Marshall Emberton II Review

Marshall Emberton II Review
One of our favourite Bluetooth speakers gets an encore.

  • Stylish, durable & sustainable design
  • Big, balanced sound
  • Very long battery life
  • Stack Mode
  • No AAC or aptX
  • More expensive
Our Verdict
  • The Emberton II still isn’t perfect but there are a number of improvements here which take it a little bit closer. Those looking for a compact, long-lasting, great-sounding Bluetooth speaker have found a real contender here.

One of our favourite Bluetooth speakers ever has received an encore. Marshall’s Emberton II arrives and looks to be even better. 

The pint-sized speaker now offers things like longer battery life, linking multiple units together in ‘Stack Mode’, better durability and more. However, it does come at a higher price this time around at $169/£149. 

Design & Build

  • Almost identical looking design
  • Sustainable materials
  • IP67
You’ll have to play spot the difference to figure out which speaker is the original speaker and which is the Emberton II. 

Marshall, has not changed the look of this speaker and, to be honest, why would it? The dimensions and weight (just 700g) are identical and all the buttons, lights and charging port are in exactly the same place. 
Marshall Emberton II Review

The main difference visually – apart from that my Emberton and Emberton are different colour schemes – is that the texture has been changed on the casing to look more like one of Marshall’s guitar amps. 

The regular black option of the original is gone so your other choice is cream, which I’d worry about getting grubby if you take it out and about. I’d like to see the Forest Green colourway, which Marshall added to the Emberton range post-launch. 

Something we’re looking for more in reviews these days is sustainability and the Emberton II is made from 50% post-consumer recycled plastic repurposed from electronics, water bottles and automotive light covers. It’s also 100% PVC-free which is great to see. 

Another upgrade is a jump from IPX7 to IP67 with the six meaning it’s now dustproof as well as fully waterproof. With its size, weight and durability the speaker can feasibly be taken just about anywhere. 
Marshall Emberton II Review

If you’ve not used the original Emberton, the big brass control knob in the middle does just about everything: power, volume control and playback. A small button to the left is for Bluetooth pairing and a 10 red lights on the opposite side indicate battery level. 

It’s a very easy speaker to use and Marshall includes a USB-C charging cable in the box. About the only I’d add, as before, is a 3.5mm aux input though this is understandably a Bluetooth speaker first and foremost. 

Sound Quality & Features

  • The same sonics 
  • EQ presets 
  • Stack Mode 
  • 50% longer battery life 
Inside the Emberton II, the speaker is sonically the same as its predecessor. That means you get two 2in full range drivers and two passive bass radiators outputting a total of 10W. 

The frequency range is 60-20,000Hz and once again ‘True Stereophonic Sound’ means the speaker offers 360-degree audio with sound coming out the back as well as the front. 
Marshall Emberton II Review

As per the first Emberton, I wouldn’t say it was true 360 as facing side on naturally doesn’t sound as good but the speaker does a great job of filling a room with sound. You might be amazed as what it can do considering its tiny size and 10W of power. 

Bass isn’t booming but it’s rich and warm. The mid-range is clear and there’s enough bright top end to result in a well-rounded tuning. There’s now some control over the sound via the Marshall app in the form of EQ presets. 

However, beyond the standard one, there’s a small choice of Push (for a bass boost) and Voice (which does as you’d expect. I’d still like a custom option, but this is at least some progress and could arrive in a later version of the app. 
Marshall Emberton II Review

Bluetooth gets a small upgrade to 5.1 but sadly there’s been no progress with codecs so you only get SBC here. It’s not the end of the world but it would be nice to see AAC added for iPhone users and aptX for Android to improve the quality for those with compatible devices. 

The main downside is that the audio quality takes a dip at higher volumes with distortion creeping in the higher you go, but most of the time – especially indoors – you won’t need to push it that far. And outdoor situations can take advantage of the new Stack Mode. 

Stack Mode – a reference to amplifier stacks – is where you can pair multiple Emberton II speakers together. Of course, you don’t have to physically stack them on top of each other. 

It’s a nice idea and something various rivals do under different names, normally along the lines of ‘party mode. It’s worth pointing out that this does not create a stereo pair which is a shame and also doesn’t work with the original Emberton – I know because I tried. 

What you can do is connect other speakers in the range that support Stack Mode such as the Willen. Marshall also doesn’t mention if there’s a limit to how many speakers can be added to the party. 
Marshall Emberton II Review

Battery life was already strong on the original Emberton but without even making the device heavier, Marshall has extended it by 50%. 

I’m not sure how, but the speaker can now last 30+ hours, although the specs mention a 20-minute chart getting you four hours of playtime as opposed to the previous five. That’s a minor point as the Emberton II has serious longevity so you’ll probably forget it’s battery powered most of the time. 

Price & Availability

As mentioned at the top, the Emberton II is more expensive than its predecessor. Up from $149/£129, it now costs $169/£149. It’s not a huge amount and inflation can likely take most of the blame. 

Although it’s moved further away from budget options, the speaker is still good value and remains cheaper than many rivals from the likes of Bang & Olufsen, Bose and Sonos

In the US you can buy it from Marshall as well as Amazon and BestBuy. In the UK you’ve got the official store as well as Amazon, Currys and John Lewis

One thing, as it often the case in the tech world, is that the old model is now cheaper – officially £109 (though oddly not in the US), so if the new features of the Emberton II don’t appeal then you could pick up a bargain. 

Check out our chart of the best Bluetooth speakers for more options.


The Emberton II doesn’t fix all of the criticism I had about the original model and is now more expensive so it’s not an instant no-brainer. 

However, it is still cheaper than many big-name rivals and comes with a number of improvements including longer battery life, more control over the sound, a more durable (and sustainable) design, as well as a new Stack Mode. 

It’s a shame that the old Emberton can’t be paired, and the codec is still only just the basic SBC but on the whole, this won’t matter too much for many users. 

The Emberton II is another easy to recommend Bluetooth speaker if you’re looking for something compact, stylish, durable, long-lasting and with decent sound.


  • 2x 2in 10W full range dynamic drivers
  • 2x passive bass radiators
  • 2x Class D amplifiers
  • 60Hz-20kHz frequency range
  • Bluetooth 5.1 – 10m range
  • Multi-directional control-knob
  • Stack Mode
  • SBC codec
  • 30+ hours battery
  • USB-C port
  • 68 x 160 x 76mm
  • 0.7 kg
  • IP67
  • Launch colours: Black/Brass or Cream
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Marshall Emberton II Review Marshall Emberton II Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 31, 2022 Rating: 5


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