Marshall  - Marshall Stockwell II


Marshall Stockwell II portable speaker: design evolves, sound progresses

Aprox. 179€ - see price -

See specifications

Marshall is continuing to renew its range of Bluetooth speakers with the second iteration of the Stockwell, its most compact model, which sees itself decked out in the famous "Blumlein stereophony" which has become a signature of the brand.

Positive points

Lots of control and balance in the bass and midrange.

Sound / congestion ratio remarkable.

Original and efficient spatialization system.

Design and construction worked.

Splash protection.

Connection to two sources simultaneously via Bluetooth.

AptX Low Latency compatible.

High autonomy (20 hours).

Bad points

A slight resonance is heard in the extreme bass.

Small failure in the high-midrange, lack of presence of voices and cutting edge.

Very incomplete commands (no volume unification, no reading control).

Our review


The Stockwell II is the most compact new Bluetooth speaker in the Marshall catalog. This certainly does not make it an absolute ideal of nomadism: 18 cm high, 16 cm wide and 7 cm deep, it weighs 1.4 kg on the scales. This therefore places it slightly above the threshold which marks, according to our definition, the boundary between "portable" enclosure and "transportable" enclosure.

Besides its name, the Marshall Stockwell II surprisingly shares little in common with the first Stockwell of the name. Exit the rectangular shape and the integrated cover / support, the new born adopts the design inaugurated by Marshall in autumn 2018 with the Kilburn II. From the latter, it also takes up the famous "Blumlein stereophony" - a slightly fanciful name given to an original spatialization system, making use of an additional tweeter placed at the rear of the speaker to optimize the diffusion of sound in the listening room.

The Stockwell II is launched at a target price of € 249.



There is probably no longer any need to write about the design of the Marshall Bluetooth speakers. The look of the eponymous vintage amps befits these little speakers, which the Stockwell II demonstrates once again. The finish is not to be outdone, with its rubbery plastic of good quality and its strap in synthetic leather and very elegant red velvet.

More mobile than its sisters in the Marshall range, the Stockwell II is not only by its relatively small footprint, but also by its IPX4 certification. This index certainly does not guarantee any protection against immersion - so avoid taking it to the edge of the swimming pool -, but you can at least take it outside without fear that a sudden downpour would damage its integrity.

The speaker proudly displays its Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility, but it does not take any functional advantage. Much more interesting, however, is its ability to connect multipoint to two sources simultaneously, with automatic connection and switching of the broadcast source when a playback is launched on one of the two devices. Ideal if you want to regularly use the speaker with a smartphone and a computer, for example.

On the other hand, control interfaces with "pseudo-knobs" are still just as questionable, insofar as they clearly sacrifice convenience of use in favor of the aesthetic effect. The absence of a motorized volume control prevents any unification of the latter with the volume of the source device, and we still regret the impossibility of controlling playback (pause, navigation between tracks) from the enclosure.

Note also that the speaker does not have a hands-free kit function.

Like all the latest Marshall speakers, the Stockwell II is compatible on its Bluetooth link with the aptX Low Latency codec; and when paired with a compatible source device, the broadcast delay is kept below 50 ms. The resulting audio / image mismatch when watching a video is almost undetectable; a great point. With other sources, the latency is around 150 ms, a value that is always reasonable; the sound / image mismatch then becomes clearly perceptible, but unless you are particularly sensitive to the phenomenon, you get used to it quite quickly.

In addition to its Bluetooth connectivity, the Stockwell II also has an auxiliary input on 3.5 mm mini-jack. The single USB Type-C port can be used both for charging the speaker itself, and in reverse for charging a device from the speaker - smart! The choice of this connection also makes the speaker compatible with fast charging (up to 12 V / 3 A), but we can however find a bit stingy on the part of Marshall to provide no AC adapter in the box. You have to settle for a simple USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable.

Autonomy is announced by the manufacturer at 8 pm And this generous promise is perfectly kept when the listening volume is set at around 60% of its maximum value. This makes the Stockwell II one of the most enduring speakers in our comparison.



Marshall also took advantage of this redesign of the Stockwell to significantly retouch its sound performances. The whole is still far from perfection, but highlights some very good qualities.

The Stockwell II carries a woofer lined with a bass reflex vent radiating towards the front, as well as two tweeters positioned back to back, at the front and at the rear of the speaker - we will come back to this below. For now, let's focus on the lower half of the spectrum, which is clearly the region where the speaker shines the most. Very balanced - with the exception of a slight resonance at 70 Hz which is not at all dramatic - the bass shows a fairly impressive mastery. Their excellent responsiveness allows the loudspeaker to offer a first-rate seat / congestion ratio. The positioning of the vent at the front also means that the bass rendering depends as little as possible on the acoustics of the listening room; it's always appreciated.

The notion of balance, on the other hand, is clearly not the first that would come to mind when describing the high and mid-range highs of the Stockwell II. Admittedly, the abyss visible on the measurement of frequency response between 3 and 11 kHz is largely exaggerated compared to what one perceives in real use - this is explained by the fact that the energy emitted by the rear tweeter, precisely concentrated on this frequency band, is largely lost in the ultra-absorbent acoustics of our measurement lab, whereas it is not in a listening room with "normal" reverberation. Nevertheless, we can clearly hear a noticeable failure in the cutting edge by ear, which weakens the presence of voices and electric guitars in particular - we couldn't do more paradox for a brand like Marshall, of course!

But this is the only major criticism that can be made of this place. Apart from that, the dynamics and the power provided are up to the excellent habits of the brand, with a slight compression which is heard only when one approaches the maximum volume. The distortion is kept at inaudible levels over the entire audible spectrum.

As almost always on Marshall Bluetooth speakers, the bass level settings are nice additions a priori, but whose real usefulness is very limited. It is an understatement to say that the allowed settings are not extremely precise, since they apply to frequency ranges of a frankly excessive width. We advise not to touch the bass knob and leave it in the middle position, the only one that preserves the balance of the lower part of the spectrum. The treble knob on the other hand can be handled sparingly to soften or brighten the sound according to individual preferences.

Finally, let us conclude on this famous "Blumlein stereophony", whose principle and effect are here perfectly identical to what we had seen on the Kilburn II: the stereophony of the input signal is analyzed by DSPs which try to automatically extract the room effects ( reverberation, echo ...) in order to restore these via the rear tweeter, and to accentuate their distribution throughout the listening room by reflection on the rear wall. The system certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with Alan Blumlein's inventions (which in any case only concerned the recording of sound, and not its reproduction), but it turns out to be quite effective surprising and allows the soundstage to be adorned with a small but real depth, much better than a "classic" stereo confined to the tiny dimensions of a portable speaker. Nothing that revolutionizes listening, but a little more pleasant nonetheless.



After the very successful Kilburn II and Acton II Voice, the Marshall speakers continue their good series. The Stockwell II benefits from very serious sound progress made since its predecessor, completed by this "Blumlein stereophony" still as strangely named, but undeniably effective. Not everything is still perfect in terms of hearing, but the visual attractions of the beast may be enough to compensate for this.