Best Marshall Speakers

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
24 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
121 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Marshall speakers

Music wouldn’t be what it is today without Marshall. The British manufacturer has played an integral role in shaping the tones of rock ‘n roll, from Eddie Van Halen’s trademark “brown sound” to the legendary crunch of Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC’s Angus Young, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, and others. 

And while the brand has been around since the 1960s, its portfolio has adapted to today’s tech remarkably. WIreless Marshall speakers allow you to bring the company’s exceptional audio engineering and classic good looks into your living room, office, or event venue. It gets even better if you own Marshall music gear, because you can tie your space together with a cohesive, stylish design. 

Marshall speakers are available in all shapes and sizes, with a variety of contemporary features like Bluetooth, voice controls, app compatibility, and multiroom connect. Some plug into an outlet, some are battery powered and wireless, and others offer a blend of both for maximum flexibility. Whether you’re hosting guests, throwing a party, bingeing podcasts, or you just want more music in your life, we’re here to break down everything Marshall speakers have to offer and recommend our favorites.

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Looking to add some visual flair to your playlist? Seek out a Marshall speaker with a party light system. These can take the form of multicolored lights, strobes, and even lights that sync with the rhythm of your music.

Key considerations

Speaker quality

Deciding whether or not to buy a speaker ultimately comes down to one thing: how great it sounds. There are several factors that go into a Marshall speaker’s sound quality, though, including wattage, loudness in decibels (dB), speaker driver size, frequency response, and, of course, the number of speakers. 

Wattage: This simply measures how much power the unit puts out per channel. Wattage is directly related to loudness in decibels at one meter, and, on average, 15 to 20 watts is adequate to produce around 80 decibels, which is fairly loud, but it’s on the low end for a quality speaker system. 

Driver size: This is also incredibly important to sound quality. Drivers are individual loudspeaker transducers that convert electrical audio signals into sounds, and the size of the driver generally relates to the size of the speaker itself. Portable speakers often have 40-millimeter drivers, but certain versions utilize larger ones for powerful projection. 

Frequency response: Measured in hertz, this describes the range of frequencies in which a speaker can reproduce audio. If a speaker has a frequency response of 100 to 20,000 hertz, for example, it operates best at those tonal points. In general, the wider the range the better. 

Number: You may have seen a figure like 2.1 or 5.1 in speaker descriptions. This refers to the number of full-range speakers the unit has (such as five), followed by the number of subwoofers (such as one).

Inputs and outputs 

The majority of Marshall speaker users connect wirelessly, either through Bluetooth or a WiFi network. Bluetooth offers a usable range of about 30 feet, while WiFi ranges can vary with different routers and can be much farther. 

For those who prefer the wired listening experience, there are several cable input options. These inputs include USB ports, RCA cables, 3.5-millimeter cables, and even optical cables for Blu-ray, CD, and DVD players. Additional outputs allow for supplemental subwoofers as well, so if expanding your system is a goal, consider models with redundant connections.

Battery life

Marshall offers several outlet-powered home speakers, but many run on lithium-ion batteries. The brand has a rough standard of 20 hours, with some offering 25 hours. Charging is often done via micro USB or USB cable, which means they can be replenished from a laptop, power bank, or other mobile device. 

Some Marshall speakers offer a power-saving setting that switches the speaker into a standby mode if it doesn’t receive a signal for a certain amount of time. This lessens the strain on the battery, but it may cause your speaker to disconnect from your Bluetooth or WiFi network. If this happens, simply press the Wake button once and you’re ready to play.

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Features

Multiroom connect

What’s better than one Marshall speaker? How about two? Four? Six? Marshall’s Bluetooth speakers can now link together via the multiroom connect feature in the Marshall Bluetooth app. You can link speakers together for events or even have one act as a mono left speaker and the other as mono right for a true high-fidelity experience. The Marshall app also permits the adjustment of EQ, volume, music playback, and LED light settings. 

WiFi models are even easier to connect together and can link to apps like Chromecast, Spotify Connect, and Apple AirPlay.

Smart speaker features

Select models take Marshall’s crisp tones and sleek aesthetics into the smart speaker realm. These models, such as the Action II and Stanmore II, integrate either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa depending on the version you get. This permits easy voice controls, smart home device integration, searching the web, answering questions, and myriad other things.

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DID YOU KNOW?
When a speaker plays music, an electrical current passes from the power source into the speakers, but that current faces resistance. That resistance is called impedance, and it’s measured in ohms. A speaker with lower impedance lets the electrical signal “flow” more easily, and results in higher sound quality.
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Marshall speaker prices

Inexpensive: The brand’s most economical speakers are the portable Bluetooth variety. Although there are spendier outliers, expect to fork over between $200 and $250 for the majority of these battery-powered units. They offer impressive volume and quality despite their lack of plugs, and the battery life is a healthy 20 to 25 hours. 

