The Marshall Emberton by Marshall is a powerful Bluetooth portable speaker that is designed to produce 360-degree sound performance. When this speaker was first released by Marshall, it featured Marshall’s True Stereophonic sound codec which separates out the spatial content of stereo recordings and produces a much wider soundstage as compared to other speakers.
The first version of the Emberton speaker is equipped with two full-range drivers that delivers 2 X 10W of sound performance and it is fitted with two class-D amplifiers to drive the speaker – it has a wide frequency range of 60 Hz to 20 kHz and delivers good bass response. This speaker uses Bluetotoh 5.0 for simple wireless connectivity and it is also IPX7 waterproof, allowing you to take this speaker outdoors. The Marshall Emberton is very nicely designed and features signature details such as the solid metal grill and gold-plated Marshall logo at the front, giving it a classic vintage appearance.
The Marshall Emberton 2 is almost virtually identical to the Emberton 1 in terms of design and specs. Just like the Emberton 1, the Emberton 2 comes equipped with two full-range drivers that deliver 2 X 10W (20W peak) of sound performance, and is also equipped with two Class D amplifiers. The drivers are marginally larger (0.03cm larger) at 5.1cm compared to the Emberton 1’s 5.08cm driver, and just like the Emberton 1, it also comes with two passive bass radiators to improve the bass performance. Both the Emberton 2 and Emberton 1 have the same frequency response of 60 Hz to 20 kHz and deliver pretty solid bass performance. Having said that, the Emberton 2 comes with the slightly upgraded Bluetooth 5.1 codec and has an improved 30 hour battery life (compared to the Emberton 1’s 20 hour battery life) – but the other specs are virtually the same. The Emberton 2 also weighs 1.54 lbs which is exactly the same as the Emberton 1 speaker.
Sound Performance – Which is the better speaker?
Despite having virtually identical specifications and 20Ws of power, we felt that the Emberton 2 sounded much louder and more rounded with deeper bass response. The Emberton 2 delivers phenomenal sound quality for all music genres, and you get really good separation between the instruments and vocals for a wide soundstage. The sound feels spacious and detailed, and it almost feels as though you are listening to a mini Hi-Fi stereo sound system with this speaker. You can really push up the volume on the Emberton 2 and they will deliver full-range sound performance with virtually no distortion – the volume level is consistently clean and you can hear all the details in the music with good precision.
The Emberton 1, on the other hand, delivers slightly less bass output as compared to the Emberton 2 speaker. Although the Emberton 1 comes with dual passive bass radiators and a 5.03cm full range driver, the bass is not as deep and punchy as the Emberton 2 – the Emberton 2 speaker certainly provides much more depth and substance to the bass which makes EDM and rock music very enjoyable to listen to. The Emberton 2 speaker also sounds slightly louder than the Emberton 1 at the same volume level, and the sound feels slightly more detailed and spacious.
Both the Emberton 1 and Emberton 2 cane be fine-tuned using the Marshall Bluetooth app where you can access the EQ presets and change it according to your preferences. The Marshall Emberton 1 is IPX7 waterproof while the Emberton 2 is IP67 waterproof and dustproof –both speakers feature a virtually similar design with its classic solid metal grill and gold-plated front logo. One advantage that the Emberton 2 has is the multi-speaker session stack mode which allows you to pair with other Emberton 2 speakers to amplify the sound performance and deliver a wider stereo listening field.
Overall, we would say that the Emberton 2 delivers slightly punchier bass response and sounds slightly louder than the Emberton 1 (at <50% volume level) and has better spatial separation and soundstage when it comes with instrumental music and jazz where you can hear the space between the vocals and instrumental notes with greater detail. The soundstage on the Emberton 2 is much larger and well-defined, giving music performances a wider and more spacious feel to the sound. That said, the Emberton 1 is still a really good speaker and delivers nice stereo separation at higher volume levels – they are not too far off from the Emberton 2 sound-wise.
The Marshall Emberton 1 and Emberton 2 speakers are virtually identical when it comes to their specifications. Both speakers uses Marshall’s True Stereophonic sound performance to provide multi-directional 360 degree sound, although we found that the Emberton 2 delivers slightly soundstage in this respect.
The key difference here between the Emberton 1 and Emberton 2 is that the Emberton 2 speaker comes with an improved 30 hours of battery life compared with the Emberton 1’s 20 hours. The Emberton 2 speaker also features the latest Bluetooth 5.1 codec, while the Emberton 1 speaker uses Bluetooth 5.0. The difference between in sound quality between Bluetooth 5.1 and 5.0 are barely noticeable between the two speakers.
Both speakers are IPX7 waterproof and the Emberton 2 is also IP67 dust-proof, which makes it just slightly more durable as compared to the original Emberton speaker. You can use the Marshall app on both speakers to tweak the EQ settings according to your preferences, but the Emberton 2 comes with a multi-speaker session with stack mode which allows you to pair more Emberton 2 speakers together and amplify your sound output. Both speakers are virtually similar in size with the classic Marshall metal grid design and both weighs1.54 lbs.
While the Marshall Emberton 2 delivers more well-rounded bass performance and slightly better soundstage, we felt that both the Emberton 2 and Emberton 1 deliver virtually the same loudness (the loudness is indistinguishable above 70% volume) and they both provide pretty solid sound performance. The Emberton 2 speaker sounded only marginally better than the Emberton 1 speaker in the bass and low-end and both speakers have the same 20W peak power output. While the soundstage is more spacious on the Emberton 2, you will need to listen closely to the music to tell the difference; otherwise both Emberton speakers will sound the same. It should be noted that both speaker drivers are virtually identical in size and both speakers also come with two passive bass radiators with 20W of peak power.
The Emberton 2 features a few minor upgrades such as improved battery life – it provides 30 hours of playtime compared to the Emberton 1’s 20 hours, and it also supports quick charging where a 20-minute charge can provide 5 hours of playtime. Design-wise, both speakers are visually similar and are IPX7 waterproof, and both are designed for outdoor rugged use without any issues. Both speakers as have the same weight of 1.54 lbs and can be easily carried around for outdoor or indoor use. With that said, we still found these improvements to be minor and not substantial enough to be worth an upgrade from the original Emberton speaker.
If you already have the Emberton speaker, we do not think that the Emberton 2 is worth the upgrade at this time as you only get marginal improvements in sound performance (in terms of the soundstage and bass) and slightly longer battery life. The sound quality of the Emberton speaker is pretty decent both speakers actually sound the same at higher volume levels when listening to identical soundtracks, with the Emberton 2 providing slightly more well-rounded bass. The only practical advantage that the Emberton 2 speaker has is its 30 hour battery life which is 10 more hours of battery life than the Emberton 1.
If you have not bought the Emberton speaker yet, we recommend starting out with the Emberton 2 because it delivers much rounder sound with wider soundstage, and you get the marginal benefits that come with the Emberton 2 speaker such as the ability to pair multiple Emberton 2 speakers together to get a wider stereo sound field.