The Marshall Emberton II Speaker upped my shelfie game

The Marshall Emberton II Speaker is the one item you need this party season

Girl with tan leather jacket holding Marshall emberton ii speaker
(Image credit: Marshall)
Real Homes Verdict

Simple to use and easy to style, the Marshall Emberton II boasts incredible sound and total convenience. It's lightweight, water-resistant, and compact so you can take it anywhere. It comes in two stylish colors and is made using recycled plastic. It boasts a 30-hour battery life with a short charge time, all for less than $200.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Two colors

  • +

    Under $200

  • +

    Great battery life

  • +


  • +

    App compatible

  • +

    Made using recycled plastic

  • +


Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Buttons are hard to see on black speaker

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If you've been considering buying Marshall Emberton II, perhaps to take to college or to use in your home to dance your Friday night away in your kitchen, then this is your sign to do it.

The Marshall Emberton II speaker is as good-looking as it is high-quality. It has all of the classic features you'll want in a portable speaker, including a whopping 30-hour battery life and a short charge time. That and it's made using recycled plastic, which is a big win.

I didn't own a Bluetooth speaker before testing this one, and now I'm fully regretting waiting so long to make this purchase. I use it mostly on my patio, to listen to my favorite songs while enjoying a meal al fresco. Otherwise, I use it while I WFH to get in the mood and stay motivated. I've been using this speaker for two weeks now at home, and here are my thoughts.

Marshall Emberton II Review : Quick Menu

Marshall Emberton II speaker review

What I thought of the Marshall Emberton II speaker

I really like this speaker. Everything about it gets a big thumbs up from me! It's less than $200, its design is so cute and looks great on a shelf, and it's lightweight enough to take it to your friend's house. As someone who isn't the biggest fan of smart tech (because if it doesn't work it infuriates me), this is so easy to connect to your phone. You can connect it to the Marshall app if you want, but this isn't necessary to use the speaker if you don't want to deal with downloading a new app. Its battery life lasts for such a long time, which is great for someone like me who rarely remembers to charge things. I haven't tested its water-resistant capabilities since I'm not lucky enough to own a pool (yet!), and although I've occasionally dropped my iPhone in the tub, that's a rare occurrence, especially when it's too hot for a bath.

In terms of sound, it's not going to blow your socks off, but it does the job. It gets a little low-quality when you turn the volume up super high, depending on which genre you're listening to (my husband's choice is always metal, nice and calming eh?).

The only thing I disliked about it is that its buttons can be hard to see in low light. After using it for a while this will come naturally, and you can always shed some light on the subject to help.

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Marshall Emberton II results
FeaturesEasy to use, water-resistant, great battery life.★★★★★
DesignSmall, lightweight, 2 colors, buttons are a little hard to distinguish.★★★★
Price Less than $200.★★★★★
PackagingMinimal waste, mostly cardboard.★★★★★

Testing the Marshall Emberton II

Marshall Emberton II Speaker in black on sofa, charging

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)
Reviewed by
Annie Collyer author image
Reviewed by
Annie Collyer

I'm Annie, and I've been testing products for Real Homes since 2018. I've owned a speaker before, but I didn't actually use it as I was given it by a friend and mostly just had it on display before I gave it back to them. My friends and family have them, so I get the gist of what they need to do to be great. I've been using this one at home over the summer for a couple of weeks, mostly in my secluded outdoor space to listen to my favorite music.

Marshall Emberton II info

  • Model no: Emberton II
  • Battery life: 30 hours
  • Charge time: 3 hours
  • Size (in.): H2.68 x W6.30 x D2.99
  • Colors: Black, cream
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
  • Bluetooth: 5.1
  • Price: $165.99

Unboxing the Marshall Emberton II

Marshall Emberton II Speaker in black in box on grey sofa

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

As soon as the Marshall Emberton II Speaker arrived at my doorstep, I was desperate to open it. Like a child at Christmas, I quickly opened the package, which held a compact box and minimal inner packaging (yes!). I also charged the speaker before using it.

