ONE appearance, but not only. If Marshall, whose stage amplifiers have set concert halls and stadiums on fire since 1962, knows how to cultivate his image like no other year, the company knows the music. Its new Acton III speaker, which “20 Minutes” tested, testifies to an incomparable know-how in combining emblematic design, loudness and sound quality.
An analog mind in a connected body
Beautiful object (260 x 170 x 150 mm at 2.85 kg) that can find its place in any room, the Acton III speaker is a sedentary wired Bluetooth speaker. Once connected, simply plug it in. Optionally, the Marshall Bluetooth application will allow you to control the volume, change the level of bass and treble, but also to improve the acoustic reproduction using a new function called “Position Compensation”.
As with other speakers (we are thinking of those of the American brand Sonos), the device can thus change its sound reproduction significantly depending on whether it is placed “close to an edge” or “placed close to a wall”.
For the basic settings we prefer to use (if we face the device) its potentiometers. These undeniably charming physical buttons (volume, treble, bass) are not without pleasure to manipulate, the level the user has selected for each setting is indicated by small red LEDs which gradually light up on the brass control panel. Marshall has also added a small button to change the musical track (Skip/Forward), which allows you to do without your smartphone. Not to mention the large switch to turn the speaker on and off. Analog atmosphere when you hold us…
60 watts to add sound to almost any room
From the first sounds played, the ear recognizes the significant sound signature of Marshall products. The sound is dry, harsh, sharp. As well as a few classics that we’ve revisited (a small tribute to the band on The Who who made Marshall’s reputation on stage!), the new album Legend by John Legend showed roundness but also finesse. On St. Clair, Benjamin Biolays, Acton III was known to favor the singer’s sometimes hoarse voice. As for That’What Happened – 1982-1985: The Bootleg Series, Volume 7 (the last collection of Miles Davis!), it was only sensuality.
We can criticize the Acton III from Marshall for pushing the bass a little. It must be said that the built-in 4-inch woofer, supported by two side tweeters, has serious arguments with its 30-watt amplifier (15 watts for each tweeter). On arrival, the Action III’s 60 watts are really well matched with a sound that suits the room in which the speaker is installed. We thought it was reserved for small spaces, it pretty much held its own in a dining/living room of about thirty square meters without having to push the volume in the towers.
A more environmentally friendly design
Sold for 269 euros, this speaker justifies its price. We wish it had integrated RCA jacks on the back, in addition to its aux input on top. More convenient for connecting a record player! Marshall promises that its speaker will be compatible (upon update) with the future Bluetooth LE Audio standard, which should be widespread in the coming months on audio products. LE Audio will make it possible to share the speaker between several devices, to connect different speakers to each other, but also to achieve a higher quality.
In addition, Marshall has made sure to manufacture its latest with 70% recycled plastic and 100% raw materials. vegan, as for this leather-like coating (here in black, beige or brown), so emblematic of the brand’s products. This is a basic trend. More and more manufacturers of electronic products are (finally!) switching to eco-designed devices. As much as they can be…