Marshall just released two new Bluetooth speakers, and they actually hit my wallet.
Let’s start with the new Willen, a pint-sized travel speaker. Marshall’s first true compact unit, the Willen has one full-range two-inch engine paired with two passive radiators. Although smaller than other offerings, this small speaker follows Marshall’s signature design aesthetic, flaunting gold accents against the black (or white) metallic and faux-leather exterior.
Measuring 4 x 4 x 1.6 inches and 0.68 pounds, the Bluetooth headset can easily be tucked into a bag or attached outside with its elastic strap attached to the back. It has IP67 dust and water resistance, so you can use it outdoors without worry. Marshall rates Willen’s battery life at 15 hours, which is topping the category, Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 (13 hours).
Joining Willen is the Emberton II, the sequel to my favorite Bluetooth headset, one I listen to at home and occasionally take trips. Marshall improved Emberton in almost every way, increasing battery life, adding a stacked mode, and debuting app support.
Starting with the battery life, the Emberton II is said to get 30 hours of charge, a 50% increase over the previous version’s 20 hours of runtime. When battery power is low, Emberton Quick Charge supports 4 hours of playback from a 20-minute charge.
Marshall suggests that Emberton II will retain the same “signature sound” as the original, which is great news about my ears. This first model was one of the best Bluetooth speakers in its class, delivering powerful sound with an impressive volume level. This follow-up promises to continue the tradition with a pair of two-inch drivers and two passive radiators for what the Marshall promises to be powerful 360-degree sound.
Another welcome feature on both new models is Stack Mode, which allows you to pair the Emberton II with other Emberton II or Willen speakers. You can “stack” as many speakers as you like to create a more dynamic and immersive sound.
Measuring 2.7 x 6.3 x 3 inches and weighing 1.5 pounds, the Emberton II is compact, but not as portable as the Willen. It now comes with an IP rating of 67, higher than the original IPX7 rating. This means the new model can be submerged in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
The Emberton II and Willen both use Bluetooth 5.1 and support over-the-air updates via a dedicated app. The Emberton II and Willen go on sale today at $169 and $119, respectively.
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