The best Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes and sizes, but few have such iconic and instantly recognizable classic appeal as those from Marshall.
Unveiled today (January, 31), the Middleton portable speaker is on sale now and costs $299 / £269 (around AU$427). As the latest portable speaker to join Marshall's ranks, this mid-sized portable speaker sits alongside the smaller Willen and Emberton portable speaker models.
Designed to evoke the British company’s original guitar amplifiers that became popular in the 1960s, the Middleton sports the traditional signature Marshall motif and a brass-colored control knob to echo the company's live performance heritage.
The take-anywhere Middleton claims more than 20 hours playback time from a 4.5-hour charge, and will even keep your phone battery topped up, too. It has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, which means it can be submerged to a depth of 3 feet for 30 minutes without being damaged by water ingress.
Additionally, Marshall says the Middleton is built from 55% post-consumer recycled plastic and is completely PVC-free, giving the Middleton respectable eco-credentials.
Ready for the road
As you'd expect from a company that built its reputation on professional speaker systems for live events, the Middleton is said to be sturdy and practical enough to be just as at home filling in between live sets at a festival, or sat on a sideboard in the living room. Unlike the portable models further up the range, there's no carry strap built-in. But its weight is an entirely portable 4 pounds, and the 4.29 x 9.06 x 3.74-inch size means it can be easily thrown into a travel bag or backpack without adding significantly to the weight, or taking up too much space.
Class D amplifiers rated at 2x 20W, and 2x 10W power output drive the Middleton's quad speaker system, although it doesn't specify the size of the drivers inside the cabinet. As with Marshall's larger portable speakers, there's True Stereophonic — a unique form of multidirectional stereo sound from Marshall that claims to achieve a 360-degree immersive experience wherever you roam. You can connect it to other Middleton speakers and amplify the sound with Stack Mode.
Bass, treble and volume controls adorn the top of the speaker, while the built-in Dynamic Loudness adjusts the tonal balance so that it remains consistent no matter what level you're listening at.
Once again, the Marshall Middleton portable speaker costs $299 / £269 (around AU$427), is on sale now and available in black, cream, black and brass, and forest finishes.
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As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.