Marshall's waterproof Emberton speaker lasts for 20 hours
You may not get to enjoy many pool parties this summer, but Marshall's latest speaker will come in handy once social distancing ends. The company's new Emberton speaker packs its signature sound in a vintage-inspired frame that weighs just 24.6 ounces and is IPX7-certified, meaning you can submerge it under approximately three feet of water for about 30 minutes.
Despite its small size, Marshall says Emberton sounds rich, clear and loud. The speaker outputs multi-directional sound where "every spot is a sweet spot.” Battery life comes in at about 20-plus hours on a single charge. There's also support for fast-charging, with 20 minutes of being connected to the power outlet or another device providing about five hours of battery life. With Bluetooth 5.0 support, the speaker can maintain a connection to another compatible device across 30 feet.
At $149, the Emberton is the same price as Ultimate Ears' popular Boom 3 portable speaker. The two devices broadly match one another on features. While the Boom 3 has protection against harmful dust, both speakers are water-resistant and include 360-degree sound. Marshall's new speaker edges out its Ultimate Ears counterpart in the battery life department, with the Boom 3 rated for 15 hours of playback on a single charge. With the Emberton, you also get the convenience of a USB-C port instead of having to deal with a Micro-USB cable.
For $50 less, another option is Sony's XB23 Bluetooth speaker, but it only includes 12-hours of battery life. Put another way, Marshall is entering into a crowded segment of the Bluetooth speaker market where consumers already have compelling options, but the Emberton's vintage looks and long-lasting battery could help it stand out.
The Emberton is available to buy for €149 starting today on Marshall’s website.
Marshall Emberton review: Tiny, stylish stereo powerhouse
Marshall Emberton review: Tiny, stylish stereo powerhouse
DT Recommended Product
“Iconic design meets superior sound in a highly portable Bluetooth speaker.”
- 20-hour battery
- Warm and rich stereo sound
- Iconic design
- 360-degree sound pattern
- IPX7 water-resistant
- No aux line-in
- No speakerphone
- Can’t stereo or multi-speaker pair
There are so many Bluetooth speakers now, with so little to differentiate one speaker from another, Digital Trends has had to take a step back from reviewing every new model — there simply isn’t enough time to tackle that gargantuan task.
But we’re always keeping our eyes open for Bluetooth speakers that manage to set themselves apart from the crowd.
Marshall’s new $150 Emberton certainly qualifies, though perhaps not in a good way: It’s a lot more expensive than similarly equipped portable speakers.
Can Marshall justify the Emberton’s price tag? Let’s take a look.
What’s in the box?
The Marshall Emberton ships in a simple cardboard box, and with the exception of a tiny piece of polyethylene wrap to protect the speaker, the packaging (and included paper documentation) is easily recyclable.
Inside, you get the speaker and a four-foot USB-C charging cord — which is longer than most.
Marshall designs all of its Bluetooth speakers to look like miniature versions of the famous U.K. guitar amps that bear the distinctive Marshall logo, and the Emberton is no exception.
Despite the fact that the Emberton is Marshall’s smallest speaker to date, the company has managed its proportions perfectly.
Whether sitting on a dorm room bookshelf, a kitchen counter, or on a patio table, this speaker has miles of authentic rock ‘n’ roll style.
With its silver diamond-mesh speaker grille, and heavy, black rubberized body, the Emberton looks like it ought to have a guitar input jack somewhere (sadly, it doesn’t).
What it does have is a single gold-tone control pad, an LED power meter, and a Bluetooth pairing button. A USB-C charging port on the right side panel is the only input, and it’s strictly for power, not playback.
The back panel isn’t a panel at all – it’s another speaker grille. This is your first clue that the Emberton isn’t quite like most of the other Bluetooth speakers you’ll find on Amazon.
At 24.6 ounces, it’s got some serious heft to it despite its diminutive size. That’s likely a result of the battery Marshall has used, but it also gives the Emberton a feeling of real substance.
I like that even though you can comfortably carry it in one hand, it doesn’t look or feel like a toy.
In staying laser-focused on its mission, the Emberton is effortless to set up and use.
One small critique: Like many other ultraportable speakers, the Emberton could have benefited from a carry handle or strap of some kind. I realize this would have taken something away from the amp-inspired look, but sometimes function needs to win over form.
Controls, connections, and ease of use
The Emberton, much like it’s massive big brother, the Tufton, does one thing, and one thing only: It lets you connect a single Bluetooth source, like a phone or tablet, and play your favorite tunes.
It won’t charge your other devices, it won’t act as a speakerphone, you can’t talk to Siri or Google Assistant, and you can’t connect a non-Bluetooth device like an older iPod via an auxiliary input.
Yes, these would all be handy things, but in staying laser-focused on its mission, the Emberton is effortless to set up and use.
A long press of the big control pad powers the speaker on. If it doesn’t enter Bluetooth pairing mode immediately (which you’ll know from the flashing red light above the Bluetooth button), a long press of the Bluetooth button gets you there.
Simply select the Emberton from the available Bluetooth devices in your phone’s control panel and you’re good to go.
From there, open your music app of choice (or a video app) and start playing.
The Emberton’s control pad handles all of the essentials: Play/pause, track skip forward/back, and volume up/down. Like a well-designed game controller, the pad’s action is smooth, effortless, and tactile, with a silent but discernible click for each command.
There are two features I wish it had: Multi-speaker pairing for doing stereo across two speakers … and Bluetooth multipoint.
The 10-segment LED power meter gives a quick yet very accurate sense of how much juice is left, which I much prefer to other systems that use voice feedback or force you to consult your phone.
As much as I don’t mind the Emberton’s focus on just being a great Bluetooth speaker, there are two features I wish it had: Multi-speaker pairing for doing stereo across two speakers (or simply multiple speakers), and Bluetooth multipoint so that you can pair two Bluetooth sources simultaneously.
JBL has been offering multi-speaker on its products for some time, and it’s a great way to affordably enhance what a portable speaker like this can do.
The Marshall Emberton is rated IPX7, which means you can pretty much do as you please in terms of water exposure, including full immersion as long as you don’t force it too deep under the surface.
But the X in IPX7 means that it is not rated for dust and debris, so as much as the Emberton might be an ideal poolside pal, I don’t recommend it for the beach or anywhere else it might be exposed to a lot of small particles.
Marshall doesn’t make any claims as to the Emberton’s ability to survive a drop, but judging from its thick rubber hide and protected corners, I’m guessing it will handle minor mishaps effortlessly — and maybe even a few major ones, too.
Most portable Bluetooth speakers offer a battery life of between 10 and 12 hours. To get substantially more, you’re looking at spending at least $150 — which, not so coincidentally, is what you’ll pay for the Emberton.
How can I suggest that the tiny, battery-powered Marshall Emberton provides room-filling sound? Because it does.
It can run for 20 hours on a full charge, and a 20-minute quick charge will buy you another five hours.
To put that in perspective, the popular $120 JBL Flip 5, which is similar in size, shape, and features to the Emberton, can only last 12 hours — likewise with Sony’s $100 SRS-XB23 and the $150 Ultimate Ears Boom 3.
We use the term “room-filling sound” fairly liberally when discussing speakers. When it’s a product like the Sonos One, Bose Smart Speaker 500, or the Pantheone I, that term applies in spades. So how can I also suggest that the relatively tiny, battery-powered Marshall Emberton provides room-filling sound?
Because it does.
Thanks to its stereo drivers, each driven by a dedicated 10-watt amplifier for 20 total watts of power, the Emberton is capable of a truly surprising amount of sound.
But it’s not just loud — it’s large. Place the Emberton at the front of your listening space and it will belt out an admirable balance of lows, mids, and highs. This is something that other Bluetooth portable speakers struggle with, especially at louder volumes.
The JBL Flip 5 can get louder than the Emberton, but as it climbs toward its maximum setting, bass and treble march away from each other, leaving the midrange a barren desert.
The Emberton, by contrast, does a much better job of preserving sound quality, never distorting or becoming painfully sharp. At the same time, you get a genuine feeling of warmth from this little black box — another area in which portable speakers typically come up short.
Its stereo separation isn’t perfect — there is, after all, about four inches or less between the drivers — but it’s pretty decent. Much more remarkable is its ability to push sound evenly around a space.
The best way to appreciate this is to sit the Emberton in the middle of a room, or even better, in the middle of a patio. With its double-grille openings, it comes close to delivering a 360-degree sound field and virtually guarantees there isn’t a bad seat in the room (or backyard).
While $150 is on the pricier end of the spectrum for a highly compact Bluetooth speaker like the Emberton, it delivers the goods when it comes to sound quality and battery life, and it’s hard to put a price on Marshall’s iconic guitar amp style.
Is there a better alternative?
I’ve yet to find a $150 portable speaker that matches the Emberton’ts unique combo of style and sound, but, for the same price, the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is definitely worth a look. It doesn’t do stereo and its battery only lasts 15 hours, but its 360 speaker design sounds terrific, it is beach-ready with dust resistance, and it can be put into party mode, to sync up with Ultimate Ears’ other Bluetooth speakers.
