I’ve reviewed some nifty speakers in my time. I’ve also reviewed a couple of rather crappy ones. It’s easy to tell that the Marshall Uxbridge Voice won’t be one of the latter.
After all, Marshall wouldn’t release a crappy product would they? Of course not. Nobody benefits from that.
So with that said, is the Marshall Uxbridge Voice a speaker that you’d want?
Read on for my review.
What is the Marshall Uxbridge Voice?
The Marshall Uxbridge Voice is a speaker that’s compact yet powerful. Measuring just 128 x 168 x 123 mm and weigh 1.39KG, the speaker isn’t going to eat up a ton of space.
It comes with voice recognition (the one I reviewed had Google Assistant) but will also function as a regular speaker if you deign it so. It’s going for $399 on TC Acoustic, who also kindly provided us with the review unit.
The speaker’s equipped with a far-field microphone for voice recognition and noise cancellation. In practice, I found that the speaker had no issue detecting my voice about 95% of the time; the other times it basically ignored me or had issues with what I said.
I tried the voice recognition feature from different distances; near (right up next to the speaker), medium (about 5 meters) and far (from another room). Being near and medium distance to it worked the best, with the least issues. Shouting commands from another room worked as well as you’d expect…not very.
I didn’t get much use out of the voice assistant feature at all and feel like it’s a much unneeded add-on instead of an integral feature. You might think otherwise.
Its small size also means the speaker can be moved around with ease. Note that it’s not an outdoor speaker though; it has no resistant qualities nor is it able to function without being connected to a power outlet.
It’s a weird omission that the speakers aren’t portable, especially considering its size. I’d have figured some water and dust resistance and a built-in battery would skyrocket the usability of the speaker and make it a much more attractive to buyers…but that’s just me.
Here are its specs.
In line with Marshall’s retro old school look, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice looks something right out of the 1950s/60s. Don’t let that fool you though, the speaker’s solidly built, with responsive buttons on top for various duties.
Ironically, these buttons (while very responsive), detract from the aesthetics Marshall’s trying to achieve. I feel that knobs would be a much better look for the speaker and more in line with the design.
Connection for the speaker is all through WiFi or Bluetooth, a downside for those who prefer to plug in via 3.5mm jack. However, Bluetooth connection is pretty painless; all I had to do was press the pair button at the back of the speakers and my phone was able to detect and connected to it nearly instantaneously.
Unlike some other wireless speakers, you don’t even need to use the Marshall app to play music. All I did was connect to the speakers, then boot up doubleTwist (my music player app) and I was rocking to music before I knew it.
It’s that easy.
As always, I tested the speaker with a whole range of music, all in FLAC format.
Here’s my list.
- The Touch (Rock, Stan Bush)
- Cherry Pie (Hard Rock, Warrant)
- Die for Metal (Power Metal, Manowar)
- Reise, Reise (Industrial Metal, Rammstein)
- X Gon’ Give It To Ya (Rap, DMX)
- Gangster’s Paradise (Hip Hop, Coolio)
- Moonlight Sonata (Classical, Beethoven)
- One-Winged Angel – Final Fantasy VII (Instrumental, Nobuo Uematsu)
- Prayer – Symphony of the Night (Vocal, Michiru Yamane)
- Change the World – (J-Pop, V6)
You’d think a diminutive speaker wouldn’t have great sound. You’d be wrong.
I was pretty skeptical at first too, but after listening to the tracks for awhile, I found that the Marshall Uxbridge Voice had the chops of speakers twice its size.
There was zero issue with voices; no warbling or distortion at all, even on higher volumes.
Bass was a bit underwhelming to my ears, especially in songs like X Gon’ Give It To Ya and Gangster’s Paradise. I’d have preferred more ‘oommph’ to the sound, which the Marshall Uxbridge Voice had trouble delivering. The weak bass also detracts somewhat from Die for Metal and Cherry Pie, making them sound a bit tamer than I’d like.
The speaker also seems to have issue with reproducing multiple sounds at once, with the trumpets and drums in One-Winged Angel not having the definition you’d expect. There’s a certain lack of dexterity to the speaker, and it has trouble keeping up with tracks with dramatic changes to the score.
One thing it doesn’t have issue with is volume. Small size be damned, the Marshall Uxbridge produces sound that’s incredible loud and proud. It won’t bring your house down, but I’m going to say that your neighbours will definitely know you’re listening to music in your home when you max out the volume.
The Bottom Line.
If you’re into Marshall’s retro looks, then the Marshall Uxbridge Voice will fit right into the aesthetic you’re going for. On top of that, the speaker is a decent piece of audio equipment that does deliver adequate performance. You can do better, but you can certainly do much much worse.
Though the lack of an 3.5mm input jack sucks, Bluetooth and WiFi connection is stable, with no drops in music quality or streaming. With its ability to produce great voice and beats, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice is a great choice for those who want a versatile speaker that doesn’t take up a ton of space.
Small size but big sound.
- Classic Marshall look.
- Solidly built.
- Only Bluetooth and WiFi connections.
- Buttons seem out of place.
- Not portable.
- Needs stronger bass.