Hello - After really enjoying the Kilburn II speaker, I bought two Acton II speakers to couple them for ambiant sound when not using traditional speakers since you can't couple Marshall's wireless speakers. The Acton II is fantastic for sound and range individually *before* my attempt to couple them. I've had many complex compatibility issues with products over the years, but in this case, it's most puzzling why two same-model "coupled" speakers can be controlled via the iPhone/iPad I paired with them, as well as with the Marshall app (volume/sound settings) but cannot in any shape or form maintain simultaneous outputs even when they're placed right next to each other (well within the 10-meter Marshall spec). So before returning them back to store, I wanted to check with other customers if they've ever truly achieved the goal of coupling two Acton II's with both of them continuously and consistently playing in tandem without streaming drops. Thank you for letting me know,
What I've tried to so far:
- Followed Marshall's pairing/coupling intructions word-by-word. Though their instructions are incomplete and way below their reputation.
What's more disappointing is the prompt you get in the app to "stay connected to Acton II but disconnected from Acton II in Bluetooth settings." Anyone know what that means?
- Tried two iPhones and an iPad (all latest iOS).
- Deleted, rebooted, and re-installed the Marshall Bluetooth app (v1.3.1) for iOS.
- Moved the speakers next to each other to eliminate distance argument.
- Tested each speaker with direct Bluetooth to iPhone/iPad source without any issues. In fact, range is so much more when not using the Marshall app to stream to the speaker.
- Factory-reset the speakers.
- End result: The only way I was able to have them coupled was ignore their instructions, couple the speakers and then completlely shut down their app. after they show as coupled . However, there's no way for them to continuously and play in tandem (even sitting right next to each other with source iPhone/iPad next to them). They continue to switch between each other.
- Also, Marshall needs to be clear that a "couple" can only function with one lifetime source. As soon as you try to use the speaker "couple" on another source device, you lose everything on the previous device and need to de-couple, forget speakers, re-add speakers to your device's Bluetooth, and then pray that the Marshall app will allow you to couple them again. Most of the 18-20 times I tried the whole process, I needed to uninstall their app, reboot device, and re-install their app. :(
Any help deeply appreciated before I return these speakers.
I had severe issues with coupling two Stanmore II speakers but eventually got it to work. It is the same app so I suppose below instructions could help you, too.
First off, the app is garbage and instructions are confusing, but here is what did it for me:
-Start simple: connect to one speaker at a time and shut the other unit off. First you want to rename each speaker, because otherwise the app messages make no sense.
(You mentioned that in your OP, it says to connect and disconnect at the same time, but this is actually only hard to understand because by default the speakers have the same name). So e.g. rename exactly one unit to “Stereo”, and the other one to “Mono”. (You’ ll see later why). Mark them somehow, piece of paper, post-it etc. If you are confused you can also use the apps “light“ slider, to change the knob-led brightness, so you know which one is which.
-A big issue is that the app does not reliably detect the speakers. A way to get around this is to simply kill the app (in iOS you can e.g. double click the home button / swipe halfway up to get a task manager) when it fails, and then restart it again. Also, you want to bring the speakers in pairing mode again (hold the source button for three secs). Eventually you will see both speakers in the app at the same time. Only proceed when both speakers show up in the menu. Also resist the temptation to select “connect”. They just need to both show in the list.
-Select the speaker you renamed to “Mono”, then hit the “…” menu. Then “couple speakers”. Now you select the one you named “Stereo”.
-Again there is a confusing menu where you can select which one will be left and which right - the outcome is random, no matter which option you select. Just go with it and later swap speakers in your room if needed.
- Once the stereo link up is complete, kill the app again. In fact you want to delete it now (no kidding), again. Reason comes a bit further down.
- Now the most important part.: From here one the speakers behave to the outside world like one unit - so you really do not want to be connect to both units any more (you do not even want your iOS device to know about both). The philosophy is that you stream music to only one device, and this one then proxies the music to the second unit. This part is written nowhere in the docs, but it makes sense from an engineering perspective. So now kill / delete the app again. Then go to your iOS Bluetooth menu, select the “(i)“ next to both units and select forget. Do this for BOTH! (You renamed them, so iOS is confused, too)
- Next hold the source button again for ONLY the speaker you labeled “Stereo” and connect to it in your iOS Bluetooth settings. Do not start the app, do not connect to any unit with you app. Again, just forget about the App, best is to just delete it.
- So now you should only be connected from your iOS device that says “ Stereo”. Forget about the other (the “mono”) one, it will automatically get it’ s audio stream via the “stereo” unit. You can now start streaming music (but not with the app, just play something from Spotify / iTunes app). If you start the Marshall app or connect to the “mono” unit again you will notice connection dropouts (super annoying), even having the marshall app running in background causes this issue, in my experience it is best to just delete it, you won’t need it again either way. (Think I mentioned this before ;) )
- Never ever link a second phone. It confuses the Bluetooth connection and there will be aggressive switching from one to the other input source, even while playing music. Also keep in mind that once the speakers are coupled, you will no longer be able to select another source (input jack / RCA).
- If you want to go back to square one, use the factory reset (hold source and play for 10 seconds, for both speakers).
Hope it helps. I really hope Marshall will eventually come up with a better solution, most people love the sound but go crazy over the app…