Tried & Tested

On trial: Marshall Middleton speaker

Lucy Scott,-Writer

This small but mighty speaker has big boombox energy 

If you’re into your music it’s more than likely you’ve heard of Marshall – no rocker worth their salt would have any other speaker on stage. Founded by Jim Marshall in the 1960s, the original Marshall shop in London’s West End became the local hangout for The Who, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. In 1962, Jim and his son Terry, along with engineer Ken Bran, created a thunderous new amp using military components left over from the war, creating the perfect piece of kit to define a generation.

More than 60 years later, Marshall’s newest speaker, the Middleton, has just hit the market in time for all your Easter socialising. As someone who always has music on around the house, I jumped at the chance to test it out.

What is it?

The Middleton is the ‘heaviest portable sound in your hand’, thanks to True Stereophonic technology that bounces the sound around your room, so wherever you roam you’ll still enjoy a loud, clear sound. Fully charged, the speaker has a hefty 20 hours of portable playtime which you can connect to via Bluetooth (with a range of up to 30 feet) from your phone or any other device. Adjust volume, play, pause and skip tracks with its stylish, brass-finish control knob, or via the Marshall app. 

It looks cool and is encased in a tough as nails exterior, making it perfect for throwing (not literally) in your bag and taking anywhere. Better still, the sustainable casing is made from 55% post-consumer recycled plastic from used electronics, water bottles and car light covers and is 100% PVC-free.

When you eventually do exhaust the speaker, it couldn’t be easier to charge. Plug it in and it’ll be back to full battery in 4.5 hours – plus you can keep playing while it’s charging so you never have to be without music.

Why do you need it?

It’s LOUD – which I know sounds dumb for a speaker (aren’t they all?) but the Middleton is next level. I took it with me to a hen do in Leeds, where 15 rowdy women still weren’t enough to drown out the music. Heaven. 

It’s mega easy to use, pretty indestructible and can even survive the odd rain shower (or splashes from the hot tub), making it perfect for barbecues in the garden over Easter, or for a muddy festival field this summer. 

The Middleton can also be connected to Marshall’s current range of portable speakers to really amp up the sound, so if you’re hosting a party or want to create a festival vibe in your back garden you can pair and play through multiple speakers for the biggest sound. Music aficionados can also create a more customised sound by adjusting the bass and treble. 

The metrics that matter
Ease of useEven the biggest technophobe could pair their phone with this speaker and make it work. Link up via Bluetooth to start playing immediately or download the Marshall app for more customisation and control. You can connect more than one phone at the same time to share who gets control of the music.
Looking good The Middleton looks slick and will get as many admiring comments when it’s plugged in on the kitchen worktop as it will when you’re using it wirelessly outdoors. Also Marshall is just cool and if you’re going to buy a new bit of tech, why not boost your rock credentials at the same time?
Lasting power There’s nothing more annoying than when the music (and the vibe) suddenly drops out mid-party because your battery’s died. Marshall’s 20 hours of playtime is pretty incredible, especially when the sound is so loud and clear. You can even charge your phone using the Middleton.

Is it worth it?

It’s not the cheapest, granted. But if you’re a big music fan and you hate listening to tinny sounds on your iPhone, it’s worth the investment. I love how portable it is, and the clarity and quality of the sound even when it was up as loud as it could go was enough to convince me the price tag is worth it. With Easter around the corner, it’s the perfect speaker to buy before all the socialising starts. Let’s rock.

The Marshall Bluetooth app is available on iOS and Android

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