The Marshall Middleton ($299) is the company’s latest addition to its lineup of guitar amp-inspired Bluetooth speakers, and it’s available starting January 31 at marshallheadphones.com. The Middleton, as its name somewhat suggests, sits in the middle of the Marshall portable family — it shares the same rectangular shape as the Emberton II but is heavier and more powerful than the Stockton II.
What makes the Middleton stand out is its unique quad-driver configuration, which places speakers on all four sides. There are two full-range drivers, each with its own 20-watt amplifier, and two tweeters, powered by a pair of 10-watt amps. The Middleton uses the same “true stereophonic” system as the Emberton II to achieve what the company calls multidirectional, 360-degree stereo sound.
Inside is a rechargeable battery that Marshall claims will power the Middleton for more than 20 hours, and it can also do double-duty as a power bank for charging your other devices. It will take 4.5 hours to fully recharge the battery, but that’s assuming you use a three-amp charger, which is not included in the box. It has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, which makes the speaker effectively waterproof and beach-friendly, though we don’t yet know if the Middleton can float, so it’s probably best to use the included carry strap to keep it close by.
The top-mounted controls let you adjust volume, bass, and treble, in addition to play/pause and track skipping. If you download the Marshall app, you can connect the Middleton to other Marshall speakers if they support Stack Mode. Stack Mode repeats the full audio signal from one speaker to another, which is different from stereo pairing.
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