Any Marshall Emberton II review has to admit that this speaker is impressive, it manages to pack powerful sound into a compact, lightweight device. It’s undoubtedly one of the best Bluetooth speakers of 2022 especially if you want something that looks just as good as it sounds.
Its predecessor, the Marshall Emberton, has been one of my favourite small speakers since its launch back in 2020. Over the years I’ve found it to be very reliable, boasting great sound, water resistance, 20 hours of battery life and a stylish design. So needless to say, I was very excited to get my hands on the second generation to see how this rock n roll audio brand has managed to improve an already fantastic little device. And they have definitely improved it!
Read on to find out why I like the Marshall Emberton II even more than its older sibling.
Marshall Emberton II review: price and what’s new
Released in May 2022, the Marshall Emberton II is available to buy now for $170 in the US or £150 in the UK. Take a look at the widgets on this page to see where you can buy it right now in your region.
The Marshall Emberton II looks even trendier than the original thanks to its new refreshed design, with black and brass detailing as well as a unique texturised silicone sleeve. Marshall has added some more features this time around as well, like the Stack Mode to pair multiple speakers together and the three different EQ presets available in the smartphone app.
The final and probably most useful change is the extra 10 hours of battery life, now you’ll get about 30 hours of music before you need to plug it in.
Marshall Emberton II review: design and battery
One thing you can't deny about the Marshall Emberton II is that it looks very cool, echoing the iconic style of Marshall amplifiers from the late 20th century. A small black box, it’s covered in black textured silicone which is complemented by sleek metal grilles on the front and back, with a brass Marshall logo sprawled elegantly across the front.
Lightweight and durable, the Marshall Emberton II is perfect for taking out and about with you. It measures 68 x 160 x 76 mm and only weighs 700g which is tiny. This speaker will very easily fit into a backpack with plenty of room to spare.
One of the best things about it is that it is IP67 water and dust resistant so it’ll survive poolside accidents, sudden downpours of rain, dusty camping trips and even sandy beach days.
To power on and control the speaker there’s a gold multidirectional knob on the top - it lets you pause/play the music, skip backwards or forwards through tracks and adjust the volume. You'll find it in between the Bluetooth button to put it in pairing mode and a strip of small LEDs that let you know its battery level. In comparison to the usual buttons or touch controls you get elsewhere, the shiny gold knob is a much more stylish way to add controls to the device and it works very well despite being relatively small.
The Marshall Emberton II lasts about 30 hours of music which is huge, especially given its size, and that will make this a great choice for taking with you on weekends away.
Once the battery does run out, you can plug it in using the USB-C cable which only takes about 3 hours for a full charge. Luckily if you’re in a hurry, you can get 4 hours of listening time from a quick 20 minutes plugged into a power source.
Marshall Emberton II review: performance and features
Another surprise considering its size is that the Marshall Emberton II actually manages to pack a punch, in fact, it's quite surprising how powerful it is. There are two 10W amplifiers inside that do a great job at pushing a forceful bass and plenty of volume.
Of course, the Marshall Emberton II sounds at its best playing classic rock. In Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones, you can hear Jagger’s gritty voice just as clearly as the guitar twangs and the full width of the drums. It’s impactful and carries well through the room. But even if you’re more into drum and bass, hip hop or pop music, this speaker's sound is very versatile and can pretty much do it all.
Because the Marshall Emberton II pumps out sound from the front and back, you get a similar experience wherever you stand in relation to it - a big plus point for those who plan to use this with bigger groups of people.
Through the Marshall Bluetooth smartphone app, you can choose one of three preset EQ modes, those being Marshall’s own signature sound, Push which boosts the bass and treble, or Voice for the times when you’re more in the mood for a podcast than a party. I wasn’t so keen on the Push mode as it made tracks feel a little emptier so I stuck to Marshall mode while I was using it.
If you do want to use this for parties, then there is a way of boosting the sound even more. You'll be able to connect two of these speakers together in ‘Stack Mode’. I couldn’t try this out because I only had one device to hand.
Thanks to Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, I had no problems getting my phone hooked up to the Marshall Emberton II. You can actually connect two devices to it at once to share the workload as DJ.
Marshall Emberton II review: verdict
I can’t recommend the Marshall Emberton II enough, it may not be brimming with features but it has everything you actually need. It's easy to use, waterproof and the battery will last for ages.
My only niggle about it is that I’d like to have seen some manual equaliser settings thrown in there as well as the preset sound modes. In saying that, it is still good to get some level of control over the audio included this time around because there wasn't in the original Emberton.
What I love about the Marshall Emberton II is that focuses its efforts on what matters the most, the music, and it doesn't let its small size hold it back when it comes to the sound.
Marshall Emberton II review: also consider
Another similarly-sized speaker to consider is the JBL Flip 6. It’s cheaper than this but still has a big sound. Its fun design comes in loads of different colours so you’re sure to find the perfect one for you. The battery won’t last anywhere near as long as the Marshall Emberton II but you do get more in-depth equaliser settings.
Also worth considering is the Huawei Sound Joy, it’s very reasonably priced and manages to pack in 26 hours of battery life, a speakerphone functionality and a colourful light ring that syncs with the music. The sound quality is quite average though.