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Marshall Emberton Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 15, 2021 at 09:02 am
Marshall Emberton Picture
6.6
Music
6.2
Videos/Movies
7.8
Podcasts
3.1
Voice Assistant
7.0
Outdoors
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Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The Marshall Emberton Portable Bluetooth Speaker is a small speaker designed for listening to music. Its balanced mid and treble ranges help reproduce clear and present vocals and lead instruments, making it suitable for lots of different music genres. Like many of the small speakers we've tested, it struggles to reproduce low-bass. It doesn't offer any sound customization options, either. However, it's very portable, and it has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

Our Verdict

6.6 Music

The Marshall Emberton is fair for music. This speaker has an amazing soundstage, so you really feel immersed in your favorite songs. Its balanced mid and treble ranges help reproduce clear and present vocals and lead instruments. Unfortunately, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump in bass-heavy music. There aren't any sound customization options, and it doesn't get very loud, either.

Pros
  • Amazing soundstage.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
6.2 Videos/Movies

The Marshall Emberton is passable for videos and movies. While its balanced mid-range can reproduce clear and accurate dialogue, it lacks low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. It also doesn't get very loud, which can be disappointing. However, its latency with Android and iOS devices over a Bluetooth connection is low, so the audio you hear should sync up with the images you see.

Pros
  • Amazing soundstage.
  • Low latency.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Doesn't support Wi-Fi, Chromecast, or Apple AirPlay.
7.8 Podcasts

The Marshall Emberton is very good for podcasts. It has a balanced mid-range, so it reproduces dialogue-centric content clearly and accurately. It's easy to bring on-the-go, and it supports multi-device pairing. However, it doesn't get very loud, and there are some compression artifacts when you play it at max volume.

Pros
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
3.1 Voice Assistant

The Marshall Emberton doesn't have voice assistant support.

7.0 Outdoors

The Marshall Emberton is satisfactory for outdoor use. This portable speaker has a durable build, and since it's battery-operated, it's easy to bring outside. It even has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. With 9.3-hour continuous battery life, it should last through long days on-the-go without a recharge. However, it doesn't get very loud, and there are some compression artifacts when you play it at max volume.

Pros
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • 6.6 Music
  • 6.2 Videos/Movies
  • 7.8 Podcasts
  • 3.1 Voice Assistant
  • 7.0 Outdoors
  1. Updated Jan 15, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Jan 11, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Marshall Emberton is a small speaker with a rectangular design. It has a similar style to Marshall's guitar amplifiers, with the distinctive company logo on the front and back. There's a speaker on both the front and back sides, each covered by a plastic grille. You can get it in a 'Black' variant or a 'Black and Brass' one that has gold-colored accents.

9.3
Design
Portability
Volume
48 inยณ (794 cmยณ)
Weight
1.5 lbs (0.7 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

This speaker is incredibly portable. It's small and lightweight, so you can carry it with one hand. It's also battery-powered, so you can easily bring it outdoors.

7.1
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Marshall Emberton has decent build quality. There's a silicone cover that wraps around most of the speaker, and a plastic grille that covers the front and the rear. It also has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. However, the USB-C charging cable can easily disconnect from the speaker if you aren't careful.

7.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The controls are decent. On top of the speaker, there's a multi-directional knob that lets you play/pause your music, control the volume, and turn it on/off. You can also press the left and right sides of the main knob to skip to the previous/next track, and you can hold down these sides to fast forward or rewind within a track. There's a battery life indicator on the top-right of the speaker, and a Bluetooth pairing button on the top-left.

Design
In The Box

  • Marshall Emberton speaker
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Sound
6.7
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.18
Std. Err.
2.59 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
68.3 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
13.9 kHz

The Marshall Emberton has fair frequency response accuracy. The mid and treble ranges are very neutral and balanced, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix. However, it's lacking low-bass, so you don't really feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music genres like EDM. If you're looking for a speaker with sound customization features, check out the Anker Soundcore 3.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
8.9
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
2.03 dB
Stereo
Yes

The Marshall Emberton has an amazing soundstage. It has excellent directivity, so its soundstage is perceived as wide, large, and natural-sounding.

