Marshall has just announced two new Bluetooth options for its portable speaker group, along with some new features. The Willen is the company’s first ultra-compact laptop and joins the Emberton II, which improves on the previous model in some ways. Both will now work with the Marshall Bluetooth app, which hasn’t been available on either portable speaker model before. It was also inevitable that the company would release a feature called Stack Mode, a throwback reference to “Marshall stacks.” This simply brings them up to date with the rest of the speaker world and allows you to wirelessly expand your music to other Willen or Emberton II speakers. It’s also worth noting that Marshall has increased the Emberton II’s battery life from 20 hours of operation to 30 or more on a single charge (at modest volumes, I’m sure).
As we mentioned in our recent portable Bluetooth speaker buying guide, Marshall speakers (in general) have a wonderfully warm sound, thick bass, and dynamic highs. We found the best value in both sound and price when you opt for the larger and relatively less portable Tufton model ($450). Although still priced slightly higher, the smaller models have a scaled-down version of the same sound.
Now that the Emberton II supports battery mode, 30+ hours of runtime, and offers an app for EQ adjustments and firmware updates, there’s even more value hidden in that price tag. Willen fills the void for people looking to get a personal laptop and save a few bucks, though we’ve yet to hear from him. Both speakers have Bluetooth 5.1, an IP67 weather-resistance rating, and are compatible with each other for Stack mode, which requires a triple press of the Bluetooth button to host and a double press of the secondary speakers to join or disconnect.
Both are available for pre-order today with the ultra-compact Willen priced at $120 and the Emberton II for $170.
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