Big Sound From A (Kinda..?) Big Speaker
As you can tell, we have another Marshall speaker with us today, and it’s actually really nice. We have the Marshall Middleton with us today, and despite the “middle” in the name, this is not anywhere in the middle of anything, price included.
So, let’s talk design.
Design & Specs
It’s super classically Marshall, with that black grill and gold logo on the front. Around the sides and top and bottom, it’s a rubberised material to protect the speaker, and it does feel rather durable. Unfortunately, because of that rubber material, it can get a bit sticky and dust does get stuck on it quite easily.
This is a two tweeter, two woofer, two passive radiator speaker, which explains why it’s on the bigger side. At 1.8KG it’s not as lightweight as you’d usually go for in a portable speaker, although there is a strap which allows you to carry it around. The strap is a bit unique, by the way. It fastens with a screw, which, I guess, gives you a bit more peace of mind instead of a button or something.
Inside, there are four Class D amps, two 20-watt for the woofers and two 10-watt for the tweeters.
On top, you get a bunch of stuff. The gold multi-function button that serves as a power button, play/pause button, volume control button and track skip button, depending on how you long the press the button or the direction you move the button. There are also control buttons to boost or lower the bass and treble, as well as a button to put the speaker into pairing mode and another button that lights up the battery indicator bar with current battery levels.
On the back, you get a USB-C charging port as well as a 3.5mm AUX in port, which is nice and you can use these with whatever you want, phone, computer and all that. Unfortunately, these ports aren’t covered up, but the Middleton does still have a IP67 rating, so no problem bringing this to the beach or to the pool.
The App & More
Moving on to software, this works with the Marshall app, which is pretty simplistic. You get battery level as well as bass and treble EQ controls, and you can group other Middleton speakers in “stack” mode, which Marshall has been using to call their grouping system for a while now. That’s about it.
Coming to connectivity, as mentioned, there’s a 3.5mm input port, and the speaker runs on Bluetooth 5.1 with support for only SBC, which is, well, slightly disappointing. No mic here either, so no voice controls and such.
Battery life is pretty okay as well, with Marshall claiming 20+ hours in the speaker and a charge time of 4.5 hours. Depending on how loud you’re playing your music, I reckon you can easily get an average of 15 hours on a single charge.
But let’s talk about the sound. These sound big. The soundstage and projection is great, there’s plenty of power, and for a single speaker, the left/right separation is pretty darn good. There’s also plenty of tight, controlled bass. The sub-bass rumble is decent, although it’s not as powerful as I’d like. Mids-wise, it’s rich and detailed, although slightly recessed. The treble is decent, you get a bit of sparkle and crispness here and it’s easily boosted via the on-board controls or in-app controls if you want.
But at the S$499 or US$299.99 mark, this is pretty expensive. There are other speakers out there offering more codec options, a lighter, more portable package and all that. With a discount, this would be much easier to recommend. Regardless, if you have the money and you like Marshall’s aesthetic, then this is a great little speaker to bring around your house to the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom, and even out and about if you don’t mind the almost 2kg weight.