Speaker Reviews

Marshall Portable Speaker Review – The Emberton

Marshall Portable Speaker Review

 

Marshall Portable Speaker Review

The Emberton

If there’s anything more nostalgic for me, it’s the brand Marshall. This is also the reason I felt the world needed a Marshall Portable Speaker Review. Who knew after all these years of using Marshall amplifiers and speakers in band class, or rocking out with your friends in someone’s basement, that you’d see Marshall getting into portable devices, headphones, and even earphones!

I guess everyone has to keep up with the times, or get beat by the times.

Marshall has really stepped up their game in both the headphone category as well as the speaker category. My Marshall Portable Speaker Review will focus on the Emberton portable Bluetooth speaker that came out July 1st in 2020. This speaker is their smallest and least expensive of the Marshall Bluetooth speaker line-up.

Within my review, I’ll speak to The Marshall brand for those who may be unfamiliar with their products. I’ll touch on the Emberton speaker and its overview, as well as its noteworthy specs. Then I’ll talk about all the things I love, and the opportunities that Marshall may have missed when developing this speaker.

Love the speaker already?! Maybe you just love the Marshall brand? Purchase here !

Join me in my Marshall Portable Speaker Review!

Who/What Is Marshall??

Marshall is a British made company that designs and manufactures amplifiers, speaker cables, headphones, earphones and loudspeaker cabinets. They also own their own record label and recently have acquired Natal Drums, a drum and bongo manufacturer.

Founded 1962 in London, England by Jim Marshall, the Marshall guitar amplifiers are among some of the most recognized in the world.

Jim founded his business after numerous guitarists, such as Pete Townshend, complained about the amplifiers on the market then, and how they failed to deliver the right sound or volume. Recognizing a demand, Marshall dedicated himself to creating an amplifier that delivered on these opportunities.

After gaining publicity for meeting these exact needs, the brand Marshall was undeniably the most sought after brand for guitar amps and loudspeaker cabinets.

Currently based in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, the Marshall brand has a signature sound and is characterized by a sizzling distortion and what some may refer to as a “crunch” sound.

It’s hard to find a music store these days without numerous Marshall brand-named devices.

The Emberton Portable Speaker

As mentioned above, The Emberton is Marshall’s most compact and least expensive portable Bluetooth speaker on the market today. marshall portable speaker review

Check out the price range here!

Having launched in July 2020, this speaker packs all the punch most common in Marshall products, delivering a loud sound that doesn’t distort and remains vibrant. This speaker uses True Stereophonic, which is a specific multi-directional sound and custom tuning function developed by and specific to Marshall. This creates a 360 sound, no matter where you might be in relation to the speaker, and allows the speaker to deliver a much louder sound than its size may permit in a normal situation.

The Emberton features a dynamic driver type with two 2″ 10 W full range passive radiators and two class D amplifiers.

The design of this speaker is one to be remembered, as it emulates the design of the old amplifiers but in a much more compact version. They’ve also created the Emberton to be extremely easy to use and with the simple multi-directional control knob on the top of the device. You can play, pause, skip tracks and adjust volume on your speaker with this knob, as well as  turning your device on and off with a press of this same knob.

It comes in 4 different styles and colors: cream, black/brass, black, and forest green (my favorite).marshall portable speaker review

The Emberton is made with the classic metal grille front and back, as well as the gold accents we have come to know from Marshall, with a soft silicon exterior that mimics the look and feel of true leather.

Of course, to top it off, this speaker displays the “Marshall” logo along the front. Depending on the color you choose, the Marshall logo normally comes in all-white but can come in a brass color. Along the top and besides the metal knob, you’ll find a battery level gauge, and a Bluetooth connectivity button. Along the side you’ll notice a USB-C port for charging.

There is no app to go with this speaker, and therefore you cannot adjust the EQ or any other regular functions normally noted on a portable speaker.

Important Specs

Battery life is really the most important aspect of a portable speaker. Without a good battery life, a speaker really isn’t that portable!

The Emberton features up to 20 hours of playtime when not at full volume. The charging time takes about 3 hours to fully charge, which is longer than most compact portable speakers. As most portable speakers, the louder you have it the faster the battery will drain.

The speaker features Bluetooth connectivity for your listening needs, and with 5.0 Bluetooth, it gets it up to 10 meters or 30 feet worth of connectivity.

The physical unit is extremely light, coming in at just over 0.5 kg and measures 2.68 x 6.30 x 2.99 in. This device fits perfectly in any bag or hand and is easy to carry around.

