IN the market for a new portable speaker to accompany your BBQs and film nights this summer? Read on for our Marshall Emberton portable bluetooth speaker review…

From Hendrix to Slash, some of rock's most iconic guitarists have favoured the British-born brand when it comes to their choice of the amp—so you could say the bar is set pretty high when it comes to Marshall's range of music accessories. But does the Emberton portable bluetooth speaker live up to its promise of 360° sound and 20+ hours of playtime? We tested it out to help you decide whether it's worth a purchase.

Marshall Emberton portable bluetooth speaker review: quick summary

The Emberton portable speaker range is already popular with music fans, and with Marshall having just introduced two new colourways (forest green and cream), we decided to try out the new cream iteration.

We won't lie: from the moment we got it out of the box, we were pretty smitten. Boasting a design that recalls the classic Marshall amp aesthetic, this is a speaker that will look impressive on any shelf or record stand. We'll admit that at £129.99, it's more than we'd usually pay for a portable speaker, but compared with our usual go-to (a £40 Anker speaker) the difference in sound quality is clear.

True to the 'The Father of Loud' nickname bestowed upon Marshall's founder, the late Jim Marshall, the Emberton is a beefy speaker, capable of 87dB—which to be fair, is louder than we'd ever need it to be…y'know, unless we actually wanted to annoy our neighbours.

It's also simple to use, has a great bass-y sound and feels really tough and hardwearing—so we're confident it'll last the distance. Overall, a winner if you don't mind forking out a little extra for your choice of speaker!

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Pros

  • Looks frigging amazing
  • Sound is punchy and crystal clear, even at the maximum volume
  • Has an IPX7 water-resistance rating (so not fully waterproof, but can be submerged up to 1 meter in water for 30 minutes without damage)
  • 20+ hours of battery life
  • The control panel means you can adjust the volume, skip to the next rack, and hit play or pause—without having to control it solely via your device

Cons

  • No auxiliary input—strictly bluetooth only
  • At 0.7 kg, it's a little heavier than portable speakers we've used
  • The silicone finish does have the downside of attracting dust, which sticks to it quite easily and therefore doesn't wipe off as easily as you'd want
  • Coming in at £129.99, it's not the cheapest portable speaker out there

Unboxing and first impressions

  • Emberton speaker, £129.99 from Marshall – buy here

Our speaker was delivered promptly and arrived well-packaged, with a smart branded box that's handy for holding onto in case of moving. You just never know, eh?

Inside, we found the speaker (obvs) along with a USB charging cable, a Quick Start guide and a longer Legal & Safety guide that we're sure everyone reads. As soon as we took the speaker out of the box, we were pleased that the speaker looked every bit as cool and stylish as we'd anticipated. We also realised it was surprisingly heavier than we were expecting—though not too heavy to carry about comfortably.

Performance

One word: beefy. Quite simply, the Marshall Emberton is capable of crystal clear, vibrant sound that doesn't distort or become tinny in the slightest—even when cranked up to full volume.

For such a small speaker, it really packs a punch: we can't think of many occasions where we'll be playing it at full blast, but the fact it reaches 87dB (and with such sound quality) is impressive.

So far, we've played it around the house and taken it to the beach with us, where the multi-directional sound really held its own. After a few weeks of use, we've still got four bars of battery left (of 10), so it looks like it'll stay true to its 20+ hours of playtime promise.

Features and design

The Marshall Emberton is available in four colours, each showcasing the classic Marshall design. In terms of usability, the design is simple and intuitive, with a multi-directional control knob, a Bluetooth button, battery indicator and power input.

Features-wise, the speaker is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 (giving a range of 10m), as well as a dynamic driver, two 10W Class D amplifiers and a maximum of 87 dB. Play time is 20+ hours and it takes three hours for a full recharge—but if you're in a rush, just 20 minutes of charging will give you five hours of playtime.

How much does the Marshall Emberton cost?

The Marshall Emberton costs £129.99 directly from Marshall. If you're looking for a good deal on the black colourway, Currys is offering it at £119 here.

Marshall Emberton portable bluetooth speaker: the verdict

If crisp and dynamic sound quality is high on your priority list and you're happy to spend over £100 on a portable speaker, the Marshall Emberton is worth it in our opinion: this speaker truly looks the business and we have every faith it'll last the distance, thanks to its heavy-duty feel and robust design.

The lack of AUX port may put you off if you occasionally like to connect your device physically (Bluetooth drains phone batteries, let's be honest), but it's otherwise a winner in our eyes and delivers amazing sound and impressively long-lasting lengthy playtime for such a small speaker.

  • Emberton speaker, £129.99 from Marshall – buy here

Enjoyed our Marshall Emberton portable bluetooth speaker review and looking for more Marshall products? We tried the Mode II headphones here.

We also tried out Sony's flagship WH-1000XM4 headphones here.

And for more product reviews and top picks, check out Sun Selects Tech.

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