How long will it last?
Zounds Industries — the company that licenses the Marshall name for consumer audio products — provides a one-year warranty on the Emberton, which is fairly standard for these kinds of devices. But given how well-built the Emberton is, I expect you’ll get many years of use from it, even as the built-in battery gradually loses its ability to last the full 20 hours.
Should you buy it?
Yes. Despite some of its limitations, the Marshall Emberton is a great-sounding and great-looking portable Bluetooth speaker with exceptional battery life.
Portable Bluetooth Speakers
Thinking which Marshall Bluetooth speakers to buy? Need help finding what’s best for you?
If you’re looking for an expert audio solution that is packed with advanced features yet holds the feel of vintage then Marshall Bluetooth speakers are the best buy! Every Bluetooth speaker is built with the utmost skill to deliver the best sound. Marshall portable speaker is best for your needs based on audio performance, connectivity AUX, Bluetooth, portability, design and functionality. Each Marshall portable Bluetooth speaker has a similar feel. Hence it becomes confusing as to which one will be right for your requirements. This is where Croma steps in. At Croma, we not only understand the latest in tech but also translate them to use cases that match your needs! Our technical experts are committed to providing solutions that are curated specially for you. We believe a purchase is just the first step to a relationship that will last for years to come. So here we are, to help you pick the best Marshall Bluetooth speakers that fit your budget and requirement!
All About Marshall’s latest Bluetooth speakers
All Marshall portable speakers deliver a sound that’s clear, powerful, and loud. Marshall Woburn is one of the Marshall’s best speakers when it comes to sound performance. The Woburn offers the widest frequency range with the deepest, richest bass of 35 Hz and the clearest, crispiest treble of 22,000 Hz. Apart from high performance, connectivity options in Marshall home speakers are the best! Marshall wireless portable speakers come with a standard connectivity option of Bluetooth version 4.0 for high-quality audio transmission. It allows the listener to enjoy continuous streaming as long as the speaker is within a 100-meter range from your Bluetooth-enabled device. In regards to wired connectivity, these portable speakers come with a 3.5mm input and double-ended coil cord. In case you want to play a CD/DVD, tape, or vinyl player, simply hook it up to Marshall Stanmore and Marshall Woburn speakers via the RCA input. The Woburn speaker additionally includes an optical input, so you can associate the speaker to a TV or Apple TV and enjoy OTT content.
Marshall speakers are designed keeping in mind portability. Marshall Stockwell is one of the lightest and smallest portable Bluetooth speakers offered by the brand. It weighs only 1.2 kg and measures 260 x 140 x 41 mm. It is designed to fit easily into a backpack or handbag. It comes with an in-built battery supporting 25 hours of music streaming. Marshall Kilburn is another compact speaker, measuring 242 x 140 x 140 mm. It can also be powered by the four built-in 2200 mAh Li-ion batteries that last for up to 20 hours. Check the Stockwell and Kilburn Marshall Bluetooth speakers price online and compare their features to select one!
When it comes to design and functionality each Marshall new Bluetooth speakers showcases the iconic rock 'n' roll-inspired styling. The analog buttons and bass control knobs on the brass control panel add a classic touch. For people who love the vintage feel, Marshall Speakers fit the bill! Marshall latest speakers come with add-on functions such as doubles as a speakerphone. Answer and end calls without having to reach for your phone. Simply tap the correct button on the speaker's control panel board. Marshall USB speaker Stockwell has a USB port to recharge a phone or battery too when in need via speakers’ battery. Explore all Marshall Bluetooth speakers online along with their unique features and functions.
Which is the best Marshall Bluetooth speakers available online?
With so many options for Marshall new Bluetooth speakers, it is often confusing which to pick. Here are a few of the best speakers in India. Marshall Acton II comes with Bluetooth technology and a 3.5 mm jack for connectivity. The multi-host functionality feature ensures multiple devices can connect with the speaker easily. This Marshall smart speaker comes with in-built Alexa. This compact speaker accompanies three devoted class D amplifiers that power its double tweeters and subwoofer, for an absolutely huge sound. Order Marshall smart speakers now and get them delivered to your home.
Marshall Woburn 2 Bluetooth speakers are the biggest speaker from Marshall. It features a robust sound and hits high trebles cleanly, handles low bass with ease, and has a clear, lifelike mid-range. Marshall Woburn 2 is available in black, white, and brown color options. It features Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX technology. It comes with multi-host functionality so you can easily connect and switch between two Bluetooth devices.
Marshall Stockwell 2 Bluetooth speaker is designed for people who are looking for a true travel companion. Weighing only 1.4 kg, Stockwell II offers 20+ hours of playtime. Offering such long playtime on a single charge, it’s pint-sized frame and guitar inspired carry strap makes it perfect to take with you. Marshall Stanmore 2 highlights textured vinyl covering, salt, and pepper fret, and the iconic durable wooden frame. Built with advanced gears, it generates clean and precise sound, even at the highest levels. It also features Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX technology. Marshall Kilburn 2 weighs 2.5 kg and is the loudest speaker in its class. It delivers a clear midrange, deep bass, and extended highs. Its multi-directional sound will immerse you in your music, indoors as well as outdoors.
Marshall Tufton stereo Bluetooth portable speaker is packed with Up to 20+ hours of portable playtime. Marshall Tufton comes with a Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity option which permits you to connect with an assortment of wireless gadgets with a range of 30ft. Tufton Marshall provides multi-channel sound. Buy Marshall Bluetooth speakers online at the best offer in India at Croma.com.
Buy Marshall portable speakers online from Croma
Check out the wide variety of Marshall portable speakers at the best price at Croma. We provide personalized exclusive offers on Marshall wireless Bluetooth portable speakers. We also know that it is important for you to touch and feel the products and see for yourself before you buy. So, check the widest range of Marshall Bluetooth speakers and experience them before you buy, assuring you of knowing exactly what to expect from your purchase. If you are Croma’s loyal customer, the Croma Privileges program offers lucrative discounts over and above the ongoing discounts on the floor, just for you! Rest assured; we strive hard to provide a wide catalogue of the best Marshall speakers in India that are fit for every budget. After all, the core purpose of Croma is to convert each and every dream of our customers into a reality.
Best Marshall speakers 2021: From portables to home Hi-Fi, here’s what you need to know
The name is synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll, its iconic script logo instantly recognisable. Marshall amplifiers have backed the world’s biggest bands, and the rest besides. Popularised by Pete Townsend and The Who in the Sixties, their signature sound is beloved by rockers and metalheads the world over. Since their launch in 2010, there’s been a wide range of killer Marshall speakers you can rock out to at home, too...
With the range spanning from all-in-one sound systems to portable players, you’ll find one of the best Marshall speakers out there with your name on it. But which to buy? We’ve considered the options, dialled up the volume, and can now reveal just how these Marshall speakers stack up.
Looking for brilliant Black Friday music deals? Then don't forget to check out our Black Friday speakers deals page for all the latest bargains and offers on speakers that’ll rock your world.
Best Marshall speakers: The Louder Choice
Topping our Marshall Hot List is the mighty Emberton, a true portable speaker capable of a powerhouse performance. It looks cute but kicks serious ass. We’re in awe of both its muscle and gutsy musicality.
When it comes to a Marshall all-in-one for the home, you really can’t get much better than the Stanmore II. A tantalising blend of Marshall style and muscle, it’s a brilliant buy.
Finally, if you want something a little more transportable, take a listen to the Kilburn II. This retro-styled portable, with its stylised carry-handle, is road trip ready.
Best Marshall speakers: Product guide
1. Marshall Emberton
This remarkable pocket rocket sounds like a speaker three times the size
Launch price: $149/£130 | Features: Bluetooth, IPX7 rated | Battery life: 20+ hours | Weight: 24.6oz/0.7kg | Smart connectivity: No
Astonishing output for the size
20 hour battery life
The Emberton is the Sham 69 of portable speakers. It’s where Bluetooth meets bootboy Oi, and we reckon it's bloody brilliant. Barely a handful at 0.7kg, it generates so much energy, you’ll be left grinning as it stomps stomps through your playlists.
It may be small, but the soundstage is impressively wide, thanks to Marshall’s True Stereophonic multi-directional signal processing, and it rocks harder than its 2x 10W amplification might suggest. Behind the grille are two 50mm full range drivers, backed up by a couple of passive radiators. At 1m it generates 87dB SPL, which is frankly ridiculous - in a good way.
Battery life is a generous 20 hours, and once depleted a fast 20 minute charge will see you good for at least five more. Bluetooth is v5.0.
The design is authentically iconic, and it’s extremely well finished (it’s a Red Dot Design winner for a reason), while an IPX7 rating means you don’t need to sweat it in a downpour.
2. Marshall Stanmore II
This brawny all-in-one Marshall hits the sweet spot when it comes to size, sound and style
Launch price: $399/£300 | Features: Bluetooth aptX | Weight: 10.25lb/4.65kg | Smart connectivity: No
Serious sonic muscle
Bluetooth v5.0 aptX
Two analogue line inputs
No smart functionality
The Stanmore II sits in the middle of Marshall’s home speaker range, and is an almost the perfect mix of attitude and power.
