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Marshall Emberton Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Jan 06, 2022 at 02:25 pm
Marshall Emberton Picture
6.6
Music
6.2
Videos/Movies
7.8
Podcasts
3.1
Voice Assistant
7.0
Outdoors
This speaker was replaced by the Marshall Emberton II
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, and there's a bit of extra boom and warmth in the bass range, making it suitable for lots of different audio content. That said, like many of the small speakers we've tested, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, making it less than ideal for bass-heavy music genres like hip-hop or EDM. It doesn't offer any sound customization options, either. However, it's very portable, and it has an IPX7 rating for water resistance that certifies it to be immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes.

Our Verdict

6.6 Music

The Marshall Emberton is fair for music. This stereo speaker has an amazing soundstage, so you feel immersed in your favorite songs. Its balanced mid and treble ranges help reproduce clear and present vocals and lead instruments, and there's a touch of extra boom and warmth in the bass range. Unfortunately, like most small speakers, it lacks a thumpy and rumbling low-bass. 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's a lot of compression present at max volume that can affect the quality of your audio at louder volume levels.

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, meaning it's certified to be immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. 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 a lot of compression artifacts when you play it at max volume.

Pros
  • Portable design.
  • IPX7 rating for water resistance.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • A lot of compression present at max volume.
  • 6.6 Music
  • 6.2 Videos/Movies
  • 7.8 Podcasts
  • 3.1 Voice Assistant
  • 7.0 Outdoors
  1. Updated Jan 06, 2022: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  2. Updated Jan 15, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Jan 11, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Marshall Emberton is a small rectangular speaker with a design similar to Marshall's guitar amplifiers. Plastic grilles protect its drivers on the front and back of the speaker, with Marshall's distinctive company logo on them. You can find this speaker in 'Black', 'Black and Brass', 'Cream' and 'Forest'.

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

The Marshall Emberton portable speaker is outstandingly portable. This lightweight speaker is small enough to fit in your hand. It's also battery-powered, so you can take it outdoors with you without needing to worry about wiring it to a power source. For a more portable speaker with a similar design, check out the Marshall Willen.

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 a 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's also rated IPX7 for water resistance, meaning it's certified to be immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. 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 Marshall Emberton's 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. That said, since the speaker doesn't have a microphone built-in, you can't use its controls to answer and end calls.

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 speaker has fair frequency response accuracy. The mid and treble ranges are very neutral and balanced, meaning vocals and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix. However, while there's a touch of extra boom and warmth in the bass range, it still lacks low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music genres like EDM. Unfortunately, unlike the Anker Soundcore 3, there aren't any sound customization features like a graphic EQ or presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

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 excellent soundstage performance. This stereo speaker has amazing directivity, resulting in a wide and spacious-sounding soundstage.

4.5
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
84.7 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
5.98 dB

The Marshall Emberton has a poor dynamics performance. Like the Sony SRS-XB33, it doesn't get very loud. There are also a lot of compression artifacts present at max volume, so your audio doesn't sound as clean and clear during louder listening sessions. For a speaker with better dynamics, 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. 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
0
Active Features
App
App Name
No App
iOS
No
Android
No
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No
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 Bluetooth speaker has excellent Bluetooth connectivity. You can pair it with up to two devices at once, making 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

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Marshall Emberton comes in 'Black', 'Black and Brass', 'Cream', and 'Forest'. We expect these variants 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, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Marshall Emberton is a small, portable Bluetooth speaker. It offers a balanced sound profile with a touch of extra boom and warmth in the bass range, making it suitable for lots of different audio content, and its open soundstage creates an immersive listening experience. However, like many small speakers, it lacks a thumpy low-bass and doesn't get very loud, so it isn't ideal for bass-heavy music genres like EDM or hip hop. It doesn't support voice assistants, even when paired with a smartphone. It also isn't compatible with the Marshall Bluetooth app like the next-generation Marshall Emberton II.

See also our recommendations for the best portable Bluetooth speakers, the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers, and the best golf cart speakers.

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.

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 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.

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.

JBL Flip 6

The JBL Flip 6 is s a slightly better speaker than the Marshall Emberton, though they have different strengths. The JBL is better built and can get louder with much less compression present at max volume, so audio doesn't degrade as much as you bump up the volume. You can customize its sound to your liking, thanks to the graphic EQ in its companion app. You can also use its PartyBoost button to connect it to other PartyBoost-compatible JBL speakers to create a stereo pair or when you want to amplify your audio across a larger area. That said, the Marshall can produce a slightly more extended low-bass than the JBL. It can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It also has better directivity, resulting in a more spacious-sounding soundstage.

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.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

The Bose SoundLink Revolve and the Marshall Emberton have similar overall performances, meaning 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.

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 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 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 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. 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 the Sony. That said, the Sony can get louder with fewer compression artifacts present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes.

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.

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.

Marshall Emberton II

The Marshall Emberton II is a better speaker than the Marshall Emberton overall. The Emberton II is compatible with the Marshall Bluetooth app, which lets you access EQ presets to tweak its sound to your liking. It can produce a more extended low-bass than its predecessor. It's better built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance that certifies it to be dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. Also, it gets slightly louder and has lower latency with iOS devices, though some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary.

Bose SoundLink Color II

The Marshall Emberton is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Color II. The Marshall has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than 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.

Marshall Willen

The Marshall Emberton is better than the Marshall Willen for most uses. The Emberton is a slightly bigger speaker that reproduces more bass, so you feel more rumble in genres like hip-hop and EDM. It's a stereo speaker with a better soundstage, too. However, the Willen is more suited for outdoor use, thanks to its smaller, more portable design with a built-in carrying strap. It even boasts a longer battery life and an app with more customization tools.

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. That said, the Marshall can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a better speaker than the Marshall Emberton. The Ultimate Ears is better built and 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.

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 supports voice assistants through your smartphone and does an excellent job at hearing you from far and in noisier environments. You can also pair multiple SoundLink speakers together to amplify your audio across a large space without increasing its volume. That said, the Marshall has an amazing soundstage and can support stereo content.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Marshall Emberton. 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. The Marshall has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box that can produce a slightly more extended low-bass.

Anker Soundcore 3

The Marshall Emberton is a somewhat better 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.

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. 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. The Marshall can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono which is more immersive.

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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