As will be discussed in this review of Marshall Acton and the Marshal ACTON 2, most popular brands have already been licensed to Chinese gadget makers (a Porsche laptop or a KFC phone, anyone?).
The Acton II, priced at $249, is the most affordable of Marshall’s three new Bluetooth speakers. (Stay tuned for in-depth reviews of the Stanmore II and Woburn II Bluetooth adapters.) In comparison, the Acton II Bluetooth is quite large. Do you like the look of Marshall amplifiers? You’ll appreciate the design and attention to detail in this one. The Acton II Bluetooth is a powerful speaker with adjustable bass and treble. However, unlike many wireless models under $300, this one lacks a speakerphone and cannot be carried around. In general, its audio performance is quite good, though when turned up to maximum volume, we did notice some distortion in the low frequencies.
Marshall Acton vs Marshall Acton 2: Comparison table
|Features||Marshall Acton||Marshall Acton 2|
|Model Name||Acton||Acton 2|
|Connector Type||Bluetooth||AUX, Bluetooth, RCA, and USB|
|Available Colors||Black and Golden||Black|
|Average Battery Life||12 hours||2 days|
|Charging Time||1.5 hour||2.5 hour|
|Compatibility||Smartphone, Tablet, PC, All Bluetooth Devices||Smartphone, Tablet, PC, All Bluetooth Devices|
|Bluetooth||Version 4.0||Version 5.0v|
|Connection Distance Range (Bluetooth)||10m||10m|
|Online Price Ranges||Rs.24,999||Rs.23,900|
Marshall Acton vs Marshall Acton 2: Detailed Analysis
The Marshall Acton II Bluetooth weighs 4.5 ounces, measures 6.3 by 10.3 by 5.9 inches (HWD), and has a convincing grain leather patina on the top and side panels. The front grille is covered in tweed and sports a classy, cursive Marshall logo. If you like the Marshall amp style, this isn’t a cheap knockoff; rather, it elegantly emulates it.
Rather, The Acton Despite its diminutive size, Marshall Acton appears to be the type of Marshall speaker you’d find on a concert stage. The Acton is small (265 x 160 x 150 mm) and light (2.8 kg), but it is not portable in any way (it must be plugged in and does not have a carry handle). Marshalls’ Multi-Room app (and Google Home) handle setup and configuration, so no remote is required.
It’s great to be adaptable, but Marshall Acton may have too many interfaces. The Acton is compatible with almost any mobile device, whether used alone or in conjunction with other speakers from Marshall’s multi-room collection, thanks to Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. AirPlay allows Apple products to communicate with one another.
Because it is preinstalled in the device and serves as the default method of connecting it to a home network, the Chromecast can also be used with Marshall Acton. Furthermore, music from the Spotify Connect app can be used to control Acton.
When listening to songs with a lot of sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Bluetooth-enabled Marshall Acton II’s drivers became distorted and fuzzy, whereas the Marshall Acton II’s drivers remained clear and undistorted at medium or high bass control settings. At this price point, that’s a one-star rating in my book. A digital signal processing speaker that is not portable and has poor sound quality is not worth $250. It could be argued that Marshall chose a less dynamically limiting DSP to provide a more authentic musical experience for purists… until they hear the distortion. The good news is that it appears that the distortion occurs only in songs with heavy basslines, such as this one.
The Google Home was a useful tool during the initial setup process, but it quickly became obsolete. You can use it to connect new devices, but to change the sound, such as volume, bass, or treble, you must launch the Marshall app. You can easily switch between Marshall speakers on the same network using the app, and you can save frequently used Spotify playlists and web radio stations as presets.
Throughout our testing, Marshall Acton alternated between being impressive and annoying.
The music itself is excellent, with enough richness and detail to compensate for the lack of stereo separation from such a small device. The Acton is a favourite among bass enthusiasts due to its excessively high maximum volume level.
In relation to Marshall, The Bluetooth Acton II can generate a lot of noise. While the bass does not reach subwoofer levels at the highest settings, the overall effect is one of fullness and richness. The depressing truth is about to be revealed. Despite using DSP (digital signal processing) to ostensibly prevent distortion at high volumes, the Acton II Bluetooth struggles to produce deep bass even at moderate volumes. The Acton II Bluetooth’s drivers became fuzzy and distorted when listening to tracks with heavy sub-bass content, such as The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” especially when the bass knob was set halfway or higher.
Marshall Acton vs Marshall Acton 2: Quick Result
|Particulars||Marshall Acton||Marshall Acton 2||Which one is the best?|
|Sound Quality||Better||Best||Marshall Acton 2|
Marshall Acton vs Marshall Acton 2: Final Verdict
Because of its beautiful design and high-quality sound, as well as the meticulous craftsmanship of its brass knobs and brushed gold-metallic panel, Marshall Acton has an enviable wow factor. The system’s numerous connectivity options, such as support for streaming music from a smartphone via Spotify or the native music apps on Apple or Android devices, are also impressive.
Except for the back panel, we like the Marshall Acton II Bluetooth a lot. We like the speaker’s sound overall, except when it distorts horribly at extremely low frequencies. Both problems can be avoided if you don’t listen to music with a lot of basses and keep the speaker close to a wall. If not, consider the JBL Xtreme 2, Sony SRS-XB40, Klipsch The One, or Ikea Eneby for a more affordable option (12-Inch). Each of these options has excellent Bluetooth audio and design, and a few of them are even portable.