When we think of the true classics of Rock and Roll, certain names just naturally spring to mind – Hendrix, Clapton, Zeppelin, Floyd, and, of course, Marshall. Marshall guitar speakers, amps, and the legendary Marshall stacks were, and still are, de rigueur for any self-respecting band, whether in greasy garages or flood-lit stadiums.
So it is no surprise that Marshall’s incredibly popular headphones and Bluetooth speakers sound so great with rock and roll music – we would expect nothing less. The real news, though, is that the whole line of Marshall gear sounds great with pretty much any other kind of music as well.
Here we will look more closely at one of Marshall’s best and most popular Bluetooth speaker systems in this buyer’s guide for the flagship Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth speaker, completely revised and re-written for 2021, and we’ll try to answer some basic questions:
- Does the Marshall Woburn Bluetooth speaker sound good?
- Is the Marshall Woburn a good Bluetooth speaker?
- Does the Woburn live up to the towering Marshall name and reputation?
- Is the Marshall Woburn Bluetooth speaker really rock and roll?
- Do you kids really need to play your music that loud?
Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth Speaker Review
Features and Specifications
- High Power 2 Way Bluetooth Cabinet Speaker System
- Two 1” Tweeters
- Two 5.5” Subwoofers
- 110 Watt Class D Stereo Amplifier
- Wood Cabinet for Warm Sound
- Bass Reflex Design for Extended Low Frequencies
- aptX Bluetooth Protocol for High-Resolution Sound
- Multi-Host Bluetooth Functionality
- Analog Inputs: 3.5” Headphone and RCA Connectors
- Bass, Treble, and Volume Controls
- Classic Marshall Styling
- Marshall Smartphone App
- Frequency Response: 30 Hz to 20 kHz
- Maximum SPL (Sound Pressure Level): 110 dB at 1 meter!
Pros & Cons of Marshall Woburn Bluetooth Speaker
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Clear, clean sound quality||Ask your neighbors!|
|Incredible deep bass|
|Detailed, extended high frequencies|
|Smooth and natural midrange|
|aptX Protocol for true lossless audiophile Bluetooth|
|Beautiful Retro Styling|
|Excellent construction quality|
|Great controls – both on the cabinet and through the app|
|Analog (wired) inputs|
First Impressions of the Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth Speaker System
The Marshall Woburn II has a sound quality that’s different than anything else I’ve heard in a Bluetooth speaker system. There is a sharp, clear and uncompromising quality to this speaker that it a little overwhelming at first – sort of like sitting front row in front of Marshall stacks! And, like the stacks, they will play really, really loud!
The clarity and openness of the Marshall Woburn II is actually one of their best qualities. These extremely accurate and honest speakers reveal every single thing that is going on in any music track. I heard details and subtleties that I had never before noticed – even in music I’d listened to many times before. It does, at first, almost seem too much, but I soon came to realize that this is how music really should sound – even if it almost never does with other Bluetooth speaker systems.
Design of the Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth Speaker System
The Woburn II looks like a classic Marshall crate – the same beautiful retro styling, quality of materials and construction, and size and weight of a classic Marshall guitar amp or stage speaker.
But this is a fully up-to-date high-tech design, with a pure class D stereo amplifier, two-host Bluetooth connectivity, and full high resolution aptX Bluetooth codex. Still, much of the technical design does hearken back to more euphonic analog days, with two different sets of analog audio inputs (both mini-headphone and RCA jacks), retro-style mechanical bass, treble and volume controls, a fine wooden cabinet and – for all of their sophisticated technology and engineering – an amplifier and speaker drivers that honor and preserve that legendary Marshall sound.
The two 1 inch tweeters extend quite high, with air and detail aplenty, the two 5 and a quarter inch woofers go remarkably deep, and the 110 watt amplifier drives them to a mind-blowing volume, much louder than I myself would ever want. Still, it’s nice to have the option, and at medium to loud volumes the amount of detail and dynamic energy let you know that there are plenty (really, plenty) of reserve power still under the hood.
Set-Up and Connectivity of the Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth Speaker System
Except for the fact that they’re pretty darn heavy, and not as easy to move around as many portable Bluetooth speakers, the Marshall Woburn II speakers couldn’t have been easier to set up.
The Bluetooth connectivity worked flawlessly, with no problems at all pairing with any of my different Bluetooth sources, and I never heard any cut-out or other apparent problems with reception. The volume and tone controls work smoothly, and have a nice, high quality feel, and they make quite a difference to the sound. In different rooms, or with different music, they really helped optimize the listening experience.
The app, though, was something else. Easy and intuitive, it provides sophisticated control over tone and spatial presentation, with its graphic equalizer and ambience controls. You can switch between stereo and ambient modes, select different equalizer pre-sets, and even control the intensity of the lights on the Woburn’s cabinet.
Especially nice is the ability to connect wired music sources, using a mini-headphone jack or standard stereo RCA jacks. This allows you to use your Marshall Woburn II with your stereo system, turntable (through a stereo or preamplifier, or a ‘table with a built in line-level amp), cassette deck or an older pre-Bluetooth music player. I didn’t ever plug my axe in, but believe you me, I was sorely tempted!
