While the manufacturer Marshall gained fame primarily through its legendary guitar amplifiers, it has also been involved in the Bluetooth speaker and headphone sector for some time now. Last year, we already took a look at some of Marshall’s Bluetooth speakers in a test, and now the Middleton is following with a more compact design. Our Marshall Middleton test clarifies what the device has to offer.
|The product||Marshall Middleton|
|Audio power||30 W|
|Drivers||Two 3-inch woofers (15 W)
Two 3/5-inch tweeters (10 W)
Two passive diaphragms
|Connections||USB-C (charging port); 3.5 mm jack|
|Battery life||up to 20 hours|
|Special features||IPX67 certification (waterproof), power bank function, stack mode|
|Size||109 x 230 x 95 mm|
|Scope of delivery||Marshall Middleton, USB-C charging cable, carrying strap, quick start guide|
|Price||€ 259.99 *|
Marshall Middleton test: design and workmanship
- Excellent amplifier design
- Outstanding workmanship
- Robust and waterproof
The Marshall Middleton picks up on the manufacturer’s well-known amplifier design and is visually reminiscent of the other Bluetooth speakers With a size of 109 x 230 x 95 mm (height x width x depth) and a weight of 1.79 kg, it is positioned between the smaller Emberton II (our test) and the bulkier Stanmore III (our test) in terms of dimensions.
Our test model in the color “black and brass” certainly looks great. Thanks to the mastered, rubberized surface, the speaker is comfortable to hold and is protected against dust and water thanks to IP67 certification.
The brass-colored Marshall lettering can be found on the front grille, while the controls are all located on the top. Here too, the brass-colored multifunction button in the middle immediately catches the eye, while the other elements are kept discreetly black on black.
At the back, in the bottom left corner, there is space for the connections. Specifically, the Middleton has an analog 3.5 mm jack connection and a USB-C port for charging. A carrying strap can also be attached to the right-hand side – the manufacturer includes a rubberized solution in the scope of delivery.
As always with Marshall, the same applies to the Middleton: the build quality is excellent. The Bluetooth speaker feels extremely robust and high-quality.
Operation, battery life and range
- Convenient operation
- Long battery life of around 20 hours
- USB-C port with power bank function
The Marshall Middleton connects to smartphones and other devices via Bluetooth 5.1 and can be paired quickly and easily. It achieves a range of around 10 meters to the audio source before connection dropouts occur.
According to the manufacturer, the battery life should be “over 20 hours”, although Marshall does not provide exact details. As always, the runtime naturally depends heavily on volume, connection quality and more. However, we can confirm the figures:
The speaker lasts a good 20 hours even at just under 80 percent of maximum volume – which really marks a very good value. Thanks to the quick-charging function, 20 minutes of power supply via USB-C is enough for two hours of music playback, while a full charge takes around 4.5 hours.
Practical: the USB-C port is also able to supply smartphones and other connected devices with power thanks to the power bank function.
The Middleton is operated using the buttons on the top. The Bluetooth button can be used to initiate pairing with smartphones and other end devices, while the battery button, in combination with the ten red LEDs, provides information on the charging status – something we are already familiar with in a similar form from the Emberton II.
Marshall has also directly adopted the brass-colored multifunction knob. Pressed up or down, it increases or decreases the volume and, pressed to the right or left, switches to the next or previous song.
In addition, there are two rocker controls on the right-hand side that can be used to adjust the bass and treble separately and thus adapt the sound of the speaker. A very well thought-out and good concept.
App connection: Marshall Bluetooth
- App without significant added value
The range of functions of the companion app for the Marshall Middleton is disappointing, as it only allows you to adjust the functions that can also be carried out directly on the speaker itself.
Of course, it’s very practical to be able to control the music or adjust the bass and treble from a distance, but you won’t find any other settings or adjustable equalizers. The app is only needed for firmware updates.
Sound quality: Warm, convincing sound
- Rich, detailed, warm sound
- Very high maximum volume
- Beyond 80% volume, it becomes shrill
In terms of sound, the Marshall Middleton relies on two 3-inch bass speakers with 15 watts of power, two 3/5-inch tweeters with 10 watts each and two passive cones, each powered by two 20-watt bass speaker amplifiers and two 10-watt tweeter amplifiers.
Together, this achieves a sound pressure level of 87 dB SPL while covering a frequency band from 50 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Unfortunately, the Middleton does not support high-resolution Bluetooth codecs, meaning that only the SBC codec is available.
However, this hardly detracts from the enjoyment of the sound. It only takes a few notes to hear what a clear and warm basic tone the Bluetooth speaker produces and transmits it into the room on a wide stage.
Of course, no one should expect a bass miracle, but the bass tones also score with a pleasant clarity and convincing level of detail. As is typical for the manufacturer, the Middleton also scores particularly well in the mids and highs, although the latter can become a little shrill at volumes above the 80 percent mark.
A soundcore Motion 300 (our test), for example, manages this better, although the Marshall Middleton has a significantly higher volume and therefore even 50 to 60 percent is enough to fill a larger room with sound.
With its relaxed, warm sound, the Marshall Middleton is ideal for relaxed music listening and is therefore more of a connoisseur than a partygoer. If you like, you can combine several Bluetooth speakers thanks to the stack function and amplify your sound or create a powerful multi-room setup.
Marshall Middleton test: Conclusion
With the Marshall Middleton, the cult manufacturer continues its tradition and launches another all-round convincing Bluetooth speaker. The new model also scores points with its elegant and robust amplifier design and flawless operation.
The speaker is also impressive in terms of sound and provides a detailed, warm and pleasing sound without any faults. Thanks to its high volume, the Middleton provides excellent sound for smaller parties, although the sound tends to distort shrilly at very high volumes.
The battery life of around 20 hours is pleasing, as is the ability to charge your smartphone while listening to music thanks to the power bank function. However, there are also grounds for criticism.
On the one hand, the lack of high-resolution Bluetooth codecs in this price range is disappointing; on the other hand, the price itself is of course a real house number. Not everyone is likely to be willing to pay around 300 euros for a portable speaker.
However, if you are willing to pay that much, the Marshall Middleton is an equally powerful, elegant and durable companion for all situations, which is absolutely worth the money despite its high price.