Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.
Bluetooth speakers are like watches. Your first one is small, dinky, and cheap. You slowly upgrade as you get older, wiser, and less cash-strapped. Eventually, you get one that breaches the hundred-dollar barrier. It works well, but it isn’t exactly a centerpiece. Finally, you get to the point where you really care, and you want one that’s hands-down impressive.
I can’t advise you on watches. But I can tell you which Bluetooth speaker to buy that meets these criteria: Marshall’s new Stockwell II speaker.
The sound is exceptional—and adjustable.
Marshall’s Stockwell II speaker is the kind of speaker that will make you notice new acoustic depths to your music. Even the songs you know by heart, frontwards and back. Even the songs whose melodies you can hum in your sleep. What I’m saying is the audio quality is really something—rich and precise. (To get into the technicalities, it has three amplifiers, including one subwoofer for deep bass.) The Stockwell II speaker will also make you fall for analog. It has three knobs along the top to adjust volume, bass, and treble. They aren’t just for show—they’re responsive. I cannot stress enough how satisfying it is to control how your music sounds with knobs. Put analog knobs on everything.
It looks cool as hell.
By visually mimicking the look of an amplifier, Marshall taps into the undeniably cool aesthetic of live music. The mesh wiring of the speaker makes the Stockwell II look like it could be onstage next to your favorite guitarist, be it Keith Richards or St. Vincent, in the ’70s or at the Bowery Ballroom last night. But it’s not. It’s in your house, giving you instant rocker cred (in terms of home decor, that is). And the velvety red carrying strap—which makes it very easy to tote around—is modeled after a guitar strap. See? Very cool.
It’s the perfect speaker for entertaining.
The Stockwell II speaker isn’t big. But it’s loud. It has an impressive battery life of 20 hours, with a quick-charge time of 20 minutes for six hours of playback. It is resistant to water splashes and protected from most bangs and bruises by a hard silicone exterior and steel grille. It connects with up to two devices at once, via Bluetooth, so music control can be collaborative. That strap gives it something a lot of Bluetooth speakers lack: painless portability. All of which is to say that listening to Marshall’s Stockwell II can very easily be a shared experience. Throw a party. Host an event. Dial up the bass, and the volume.
And like I said, it looks cool as hell. It won’t go unnoticed.