Extended Listening and Detailed Review of the Marshall Woburn II Sound Quality
This is a larger Bluetooth speaker cabinet, but it is not large enough to explain how Marshall can get such staggeringly deep and impactful bass response from the Woburn II and its twin 5 ¼ inch woofers. Bass you not only hear, but feel, and with accurate tonal characteristics, dynamics and micro-dynamics superbly portrayed – you not only hear a bass guitar, a kick drum or a pipe organ’s longest pipes, they sound like a bass guitar, or a drum, or an organ. Incredible for this type of speaker, and for this price!
The midrange and high frequencies are similarly accurate and detailed to the point of almost frightening realism. Again, a voice sounds human, a guitar has all of the bite and detail it should, and sounds like a guitar, electronic music is solid and clearly revealed in its often amazing dynamics and micro-dynamics, and unplugged strings – acoustic guitar, violins, plucked bass – sound just beautiful, and just right.
While I wouldn’t say that the Marshall Woburn II has a particularly forgiving sound, I mean this as more of a compliment than a dig. Yes, many speakers in this category make their sound a little more sweet and dark, sometimes to mask some problems with amplifier distortion, poor quality components or the relatively lower quality of the MP3 files many people will play through them. But Marshall’s not having it.
The Marshall Woburn II clearly has very high quality speaker drivers, amplifiers and cabinet, and all of this remarkable speaker’s clarity reveals no problems or shortcomings with any other part of the system. On the other hand, if you are using low resolution music files, with limited frequency response, clipped and distorted loud passages, and overall harsh or otherwise crappy sound quality, that will come through with almost painful honesty.
Still, I would say there is something “sweet” about the sound, though, and as long as there is not extreme distortion in your MP3 files, you can use the tone controls on the cabinet, and especially the equalizer and ambience controls on the Marshall app, to make those sad and sorry music files sound pretty damned good.
And, with all its clarity and accuracy, with the superb quality of the components and with the use of aptX full lossless audiophile Bluetooth protocol, if you have good quality MP3s, lossless FLAC files or hi-res 24 bit files, or are playing from a high-quality YouTube video or any decent streaming service, the sound is breathtaking.
Ultimately somebody who listens exclusively to Classical or Acoustic Jazz may want to consider instead something like the superb Bang & Olufsen BeoLit 20 Portable Bluetooth Speaker which, for about the same price, does offer a more refined sound, but I wouldn’t say I enjoyed listening to the B&O more or less than the Marshall.
I would say, though, that the Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth speaker system is more versatile, sounding very good, honest and accurate with Classical and Jazz, if a tad bit less relaxed than its Danish cousin, and significantly more exciting with electric music – Electronica, Electric Jazz and Fusion, Rap, Hip-Hop, Rhythm and Blues, Funk, and, natch, Rock and Roll. Full, rich frequency response, clarity and low distortion, detail, dynamics and musical energy, and great presence whether they’re playing very soft or very, very loud.
Not an inexpensive speaker, the Marshall Woburn is consistently surprising and wonderful to listen to, and provides such an enjoyable and rewarding – and at times thrilling – listening experience that it must be considered a great value for the money.
User Reviews of the Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth Speaker System
Blown Away by this Speaker
As you would expect if you’ve ever heard it, the reviews from verified purchases of the Marshall Woburn II were overwhelmingly positive, with a lot of people saying they were just blown away by the sound quality, the clarity and the incredible volume. Poring through customer reviews from many different internet sites, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word “awesome” used so often.
Totally worth the price
Perhaps less expected, though, was how many customers claim that the Marshall Woburn II is such a good value. I mean, it is a fairly expensive Bluetooth speaker, and yet over and over again people said that it is worth every penny, that it is the best hi-fi investment they’ve ever made, and that they are absolutely thrilled with their purchase.
Best Bluetooth Speaker on the Market
Again and again people praised the Marshall on every level – sound, ease of use, looks and styling, build quality, connectivity and overall design. Very few negative reviews were to be found, and when we filtered the reviews in a more responsible manner – sorting by date, for example, and including only verified purchasers, the negative comments became very rare indeed.
Media Reviews of the Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth Speaker System
More than a few of the more established print and online review sites also think the Marshall Woburn is at least one of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market today. Some reviewers talked about the sound as a tad too bright and unforgiving, but most of the more experienced reviewers found the honesty and clarity refreshing, and the speaker overall to be highly accurate and engaging.
Among the seemingly countless “best Bluetooth speaker on the market today” or “2021 Bluetooth speaker buyer’s guide” articles online, the Marshall Woburn seems to make more appearances and reach the top of lists more often than almost any other Bluetooth speaker system. I guess we’re not the only ones to absolutely love this speaker!
Final Verdict – Is the Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth Speaker System Worth the Money?
Given the last sentence I just wrote, and the words “absolutely love this speaker,” you probably know the answer to this question – yes, emphatically, the Woburn II is a very special speaker, well made, easy to use, versatile and with brilliant and beautiful sound. It plays loud and will fill even very large spaces (or very large parties) with exciting, dynamic sound, and even at very low levels that excitement and energy are still there.
A very impressive speaker, then, on pretty much every count, worthy of not just the legendary Marshall name, but of its place at the very top of their excellent and extremely popular line-up of Bluetooth speakers.