Established audio equipment manufacturer Marshall on Thursday announced the Marshall Voice, a new smart speaker line meant to mark the company's first foray into the world of AI-infused hardware. Releasing this fall, the Marshall Voice will debut with support for Amazon's Alexa, whereas Google Assistant compatibility will be introduced to the series by the end of the year. The newly announced gadgets offer Class-D amplifiers, custom-tuned drivers, and a bass reflex cabinet system, with Marshall planning to wrap them in its traditional assortment of coverings.
The Acton II Voice and Stanmore II Voice with Alexa support will be the first two additions to the family to be released globally, with pre-orders for the latter opening later today, ahead of its October 2 debut. The former will become available for advanced orders on October 2 and be released on November 9, Marshall said. While the manufacturer is targeting worldwide availability, the United States will be the first country to receive the speakers, whereas other markets will follow shortly. The Acton II Voice will retail at $299 and the Stanmore II Voice will be a $100 more expensive. In Europe, the speakers will be available at €299 and €399, respectively.
Marshall also used the latest iteration of Berlin, Germany-based IFA to unveil the Kilburn II, its latest portable speaker with 360-degree sound and a battery rated for up to 20 hours of use on a single charge. Bluetooth 5.0 aptX support is part of the package as well, together with multi-host capabilities that allow the speaker to easily switch between several casting devices. The Kilburn II offers an IPX2-certified resistance to water and is meant to retail at $299 (€299), though Marshall has yet to attach a specific release date to the portable speaker that weighs only 3 kg (2.205 lbs). The company is seeking to leverage its high-profile status in the industry to bring the latest tech advancements in the AI and wireless fields to audiophiles and rock loyalists who are generally willing to pay something extra for a best-in-class experience, though it remains to be seen how well its products end up fairing against their contemporary rivals this fall.