In 1965, The Who’s Pete Townshend entered Jim Marshall’s drum shop, where the latter started producing his first amplifiers a few years earlier, looking for a guitar amplifier loud enough to “drown” out the audience (or play louder than the likes of Keith Moon), something “as big as an atom bomb.” Ken Bran, whom Marshall hired as an engineer, started working on something new, that eventually would have become the Marshall “Stack”.
Fifty years later, Marshall has become one of the most successful companies to produce music amplifiers, speaker cabinets, personal headphones/earphones, drums and bongos (branded Natal Drums). Fifty years later, they also claim to have created the “loudest phone on Earth”, the “London” (due to release this August). On the design side, it couldn’t look any more similar to a classic Marshall amplifier. On the back, the black alligator-like texture; on the front, two speakers, one on the bottom, and one on the top of the phone. Two headphone jacks (each with independent volume control through two brass scroll wheels) and two microphones bring the sharing experience to another level. A system-wide equaliser means there’s no need to adjust settings on different audio apps, and the “M button” provides single-button access to all music players installed on the device. There’s also support for FLAC files, for an optimal sound reproduction.
Technically, London runs a Snapdragon 410 chip (1.4GHz, quad-core) and features a 4.7-inch (720p/IPS) device, with 16GB of internal storage (expandable via SD card), 8- and 2-megapixel cameras and a Wolfson DSP audio card. The battery is 2,500mAh, modest for the rocking purpose, that can be removed, meaning you can carry a backup to extend the party over and over.
Finally, the number of branded apps to DJ, adjust the EQ, record and reproduce music highlight he dedication put by the company on this new project. Still, it’s a tough choice when compared to other, higher spec phones at that price ($499). Nevertheless, London wants to be more than a simple smartphone: it’s made for music lovers, rockers, DJs and everyone for whom Marshall is not just another tech brand.