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  • Cheryl Tan

Marshall Emberton II Review: Awesome Portable Speaker, Crazy Battery Life!

Two years ago, I tried the Marshall Emberton speaker, and I was really quite impressed by it. It was relatively portable and it looked super nice while still sounding quite awesome. So when I unpacked the Emberton II, it was a bit of a surprise to see the exact same speaker in the box.

We have the Marshall Emberton II speaker with us today and let’s put it out there: if you own the original Emberton, there’s no real need to buy this speaker. If you don’t, though, and you’re looking for a cool compact speaker, watch on.


So let’s talk design first. This looks almost identical to the original Emberton. You get grilles on both the front and back, the same gold multi-directional control knob on the top as well as the Bluetooth button and an LED indicator for the battery. On the side, you get a USB-C charging port. The rest of the speaker is wrapped in a grain leather-ish rubbery material which does feel rather nice to the touch.

There are only two colours available for the Emberton II, Cream and Black, and for a more durable, understated design, I think the black option wins out there. That being said, the Cream is very nice as well, you just need to be more careful to keep it looking clean and pristine.

Inside, you get two Class D amplifiers, two 2-inch 10W full-range drivers and two passive radiators. The speaker itself is the exact same size and weight, 0.7kg, as the original. So you might be thinking, well, exactly what has changed?

For one, the speaker’s more durable now, with an IP67 dust and water resistance rating.


Additionally, there’s also the ability to use multiple speakers together in what Marshall calls Stack Mode. It’s an interesting take on having multiple of the same speakers together, but in a vertical stack rather than as a stereo pair. Given that the speaker is kind of outputting 360 degree sound, I can somewhat see the reasoning here, but yeah, I don’t think many people would really be getting multiple Emberton II speakers for this.

This feature is activated via the Marshall Bluetooth app, which supports this speaker. The app itself is very simplistic. You get three EQ presets, the ability to turn on Stack Mode, firmware updates and that’s about it.

Connectivity has also been improved slightly, from Bluetooth 5.0 to Bluetooth 5.1, although the speaker still only supports the SBC codec.

Battery Life

But the other big improvement is in battery life. Marshall has managed to squeeze out an additional 10 hours of battery life, with an estimated 30+ hours in the Emberton II now, compared to 20+ on the original Emberton. Seeing as the size and weight didn’t change, this is quite impressive. A 20 minute charge gives you four hours of battery life, and it’ll take an estimated 3 hours of charge to get a full 100%.

Unfortunately, Marshall has decided against adding a microphone, so there’s still no voice control here. It’s physical controls via the speaker or your device only. Long press and hold on the multi-directional knob to turn the speaker on or off, push the knob up for volume up, push the knob down for volume down. Push it to the left to skip tracks backwards and push to the right to skip tracks forward.

Sound Quality

As for sound, it’s been a while since I tried the original Emberton, but from my memory, these seem to sound almost the same. They do get quite loud, loud enough for the house at least. Outdoors, you might need to go up to 50-70% depending on how noisy the surroundings are. Pushing it up too high though, does start to change the sound with a bit of distortion and noise introduced.

On a moderate volume and with the original Marshall sound preset though, the overall sound is warm and lush with a nice distinctness to vocals. There is bass present, although it’s not quite as thumpy and as deep as other speakers in this range. There’s a noticeable boost in the highs, which is nice, as they’re crisp and clean with a good amount of energy. At higher volumes though, there is a tinge of harshness creeping in. I’d say a comfortable volume would be around 60%, anything higher and the sound might no longer be as pleasant.

Soundstage isn’t too bad either, it’s quite wide and you do get a sense of depth thanks to the way sound is output through this speaker.

It’s a fun, party speaker that looks really nice in almost every setting, and the sound quality is great at moderate levels.

Marshall Emberton II Price

Seeing as there’s no price increase from the original Emberton to this at US$189 or S$299, I think it’s a great move by Marshall. People who have the original Emberton have no real pressing need to upgrade, but if you’re looking for a portable Marshall speaker and don’t already have the Emberton, well, this is a great choice.

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