Physically more imposing than the Acton II, weighing in at 4.6kg, it offers up all the classic Marshall design traits like textured vinyl wrap, grille fascia and classic logo. Up top are knobs for Volume, Bass and Treble.
It’s also the first Marshall in-door to offer Bluetooth aptX for higher quality playback. There’s also analogue connectivity if you want to hardwire a player. In addition to app control, there’s Multi-Host functionality for dual Bluetooth pairing.
The larger cabinet opens the doors to a more robust performance. 50W goes straight to the woofer, with 2x15W servicing the tweeters. The result is a suitably room-filling performance.
Louder tip: If you really want to get seismic, buy two Stanmore II’s and pair them in a stereo configuration. They won’t compete with the loudest Bluetooth speakers, but they’ll have a good go.
3. Marshall Kilburn II
This beefy portable offers classic looks and plays hard
Launch price: $299/£220 | Features: Bluetooth, IPX2 rated | Battery life: 20+ hours | Weight: 5.5lb/2.5kg | Smart connectivity: No
Powerful portable performer
IPX2 water resistant
3.5mm minijack input
Nothing much at the price
The Marshall Kilburn 2 is a high powered portable designed to rock your patio BBQ. The rugged design, with flush-mounted shoulder bumpers and a carry handle fashioned after a guitar strap, inspires confidence.
There’s more than 20 hours of wireless listening to be had on a full charge, and you can get up to three hours playtime with just 20 minutes on the wall. The speaker is big enough (243 x 162 x 140 mm) to offer a decent stereo spread. Driving it along is 36W of amplification, with 20W for the woofer, and 2x8W for the tweeters.
Bluetooth is v5.0 with aptX, for the best possible wireless performance. Conveniently, if you want to hardwire a portable device, there’s a 3.5mm input too.
The Kilburn II has an IPX2 water resistant rating, so an inclement shower or two won’t phase it. It weighs a manageable 2.5kg.
4. Marshall Uxbridge Voice
Marshall packs a punch with this smarter Bluetooth belter
Launch price: $199/ £170 | Features: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Airplay 2 | Weight: 3.06lb/1.39kg | Smart connectivity: Yes, choose from Alexa or Google models
Punchy mid-range performance
Could do with a little more bass
Build quality is the lightest in the range
The Uxbridge is the definitive modern Marshall Bluetooth speaker. Available for either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, it’s compact enough for desk and den use, and offers decent smart connectivity.
The speaker employs a 30W digital amp, but the presentation is unapologetically mono. While bass is limited, the midrange is rich enough for easy listening.
Hands-on controls are up top, with individual controls for bass, treble and volume. There’s no physical input connection option, so you’ll be restricted to wireless all the way.
In addition to Bluetooth 4.2 you can stream over Wi-Fi and there’s also support for Airplay 2 and Spotify Connect.
5. Marshall Woburn II
The ultimate Marshall all-in-one speaker is not for the faint-hearted
Launch price: $499/£439 | Features: Bluetooth | Weight: 18.85lb/8.55kg | Smart connectivity: No
Best in class amplification
Bluetooth v5.0 aptX
Two analogue line inputs
It demands space...and wall reinforcement
You wanted the best, you got the best! The Woburn II is the best Marshall speaker if you’re looking for an all-in-one. It’s big and heavy (just how we like it) at 8.55kg, taking no prisoners at full volume. Inside the huge cabinet lurk a woofer and dual tweeter array, powered by 50W and 2x 15W amps respectively.
Much like the Stanmore II, there’s Bluetooth v5.0 with aptX onboard, along with two analogue line inputs. Available in black, white or brown, it brilliantly rocks the classic Marshall amp look, pulling out all the stops to offer a stereo performance with room-filling physicality!
On the downside, it’s a little too pricey for its own good (but shop around and you might find a bargain).
6. Marshall Stockwell II
This stylish portable is ideal if you want to make a splash out and about
Launch price: $199/£170 | Features: Bluetooth, IPX4 rated | Battery life: 20+ hours | Weight: 3.04lb/1.38kg | Smart connectivity: No
20 hours battery life
IPX4 water resistant
3.5mm minijack input
Doesn’t work with Marshall’s Bluetooth app
The Stockwell II is the little brother of the Kilburn II, mimicking its design but on a smaller scale (180 x 161 x 70 mm). It sports the same cool carry handle, and weighs just 1.4kg.
Build quality is excellent. The chassis has a silicone exterior with a steel metal grille, both of which contribute to its IPX4 water-resistant rating. There’s 20 hours of wireless playtime available. A 20 minute quick charge will get you 6 hours of music on the move .
Power output is rated at 20W (with 10W going to the woofer, and 2x5W aimed at the tweeters).
Bluetooth is v5.0. Multi-hosting means you can switch between two connected Bluetooth devices, which is a lot of fun if you want to get into a battle of the bands. There’s also a 3.5mm minijack to connect a local source.
7. Marshall Tufton
This top of the line Marshall portable is fiercely pricey
Launch price: $399/£350 | Features: Bluetooth, IPX2 rated | Battery life: 20+ hours | Weight: 10.8lb/4.9kg | Smart connectivity: No
Analogue line inputs
Hefty for a portable speaker
The Tufton is the headliner of Marshall’s portable line. Long and hefty at 4.9kg, with a guitar-strap carry handle, it’s not something you might easily tout about town, but with 20 hour battery life and IPX2 water resistance, it’s perfectly suited to a picnic on Hergest Ridge.
There’s some serious amplification onboard too, with 2x 15W going to a pair of full range drivers, and 10W for the tweeter. In addition to Bluetooth v5.0, there’s a 35mm line input.
Like its stablemates, the Tufton is rugged and well-built. It charges fast too. 20 minutes on the wall will give you four hours of playtime, and just 2.5 hours will fully replenish its Li-Ion battery. But the price is pretty off-putting.
8. Marshall Acton II
Entry-level home speaker offers clout for smaller rooms
Launch price: $249/£220 | Features: Bluetooth | Weight: 6.28lb/2.85kg | Smart connectivity: No
Easy to accommodate
3.5mm line input
No smart functionality
The Action II is the smallest of Marshall’s all-in-one home speakers. There’s no smart functionality, but the Marshall look is spot on, completed by a trio of knobs up top for volume, bass and treble.
Despite its compact dimensions, there are three amp modules inside, driving a pair of tweeters (2x 15W) and a modestly-sized woofer (30W). It certainly has the firepower to make its presence known.
Bluetooth v5.0 is standard, but there’s also a line input for any 3.5mm analogue device. It’ll also work with Marshall’s app.
Best Marshall speakers: Buying advice
How to buy the best Marshall speaker for you
If you’re buying a Marshall speaker, no matter the size, you’ll want to revel in the marque’s signature sound - that rough-edged tonality to guitars, the sense that you’re teetering on distortion when you really push the volume - and perhaps equally important, you’ll want to own that classic Marshall look.
Thankfully, you get all three, even on the smallest Marshall Bluetooth portable.
As ever, when buying a portable wireless speaker you should consider battery life. Longer playtime is better, but also consider how fast it charges - you don’t want to be waiting around forever to start cranking the tunes. Many modern speakers offer fast charging, whereby you can tease a good few hours out of your speaker with just 20 minutes plugged into the wall.
Build quality is key too. You’ll not want to fret it’ll fail over a mud-spattered festival weekend, so look out for the dust and water-proof rating to ensure it’s up to the job for you.
In addition to basic wireless connectivity, consider what physical inputs are on offer, so that you can hook up a physical source like one of the best phones for music.
Finally, when buying a Bluetooth all-in-one speaker as your main music system, our simple advice is to go large and heavy. Having the ability to move air in a meaningful way is always important.
Do you need a smart Marshall speaker?
If smart functionality appeals, opt for a Marshall with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant built in (admittedly the choice is currently quite limited) enabling you to control your music using your voice, as well as ask your speaker for things like news headlines, the weather and upcoming appointments.
Steve is a home entertainment technology specialist who contributes to a variety of UK websites and mags, including Louder Sound, Yahoo UK, Trusted Reviews, T3, The Luxe Review and Home Cinema Choice. Steve began his career as a music journo, writing for legendary rock weekly Sounds, under the nom de plume Steve Keaton. His coverage of post punk music was cited in the 2015 British Library exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination, as a seminal influence on the Goth music scene.
How to choose your perfect Marshall Bluetooth speaker
Since gaining the opportunity to stock wireless speakers from the legendary and iconic brandMarshallon our website, we wanted to educate our customers about which Marshall Bluetooth speaker might be the right fit for them.
For those not aware of Marshall, they are an English company with over 50 years of design and expertise in their field.
They specialise in engineering guitar amplifiers and loudspeaker cabinets and have been celebrated by some of the world’s most renowned musicians such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Muse and Gorillaz to name a few.
