Marshall has unveiled its newest speaker, a multi-room capable smart speaker with Alexa built-in and a distinctively "Marshall" look and feel: the Uxbridge Voice.
With a £170 price tag, it's positioned as a pretty clear and direct competitor to the likes of the Amazon Echo Studio and Sonos One, once again upping the competition in the smart speaker market by undercutting those models' prices slightly.
Looking from the front for all the world like a classic Marshall amp shrunk down to size, the Uxbridge Voice has a lot going for it, but its unique looks are sure to be a factor for potential purchasers. If you're into Marshall's rock and roll aesthetic, you'll be loving it, with its refusal to adopt the white plastic look pumped out by so many competitors.
That said, it's still a distinctly smart speaker. Alexa is on board to let you control your music hands-free, as well as any other smart home controls you might have hooked up to the assistant. Plus, the Uxbridge can easily slot into multi-room audio via other Alexa-enabled speakers or AirPlay 2 speakers, which is also present and correct, with Spotify Connect rounding out the requisite compatibilities.
Sound and fury
It's got a far-field microphone array to make sure that voice commands are picked up clearly, while the sound output itself promises to be full and powerful, as Marshall generally manages. Plus it's entirely customisable - there are rocker buttons on the top of the speaker to let you adjust it on the fly, if you don't fancy using the app.
This version of the Uxbridge Voice will also be followed by two more - one with Tencent Xiaowei on May 4 and another with Google Assistant on June 11. For now, the Alexa-enabled version releases on April 8, at £169.99 or $199.