For several years now, Marshall has been considered more than just an iconic guitar amp manufacturer. In addition to the accessories for electric guitars manufactured since 1962, the traditional British company now also offers high-quality HiFi products. In addition to Bluetooth headphones, this also includes a wide range of wirelessly controllable speakers. Here, the company cooperates with the Swedish company Zound Industries. The Marshall Emberton is one of the smaller representatives of the speaker lineup. This already scored in its first generation not only with the typical vintage look.
On top of that, it still offers great sound quality today. As part of the big 2022 update, the cuboid Bluetooth speaker also gets a new version. Although there are almost no visual differences to the first Emberton, the manufacturer promises an extensive revision. Especially the technology under the hood has been comprehensively renewed. Whether the revision was worth it and you should dare as an owner of the first Emberton an upgrade, you can read in our Marshall Emberton II test.
|Frequency range||60-20,000 Hz|
|Driver||Two 2-inch 10-watt full-range speakers.
Two passive radiators
|Maximum sound pressure level||87 dB SPL @ 1 m|
|Enclosure system||Sealed with passive radiators|
|Amplifier||Two 10-watt class D amplifiers|
|App support||Marshall Bluetooth app (iOS & Android)|
|Dimensions and weight||68 x 160 x 76 mm and 700 g|
|Water resistance||Protection against dirt and water according to IP67|
|Colors||Black and brass, cream|
|Operation||Multidirectional control button and Bluetooth pairing button|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.1 (10 m range) with SBC codec|
|Price||€ 154.99 *|
Marshall Emberton II review: looks and finish
- 68 x 160 x 76 mm and 700 g
- Colors: black and brass, cream
- Classic vintage look of the Marshall series
- Multidirectional control knob
The Emberton II not only stays true to its classic amplifier design, which is also used in the brand’s other speakers. On top of that, the manufacturer relies on the almost identical design of the first generation. This applies to both the dimensions and the weight. However, there have been deletions in the color selection. Instead of the four options that were available in the predecessor, you now have the choice between two variants. Our test model came in black and brass. Alternatively, you can also buy the Marshall Emberton II in Cream.
That’s not it yet with the matches. Like the first generation Emberton, there are two main controls on this one. These are located on the top of the compact speaker. You can connect to source devices with the help of the Bluetooth button. The practical multi-directional button, on the other hand, serves several purposes. Here you can not only turn on the device, but also adjust the volume and skip to the next or previous track.
In addition to the two buttons, you’ll also find a meaningful display on the top that reveals the battery level. The total of ten small LEDs go out one after the other when the battery level is lowered. But does this match the rest of the compact speaker’s vintage look? We think so. Since red LEDs were chosen, it harmonizes very well with the rest of the design, which has a classic leather look. The combination of brass-colored Marshall lettering and the rest of the amplifier’s look looks really cool and feels high-quality processed.
IPX7 becomes IP67
- Protection from dust and water to IP67
Of course, the question arises what differences there are at all in the case between the old and new Emberton. A clear upgrade can be found in the area of resistance. Thus, the first-generation Emberton was only protected against the damaging penetration of water according to the IPX7 standard. The second generation has IP67 certification. Consequently, there is no longer only protection against moisture. Dust or dirt should not be able to harm the speaker anymore.
Thus, the Marshall Emberton II underlines its versatility. Thus, it can be used not only in your own four walls. On top of that, you can easily take it to the beach or barbecue party without fear of damage. According to the manufacturer, the compact Bluetooth speaker can withstand up to 30 minutes in water up to 1 meter deep without suffering any damage. As is so often the case with IP certifications, however, it should be said that this is just a backup in case of an emergency. So you shouldn’t take the Emberton II into the water every time you take a bath.
Marshall Emberton II review: the technology
- Bluetooth 5.1 with support of SBC codec
- Two 2-inch 10W wideband drivers
- Two passive radiators
- Stereo sound
Before we take a closer look at the sound, let’s first take a look at what’s under the hood of the Marshall Emberton II. And here, too, we quickly discover that not too much has changed. Not only the drivers, but also the power and the frequency range are identical. So you also get two passive radiators here in addition to two ten-watt full-range drivers in a size of two inches. The overall result is supposed to be stereo sound with a wide stage.