Repping a IPX7 rating means this device is water and dust resistant, and this rating is one of the highest for most portable devices on the market. Just as battery time is important, the device’s ability to withstand the elements is equally important.

What I Love!

What I really find that stands out about the Emberton is the fast charge. With an easy 20 minutes of charging time, you can get up to 5 hours of play time.  This is above the market standard and gives an advantage if you are far from home and only have a few minutes to charge it back up.

Any playtime with any speaker always depends on how loud you have the device and for how long you have it at max volume. This situation will vary and could significantly reduce play-time for you.

I am a big fan of the Marshall brand, and absolutely love the design. It’s like a mini amp! Very cute, and as I mentioned at the beginning of my article, very nostalgic for most of us music lovers.

What Could Be Better…

A 3 hour charge time is fairly long, and exceeds most popular portable speakers on the market. However, if you’re not taking it out for long, this may not be an issue for you. In addition, the fast charge time will really help eliminate the need to fully charge it in a pinch.

Although the Marshall brand carries a standard of sound within its own, the Emberton is not supported through an app, and none of the Marshall portable speakers have app functionality. Of course, the Marshall sound is not meant to be tweaked, and claims to be custom tuned and sound enhanced for any situation. You won’t be able to adjust the sound to your liking, so if you don’t like the sound out of the box, you’re in a bit of a sticky situation.

Coming in at $170, this speaker ranges just above the average price for a speaker of its size. You are really paying for the brand.

Although it kills me to say this, the sound doesn’t blow me away. Don’t get me wrong, this device will deliver, and you will be satisfied with it, but I don’t see people purchasing it because it has an unbelievable sound. The bass falls off as the speaker gets louder, but the vocals stay clear and vibrant.

The Emberton doesn’t go above and beyond, and definitely doesn’t try and compete outside of it’s league. It doesn’t feature a microphone for hands-free calling, and isn’t compatible with a smart assistant.

My Verdict

My final verdict! Thanks for reading my Marshall Portable Speaker Review for the Emberton. I hope I’ve helped identify some of the reasons you may consider or not consider purchasing this speaker.

If you love the Marshall brand and style, as well as their distinct sound characteristics, this is the portable Bluetooth device for you. But know, you’re really purchasing this speaker for the brand, and could probably find a speaker with similar speaker quality for a cheaper price.

I think it lacks some features that a lot of different portable speakers do feature. However, Marshall would be going outside their comfort zone by adding those features. Things like hands-free calling with a microphone feature, or the ability to connect through an app and adjust your sound to how you like aren’t really what Marshall is all about.

Marshall is all about big sound and dynamic tuning. To appease the many by adding all the convenience of the competition would feel like a cope out if you ask me!

Rock on Marshall!

Untill next time,

-B

10 Comments

  • Aly

    These Marshall portable bluetooth speakers are such perfect little gadgets for the guitar-driven musicians I know! It’s too bad that the sound quality doesn’t quite live up to what one would expect from a real Marshall amp, but also, I don’t think the musicians I know would try to crank these little portable guys all the way to 11. 

    Verdict: very fun gift idea for musicians!

    • Brooke

      Hey Aly, 

      Yeah they are a bit of a novelty for those who know the marshall brand. There’s also worse speakers out there as well, it really depends what you’re looking for!

      Thanks for the comment, and I am glad you enjoyed the article!

      Talk soon,

      -B

  • cathy

    I really like your very comprehensive review on the bluetooth speaker. I don’t play a lot of music myself, but do need a really good solid external speaker for work and my ghost hunting hobby. Ghost hunting requires an external speaker that has a really, really good sound that can pick up even the smallest of noises without having the volume turned up so loud that it distorts everything.

    • Brooke

      I love that you ghost hunt! How cool is that!

      Does it have to be a speaker that you use? I know some really great ear buds that pick up even the smallest and insignificant sounds? I guess you want to be able to hear your surroundings too!

      Scary stuff!

      Talk soon!

  • NoBossExperience

    Your article arrives right on time for me. I’m a keyboardist who wants to learn how to play guitar. But I don’t want to buy a big speaker. I’d thought that the Marshall brand was a bit older than 1962. I appreciate that you share some facts about the business. Thanks for being transparent about the price of the speaker compared to the competition.

    But I have the feeling that they will add the missing features in the next generation of this new product. Great article!

    • Brooke

      If there’s anything I’ve learned about the speaker industry is how it adapts so quickly. Yes, I anticipate newer versions will have the updated specs!

      Thanks!

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