Find out more about the journey of Marshall >>
The chances are you will have seen Marshall equipment featuring in live band sets as they are some of the best and most highly respected amplifiers in the market. In our experience, you’ll find very few brands that have this level of heritage and respect within their industry.
In 2018, they bravely moved into the wireless speaker market to give listeners the opportunity to stream music wirelessly using Bluetooth instead of via cables.
Their lineup comprises of 3 Bluetooth Home speaker options, 4 portable speaker options (1 new for 2020) and 3 voice-activated speakers (with versions consisting of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant).
What we love most about Marshall speakers here at Smart Home Sounds is their distinguishable appearance, characterised by a retro and vintage style. These speakers are a real statement and will actually add to the aesthetics of your room, instead of taking it away, which a lot of other speakers struggle to do.
Little touches such as the guitar-strap inspired carry handles on the portable speakers and the analogue controls to change EQ settings and volume makes the whole Marshall experience authentic and unique.
Let’s briefly cover the basic detail of each speaker and we’ll tell you what’s good and bad about the speaker to help you towards a more informed purchase decision.
marshall Portable Bluetooth speakers
The four Marshall portable, Bluetooth speakers have been designed with a primary focus on sound quality and appearance in mind. They are purely a "listen and enjoy" speaker wherever you are, utilising simple Bluetooth technology.
Most of the Marshall portable speakers have the following advantages:
✓ Longest battery life in portable speaker market at 20 hours + battery life LED indicator
✓ Bass, treble and volume analogue knobs (except for the Emberton)
✓ Quick charge (20 minutes charge boost speaker by a number of hours)
✓ Aux-in (3.5mm jack) for connecting any device (except for the Emberton)
✓ Bluetooth 5.0 technology (the latest and greatest standard of Bluetooth) with 30-foot range
✓ Multi-directional sound (bass driver on the rear for sound that can be enjoyed at all angles)
✓ Multi-user control up to 2 devices so you and a friend can share the control of music at any one time
✓ Weather resistance (starting from IPX2)
✓ Guitar-inspired carry handle for easy transportation
While we love these benefits, here's a couple of things that we found that could be improved.
✖ There is no play/pause button on any of these portable speakers, meaning you must be near to your Bluetooth device to control the speaker.
✖ When volume is changed using the analogue knob, this is not reflected in the Bluetooth device.
✖ As it is Bluetooth only, any calls, notifications or any other audio that plays through the device will output via the Marshall speaker. We would have loved to see something like AirPlay 2 as an alternative.
Let's take a quick look at each of the portable speakers in turn and see what the differences are between them.
Marshall Emberton - Ultra-compact, Bluetooth, portable speaker (£129)
New for 2020, Emberton is Marshall’s most portable Bluetooth speaker to date.
Measuring in at only 68mm tall and 76mm wide, this ultra-compact speaker is also the smallest speaker in Marshall’s lineup. However, don’t let its size fool you! Like all Marshall speakers, Emberton rocks a truly powerful soundstage which belies those deceptively compact dimensions.
Delivering Marshall’s ‘True Stereophonic’ sound, you’ll always be sure to hear every last note - no matter where you are in relation to the speaker - thanks to Emberton’s 360° multi-directional output. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, which offers improved reliability and a greater range of up to 10 metres (30ft), as well as a 20-hour + battery life between charges, your music will always remain free from interruptions.
And true to Marshall’s rock heritage, Emberton’s metal grilles and silicone casing make for a rugged speaker which easily withstands the rough and tumble of life on tour. Coupled with an IPX7 waterproof rating, Marshall Emberton is the ideal choice when it comes to playing the soundtrack of your next adventures, no matter where life takes you.
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Marshall Stockwell II- Compact, Bluetooth, portable speaker (£219)
Starting off with the baby speaker of the Marshall portable range, this is an ideal travel speaker for using both at home or taking on holiday, due to its compact size and lightweight design.
The Marshall Stockwell II comes with a durable metal grill and silicone wraparound so it’s fit for taking with you on the road. Even the odd water spillage or rain shower, the Stockwell II can continue playing the music.
While its recharge time is less than average at 5 hours to full charge, it features the longest battery life we have seen in a portable speaker at a massive 20 hours and a quick 20 minute burst gives 6 hours of music which is very impressive.
The Stockwell II goes very loud past 80% but once you reach this volume level, the instrument separation starts to struggle, but can be forgiven from a speaker of this size. This speaker is ideal for smaller spaces with a few people, where there is less background noise to contend with.
At £219, this is our pick of the range for anyone looking to gift someone with the joy of music on the go. It’s charming design and portability combined with its market-leading battery life makes this hard to beat in the portable speaker category.
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If you’re looking to throw parties with floor-filling sound when you’re on the go however, you’re going to want to consider upgrading to the Kilburn or Tufton outlined below.
Marshall Kilburn II - Mid-weight Bluetooth, portable speaker (£269)
The Kilburn II is Marshall’s upgrade to the Stockwell II giving a wider and more powerful soundstage at the cost of an added weight and size so it's not quite as portable. It was much punchier and bassier though than the Stockwell II and could fill larger spaces more easily, perfect for the open outdoors.
The Kilburn II benefits from many of the same features as the Stockwell II but the added power means you can listen louder with no struggles.
We didn't feel that anyone would find a better-sounding portable speaker for £269.
However, it's not quite as weather-resistant as the Stockwell II at IPX2 which means it can withstand drips at a maximum of 15 degree angle on the speaker.
A 20 minute battery charge provides only an extra 3 hours of extra listening, compared to 6 hours in the Stockwell II, but the Kilburn has half the recharge time to full battery at 2.5 hours.
If you're the sort of person who prioritises sound over portability, the Kilburn II could be perfect for you at only a £50 greater investment than the Stockwell II.
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If you’d like to go one step further, then check out the Tufton below.
Marshall Tufton - Heavy-duty portable speaker with Bluetooth (£349)
Aptly named “The King of the Road”, the Tufton is a formidable portable speaker for music-lovers who listen loud and accept no compromises on sound quality, thanks to its 3-way driver system.
We didn’t need to take it past the 80% volume mark and if you like to throw a lot of parties, this guy is all you need.
This level of sound is normally found in large home audio speakers, so the added portability is a great touch.
It's quite heavy at 5kg so you wouldn't want to be carrying this around for too long, but once you've got it positioned where you want, it rewards you with massive sound.
The Tufton also has the same weather rating as the Kilburn II, IPX2 meaning it's good for very light rain only.
In terms of battery life, it lasts 20 hours from full charge, takes 2.5 hours to charge from flat and 20 minutes gives a 4 hour boost, which are commendable stats for a speaker of this size.
Tufton is built for the true music-lovers and music-players out there who want the ability to listen anywhere.
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marshall Bluetooth home speakers
So moving on from portable options, the next options are standard Bluetooth speakers that can be used anywhere indoors, perfect for at home or taking to other indoor places. They require mains power at all times as they do not contain a rechargeable battery.
As they do not have any portability, they are built to be a little larger and as such, result in more premium sound quality.
Aesthetically, they look slightly different with a gold strip that runs along the bottom of the speaker, a gold logo and textured vinyl grill instead of metal, giving a more classic look than the other speakers in the range.
Here's some of the common benefits in each of the Bluetooth Home speakers
✓ 3 colour options to suit your preference (black, brown & white)
✓ The highest standard of Bluetooth on the market (Bluetooth 5.0)
✓ Marshall Bluetooth app as an additional way of controlling the speakers for EQ or switching between ambient and stereo mode
✓ Play / pause buttons + volume, bass and treble knobs
✓ 3.5mm jack for connecting other devices e.g. turntable
Let’s see how the Bluetooth home speakers differ.
Marshall Acton II Bluetooth - Mid-size Bluetooth speaker (£219)
The Acton II combines a classic look with modern technology and a sound that goes well beyond its physical form.
It is relatively compact so can fit in many tight spaces and in our opinion, the perfect size speaker for a bookshelf, kitchen counter or even bed-side table.
This is our pick of the home Bluetooth range if you want pure value for money. The sound produced goes far beyond the price paid, compared to its competitors.
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Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth - Versatile but powerful (£299)
The Stanmore II is one of Marshall's most popular speakers as it sits comfortably in between the Acton and Woburn models.
Its versatile size makes it perfect for any space, large or small.
The Stanmore II also adds an RCA input in addition to a 3.5mm jack from the Acton giving more wired options.
Simply cycle through Bluetooth, Aux and RCA using the handy switch button on the top of the speaker.
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Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth - The powerhouse (£429)
The Woburn II is simply legendary. This is the speaker for large parties and a blow-the-roof-off sound. Its presence feels like the musicians are performing live with you in the room.
We simply haven’t heard a speaker with bigger bass at this price point. Or if you do, let us know!
We love the Woburn II alongside a turntable for providing analogue design as well as function!
Check out our range of turntables >>
The only downside to this speaker is that it does take up space that you need to plan for. At 40cm high, 31cm wide and 20cm deep, it's designed really to sit in the same place at home.