Mid-range: Moving up to $300 or so, you can find larger Bluetooth models with powerful speakers and ample watts. These generally require a power outlet to work, and in some cases offer smart speaker and multiroom features.

Expensive: At the top of the range, you’ll pay about $400 for Marshall’s largest, loudest home speakers. Users can enjoy multiroom capabilities by linking speakers together over WiFi, and in some cases, they can interact with the products with smart voice controls. Streaming audio is possible over Chromecast, AirPlay, and Spotify Connect here, as is playing music through 3.5-millimeter and RCA inputs.  

Tips

  • Buy a portable speaker according to your needs. If you travel with it often, prioritize lightweight and compact models that are durable. Some versions have aluminum casings and housings, while others are plastic. In addition, seek out a water-resistant model if you use it outside or near swimming areas.
  • Get the right power for outdoor use. If you use your Marshall speaker outside, you’ll need more power for it to project well over distance. Output is measured in decibels at one meter, and we wouldn’t go any lower than 88 decibels for outdoor use.
  • Experiment with speaker placement. Portable speakers offer an outstanding amount of utility. Try placing them in different spots in your chosen space, because different environments produce different acoustics and sound profiles. Experiment and settle on what you like best for that setting.
  • Check the sound quality. Own a quality speaker but still experiencing poor sound? Inspect the audio file you’re playing. It may not have a high enough resolution (bit rate) to produce the quality you expect, so you may want to return it for another speaker or find an alternative version for clearer results.

Marshall specializes in well-balanced, powerful sound along with solid build quality and handsome looks. That said, all-weather outdoor speakers are not the brand’s strong suit. If you want a waterproof speaker for camping or outdoor events, you may want to look elsewhere.

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Other products we considered

A couple Marshall speakers just dodged our list, but we think they’re worthy of mention, too. One is the Marshall Action II Smart Speaker, which impresses with its WiFi controls, multiroom capability, voice activation, and, of course, epic sound. It also offers RCA and 3.5-millimeter inputs. We’re also impressed with the Marshall Tufton Portable Speaker. Sporting a guitar-inspired carry strap and intuitive Bluetooth connection, this model boasts 20 hours of playtime and enhanced 360° sound.

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The signature overdriven Marshall sound comes from vacuum tubes (or valves), however the brand does use solid-state technology on several amps and portable speakers. Solid-state setups are cheaper and less delicate than tube versions, and they have closed the sound-quality gap over the years.

FAQ

Q. What’s better: a WiFi speaker or Bluetooth speaker?

A. The majority of Marshall speakers utilize Bluetooth technology to play music wirelessly from your phone, computer, or other device. A select few use WiFi, though, while others use both for additional connectivity options. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s start with Bluetooth. 

Bluetooth speakers are extremely intuitive to pair with your devices and they tend to be less pricey than WiFi models. They’re also often battery-powered and portable because they don’t need to be near a WiFi router. Bluetooth models do tend to have less range, however, with an average of around 30 feet.

WiFi models, by contrast, can stream to multiple devices easily with improved range, and the music won’t be interrupted by phone calls or texts. You’ll pay for the capability, both in price and a more complicated setup. Also, traffic on your WiFi network can potentially decrease audio quality, and these models generally require a power outlet.

Q. Can I use a portable Marshall speaker outside?

A. Marshall offers several portable, battery-powered Bluetooth speakers that are meant to be taken out of the home. These models equip handy carry straps and are ruggedly constructed in general, much like Marshall’s guitar and bass amplifiers. Some are even rated IPX2 water-resistant, which means they’re able to withstand small amounts of water. To be clear, they are not waterproof, so if you want something for the pool or shower, consider a different brand. 

Q. Can I play my guitar or bass through a portable Marshall speaker?

A. In short, no, Marshall’s home and leisure speakers are not designed to play instruments. Not only do they lack the correct amplification technology to take a weak guitar signal and add gain, the inputs are different between instruments and music players. That said, Marshall does offer portable, battery-powered instrument amps for easy busking, gigging, or on-the-road playing. 

Q. How long do batteries last?

A. Although battery life can fluctuate greatly depending on volume, battery age, and even ambient temperature, Marshall’s speakers seem to set a standard of 20 hours of playtime on a full charge. Some offer 25 hours or more, but even small units meet the 20-hour mark. 

Marshall’s speakers charge surprisingly quickly as well. With smaller portable units, you can enjoy a couple of hours of playtime with just a quick charge of 20 minutes and fully replenish the battery in about 5 to 6 hours.

 

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