What they have renewed, however, is the Bluetooth standard. Now you can connect your devices via Bluetooth 5.1 instead of the outdated Bluetooth 5.0. This also worked very reliably in the test. I was able to connect my smartphone, tablet and computer to the speaker quickly and without problems. The range of about ten meters also ensured that I had no connection interruptions in my apartment.
Marshall Emberton II review: sound test
- Grandiose mids, somewhat flat bass
What really counts in a speaker is, of course, the sound. And we want to take the following times closely under the microscope. What you immediately notice when listening to the first sample is the Marshall-typical sound mixing. Thanks to the impressively great mids, you get a warm and above all clear sound. The small speaker scores particularly well with voices, which also makes it ideal for listening to podcasts.
If you want to take the Marshall Emberton II outside to use it as a small party maker, the volume naturally also plays a big role. And here, too, the small “roaring cuboid” can really score. In view of the compact dimensions, however, you can feel that it loses a bit of sound quality at very high volumes. The technology rebels a bit here, which can express itself in slightly clanging passages.
Despite its small size, the Marshall Emberton II can pack a punch when it comes to bass. In the lower frequencies, however, it is a bit flat on the chest. You should know that if you like to listen to music of the genre dance / electronic, which relies on very deep bass. However, the courage that the manufacturer shows with the Emberton II is also immediately apparent here. The Swedish company Zound Industries does not only want to deliver another bass-strong Bluetooth speaker for the small rave at the lake.
Instead, the second generation of the popular speaker underlines where the roots of the now 60-year-old Marshall company lie – in rock music. Here, the Emberton II, like its predecessor and its big and small siblings, is simply beyond reproach. Acoustic and electric guitars sound rich and clear, deep and medium-low vocals give you goosebumps on your arms. The sound stage that the small speaker can offer despite its mini dimensions is also really impressive. Several people can confidently sit in front of it to enjoy room-filling stereo sound.
Marshall Bluetooth app
Of course, the Emberton II also offers support for the in-house Marshall Bluetooth app. In it, you can opt for one of three equalizer presets. On the one hand, there is the classic Marshall mode, which emphasizes the mids and thus promises the typical rock sound. In addition, there is the Push mode, which promises more bass. Voice is supposed to focus on voices and is advisable for listening to podcasts for this reason.
The most neutral and, in my opinion, best sound is available in Marshall mode. Although I would have liked to also individually screw around a little in the equalizer, but since I liked the sound of the Marshall mode anyway, this is not too much weight. Furthermore, you can select the handy new stack feature in the app.
This allows you to pair several Emberton IIs with each other and play music together. This way, you can build your own speaker tower that offers even more power. Otherwise, the clear app ensures that the compact speaker always stays up to date thanks to regular firmware updates.
Battery with plenty of endurance
In terms of battery life, the Marshall Emberton II is a big one. Here, with a total of 30 hours of playing time, the already very good 20 hours of the predecessor has once again been clearly trumped. At some point, however, even such an enduring battery is empty.
Then you can take advantage of the convenient quick charge feature. After just 20 minutes of charging, the battery is ready for another four hours of gaming. To fully charge the battery, you have to leave the speaker plugged in for three hours.
Marshall Emberton II review: conclusion
With the Marshall Emberton II, Marshall together with Zound Industries has launched a small-format speaker that is a big one in terms of sound, battery life and user comfort. Compared to the predecessor, small but subtle improvements have been made in the areas of connectivity, resistance as well as battery life. However, since the already very good sound has not really changed, owners of the first generation of the Emberton do not necessarily have to reach for the update.
If you want even better sound, can spend a little more money, and don’t want to sacrifice the Marshall look, you should definitely check out the Marshall Acton III (test). In a similar vein is the Klipsch Heritage Groove (test), which, unlike the Acton III, also has an integrated battery.