4.6
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
84.7 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
5.98 dB

This speaker has poor dynamics. Like the Sony SRS-XB33, it doesn't get very loud. There's also a lot of compression when you play it at max volume, so it probably isn't suitable for listening to music at large, crowded parties. If you want a speaker that gets louder with less compression at max volume, check out the Kove Commuter 2.

Active Features
7.8
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
9.3 hrs
Charge Time
3.0 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C

This speaker has a very good battery performance. While the manufacturer advertises a battery life of 20 hours, we measured just over nine hours of battery life. However, battery life can vary according to usage, so your experience may differ. The speaker shuts off after about fifteen minutes without an audio file, which can help conserve battery life. Also, the manufacturer says that you can charge it for 20 minutes to get five hours of playtime, though we don't test for this. If you're looking for a Bluetooth speaker with longer-lasting playback time, consider the JBL Xtreme 3.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Siri
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone

This speaker doesn't have voice assistant support.

0
Active Features
App
App Name
No App
iOS
No
Android
No
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No

This speaker doesn't have a companion app.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

You can't use this speaker with a wired connection. It comes with a USB-C cable, but that's just for charging it.

8.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
110 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
33 ms
Bluetooth Range
188.6 ft (57.5 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Marshall Emberton has excellent Bluetooth connectivity. You can pair it with up to two devices at the same time, which makes it easy to switch between different audio sources. Also, its latency with iOS and Android devices is likely low enough to be suitable for watching videos. Some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience can vary.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

This speaker isn't Wi-Fi compatible.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Marshall Emberton comes in 'Black' or 'Black and Brass', and we expect them both to perform similarly. We tested the 'Black' variant, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Marshall Emberton is a small, portable Bluetooth speaker. It offers a balanced sound profile suitable for lots of different music genres, and its open soundstage creates an immersive listening experience. However, like many small speakers, it lacks low-bass and doesn't get very loud. It also doesn't support voice assistants, even when paired with a smartphone.

JBL Flip 5

The Marshall Emberton is a better speaker than the JBL Flip 5 overall. The Marshall has a wider-sounding soundstage, and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. It also has a better-balanced sound profile, and a longer-lasting battery life, though battery performance can depend on your usage, and your experience may vary. That said, the JBL can be paired to another compatible unit to create a stereo pair, or to multiple other units when you want your audio to fill a large space without increasing its volume.

Sonos Roam

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Marshall Emberton, or the Sonos Roam. The Marshall offers a wider-sounding soundstage, and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can vary depending on your usage. That said, the Sonos offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. Its sound is also more customizable thanks to the bass and treble sliders featured on its companion app. 

JBL Charge 5

You may prefer either the Marshall Emberton or the JBL Charge 5, depending on your preferences. The Marshall is smaller and offers a soundstage that can be perceived as open and spacious. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which sounds more immersive. That said, the JBL can get louder with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It also has a longer battery life, lasting over 14 hours from a single charge, though this can depend on your usage. Additionally, you can connect the JBL to other PartyBoost-compatible speakers to create a stereo pair or when you want your audio to fill a large room.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

The Bose SoundLink Revolve and the Marshall Emberton have similar overall performances, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Bose supports voice assistants, unlike the Marshall, and it's better-built with longer continuous battery life. However, the Marshall is a bit better for videos and movies as it has a better soundstage and lower latency with Android and iOS devices. Some apps compensate for latency, however, so your real-world experience may vary.

Bose SoundLink Micro

The Marshall Emberton is a better overall speaker than the Bose SoundLink Micro. The Marshall offers a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than that of the Bose. It can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive soundstage. It can also get louder than the Bose. That said, the Bose has less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't great.

Sony SRS-XB43

The Marshall Emberton is a slightly better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB43 overall. The Marshall offers a slightly more neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It also has excellent directivity, so its soundstage is perceived as wider and more natural-sounding than that of the Sony. That said, the Sony can get louder with fewer compression artifacts present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes. 

