The Marshall Stanmore 3 is a powerful Bluetooth speaker and the latest Stanmore model speaker currently available. This speaker comes with a new built-in woofer and two tweeters that provide extra bass and loud sound performance with an 80W RMS sound performance. This speaker features a 2-way bass-reflex design with a rear firing port to improve to bass performance and has a wide frequency range of 45 Hz to 20 kHz. The Marshall Stanmore III also features the next-generation Bluetooth 5.2 for high-quality music streaming, and also supports the usual 3.5mm input for playing music from non-wireless music sources.
The Marshall Stanmore 2 is the older generation Stanmore speaker that delivers up to 60 watts (80 watts peak) of sound performance, and also comes with 1 woofer and two tweeters in a 2-way bass reflex design. This speaker supports Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity with aptX, and also supports EQ customization with the Marshall Bluetooth app. Just like the Marshall Stanmore 3 speaker, the Stanmore 2 also features multi-host functionality so that you can easily connect and switch between multiple Bluetooth devices at one time.
When we tested out both the Marshall Stanmore 3 and Stanmore 2 side by side, we found that the Marshall Stanmore 3 delivers slightly louder sound performance with good bass response. Both speakers are capable of delivering very well-rounded sound performance and deep bass, and the bass on both speakers was equally punchy and deep with a lot of depth on the low-end. Having said that, the volume difference between both speakers is quite small and barely noticeable when you crank up both speakers to maximum volume levels, and both speakers have roughly equal amounts of peak power at 80 watts.
We played a couple of of country folk and jazz music soundtracks on both speakers and noticed that the Stanmore 3 has wider stereo soundstage than the Stanmore 2. While both speakers pump out nearly the same volume and level of bass, the Stanmore 3 is able to better distinguish between the right and left speaker channels and provide a more well-rounded soundstage – you can pick up subtle details and nuances in the music which you may not have noticed in the Stanmore 2, such as the footsteps of the vocalist and stroke of the piano keys.
In terms of bass performance, both speakers deliver really deep and punchy bass with plenty of depth. The bass on both the Stanmore 3 and Stanmore 2 are well-defined with plenty of depth, and they add a good low-end punch to music performances. The bass is quite refined and stays where it should be as bass without muddying into the midrange frequencies. Both speakers get the bass right and they deliver a superb low-end with plenty of depth and presence.
Overall, we would say that the sound performance of the Stanmore 3 and Stanmore 2 speakers are virtually indistinguishable. Both have nearly equal levels of volume output and bass, and they can deliver really crisp highs and smooth midrange performance. While the Stanmore 3 is slightly louder – there was no noticeable difference in the volume once you push the volume level above 50% volume. We did find that the Stanmore 3 had better soundstage than the Stanmore 2, although the differences are quite subtle and you won’t really hear the difference in the separation and soundstage unless you are specifically listening for the details. Both speakers have superb bass performance that delivers above what we would normally expect from a high-end Bluetooth speaker; both speakers also have a wide frequency range of between 45 Hz to 20 kHz (the Stanmore III has 45 Hz to 20 kHz while the Stanmore II has 50 Hz to 20 kHz) which is impressive, but you won’t hear 5Hz the difference in frequency response between both speakers at the lower-frequency band. Both speakers have a relatively warm Marshall signature sound with good vocal reproduction.
Specs – Marshall Stanmore 3 vs Stanmore 2
In terms of specs, both the Stanmore 3 and 2 are virtually identical, save for the fact that the Stanmore 3 has 80 watts of RMS power while the Stanmore 2 has 60 watts (but this can go up to 80 watts peak power on AC). Both speakers have a 2-way speaker configuration with one woofer and two tweeters for crystal clear highs and detailed midrange reproduction.
The Stanmore 3 also has an added rear-firing bass port to enhance the lower-end bass performance; however we found in our tests that the bass was quite indistinguishable and both speakers have the same amount of bass output. In terms of frequency response, the Stanmore 3 has a range of 45 Hz to 20 kHz while the Stanmore 2 has a range of 50 Hz to 20 kHz, which is essentially the same to the human ear (you won’t be able to hear the 5 Hz difference in the Stanmore 3 in the bass region).
Having said that, the Marshall 3 supports the latest Bluetooth 5.2 codec which is ideal for streaming detailed sound quality to the speaker. The Marshall 2 features Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX and also delivers crystal clear sound performance on par with the Marshall 3.
In terms of design, the Marshall Stanmore 3 and Stanmore 2 look virtually identical with the classic vintage appearance. The exterior of both speakers are made from soft touch plastic and the front of the speaker has a fabric linter covered in a plastic mesh with a gold colored Marshall logo.
Both speakers come with Marshall’s signature gold/brass dials and the on/off switch looks exactly like a Marshall amp toggle. Both speakers also have rubber feet which provide a sturdy bass and prevent the speaker from rattling or vibrating when playing loud music. When it comes down to design, we felt that both the Marshall Stanmore 3 and Stanmore 2 look quite identical to each other and it really boils down to a matter of personal preference.
We really liked both the Marshall Stanmore 3 and Stanmore 2 speaker. Both speakers are capable of delivering a massive 80 watt of sound performance – the sound quality is perfectly balanced with very clear highs and detailed midranges. The bass has plenty of low-end punch and feels tight with plenty of depth – it’s the kind of bass that you would expect from a high-end speaker that makes jazz and country folk music feel lifelike and present. The Stanmore 3 has slightly better soundstage and stereo separation – you can pick up details in the music on the Stanmore 3 that sound less apparent on the Stanmore 2 – such as the sound of the vocalist breathing or the stroke of the piano / plucking of guitar strings. Both speakers deliver really crisp treble ranges with sparkling highs, and vocals sound really nice to listen to on both speakers.
There’s also a Marshall app which you can use to connect to the speaker and fine-tune the audio settings based on the speaker’s positioning and distance from the wall (this allows you to optimize the sound performance for your room). The Stanmore 3 features the latest Bluetooth 5.2 codec, while the Stanmore 2 uses Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX – having said that, the sound performance between the two are practically indistinguishable.
In our view, the Stanmore 3 is not really worth the upgrade from the Stanmore 2. Both speakers have virtually the same output power and both speakers come with a woofer and two tweeters. While the Stanmore 3 comes with an additional bass rear-firing port, the bass on both speakers was essentially the same on both speakers and you can barely notice the difference. Both speakers also provide roughly the same volume output and have a peak wattage of 80 watts, with the Stanmore 3 providing slightly better soundstage. If you already have the Marshall Stanmore 2, we recommend sticking to the Stanmore 2 at this time – otherwise the Marshall Stanmore 3 is a great option to have for the latest Bluetooth 5.2 codec and additional bass port design.
If you want to read more about the types of Marshall speakers currently available, be sure to check out this article on the best Marshall speakers.