While the Acton II Voice and the Stanmore II Voice look the part of ordinary amps from Marshall, both pack in many smart features courtesy of Amazon's assistant Alexa. The new Marshall Voice smart speakers are on display at IFA in Berlin this week.
Both promise high-end sound quality, as you might expect from a company like Marshall, and help give Alexa a foothold among premium smart speakers. Thanks to Alexa, you'll be able to use the Marshall Voice speakers to control your smart home, check the weather, ask a question or give any of the other commands that Amazon's feature-rich digital assistant can understand.
Beyond Alexa, both speakers will have class-D amplifiers, a bass reflex cabinet system and custom-tuned drivers all aimed at delivering powerful sound when you want to play music. You can preorder the bigger Stanmore II Voice now for $400. It's due in stores on Oct. 2. You'll need to wait a little longer for the more compact Acton II: You can preorder it starting Oct. 2 for a Nov. 9 release date. The Acton II will cost $300.
Both Marshall Voice speakers will launch in the US only at first, but the company has promised other countries will follow. The Stanmore II price converts to roughly £300 and AU$550, while the Acton II price converts to £230 and AU$410.
The Marshall speakers will also work with Alexa's main competitor -- Google Assistant -- starting later this year. The Sonos One similarly works with Alexa and will be bringing Google Assistant on board soon.
Other than the Sonos One, these Marshall speakers give Alexa users much-needed extra options in premium smart speakers. Google Assistant is built into the company's own Google Home Max and has launched in a number of other smart speakers from companies such as and at IFA.
Marshall is rounding out its IFA showing with a nonsmart speaker that's pretty cool nonetheless. The Kilburn II is a multidirectional stereo speaker that's also portable. The battery will supposedly last for more than 20 hours of playtime, and the speaker is water-resistant. The Kilburn II is available now for $300, with international availability yet to be announced (£230 and AU$410 converted).
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