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Marshall Middleton Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Apr 05, 2023 at 10:21 am
Latest change: Writing modified Apr 05, 2023 at 10:21 am
Marshall Middleton Picture
7.2
Music
6.5
Videos/Movies
7.8
Podcasts
3.2
Voice Assistant
7.5
Outdoors

The Marshall Middleton is a portable Bluetooth speaker designed in the company's signature guitar-amp style. Its small and lightweight design is ideal if you want to take your favorite tunes with you on the go, and its removable carrying strap lets you carry it in one hand. It has a waterproof and dustproof design, too, with easy-to-use controls to adjust its bass and treble more to your liking. The USB-C port is meant to charge the speaker, but it also functions as an output, letting you use the speaker as a portable charging bank for your other devices.

Our Verdict

7.2 Music

The Marshall Middleton is decent for music. This portable Bluetooth speaker is a solid choice for bringing your favorite tunes with you on-the-go, with a clear reproduction of voices and other lead instruments that makes it suitable for many different genres. Bass and treble adjustments give you some control over its sound, too. However, given its small size, this speaker can't quite bring the deep rumble in the low-bass that's common with genres like EDM and hip-hop.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Loud enough for an average-sized room.
Cons
  • Lacks an extended low-bass.
  • Some compression at max volume.
6.5 Videos/Movies

The Marshall Middleton isn't designed for watching movies, but if you want to watch a video on a paired smartphone, it can get the job done. Dialogue is clearly reproduced in the mix, and the adjustable bass and treble let you control the overall sound. That said, even with the bass cranked up all the way, you still can't feel the rumble in action-packed scenes like with a home theater setup. It's loud enough for smaller rooms, but larger spaces like basements are harder to fill with sound.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Loud enough for an average-sized room.
Cons
  • Lacks an extended low-bass.
  • Some compression at max volume.
7.8 Podcasts

The Marshall Middleton is very good for podcasts. Dialogue is clear and easy-to-follow right out-of-the-box, which is great for keeping up with your favorite shows. Since it pairs with up to two devices at a time over Bluetooth, you can switch between multiple sources with ease. It's portable enough to bring to different rooms as you listen, and it's loud enough for average-sized rooms. If you're in a larger or more open space, you'll want to stay close to the speaker to hear your shows.

Pros
  • Loud enough for an average-sized room.
  • Bluetooth pairing with up to two devices at once.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
3.2 Voice Assistant

The Marshall Middleton speaker doesn't support voice assistants.

7.5 Outdoors

The Marshall Middleton is good for outdoor use. It's a portable Bluetooth speaker that's designed to bring on the go, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. While it's on the heavier side for smaller speakers, its removable carrying strap still means that you can carry it in one hand without issue. It lasts a little over seven hours off a single charge, which is great for a day outdoors. It gets loud enough for smaller gatherings. However, it can't quite fill larger, more open backyards with sound.

Pros
  • IP67 rating.
  • Removable carrying strap.
Cons
  • Not rated for impact resistance.
  • 7.2 Music
  • 6.5 Videos/Movies
  • 7.8 Podcasts
  • 3.2 Voice Assistant
  • 7.5 Outdoors
  1. Updated Apr 05, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Apr 03, 2023: Early access published.

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Black/Brass Middleton
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Marshall Middleton is available in Black/Brass, and you can see the label for the model we tested here. If you come across another version of this speaker, let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Marshall Middleton is another portable Bluetooth speaker that retains the manufacturer's signature design. It's a tad larger than the Marshall Emberton or the Marshall Emberton II, likely because of its quad-speaker setup that's advertised to include two tweeters, two woofers, and two passive radiators. It can also reproduce a more extended low-bass than the Emberton lineup. Plus, its bass and treble adjustments give you a bit more control over its sound. Its USB-C input/output is a nice touch, especially if you want to charge other devices on the go, which you don't find with many speakers on the market. Its battery doesn't last quite as long as the manufacturer's other models.

You can also check out our recommendations for the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers, the best Bluetooth speakers for bass, and the best outdoor speakers.

Marshall Emberton

The Marshall Middleton is a better portable Bluetooth speaker than the Marshall Emberton. Both speakers have a similar design, but the Middleton is a touch larger and can reproduce a more extended low-bass. Plus, it's supported by a companion app, where you find additional features like bass and treble adjustments. It's even rated for dust resistance, unlike the Emberton. However, its battery life isn't quite as long-lasting.

JBL Charge 5

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Marshall Middleton or the JBL Charge 5. The JBL's battery lasts longer, and its graphic EQ makes it a bit more customizable. However, the Marshall can reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass. It has a better soundstage as well.

Marshall Emberton II

The Marshall Middleton is a bit better than the Marshall Emberton II. Both are portable Bluetooth speakers with a similar design, though the Middleton is slightly larger. It can reproduce more bass, and you may find its bass and treble adjustments give you more control over its sound than the Emberton II's presets. That said, its battery doesn't last quite as long.

