-app equalization (for this you will want to remain related to the Uxbridge by way of Bluetooth).
The Marshall Voice app additionally permits you to add the Uxbridge to your Wi-Fi community. You’ll should individually set up the Amazon Alexa app, nonetheless, to carry good connectivity to the speaker.
Amazon Alexa & Spotify Join
As soon as Alexa is related by way of the Alexa app, you need not configure it once more – it’s obtainable as quickly as you plug within the speaker. Once more, in the event you favor the Google ecosystem, there’s additionally an Uxbridge with Google Assistant.
When it comes to Alexa’s efficiency, I needed to converse loud and clear for a response. Alexa does not all the time perceive what you imply and can rattle on to a misunderstood query. It helps to talk slowly and to pause after calling Alexa earlier than asking a query.
The Uxbridge solely provides a dual-mic set-up. As compared, the price range Google Nest Mini has three mics, and Amazon Echo Dot Three provides 4 mics. Whereas Alexa responded to me from the lounge as I shouted a music request from a room away within the kitchen, the mic may pressure to listen to you in the event you’re too distant.
Be mindful the Uxbridge is a multi-room speaker so you should purchase one for every room of the home to save lots of you from having to bark orders.
For those who solely ever use one Uxbridge, it is clear Marshall needs you to make use of it from throughout the identical room. The speaker is supposed for having fun with an album whereas lounging in the lounge, or streaming playlists to entertain visitors. As a sensible speaker, you do not must be tethered to your cellphone by way of Bluetooth, so anybody within the room can request what performs subsequent.
Spotify Join solely takes this additional by permitting you entry to songs outdoors the Amazon Music repertoire. Connecting was easy, and I used to be simply in a position to bounce between my cellphone and laptop computer to play songs from Spotify. Apple customers can even be glad to search out that the Uxbridge helps AirPlay 2.
Audio high quality – All in regards to the bass
The Uxbridge’s 54Hz – 20,000Hz frequency vary is barely shorter than your common loudspeaker’s vary of 45Hz – 20,000Hz, however the sound it delivers is extremely clear and heat.
Let’s not neglect: Marshall has been within the enterprise of sound lengthy earlier than Amazon and Google.
The low vary is especially spectacular. The bass resonates with a velvety smoothness, with out suffocating the trebles and center – which implies vocals aren’t drowned out however complemented. The result’s wealthy, room-filling audio.
Whereas the vary sits principally within the bass and center, you’ll be able to simply enhance the trebles utilizing the rockers on the high of the speaker. For extra delicate tuning, you’ll be able to go into the Marshall Voice app, which incorporates presets for varied genres together with spoken for podcast followers.
With this stage of customisation, the Uxbridge can deal with nearly any style you throw at it – although not like rock, reggae, or pop which regularly function a driving bass, softer genres like piano or classical can sound barely muted.
Marshall hasn’t revealed a lot in regards to the measurement of its driver aside from it being a 30W Class D amplifier for the woofer and tweeter, however the speaker is undeniably loud, gaining a most quantity of 96 dB. There may be gentle distortion within the higher vary when the Uxbridge is on blast, however you’ll by no means have to take heed to it that loud.
Worth and Availability
The Uxbridge is out there in black or white straight from Marshall for £170/US$199/AUD$284. You too can discover it on Amazon and Currys PC World.
Marshall additionally makes a model with Google Assistant on the identical worth, additionally obtainable in each black and white.
The worth places it in the same vary because the Sonos One (£199/$199) which stays probably the greatest good audio system round. The Sonos One provides each Alexa and Google Assistant help, so you are not tied to at least one ecosystem on the level of buy. There are after all cheaper good audio system obtainable too, however what you pay for with the Marshall is the design and simply customisable sound.
The Uxbridge is spectacular. Marshall backs the speaker’s iconic look with nice sound, protecting it from being simply an amusing novelty with satisfactory audio.
Alexa connectivity is an added bonus, although could be fickle at instances. If good connectivity is your goal in a speaker buy, you may be higher off with the Echo Studio (£189.99/US$229.98) which is on the premium finish of the Echo vary, with superior audio to the Echo 3. Additionally, have in mind, non-Echo audio system might not all the time supply all the identical features as Amazon’s personal units.
If as a substitute, you need a speaker that packs persona and highly effective sound and is bound to impress pals with an iconic look, you’ll be able to’t go incorrect with the Marshall.
Marshall Uxbridge: Specs
Dimension: 128 x 168 x 123 mm
Frequency vary:54-20,000 Hz
30 Watt Class D amplifier
Wi-Fi (WPA/WAP2, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz/5GHz)
Bluetooth 4.2,Spotify Join
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