This brand-new Bluetooth speaker leans heavily into the Marshall heritage
There’s so much to love about the Marshall Emberton. For years, our go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a Bluetooth speaker was to buy the latest entry in the UE Boom range – these speakers sound phenomenal, have a fun design, and are built to withstand a dunk in the pool and a the usual British summer downpours.
But listening to our favourite tracks on the Emberton over the last few weeks, for the first time in years, we’re starting to seriously doubt that advice.
Of course, your mileage with the Marshall Emberton will vary based on what affinity you have for the iconic brand and its history. Like the recent Marshall Monitor II ANC headphones, the Emberton wireless speaker really leans into the heritage of the Marshall brand. And if you’ve never heard of Marshall, chances are the Emberton’s tactile amp-like finish, brass control button, and solid metal grille will fail to conjure any fuzzy feelings.
In fact, the Emberton might look bafflingly retro compared to the clean, modern aesthetic of the UE Boom 3. However, if you’re the sort of person who has recently caught themselves rewatching Roger Daltrey and Eric Clapton performances on YouTube …you’re going to be made up with the nostalgia-drenched design of this new Bluetooth speaker. For our money, this £129.99 portable Bluetooth speaker looks every bit as good as a Marshall stack blasting out a solo from Angus Young.
But don’t worry, Marshall isn’t solely trading on nostalgia with the Emberton. Beneath the 1960s amp stylings, there is a brilliant 21st century Bluetooth speaker to be found.
Powered by Bluetooth 5.0, the Emberton will connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device – from your iPhone, to a laptop – within a 30ft (9.5 metres) range. That means you’ll be able to leave your smartphone inside your house charging while still playing music in the garden outside without worrying about any crackling interference ruining the chorus.
The Emberton is rated IPX7, which essentially means it can survive a plunge in the pool
The Emberton is rated IPX7 for water resistance, which allows it to be submerged in 3ft (one-metre) of fresh water up to 30 minutes without causing any damage. That means you can place it precariously on the edge of pools, baths, or even balance it with you on an inflatable. Unless you’ve got a specific shower playlist, this isn’t the sort of feature you’ll use every day… but it can be a real lifesaver.
As well as being weather resistant enough to bring along for outdoor summer BBQs in the British weather, the Marshall Emberton has enough battery life to see off the final hangers-on at the party. With 20 hours or so of Bluetooth playback, despite its diminutive size, the Emberton is no slouch.
Don’t be fooled by the small size, the Emberton packs a serious punch
One of our favourite features is the battery life indicator, which lets you glance to check the remaining charge
In our tests, we were able to listen to playlists at our desk for the majority of the working week before it needed a charge.
This portable Bluetooth speaker looks every bit as good as a Marshall stack blasting out a solo from Angus Young
One of our favourite features on the Emberton is the battery indicator next to the playback controls, which shows the remaining charger in ten bars. With each indicator light accounting for a little over 2-hours of playback, it’s a brilliant way to quickly judge whether you need to fish-out a charging cable before you sling the Emberton into your backpack.
And when you do need to charge, the built-in quick-charge means you can add five-hours of music playback with just 20-minutes plugged into the wall. Charging is handled via USB-C, so you shouldn’t have to bring a different cable to your laptop, Nintendo Switch, smartphone, wireless headphones, or tablet… unless you have an iPhone, that is.
The Emberton uses Bluetooth 5.0, so you can connect with an iPhone, Android smartphone, tablet or PC
But what about the sound? Thankfully, the Marshall Emberton seriously delivers in that department too.
Despite its diddy size, the Emberton can crank it up to 11. According to the firm, Emberton leverages “True Stereophonic”, which the marketing department herald as “a unique form of multi-directional sound from Marshall”. In our time with the speaker, songs sound good from wherever you’re standing – and the volume is truly epic to boot. With the speaker turned up, you won’t need anyone else to bring a Bluetooth speaker to fill a gathering for friends and family with sound – regardless of whether you’re indoors or outdoors. Of course, bigger speakers are available (not least from Marshall) for those who need industrial levels of volume, but the Marshall Emberton has enough oomph to rattle the table it’s sitting on.
If the Marshall brand means nothing to you, the design could be a little baffling
Marshall Emberton Bluetooth speaker: Final Verdict
- Pros: Great Sound, Nostalgic Design With Bags Of Personality, Battery Indicator Is Really Handy, Water Resistant
- Cons: Design Might Not Appeal To Everyone
If you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that sounds great, charges quickly, and can withstand a plunge in the pool on your next summer holiday – you really can’t go wrong with the Marshall Embleton.
The omnidirectional control button at the top of the speaker is a foolproof way to skip forward or backwards around your playlist, adjust the volume, play and pause. The battery indicator means you check the amount of charge with a glance… rather than digging into the settings on your phone as you have to do with some speakers, or wait patiently until a red light suddenly appears from nowhere and starts flashing at you.
And best of all, the Marshall Emberton sounds great. There’s plenty of bass, but enough to overwhelm your favourite track. And despite its rock ‘n roll stylings, this Bluetooth speaker can handle just about every genre you throw at it.
In the end, the only thing that might put you off this £129.99 Bluetooth speaker is the nostalgic design. For our money, it’s one of the best looking Bluetooth speakers available right now… but if you’re looking for something that resembles a Beats Pill, we can’t imagine the rugged 60 year-old amp design of the Emberton will quite cut it.