To get the most out of this speaker, you need to be the sort of person that blasts music out and makes no apologies in doing so.
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Marshall speakers with Voice control
All of the speakers mentioned up until now, use Bluetooth as the sole method of control. While this is the simplest and most familiar method, it's not taking advantage of today's improvements made in control.
However, Marshall have given us one final option and those are the speakers with voice assistants built in.
As we know, voice assistants let you speak to your speaker and ask it to perform tasks such as play your favourite music from your streaming service, tell the news, stories, fun facts or even integrate with your smart home devices.
Voice control is a great way of controlling the speaker when you're not close to your Bluetooth device.
Marshall Uxbridge - New for 2020: the compact voice-enabled speaker (£169)
This little powerhouse is the smallest of the voice-enabled range but has been designed to compete with the likes of the Amazon Echo and Sonos One. Offering stylish aesthetics, powerful stereo sound and Alexa voice control in one package for £169, this should definitely be on your shortlist. Marshall has also recently updated the Uxbridge to offer the Marshall Uxbridge Google Assistant-enabled version, compatible with the Google Home family of products.
New for 2020, it also adds AirPlay 2 which might be the differentiator for any avid Apple users.
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There are 2 other voice-controlled options. Based on the Acton II and Stanmore II Bluetooth models, there are different versions for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, so you will need to make a decision about which one you’re friends with most.
Whenever the wake word "Alexa" or "Hey Google" are said, the twin-microphone array is listening to your command, highlighted by the 5 led lights running along the bottom.
The voice assistants were very quick to respond and execute the task, albeit you did have to shout if music was playing loud.
Currently, only Spotify is supported by the voice assistants on Marshall speakers so we would love to see Marshall add more supported streaming services with the voice assistants. However, all voice enabled Marshall speakers benefit from Spotify Connect, which is an excellent alternative to Bluetooth as this means other audio that you might be listening to from your device won't play through the speaker.
If you would like to know more about the Acton II or Stanmore II models with voice control, please check the links below.
View Acton II with Amazon Alexa (£269)
View Acton II with Google Assistant (£269)
View Stanmore II with Amazon Alexa (£349)
View Stanmore II with Google Assistant (£349)
Are Marshall speakers worth it?
There are two things we love most about Marshall speakers: the appearance and the sound.
Every Marshall speaker we tested sounded impressively warm and is a different style of listening to more modern speakers. They genuinely have a sound similar to a PA and mimics more of a concert-style sound with pumping bass.
Combine this with the stunning retro appearance, this is one of the most charming and interesting audio brands we have come across.
If you are looking for a single speaker, the Marshall range provides exceptional value in every single product.
If we had one improvement for Marshall speakers, that would be the way they are controlled. Although Bluetooth is the most popular and simplest method of playing music, we'd love a WiFi multi-room alternative, maybe in the form of an app, which is as good as the one offered with Sonos Speakers.
We can forgive Marshall for this though as the legend of the brand and the sound quality of the products make up for this, and is why Marshall get a massive recommendation from Smart Home Sounds.
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A Brief History of Marshall speakers (and why we HAD to add them) >>
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Marshall Speakers:For the Vintage Looking Collector in You
Marshall Amplifications is an English company that designs and manufactures audio instruments such as amplifiers, speakers, headphones, etc. It was started by Jim Marshall, a drummer and teacher of drum techniques, in London during the year 1962. Marshall’s speakers have been a pioneer in the speaker segment for decades now.
Marshall also has a range of Bluetooth speakers that have a vintage look and feel. They are also easy to carry around and are designed with a modern touch while adhering to its design legacy. Though these Marshall Bluetooth speakers may be compact in size, do not be fooled by it as they exude magnanimous sound quality. These Marshall portable speakers or Marshall wireless speakers give you an immersive sound experience that transports you. You can now buy these speakers online from popular shopping websites. This gives you access to a wide range of products that are available online and you can compare their prices too!
Marshall Stanmore Wired Home Audio Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Vintage in looks, compact in size and powerful in sound, this Marshall Stanmore Bluetooth Portable and Wired Home Audio Speaker provides accurate response and a good frequency range. It also provides rich sound and deep bass, thanks to its class D amplifier. This speaker also allows you to customise the audio settings with its analog interaction knobs that sit on top of the speaker. Featuring Bluetooth connectivity, you can listen to songs from your smartphone, tablet or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. Another added feature is that it also comes with an RCA input that lets you connect it to your CD player (if you have one).
Marshall Acton Single Unit Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Add to your room’s decor with this vintage Marshall Acton Single Unit Portable Bluetooth Speaker. Thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity, you can stream music directly from your smartphone or tablet without the hassle of wires. Its compact design features the classic gold-colored metal detailing with the brand’s logo embossed in its iconic script. This speaker has a coiled double-ended stereo cable so that you won’t have to deal with the hassle of tangles. With extended highs, a clear midrange along with a powerful and deep bass, this Marshall Acton speaker lets you enjoy all your favourite tracks with great sound quality.
Marshall Stanmore Bluetooth Home Audio Speaker
Give your home some antique feels with this Marshall Stanmore Bluetooth Home Audio Speaker. Compact in design featuring gold-colored detailing along with the iconic Marshall logo, its overall appeal has adhered to the brand’s identity through and through. This speaker also features active stereos that produce a powerful and precise high-level sound, a double-ended cable that is knot-free and extendable, Bluetooth connectivity to stream music directly from your smartphone, tablet or any other Bluetooth-enabled device and an RCA input that allows you to play music from a CD player. It also has two standby modes and a power saver mode as well.
Marshall Killburn Bluetooth Home Audio Speaker
Marshall’s Killburn Bluetooth Home Audio Speaker boasts a clear midrange and extended highs to produce a sound that is both articulate and pronounced. It also facilitates versatile connectivity via Bluetooth and a 3.5mm jack input that allows you to connect to different devices. The design features a classic Marshall look with the logo embossed in its iconic script. The design also features analogue knobs that allow you to fine-tune the controls to your personal preferences and a leather strap that facilitates easy portability. This portable audio speaker also features a built-in battery life of up to 18 hours.
Marshall Woburn Bluetooth Home Audio Speaker
Marshall’s Woburn Bluetooth Home Audio Speaker features the classic Marshall design with its gold script logo. It also features a brass plate on top of the speaker which has an analogue knob that allows you to control the bass, treble and volume, so that you can listen to your music the way you like it. It is built to hit high trebles cleanly and the bass with ease, along with a lifelike midrange. One of the features that make it very easy to use is its Bluetooth connectivity along with a 3.5mm double-ended jack cable that is kink-free and extendable.
Also Check: Marshall Kilburn
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Marshall Amplification is a British company that designs and manufactures music amplifiers, speaker cabinets, brands personal headphones and earphones, a record label and, having acquired Natal Drums, drums and bongos. It was founded by drum shop owner and drummer Jim Marshall, and is now based in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
Marshall's guitar amplifiers are among the most recognised in the world. Their signature sound, characterized by sizzling distortion and "crunch," was conceived by Marshall after guitarists, such as Pete Townshend, visited Marshall's drum shop complaining that the guitar amplifiers then on the market didn't have the right sound or enough volume. After gaining a lot of publicity, Marshall guitar amplifiers and loudspeaker cabinets were sought by guitarists for this new sound and increased volume. Many of the current and reissue Marshall guitar amplifiers continue to use valves, as is common in this market sector. Marshall also manufactures less expensive solid-state, hybrid (vacuum tube and solid state) and modelling amplifiers.
After a successful career as a drummer and teacher of drum technique, Jim Marshall first went into business in 1962 with a small shop in Hanwell, London, selling drums, cymbals and drum-related accessories; Marshall himself also gave drum lessons. According to Jim, Ritchie Blackmore, Big Jim Sullivan and Pete Townshend were the three main guitarists who often came into the shop and pushed Marshall to make guitar amplifiers and told him the sound and design they wanted. Marshall Ltd. then expanded, hired designers and started making guitar amplifiers to compete with existing amplifiers, the most notable of which at the time were the Fender amplifiers imported from the United States. These were very popular with guitarists and bass players, but were very expensive. The three guitarists were among the first customers of the first 23 Marshall amplifiers made.
First amplifiers: birth of the JTM45
Main article: Marshall JTM45
Jim Marshall wanted someone to produce a cheaper alternative to American-made guitar amplifiers, but as he had limited electrical-engineering experience he enlisted the help of his shop repairman, Ken Bran, a Pan American Airways technician, Dudley Craven, an EMI apprentice They most liked the sound of the 4×10-inch Fender Bassman and made several prototypes using the Fender Bassman amplifier as a model. The sixth prototype produced, in Marshall's words, the "Marshall Sound", although at this time the only involvement Marshall had was to sell the amplifiers on a commission basis in his shop. As business increased, Marshall asked the three to work for him in his shop, as he had more space and capital to expand.
