Last year at IFA, Marshall Headphones (Zound Industries’ licensed consumer version of the popular guitar amp company) updated its Bluetooth speakers with multiroom audio support. This year at IFA, the company announced another new version of its Acton II and Stanmore II speakers that — right in line with the trends for 2018 — add Amazon’s Alexa assistant.
The new speakers (dubbed the Acton II Voice and Stanmore II Voice, respectively) also have an updated design, with new grille accents and colors. But for the most part, they’re pretty much the same as last year’s version. Far-field microphones to enable Alexa have been added, along with a mute button (for when you don’t want Amazon listening) and some new indicator LEDs.
Additionally, Marshall Headphones is also working on a separate version of the Action II Voice and Stanmore II Voice featuring Google Assistant instead of Alexa that are planned for sometime in late 2018 or early 2019. Notably, the Google and Alexa versions will be entirely separate devices, so you’ll have to choose your assistant of choice upfront.
Along with the new Alexa speakers, Marshall Headphones also announced an updated version of its portable Kilburn speaker, the aptly named Kilburn II. New on the Kilburn II is separated stereo sound, Bluetooth 5.0 audio, and a metal grate designed to evoke a stage microphone.
Preorders for the Stanmore II Voice will start today, August 30th for $399, with devices shipping on October 2nd. Preorders for the Acton II Voice will start on October 2nd for $299, with devices shipping on November 9th. The Kilburn II costs $299 and is available today on Marshall Headphones’ website.