Marshall Willen Review: Small & Portable, But......
If you’re looking for a very compact and portable speaker, this speaker from Marshall might fit the bill, but at what cost…?
Hey guys, we have the Marshall Willen speaker with us today, and this is one of the smallest speaker, if not the smallest speaker so far from the brand.
So, let’s talk design. It’s an interesting square design, with the signature grille and Marshall logo in front, although these are in plastic. There’s also the gold multi-directional knob for controls that I really like. All around the sides, you get a protective rubber coating that extends slightly out the back so you can lie the speaker flat if needed and still have it somewhat raised off the ground. Pretty nice. There’s also a rubber strap on the back that’s a little unintuitive. You can use it to hook onto stuff, or wrap the strap around something then lock it back into place. I thought the strap would be able to form a loop around something instead, but no.
On top, you get a Bluetooth pairing button, a LED indicator for the microphone as well as a five-bar indicator for the battery and charging status. Inside, there’s a 10 watt Class D amplifier, one two-inch full range driver and two passive radiators.
App & Connectivity
The speaker is compatible with the Marshall Bluetooth app, and there’s support for features like Stack mode, firmware updates and the likes. There’s also three EQ presets available here, although I left it on the default most of the time. There really isn’t much in terms of software here, but do keep in mind that this is a mono speaker, so even in Stack mode, it doesn’t work as a stereo pair.
Connectivity-wise, it’s running on Bluetooth 5.1 but only supports SBC. There’s also IP67 dust and water resistance, so you’ll be fine bringing this to the beach and all, which is definitely a place I can see myself using it.
Marshall Willen Battery Life
Battery life is surprisingly good, you get 15 hours or so out of this tiny speaker, which is more than I was expecting. A 20 minute charge will give three hours of battery life, which is pretty decent.
There’s a microphone here, so you’ll actually be able to use this speaker as a speakerphone if you need to take calls. As you can tell, it’s not fantastic but in a pinch, it’s perfectly fine.
As for sound, well, these don’t get very loud, let’s start with that. But if you’re using these on a table right next to you, it’s actually perfectly fine. Because the speaker is small, you don’t get really deep bass unless you’re playing bass-heavy songs, then you might be able to hear it. But for pop songs that focus more heavily on the mids and vocals, you might feel the lack of low end.
If you pump the volume up though, you’ll start to experience harshness and distortion, which means this speaker is best when it’s used in moderate closeness so it doesn’t have to be playing music at the loudest volumes.
The mids and vocals are rich and quite good, there’s also a good amount of energy in the treble.
Honestly, this speaker is designed to be a portable speaker first and foremost, and it accomplishes that with a tiny chassis and 0.3kg weight. That does impose some limitations on how well it can perform in terms of sound and loudness, but I think Marshall has done a pretty good job in terms of balancing the tradeoffs.
Marshall Willen Price
At US$120 or S$179 though, this might be a bit pricey. I’d say if you can find this speaker on sale at under US$100, then it might be more worth the money.