The original idea was talked about late one Friday night in early 1963 in a Wimpy bar in Ealing in West London by three amateur radio enthusiasts after they had been to their weekly Greenford radio club meeting, Dudley's call sign was G3PUN, Bran's was G3UDC, and Underwood's was G3SDW. As of Dudley's death in 1998 and Bran's death in 2018, the only original individual is Ken Underwood. The first six production units were assembled in the garden sheds of Bran, Craven, and Underwood in the same year, in Heston, Hanwell and Hayes, all in West London. They were almost copies of the Bassman circuit, with American military-surplus 5881 power valves, a relative of the 6L6. Few speakers then were able to handle more than 15 watts, which meant that an amplifier approaching 50 watts had to use four speakers. For their Bassman, Fender used four Jensen speakers in the same cabinet as the amplifier, but Marshall chose to separate the amplifier from the speakers, and placed four 12-inch Celestion speakers in a separate closed-back cabinet instead of the four 10-inch Jensens in an open-back combo. Other crucial differences included the use of higher-gain ECC83 valves throughout the preamplifier, and the introduction of a capacitor/resistor filter after the volume control. These circuit changes gave the amp more gain so that it broke into overdrive sooner on the volume control than the Bassman, and boosted the treble frequencies. This new amplifier, tentatively called the "Mark II", was eventually named the "JTM 45", after Jim and his son Terry Marshall and the maximum wattage of the amplifier. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and other blues rock-based bands from the late 1960s such as Free used Marshall stacks both in the studio and live on stage making them among the most sought after and most popular amplifiers in the industry.
Marshall entered into a 15-year distribution deal with British company Rose-Morris during 1965, which gave him the capital to expand his manufacturing operations, though it would prove to be costly. In retrospect, Marshall admitted the Rose-Morris deal was "the biggest mistake I ever made. Rose-Morris hadn't a clue, really. For export, they added 55% onto my price, which pretty much priced us out of the world market for a long time."
The new contract had disenfranchised several of Marshall's former distributors, among them his old friend Johnny Jones. Marshall's contract did not prevent him from building amplifiers outside the company, and so Marshall launched the Park brand name, inspired by the maiden name of Jones's wife. To comply with his contract stipulations, these amplifiers had minor circuit changes compared to the regular Marshalls, and minor changes to the appearance. For instance, often the Parks had silver or black front panels instead of the Marshall's gold ones, some of the enclosures were taller or shaped differently, and controls were laid out and labelled differently.
Starting in early 1965, Park produced a number of amplifiers including a 45-watt head. Most of these had Marshall layout and components, though some unusual amplifiers were made, such as a 75 watt keyboard amplifier with KT88 tubes. A 2×12-inch combo had the option of sending the first channel into the second, probably inspired by Marshall users doing the same trick with a jumper cable. The 1972 Park 75 put out about 100 watts by way of two KT88s, whereas the comparable 50-watt Model 1987 of that time used 2 EL34 tubes.
In 1982, Park came to an end, though Marshall later revived the brand for some transistor amplifiers made in Asia. The Parks made from the mid-1960s to around 1974 (the "golden years"), with point-to-point wiring – rumoured to be "a little hotter" than regular Marshalls – fetch higher prices than comparable "real" Marshalls from the same period.
Other Marshall brand names
Other brand names Marshall Amplification had used for various business reasons included Big M (for the then-West German market), Kitchen/Marshall (for the Kitchen Music retail chain in North London), Narb (Ken Bran's surname spelled backwards) and CMI (Cleartone Musical Instruments). Amplifiers sold under these brand names are quite rare, and sell to collectors at high prices.
Early amplifier models
Main article: Marshall Bluesbreaker
To reduce costs Marshall started sourcing parts from the UK. This led to the use of Dagnall and Drake-made transformers, and a switch to the KT66 valve instead of the 6L6 tube commonly used in the United States. The changes gave Marshall amplifiers a more aggressive voice, which quickly found favour with players such as Eric Clapton, who would sit in Jim's shop practising. Clapton asked Jim Marshall to produce a combo amplifier with tremolo, which would fit in the boot of his car, and one of the most famous Marshall amps was born, the "Bluesbreaker" amp. This is the amplifier, in tandem with his 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard (the "Beano"), that gave Clapton that famous tone on the John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers' 1966 album, Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton.
The Plexi and the Marshall stack
Main article: Marshall 1959
The amplifiers from this era are easily identifiable by their acrylic glass (a.k.a. Plexiglas) front panel, which earned them the nickname "Plexi". In 1967, Marshall released a 50-watt version of the 100-watt Superlead known as the 1987 Model. In 1969, the plexiglass panel was replaced by a brushed metal front panel.
Other early customers included Pete Townshend and John Entwistle of The Who, whose search for extra volume led Marshall to design the classic 100-watt valve amplifier. Ken Bran and Dudley Craven, Marshall's developers, doubled the number of output valves, added a larger power transformer and an extra output transformer. Four of these amplifiers were built and delivered to Townshend, and the Marshall Super Lead Model 1959, the original Plexi, was born in 1965. At the request of Townshend, Marshall produced an 8×12-inch cabinet (soon replaced by a pair of 4×12-inch cabinets) on top of which the 1959 amplifier head was placed, giving rise to the Marshall stack, an iconic image for rock and roll. The size of the wall of Marshall stacks "soon became an indicator of the band's status", even when rendered obsolete by improved PA systems; indeed, many of the "ridiculously huge arrays of heads and cabs" included dummies. Still, most modern 100-watt heads have roots in Marshall's design, even though they often contain many more features (or different valves, such as the more American-sounding 6L6 valves).
Another valve change
At this time, the KT66 valve was becoming more expensive, as the M-OV Company faced greater competition from Mullard. Hence, another valve change was made, with Marshall starting to use European-made Mullard EL34 power stage valves. These have a different overdrive character than the KT66s, which gave Marshalls a more aggressive voice still. In 1966 Jimi Hendrix was in Jim's shop, trying the amplifiers and guitars. Jim Marshall expected Hendrix to be "another American wanting something for nothing" but to his surprise, Hendrix offered to buy the amplifiers at retail price if Jim would provide him with support for them around the world. Jim Marshall agreed, and several of Hendrix's road crew were trained in the repair and maintenance of the Marshall amplifiers through the years.
Mid-1970s and 1980s models
After 1973, to streamline production, labour-intensive handwiring was discontinued and Marshall valve amplifiers were switched to printed-circuit-board (PCBs). Much of the debate about the difference in tone between the plexi- and aluminium-panel Marshall amplifiers originates from 1974 when a number of circuit changes were made to the 1959 and 1987 amplifiers; with the addition of 'mkII' added to the 'Super Lead' name on the back panel and 'JMP' ("Jim Marshall Products") added to the left of the power switch on the front panel. Marshall's US distributor Unicord also had them change all the amplifiers sold in the US and Japan to the much more rugged General Electric6550 instead of the EL34 output tube. The combined effect of different valves and a modified circuit gave these mid-1970s Marshalls a very bright and aggressive sound that was punchier than the EL34 sound, but not as rich, compressed, and had less poweramp distortion.
In late 1975, Marshall introduced the "Master Volume" ("MV") series with the 100W 2203, followed in 1976 by the 50W 2204. This was an attempt to control the volume level of the amplifiers whilst maintaining the overdriven distortion tones that had become synonymous with the Marshall brand. To do this, Marshall designers connected the two input stages in series rather than parallel on the 2203, but not initially on the 2204, and modified the gain stage circuitry to preserve the tonal characteristics of the 'cranked Plexi' sound and converted the now obsolete second channel volume control to a Master Volume by wiring it between the preamplifier and EQ circuit. The 2204 followed suit in early 1977 and changed its preamplifier circuit to match the (then) more popular 2203.
Per Rick Reinckens, who was a short-term Unicord employee electronic technician who tested the first units when they arrived from England, Tony Frank, Unicord's chief design engineer, came up with this idea for a dual-volume-control (a preamplifier gain and a master volume). The circuitry modifications were optimised to replicate the sound of the earlier non-MV Marshall's with the Master Volume control set 'low', however players quickly realised that 'cranking' the MV of these new Marshall amplifiers would yield even more overdrive distortion, the tone of which was more cutting and edgy, and later found favour with players such as Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde and Slash. The 1959 and 1987 non-master volume models also continued under the JMP line until 1982.
Main article: Marshall JCM800
Soon after the Rose-Morris deal had ended in late 1980, Marshall repackaged two MV models, the 2203 and the 2204 (at 100 and 50 watts, respectively), along with the 1959 and 1987 non-master volume Super Lead in a new box with a new panel, and called it the "JCM800" series (named after his initials and the registration plate of his car). Marshall made several amplifiers under the JCM800 name.