Anker Soundcore Motion+

The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is a slightly better speaker than the Marshall Emberton. The Anker can get louder with fewer compression artifacts present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It's also more customizable, thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured on its companion app. That said, the Marshall Emberton has better directivity, resulting in a wider and more natural-sounding soundstage. It's also a bit smaller, making it slightly more portable.

Bose SoundLink Color II

The Marshall Emberton is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Color II overall. The Marshall has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than that of the Bose. It also has better directivity, resulting in a more open and natural-sounding soundstage. That said, the Bose has less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio during louder listening sessions. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't very good.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a slightly better speaker than the Marshall Emberton. The Bose can produce a more extended low-bass than the Marshall, and can get louder with less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It also has better directivity, so its soundstage may be perceived as wider and more natural-sounding. It's also better-built with an IP55 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. That said, the Marshall can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive.

Bose SoundLink Revolve II

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a slightly better speaker than the Marshall Emberton, though they have different strengths. The Bose is better-built, with an IP55 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don’t test this. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone and does an excellent job at hearing you from far and in noisier environments. That said, the Marshall has an amazing soundstage and can support stereo content.

Sony SRS-XB23

The Marshall Emberton is better for most uses than the Sony SRS-XB23. The Marshall's default sound profile is more neutral, and it has a better soundstage. However, the Sony offers a graphic EQ for sound customization. Also, the Sony is a better choice for outdoor use as it's better-built, and it supports voice assistants, unlike the Marshall.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Marshall Emberton overall. The Ultimate Ears can get louder with less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner during louder listening sessions. You can customize its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. It's also better built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. That said, the Marshall has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, that can produce a slightly more extended low-bass.

Sony SRS-XB33

The Marshall Emberton is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB33 for music. The Marshall has a better soundstage and a more neutral default sound profile, though both lack a bit of low-bass. However, the Sony supports voice assistants, unlike the Marshall. It's also a better choice for outdoor use since it's better-built with longer battery life. Also, the Sony's app offers a graphic EQ for sound customization, which the Marshall lacks.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a better speaker than the Marshall Emberton. The Ultimate Ears is better-built, and it has a longer continuous battery life. Its soundstage is better, and it gets louder with fewer compression artifacts present at max volume. However, the Marshall has lower latency with Android and iOS devices, although some apps compensate for latency, so your real-world experience can vary.

JBL Xtreme 3

The Marshall Emberton is a better speaker for most uses than the JBL Xtreme 3. The Marshall has a better-balanced sound profile, a wider soundstage, and has lower latency on iOS and Android. However, the JBL has a better build quality, a longer continuous battery life, and it can get louder. It also has a companion app.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is a better speaker than the Marshall Emberton overall. The Bose offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It can produce a more extended low-bass than the Marshall out-of-the-box, and even comes with bass and treble adjustments to tweak its sound. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it has better directivity resulting in a wider and more natural-sounding soundstage. That said, the Marshall can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono which is more immersive. 

Bose SoundLink Flex

The Bose SoundLink Flex is a bit better than the Marshall Emberton overall. The Bose is better built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. It can get louder with less compression at max volume and has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than the Marshall. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone. However, The Marshall can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and offers better directivity resulting in a wider and more immersive-sounding soundstage. Its battery also lasts a bit longer, though this can vary depending on your usage.

Anker Soundcore 3

The Marshall Emberton is a somewhat better overall speaker than the Anker Soundcore 3. The Marshall has a slightly better-balanced sound profile and an excellent soundstage that can be perceived as wide and spacious-sounding. However, unlike the Soundcore 3, it doesn't have any audio customization features you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It also doesn't support voice assistants.

Kove Commuter 2

The Marshall Emberton is a better speaker than the Kove Commuter 2. The Marshall has a more neutral sound profile and a better soundstage performance. Also, it has lower latency with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, though some apps compensate for latency differently. However, the Kove gets louder with less compression at max volume.

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