The Marshall Acton is a Bluetooth speaker from one of the most iconic brands in the music industry. While Marshall are better-known for their guitar amps, the Acton brings their classic style to the world of wireless speakers. It certainly looks the part- but is its performance up to par? We put it to the test in another of our in-depth reviews. Read on to find out what we thought of it!
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Build and design
The key selling point of the Marshall Acton is its design. The Marshall team have lovingly replicated every last detail of their iconic amplifiers on a smaller scale. From the textured leatherette casing, to the real wood underneath, the Acton boasts the same high-quality build that Marshall have built their reputation on. The front of the speaker has a nice fabric grille on it, along with the Marshall logo for that authentic feel.
On top, there’s a gold-coloured metal control panel that, again, gets all the little details just right. With three tactile control knobs and a “proper” power switch, the Acton brings a little bit of old-school physical interactivity to the world of wireless streaming. Along with the aforementioned controls, there are also a couple of buttons to control the source and pair via Bluetooth, and an aux-in port too. And while we’re on the subject, the Acton also includes a neat little aux cable designed to resemble a guitar cable. It might be a small touch, but it highlights Marshall’s main aim with the Acton: a speaker that’s genuinely fun to use.
So, the Acton looks like a Marshall amplifier- but does it sound like one? In short, the answer is yes. Guitar nuts will already know that Marshall amps are renowned for their crunchy, powerful sound that makes them the brand of choice for generations of rock guitarists. It’s no surprise, then, that the Acton is best suited to this kind of music. During testing, we had a blast playing some dad-rock classics. It’s also particularly pleasing when it comes to speech content, so it’s a great choice for podcasts and talk radio, too.
Along with twin tweeters for high-end frequencies, the Acton also includes a pretty sizeable 4” woofer. That means it does an excellent job of pumping out deep, throbbing bass tones. It would therefore be a solid choice for dance music lovers. But that’s not to say that it can only handle low-end. Those tweeters give it a solid grasp on high-end, and the EQ controls allow you to adjust the sound profile on the fly to suit what you’re listening to.
One final thing to mention: the Marshall Acton can go seriously loud. During testing, we rarely had it above half volume on both the source and the speaker. If you crank it up all the way, it could comfortably fill a whole floor of your home with music- although it might knock you over when you press play!
The Acton is the entry-level model in Marshall’s range of Bluetooth speakers. As such, it’s fairly limited in terms of features. The most important thing to talk about is, unsurprisingly, the Bluetooth. Pairing is easy thanks to the dedicated control button. Give it a tap, and the power light starts flashing rapidly. Once your device is connected, the light turns solid again- simple!
As we mentioned earlier, the Acton includes a neat little aux cable, which can be used to connect up anything that lacks Bluetooth connectivity. So, if you still listen to music from an old iPod or MP3 player, you can hook them up with ease. Switching sources is as easy as pressing a button.
Marshall Acton Bluetooth Speaker: The Verdict
We’ve tested plenty of speakers that put appearances first, and often been disappointed by their sound quality. We're therefore pleased to report that the Marshall Acton sounds just as good as it looks. It's a particularly good choice if you like music that's loud and packs a punch to it, but it's also an admirable all-rounder.