Marshall Emberton II Speaker out of box, photo of packaging and box contents

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

How to use the Marshall Emberton II

Marshall Emberton II speaker with buttons

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

The Marshall Emberton II is pretty simple to use, despite the buttons being a little hard to see. To turn it on, you need only press and hold the big brass button. It will make a noise to signify it's on, and its buttons will light up.

The buttons
On the far left is the Bluetooth button, press this to connect your speaker to a new device. Once you've pressed this it will flash.

The middle gold button can be pressed up, down, left, or right. Press upwards to turn the volume up, down to turn it down. Left takes you back a song, right takes you forward a song.

On the far right of the speaker, you will see the battery life displayed. If this bar is totally red, it's fully charged.

The charging point is on the right side of the speaker.

I am currently testing the app that works with this speaker.

What I loved about the Marshall Emberton II

Marshall Emberton II size against hand

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

It looks the part
A speaker is arguably a piece of home decor. So, having one that fits with the vibe of your home is important — a huge bright green one might stick out like a sore thumb in a neutral home. The design of this one is so sleek. It's entirely black with the words Marshall written in brass and one brass button. You can also get it in a cream color. 

It's compact and lightweight
It's super lightweight at 1.5 pounds, and it's tiny enough that you can easily put it in your bag or backpack and take it from point A to B.

It has a 30-hour battery life
I was slightly skeptical about this claim because 30 hours sounds impossible. But, I went along with using it as normal and one weekend we had guests come to stay so its battery life wasn't at the forefront of my mind. That was until it got to Monday and I realized that it was still going, after a long weekend of using it in the garden. I couldn't believe its battery was still going, and neither could my dad who is partial to owning a portable speaker (or four).

It comes at an affordable price
At $165.99, this speaker is a really reasonable price. There are upgraded versions of it that you can look at, but these are more expensive, larger, and heavier.

It's water-resistant
Yes, you read that right. Not that you would chuck it into the bathtub or anything, but if you do want to take it to the pool or beach, then you wouldn't have to worry about it getting splashed.

It's really easy to connect to your phone
There's no messing around with this speaker. You just simply need to go to your Bluetooth settings on your phone, then press the Bluetooth button on the speaker and it should pop up. The speaker will play a guitar noise when it's connected. If you can't get it to connect, it's because it's connected to another phone that's close by. Go on that phone and disconnect from the speaker and you should be good.

It charges fast
Not only does it have an incredible battery life, but it can go from 0% to 100% in just three hours of charging. Handy! If you need to charge it really fast, 20 minutes of charging will give it four hours of battery life, BTW!

It's eco-friendly
I try to be an eco-warrior where I can, but I know how difficult it can be with tech. This speaker is made using 50% post-consumer recycled plastic from used electronics, water bottles, and automotive light covers. Oh, and it's 100% PVC-free.

What I didn't love about the Marshall Emberton II

Marshall Emberton II speaker in black with buttons glowing red

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

Its buttons are hard to see
I get it that the design of this speaker sits at the forefront, but admittedly its buttons are hard to see. Once you know what they are, it's no problem but initially, you will need to hold the speaker under a light to see what each button does. This might be an issue for someone with a visual-impairment or sight-related accessibility issues.

It's not the best if you want to play super loud music
I live in an apartment, so I am never going to use this speaker to its maximum volume. I did turn it up to the maximum volume while testing, though, and this does diminish its quality. So, if you're someone who likes your music loud then this might be something to consider.

Good to know

Marshall Emberton II speaker on shelf

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

It's pretty easy to find somewhere for this speaker to live as it's nice and compact. Mine is sitting on a shelf right now. When it comes to maintenance, you can just wipe it clean with a damp cloth when necessary. It's said to be dust-resistant, so this shouldn't collect in its back or front grates. If you have more than one Emberton II speaker, you can connect them and stack them to amplify your sound.

Where to buy the Marshall Emberton II

You can buy this speaker on sale for Cyber Monday directly from Marshall for $119.99. It's also sold at Amazon and Best Buy for the same price.

How we reviewed this Marshall Emberton II

As with everything we review, we make sure to pair our reviewer and the product we need to review to ensure they work well together. I live in a small apartment with a small outdoor area, which means that I was the perfect person to test this compact speaker.

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as Deals Editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.