A landmark year for Jim Marshall was 1987. It marked 25 years in the amplifier business and 50 years in music. This was celebrated with the release of the Silver Jubilee series of amplifiers. The Silver Jubilee series consisted of the 2555 (100 watt head), 2550 (50 watt head) along with other 255x model numbers denominating various combos and even a "short head". The Jubilee amplifiers were heavily based on the JCM800s of the time, featuring a very similar output section along with a new preamplifier. Their most publicised feature was the half-power switching, which is activated by a third rocker switch next to the standard "power" and "standby" switches. On the 50-watt model this was reflected in the numbering – 2550 is switchable from 25 to 50 watts – and also reflected Marshall amplifiers' 25th anniversary and Jim Marshall's 50 years in music. The amplifiers were trimmed in silver covering, and had a bright silver-coloured faceplate, along with a commemorative plaque.
The Jubilee also featured a "semi-split channel" design, in which two different input gain levels could be set, running through the same tone stack and master volume control. This allowed for a "classic Marshall" level of gain to be footswitched up to a modern, medium to high gain sound, slightly darker and higher in gain than the brasher JCM800 sound that typified 1980s rock music. "The sound of these amps is particularly thick and dark, even on the Marshall scale of things. The gain by today's standards is medium." The distortion sound of the Jubilee range is typified by Slash's live work with Guns N' Roses. He rarely used anything else live, but oddly the Jubilee did not appear on any Guns N' Roses studio albums – instead these feature a modified 1977 JMP mkII (non-MV) on Appetite for Destruction (1987) and a modded JCM800 on the subsequent albums. It can be heard on some of the Velvet Revolver material though. The Jubilee amplifiers also featured a "pull out" knob that activated a diode clipping circuit (similar to boosting the amp's input with an overdrive pedal). Other notable Jubilee users include the Black Crowes, John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Alex Lifeson (Rush), who used it extensively in the recording of Rush's Clockwork Angels (2012) album.
After the Jubilee year, production of the 25xx series amplifiers continued for one more year (with no internal changes), but reverted to a standard Marshall livery of black and gold. These are sometimes referred to as the JCM800 Custom amplifiers.
Mid-1980s and 1990s models
Competition from American amplifier companies
Marshall began to see more competition from American amplifier companies such as Mesa Boogie and Soldano. Marshall then updated the JCM800 range with additional models and new features such as "channel switching", which meant that players could switch between clean and distorted tones with the push of a foot-operated switch. This feature debuted in the 2205 (50 watt) and 2210 (100 watt) series and these amplifiers contained more preamplifier gain than ever thanks to a new innovation; diode clipping. This meant a solid-state diode added additional distortion to the signal path, akin to adding a distortion pedal. As such the split channel JCM800s were the highest gain Marshalls yet built – "When they were first released, many players were shocked (some were even put off) by its bright, intense distortion – far more than any other amp of the day." While hotly criticised today among valve purists, these amps were more popular than ever, finding mass acceptance within the hard rock community and still in use today by many. The split-channel JCM800s are still used by Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave) and were played exclusively by Michael Schenker (UFO) for many years.
Marshall around this time began further experiments with solid-state amplifiers, which were increasingly improving in quality due to technological innovations but were still considered beginner level equipment. Regardless, solid-state product lines with the Marshall name on them were and still are a wild (if critically discounted) success for the company, allowing entry level guitarists to play the same brand of amplifier as their heroes. One particularly successful entry-level solid-state Marshall was the Lead 12/Reverb 12 combo series, which featured a preamplifier section very similar to a JCM800, and a particularly sweet-sounding output section. These amps were actually used on record by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and are now in some demand.
In the 1990s, Marshall updated its product line again with the JCM900 series. Reviewed by Guitarist magazine in the UK and given the line, "Shredders, here is an amp you won't need to have modified", this move by Marshall was again an outgrowth of musicians' desires, featuring more distortion than ever and retaining popular aspects of the late JCM800 models. However, despite such marketing claims they were not as hi-gain as advertised, and used solid-state components for much of the distortion in some models - something which many guitarists did not like. Still, if not with shredders, the JCM900 line was well received by younger players associated with pop, rock, punk and grunge which was widespread by the early 1990s.
There are three different variants of the JCM900. The most common models are the 4100 (100 watt) and 4500 (50 watt) "Dual Reverb" models, which are a descendant of the JCM800 2210/2205 design. These models feature two channels, a largely solid-state preamplifier, and diode distortion. The 2100/2500 Mark IIIs are essentially JCM800 2203/2204s with added diode clipping controllable via a knob on the front panel and an effects loop. These are fairly uncommon and were not in production for long before being replaced by the 2100/2500 SL-X, which replaced the diode clipping from the Mk III with another 12AX7/ECC83 preamplifier valve. These are easily the highest distortion of the three variants. A number of these were shipped with Sovtek 5881 valves, a ruggedized variant of the 6L6 family of output valves, due to a lack of suitable quality EL34s. Most of the JCM900s and 6100s built between 1994–1998 left the factory with the 5881s.
Around this time, Marshall released a few "special edition" amplifiers in this range, including a "Slash Signature" model, a first for the company. This was actually a re-release of the earlier Silver Jubilee 2555 amplifier, with identical internals, a standard Marshall look, and a Slash logo. This amplifier retained EL34s and 3,000 units were produced from 1996 to 1997.
30th Anniversary 6100 series
1993 marked 30 years in the amplifier business. To commemorate this milestone, Marshall released the 30th Anniversary series of amplifiers, the EL34 powered 6100LE with commemorative blue covering and gold faceplate, which was followed by the 6100 (in blue tolex and still EL34 powered) and then in 1994 the 6100LM (in standard Marshall livery but now 5881 powered like the JCM900s of the time). All versions of the 6100 had three channels; clean, crunch and lead. The clean channel featured a mid shift, which gave the option of a more "Fender-like" voicing, and the crunch channel featured three modes recreating all the classic Marshall crunch tones of the past three decades. The lead channel featured a switchable gain boost and a mid-range contour switch, which gave it the tone and gain levels, which Marshall's engineers hoped would keep it competitive in the high-gain world in the early to mid-1990s. In fact some players felt the lead channel was perhaps the weaker link in the amplifier's arsenal, and it came in for revisions in the third year of production (the LM standing for "Lead Mod"). This revision featured even higher gain.
The Anniversary series found prominence with Joe Satriani in particular, who favoured the early EL34 powered versions and used only the clean channel live along with his signature Vox Satchurator distortion pedal which is based on his old modded Boss DS-1. Satriani used these older Boss pedals almost exclusively for live work and on a number of studio albums including The Extremist (1992) until the early 2000s. The Anniversary models were probably the most complicated Marshall ever (other than perhaps the later JVM), with MIDI channel selection, half power switching, pentode/triode switching, adjustable speaker excursion, and a low volume compensation switch. Despite all this complication the amps had a pure signal path that did not share preamplifier valves between channels (unlike later Marshall designs like the TSL and JVM). Other famous 6100 users included Alex Lifeson on Rush's album Test for Echo (1996) and Ocean Colour Scene (OCS) guitarist Steve Cradock.
Marshall currently produces a number of amplifiers, which are a mix of modern designs and vintage reissues. Most models attempt to include the "classic" Marshall "roar".
As of 2012[update], Marshall produced a wide range of amps with the look and sound of the Marshall valve amplifier. The longest running of such models is the JCM2000 range, which is split into the two- and three-channel series, known as the Dual and Triple Super Leads. These amplifiers are a continuation of the JCM800 and 900 series, although the controversial diode clipping circuit used in the later 800 and 900 amplifiers has been removed in favour of additional valve gain stages. Although lumped together as JCM2000 models the DSL and the TSL have different circuits and are more distantly related than the model range suggests. The DSL is an extension of the JCM800 series with several changes including dual reverb controls and is generally considered to be an excellent workhorse although it lacks the direct foot switching of all four possible channel options – clean/crunch/OD1 and OD2 – instead it only offers 2-channel switching and both channels share the same tone knobs.
Marshall looked towards a new flagship to nail all the compromising of the earlier models, the JVM, made in a variety of models and ranges. These amplifiers have up to four channels, each with three-foot-switchable modes, dual master volumes, reverb controls for each channel, and a foot-switchable effects loop. These features can be programmed into the standard foot-switch to be foot-switchable as "patches", so now the user can switch from, say, a clean channel with a chorus in the effects loop and reverb, to a medium-gain rhythm sound with no effects, to a high-gain lead sound with boosted output volume, with one click of the foot-switch per sound. The JVM range consists of the JVM410H, a 100-watt four-channel head. The JVM410C, a 100-watt four-channel 2x12" combo. The JVM210H and JVM210C, 100-watt two-channel head and 2x12" combo respectively and 50-watt versions of these, JVM205H (head), JVM205C (2x12" combo) and JVM215 (1x12" combo). Joe Satriani uses a signature JVM amp called the JVM410HJS which features noise gates in place of reverb on the front panel.
Around the same time as the release of the JVM, Marshall also released an amplifier called the Vintage Modern, which is designed to be much simpler, with a single channel and designed to be controlled more by the player's style and guitar than by channel switching or multiple settings, reminiscent of the vintage "Plexi" and JCM800 range, but with modern conveniences such as foot-switchable dynamic ranges (distortion levels), effects loop and reverb. The Vintage Modern series consists of the 2466 100-watt head and 2266 50-watt head with matching combos and a matching cabinet loaded with G12C 25-watt Greenbacks. The Vintage Modern is the first Marshall since the late 1960s to be powered by KT66s, a European version of the 6L6 valve.