Sony SRS-XE300

The Sony SRS-XE300 and the Marshall Middleton are both portable Bluetooth speakers with similar performances. The Sony is the more versatile of the two since it supports voice assistants, unlike the Marshall. It has a graphic EQ, giving you more control over its sound than the Marshall's bass and treble adjustments. Plus, its battery lasts longer, and it's rated for impact resistance. That said, some users may prefer the Marshall's retro design. The Marshall has a better soundstage, too.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Marshall Middleton retains the manufacturer's signature guitar-amp style, much like the Marshall Emberton. It's all-black with the company's logo in gold lettering on the front of the speaker, and there's a removable carrying strap attached. The controls are on top. It's a bit bigger than the Emberton but remains portable overall.

8.9
Design
Portability
Volume
142 inยณ (2,325 cmยณ)
Weight
4.0 lbs (1.8 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

Though this speaker is a little bigger than the Marshall Emberton, it's still very easy to bring on the go. Since it's battery-powered, you can take it outside without plugging it into a power outlet. Though it's a little heavy, most people can carry it with one hand. The removable carrying strap also helps in this regard.

7.9
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Dust-Proof (IP6x)
Impact Resistance
No
Floats In Water
Unspecified

This speaker has a very good build quality. Since it's meant for outdoor use, it's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance. This means it's certified dust-tight, and you can immerse it in up to a meter of water for thirty minutes. Its plastic build seems solid and sturdy overall, and the metal grilles in front help to protect the drivers inside. That said, the manufacturer says to avoid dropping it.

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 on top of the speaker, and they're very easy to use. You have bass and treble adjustments, a Bluetooth button, and a Battery button. There's some feedback to help you keep track of certain levels, too. On the top left of the speaker, you see a light indicator that shows the volume, battery, or bass and treble levels. There are audible chimes when you power the speaker on/off or connect over Bluetooth. That said, the speaker doesn't tell you when you've reached min or max volume.

Plus, the central knob lets you control many different aspects of your listening experience:

  • Press once: Plays/pauses audio.
  • Move it forward: Skips to the next track.
  • Move it backward: Skips to the previous track.
  • Move it up: Increases the volume.
  • Move it down: Decreases the volume.
  • Hold it forward: Fasts-forward the track.
  • Hold it backward: Rewinds the track.

Design
In The Box

  • Manuals
  • Removable carrying strap
  • Marshall Middleton speaker
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable (1m / 3.2 ft)

Sound
7.0
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.24
Std. Err.
3.36 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
49.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
12.0 kHz

The Marshall Middleton has decent frequency response accuracy. It's a little bigger than both the Marshall Emberton and the Marshall Emberton II, so it's not a surprise that it can reproduce a touch more bass than both of these speakers. Still, you don't get as much rumble in the low-bass as with larger devices like the Denon Home 350. Overall, its sound is pretty balanced, and voices and other instruments are clear in the mix. The adjustable bass and treble levels give you some control over its performance.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
9.0
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
1.90 dB
Stereo
Yes

This speaker has a fantastic soundstage. According to the manufacturer, it uses Marshall's True Stereophonic technology to reproduce a multi-directional stereo sound. In practice, this means instruments are localized to the left and the right as intended in the mix. Its soundstage is perceived as wide and spacious-sounding overall.

5.9
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
88.9 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
4.38 dB

This speaker gets loud enough to fill average-sized rooms with sound. However, given its smaller size, it's not a surprise that it's not as ideal for listening in larger spaces. There's some compression present when you push it to max volume, too. If you want a louder sound, you can purchase multiple models and pair them together using the manufacturer's party mode feature, which they call Stack Mode.

Active Features
6.7
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
7.4 hrs
Charge Time
3.7 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C
Battery Powered
Yes

Though it's advertised to last over 20 hours off of a single charge, in our tests, this speaker lasted a little more than seven hours. It's still enough for most listening sessions, and your real-world experience may vary a bit depending on your usage habits, like the volume level. Plus, the speaker shuts off after twenty minutes without an audio connection, which helps to conserve the battery. It's a quick-charge feature that the manufacturer advertises to give you two hours of playtime off twenty minutes of charging time, too. If you want to charge another device, the USB-C input also serves as an output, which is quite handy.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Speakerphone
No
Siri
No
Voice Assistant
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone
6.0
Active Features
App
App Name
Marshall Bluetooth
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Bass/Treble
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

The Marshall Bluetooth app lets you control some of the speaker's functions from your phone and other mobile devices. As you can see from the video here, it lets you adjust the bass and treble. Also, you can connect it with other compatible speakers to spread sound throughout a larger area using its Stack Mode.

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

The 3.5mm AUX port lets you wire older devices to the speaker for audio playback. Plus, the USB-C port acts as both an input and an output, so you can either charge your speaker or use the speaker to charge another device.

8.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.1
Bluetooth iOS Latency
57 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
93 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

You can pair this speaker with up to two devices at once over Bluetooth. With its great range, it stays connected to your mobile devices, even if they're further away. Latency is relatively low, so if you watch videos, you don't notice lip-synching issues.

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