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Marshall’s new portable speakers bring a vintage vertical vibe to your tunes

If there’s one thing that’s unmistakable about the Marshall brand of audio gear, it’s the company’s authentically retro designs. Its latest products — two new portable speakers — are no exception. The Stockwell II ($249) and Tufton ($399) share the same Marshall guitar amp-inspired look as the rest of the company’s speaker lineup, but they introduce a new vertical shape that evokes portable radios from a bygone era.

Both speakers possess internal, rechargeable batteries, Bluetooth 5.0 with AptX, and 3.5mm auxiliary inputs, but in keeping with their retro styling, that is pretty much all you get. The Tufton is now the largest model in Marshall’s portable speaker series, and Stockwell II takes its place as the smallest, with the previously released Kilburn II ($299) sitting somewhere between the two. Despite their size difference, both the Tufton and Stockwell II get about 20 hours of battery life, which is the high end of what we’ve seen in portable speaker power so far. These speakers also feature multi-directional stereo sound.

Marshall’s speakers have been lauded for sound quality and style, but portability hasn’t exactly been a focus thus far. When we reviewed the Kilburn II, the sound-first pedigree was obvious. It can belt out the music in supreme fashion, but it’s not the most travel-friendly companion. The Tufton doesn’t do much to change this impression, in fact, it’s a beast when compared to the other two models, but the Stockwell II looks like it might just be the Marshall speaker that fans of the brand have been waiting for — at least in terms of portability. Not much bigger than a large hardcover book, it can do double duty as a power bank to recharge your other devices. It’s also the most durable of the three, offering IPX4 water protection, whereas the Kilburn II and Tufton are IPX2.

All three portable speakers have fast-charging technology: 20 minutes boosts the Tufton to four hours of playtime, while the same charge time promises three hours of playtime on Kilburn II, and six hours on the Stockwell II. But there’s no smart speaker technology here, despite the premium prices, so if you want Alexa or Google Assistant integration, you will have to spring for one of the less portable, but no less powerful Marshall Stanmore II Voice speakers.

The Tufton and Stockwell II join the Kilburn II for purchase the Marshall headphones website.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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