In 2001, Marshall reissued many of its earlier amplifiers, such as the Model 1959-SLP, which is designed to be a reissue of the late-1960s era "Plexi" amplifier, but which are in reality reissues of the post-1973 Super Lead models in that they use printed circuit boards internally to reduce manufacturing cost. The original design utilised hand-wired circuits on turret boards, which is now available for a premium in the "hand-wired" series. Other reissues are similarly PCB designed, even where the originals were hand-wired, except where explicitly noted (i.e., the "hand-wired" range currently offered).
Marshall's "Valvestate" amplifiers contained a hybrid of valve and solid-state technology. Currently named the "AVT series" (although these are now out of production, being replaced with the "AVT tribute" for a short time), there are a number of different models, all of which are less expensive than their all-valve counterparts. It is Marshall's current line of "hybrid" amplifier, featuring a 12AX7 preamplifier valve employed in the preamplifier (to "warm up" the signal) as well as solid-state components, with a solid-state power amplifier. These are considered and marketed as intermediate-level equipment to bridge the gap between the higher valve range and lower range MG series.
In January 2009, Marshall released their latest variant of the MG line of practice amplifiers. Replacing the MG3 line, the MG4 has been designed to offer the guitarist a whole host of features whilst keeping the control of the amplifier simple.
Marshall currently manufactures a professional, all-valve bass rig called the VBA400. It houses eight 6550 power valves plus three ECC83 and one ECC82 preamplifier valves. The input accommodates both active and passive bass pick-ups; there is also an XLRDI output for recording complete with Earth (grounding) lift and Pre/Post EQ switches.
Recently, Marshall has honoured Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead with their first-ever signature bass amplifier head, based on his 100 watt super bass unit "Murder One".
There are also solid-state models called MB series ranging from 15 watts to 450 watts and extension cabinets.
In 2016, Marshall introduced the CODE series of modelling amplifiers, ranging from the 25-watt Code 25 (single 10-inch speaker), 50-watt (single 12-inch speaker) to the 100-watt Code 100 (available as either a 2×12-inch combo or as a head unit). Developed in conjunction with Softube, the amplifiers contain 14 MST preamps, 4 MST power amps and 8 MST speaker cabinets, along with 24 effects. The amplifiers can be controlled via Bluetooth from iOS and Android devices and can also be used to stream audio from a PC.
A series of low-wattage, all valve heads and combos assembled in Vietnam hearkening back to the "Plexi"-era of the company. The Origin series was introduced to address a demand for lower volume amplifiers that many guitarists were calling for. To address this, Marshall announced the Origin5, a 5-watt amplifier that can run on either high (5-watt) or low (0.5-watt) with the help of Marshall's Powerstem technology.
With the introduction of the Powerstem technology, the Origin amplifiers are able to provide reduced output power while retaining the same tonal characteristics of a full-powered amplifier. This is accomplished through the new attenuation system, Powerstem, by dynamically reducing the rail voltages throughout the amplifier.
The Origin line consists of the Origin5 combo (5-watt, 1 x 8" Celestion Eight-15 speaker), Origin20 combo (20-watt, 1 x 10" Celestion V Type), Origin20 head, Origin50 combo (50-watt, 1 x 12" Celestion G12N-60 Midnight 60 speaker), and Origin50 head.
Model number confusion
Occasionally confusion has arisen due to Marshall's method of naming each amplifier model, especially during its first few decades, when it was distributed under Rose-Morris. Early amplifier models were simply named after their catalogue number, so for example the 1962 Bluesbreaker was item one thousand, nine hundred and sixty-two in the Rose-Morris catalogue. Later amplifiers were given range designations as well as model numbers, which often indicated information about the amplifier itself, for example the JCM2000 range of amplifiers had models such as the TSL100 (Triple Super Lead 100 W) and combo amplifiers like the TSL122 (Triple Super Lead with 2×12-inch Celestion speakers) other product ranges use similar descriptive model numbers. Often, speaker cabinets designed to suit a particular range will give a prefix before the speaker description such as JVMC212 (JVM cabinet 2×12-inch Celestion speakers) or a suffix C to denote a combo variant of an amplifier such as the Vintage Modern 2266C (Vintage Modern 2 channel 2× KT66 valves Combo).
Headphones and bluetooth speakers
in 2010 Marshall started a partnership with Zound Industries to make headphones and bluetooth speakers, Zound Industries is most known its Urbanears headphones and have a similar partnership with Adidas to make audio products for them.
In August 2018, Marshall announced two smart speakers which run Amazon Alexa.
The Marshall Legacy
The classic Marshall Stack consists of one head containing the actual amplifier, on top of two stacked 4×12s, which are loudspeaker cabinets each containing four 12-inch loudspeakers arranged in a square layout. The top cabinet has the top two loudspeakers angled slightly upwards, giving the Marshall stack a distinctive appearance. When a single cabinet is used, the complete unit is called a half stack.
In the early-to-mid-1960s, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle of The Who were responsible for the creation and widespread use of stacked Marshall cabinets. Townshend later remarked that Entwistle started using Marshall Stacks to hear himself over Keith Moon's drums and Townshend himself also had to use them just to be heard over Entwistle. In fact, the very first 100-watt Marshall amplifiers were created specifically for Entwistle and Townshend when they were looking to replace some equipment that had been stolen from them. They approached Jim Marshall asking, if it would be possible for him to make their new rigs more powerful than those they had lost, to which they were told that the cabinets would have to double in size. They agreed and six rigs of this prototype were manufactured, of which two each were given to Townshend and Entwistle and one each to Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott of The Small Faces. These new "double" cabinets (each containing 8 speakers) proved too heavy and awkward to be transported practically, so The Who returned to Marshall asking if they could be cut in half and stacked, and although the double cabinets were left intact, the existing single cabinet models (each containing four speakers) were modified for stacking, which has become the norm for years to follow.
Entwistle and Townshend both continued expanding and experimenting with their rigs, until (at a time when most bands still used 50–100 W amplifiers with single cabinets) they were both using twin stacks, with each stack powered by new experimental prototype 200 W amplifiers, each connected to the guitar via a Y-splitter. This, in turn, also had a strong influence on the band's contemporaries at the time, with Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Led Zeppelin following suit. However, due to the cost of transport, The Who could not afford to take their full rigs with them for their earliest overseas tours, thus Cream and Hendrix were the first to be seen to use this setup on a wide scale, particularly in the United States. Ironically, although The Who pioneered and directly contributed to the development of the "classic" Marshall sound and setup with their equipment being built and tweaked to their personal specifications, they would only use Marshalls for a couple of years before moving on to using Hiwatt equipment. Cream, and particularly Hendrix, would be widely credited with the invention of Marshall Stacks.
The search for volume was taken on its next logical step with the advent of "daisy chaining" two or more amplifiers together. As most amplifier channels have two inputs, the guitar signal being present on both sockets, the cunning musician hooked the spare input of one channel to an input on another amplifier. By 1969, Hendrix was daisy-chaining four stacks, incorporating both Marshall and Sound City amplifiers, as recommended to him by Townshend.
This competition for greater volume and greater extremes was taken even further in the early 1970s by the band Blue Öyster Cult, which used an entire wall of full-stack Marshall amplifiers as their backdrop. (BÖC also referred to Marshalls in the songs "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll" and "The Marshall Plan"). Artists such as Slayer and Yngwie Malmsteen also use walls of Marshalls; both Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman of Slayer would often be seen playing in front of a total of 24 cabinets. Malmsteen toured with 30 heads and 28 cabinets, and in 2011 said he would use 60 full stacks on his next tour. Many of those cabinets used by rock bands, however, are dummies, and many artists who do not even use Marshall amplifiers have the dummy stacks on stage.
Marshall is an important sponsor of sport in the local area. Marshall were one of the earliest shirt sponsors for Milton Keynes Dons, they also sponsored Milton Keynes Athletic Club as well as Milton Keynes Lions basketball club, before the latter relocated to London.
In early 2017, Marshall Amplification announced it has started a record label. and opened up an office at Londons Tileyard Studios and signed a distribution deal with Alternative Distribution Alliance, a distribution company owned by Warner Music Group that represent independent record labels. Marshall Records signed a North and South American Distribution deal with Better Noise Music (previously known at Eleven Seven Label Group in 2018.  In 2020, Marshall Records announced a sub-publishing deal with Sentric Music. 
Artist that have had their music release by Marshall Records include: Bad Touch, D_Drive, Grand Slam, Inklings (the solo project of ex FVK member Kier Kemp), Keywest, King Creature, Press to MECO, Rews, Reigning Days, The Bottom Line, Therapy?, The Dirty Youth,Thousand Thoughts.
In September 2018, Marshall Amplification announced a naming agreement with Arena MK (at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes) to use the space for music events. The opening act is to be the Black Eyed Peas.
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