Trending September 2023 # Marshall Middleton Bluetooth Speaker Review: Punchy Bass In A Heavy Frame # Suggested October 2023 # Top 16 Popular |

Trending September 2023 # Marshall Middleton Bluetooth Speaker Review: Punchy Bass In A Heavy Frame # Suggested October 2023 # Top 16 Popular

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The teenage version of me, complete with messy pages of Kerrang! and Mojo slapped on my wall, would be delighted to know that one day I could be blaring music out of a tiny portable Marshall speaker.


The company, best known for its range of towering guitar amplifiers has been slowly making the transition to more consumer products – think more headphones for runners and speakers for BBQs than Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.

And now, a few iterations down the line, we have the Marshall Middleton. A speaker that is all about portability, survivability, and above all, big sound from a small package.

To see if it could live up to its legendary brand name and its many claims, I spent a few weeks with the Marshall Middleton to see how it stacks up.


If you’ve seen a Marshall device before, whether that’s a speaker, amplifier, pair of headphones or one of the many other devices the brand makes, then you’ve seen this one.

Black faux leather all over, with gold buttons and the signature gold Marshall logo, the Middleton gives a sleek and stylish look to a genre that can often be quite boring.

The speaker actually plays out of all four sides, through a grate on each part. However, the front of the speaker is unsurprisingly where most of the brute force of sound is emitting from.

On the top of the speaker, there’s a gold metal button, intended as the power button as well as the volume and skip buttons.

It’s not huge for a Bluetooth speaker, but it is surprisingly heavy. Despite its above-average weight, Marshall ships this speaker with an attachable wrist strap to help carry it or tie it onto bags.

This is clearly a strong strap, more than capable of holding all the weight, but that didn’t stop me frequently feeling like it was going to snap, leaving me with an expensive accident. 


The Marshall Middleton is simplistic, focusing on good audio and that signature Marshall design over a wealth of features. However, there are a few key things to note when using the device.

Once fully charged, you’ll get at least 20 hours of playtime. There is also an in-built power bank which allows you to charge devices from the speaker. However, this unsurprisingly will rapidly drain the battery.

Designed to be taken on the move, the Middleton is IP67 dust- and water-resistant, helping it to fend off some rain or a dusty festival.

If you like to customise your music more, Marshall offers an app to use alongside the speaker, tweaking the sound as you please. Equally, there are bass and treble adjusters on top of the speaker.


Thanks to its beefy size, the Marshall Middleton can pump out a hefty sound. It thrives in harsher genres, packed with bass and aggressive drum tracks. With its adjustable bass toggle on the top of the speaker, you can really customise the aggression of bass-heavy tracks.

This speaker, unsurprisingly with its history, especially thrives in rock and metal genres. The hard-hitting drums and bass backing of Rage Against the Machine’s Killing In The Name Of hits with precision and isn’t muddied like some cheaper speakers have a tendency to do.

The same goes for similar genres like Queens of the Stone Age’s Go With The Flow. A powerful drum backing and fuzzy guitar come through cleanly but with the kind of power you’ll find it hard not to be impressed by.

This emphasis on bass especially pays off in electronic genres. The slowly rising bass of Gosh by Jamie XX punches hard as the song goes on. As does Fred Again’s Marea with its complicated jumble of sounds spanning the many levels a speaker looks to achieve.

Sometimes the emphasis on bass can be overwhelming. Bury A Friend from Billy Eillish’s award-winning album pumps through a lot of bass, which, even with adjusted settings, becomes a bit of a mess through the Marshall speaker.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that, while bass is Marshall’s premiere game here, it isn’t a one-trick pony. Afghan Whig’s softly rising Birdlands is perfectly clean without imperfections in the playback, as is Polyphia’s Playing God, a song that really pushes your speaker’s soundstage.

This is not to say the Marshall Middleton is perfect. For the audiophiles of the world, there will be noticeable imperfections, especially on songs that have been masterfully crafted in the studio. But for a portable speaker of this price range, it is pretty fantastic.


The Marshall Middleton has a lot going for it. It’s sleek and stylish, built in a robust casing, it pumps out a rich sound in all directions, and thanks to its IP rating and strong frame, can take some falls, bumps and spills.

However, there are two crucial factors that hold this speaker back from being the perfect portable device. Firstly, it is pricey. Costing you £269, it costs more than most of its equivalent competitors.

Secondly, for its size, the Middleton weighs far more than it realistically should. It’s going to weigh down any bag it’s put in, and at its bulky size, isn’t exactly the most portable speaker out there.

If you can deal with these two factors, then the Middleton is a fantastic buy thanks to its combination of style and high-performance sound.

Alternatives Sonos Roam

Sonos has quickly become one of the biggest names in audio, capable of pumping out high-quality audio from small speakers. The Sonos Roam keeps things portable, packing that same power into a smaller frame.

At just £179, the Sonos Roam is surprisingly affordable for a speaker of this quality.

It is dust- and water-resistant, capable of being submerged in water – perfect for camping trips or somewhere it might get wet.

JBL Boombox

The JBL Boombox takes the phrase portable to its extent. This massive boombox speaker from a big-name audio brand is able to reach some incredibly loud volumes without forgoing audio quality.

It is also water- and dust-resistant and has a battery life of 24 hours. However, with its bulky size and high price tag, this isn’t going to be for everyone.

Sony SRS-XP500

The Sony SRS-XP500 is a massive outdoor speaker. Designed to get the party started, it is covered in flashing lights, able to pump out plenty of sound for any event.

It isn’t going to be the most finessed audio out there, heavily emphasising the bass, but if you’re appealing to a large crowd, it will be the perfect choice.

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