Android Central Verdict
The Marshall Emberton II improves on the last-gen Emberton in the best way possible. You now get an IP67 water and dustproof rating, as well as ten more hours of playback and a superior soundstage. Google Fast Pair and quick charging make it a mighty convenient portable speaker that easily fits in the small of your hand. The Emberton II is so much louder than you would think without sacrificing the audio balance or quality, and multi-directional sound.
Fabulous, room-filling sound
Superb build quality
30-hour uptime with quick wired charging
IP67 water and dustproof
Easy set up with Google Fast Pair
Stack Mode for stereo pairing
No microphone built-in
The app doesn't have a customizable EQ
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Marshall doesn't muck around. The British audio brand has a reputation to live up to and fans to please. Usually associated with audiophiles and rockstars, Marshall's gear has been around for decades and is so widely used because it's just that good. If you've ever owned a Marshall guitar, amp, or some form of musical equipment, you'll know that the brand's products are heavy-duty, built to last forever, and, most importantly, good enough to knock your socks off with some seriously good sound.
The original Marshall Emberton speaker was extremely famous, reaching a cult classic state. The Emberton sits on a pedestal right next to the incredible Ultimate Ears Boom 3. Following up on such a big act requires a lot of spunk, so when Marshall announced the Emberton II in late 2022, I was equal parts terrified and thrilled.
Thankfully, Marshall proved to be the gift that keeps on giving.
Price and availability
Marshall released the Emberton II in May 2022. The speaker was priced at $170 at launch, but you can easily score a unit for around $10 to $15 cheaper these days. The Emberton II is available in two stunning colorways, Black & Brass and Cream. Marshall sent me the Black & Brass variant for the purposes of this review.
The stuff of legends
The Marshall Emberton II is seriously compact for a 20W Bluetooth speaker. The rectangular shape makes it easy to carry and even easier to slip into a bag or pocket. It weighs 700 grams, which is pretty light, and the leather body adds a ton of grip overall.
You won't tire of the classic Marshall design, with the solid metal grill and volume/power knob on top. There's a battery light indicator as well as a smaller Bluetooth button as well. Marshall went all the way with durability, bumping up the IP rating to IP67 this time around.
There's a single USB-C port on the right side of the speaker, and it supports quick charging. Impressively, 20 minutes of charging gives you four whopping hours of playtime. The lightweight Marshall speaker goes from dead to max charging capacity in three solid hours.
Marshall also bumped up the battery life and Bluetooth specs in the Emberton II. You now get 30 hours of uptime, 10 hours more than the Emberton's 20, and Bluetooth 5.1 instead of Bluetooth 5.0. The speaker also supports Google Fast Pair and a 30-foot Bluetooth range, so it takes no time at all to set up, and the connection is seamless.
So, it looks amazing and feels high-end. All's well in that department, but let's move on to the sound. Marshall decked out the Emberton II with two 2-inch 10W full-range drivers as well as two passive radiators. The metal and leather construction also nurtures two 10W Class D amplifiers inside.
That may or may not mean anything to you, but for those who don't know or don't care, the specs work superbly well and produce incredible sound. The size of the portable Marshall speaker is deceiving because the Emberton II gets surprisingly loud. There's a nice amount of bass, with stunningly well-balanced highs and lows. Unlike cheaper speakers, the audio never cracks on the Emberton II.
This is a spunky device that lives to Marshall's good name. It embodies everything about the brand that made it so legendary. It's a nearly perfect little Bluetooth speaker, and I find it so easy to recommend to anyone and everyone.
Minor room for improvement
Not to nitpick, but I feel like a brand with as many resources and as much experience as Marshall could've done so better with the companion app. While I like the UI, the lack of a customizable EQ bugs me.
The presets are great, but three measly EQ presets are not going to please everyone. Besides, audio enthusiasts like to play around and fine-tune their gear to suit themselves.
To add to that, there's no built-in microphone on the Emberton II, so you'll have to rely on your phone or laptop's onboard mic when taking calls.
Also, despite its small size, I would've liked a strap or at a lanyard or carabiner attachment for the Marshall Emberton II Bluetooth speaker.
Lastly, the Emberton II's leather skin gets fairly dirty and it's really hard to clean up. I've got two cats and cleaning up fur off of the Marshall speaker drove me up the wall. For such an expensive accessory, it isn't crazy to expect a few extras, such as a microfiber cloth or strap.
The number of epic sound systems and audio gear available these days is mental. When it comes to Bluetooth speakers that cost around $200 to $150, you can easily afford the best of the best.
Ultimate Ears takes the lead with the awesome Megaboom 3 and Boom 3 speakers. If you want something sturdy that has a customizable design, sounds excellent, and lasts for a long time, these outdoor speakers check all the boxes.
If you want something jazzy priced under $100, the Tribit XSound Mega is an RGB-equipped portable speaker with straps and everything. It's got a great battery life and produces delicious audio that's a delight for your ears.
Of course, if you don't mind the price, you can play it safe with the classic JBL Charge 5 speaker. JBL's signature sound quality never disappoints and the Charge 5 has an endearing battery life too. You can get one for around $180, and it comes with a carrying case. The Charge 5 also doubles as a power bank, which is a cool function.
Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You're a sound snob
- You want something compact and lightweight
- You need great battery and charging specs
- You plan on taking our speaker outdoors
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You need a mic built-in
- You're stuck with a $150 budget or less
The Marshall Emberton II is a spectacular Bluetooth speaker. It's a winner from every perspective, be it durability, portability, or sound quality. The one thing that'll hold you back is the price.
Even so, I highly recommend the Emberton II because it's certainly going to last you a long time. Marshall gear doesn't break easily, and after using this portable Bluetooth speaker for a month, I truly believe it won't either.
If you can live without an onboard microphone, the Marshall Emberton II is just the right speaker for almost anybody.
Headbang to the tune of your own banger with the small but mighty Marshall Emberton II. This luxury speaker sounds epic, is built well, and has a durable IP67 water and dustproof rating. The battery doesn't let you down either, paired with quick charging for even more juice on the go.