Marshall has taken the wraps off its first "ultra-compact" Bluetooth speaker. The palm-sized Marshall Willen promises "mighty sound" and a new multi-speaker Stack Mode, inspired by the firm's stadium-filling guitar amps.
The 10cm x 10cm x 4cm Willen rocks a 10W Class D amplifier and a two-inch full-range driver paired with two passive radiators. The rubberised faux leather exterior, complete with Marshall gold accents, is rated IP67 waterproof so the Willen could be a decent 'plus one' for festivals (Marshall has even included a rubber strap so you can hang the Willen on your tent).
Other new features include the ability to pair the Willen with the Marshall Bluetooth app, which wasn't previously available for the company's portable speakers and offers a choice of three equaliser presets. Need some extra oomph? The new Stack Mode lets you wirelessly connect your Willen to other Willen speakers (a nice addition, but pretty standard these days).
Battery life is a claimed 15 hours, which sounds promising when you consider that the Tribit Audio StormBox, currently one of the best waterproof speakers on the market, runs out of steam after 8 hours. A 20 minute quick charge will deliver three hours of playtime, while a three hour charge will bring the Willen back to full health.
The Willen is joined by the new Emberton II – a larger, louder, heavier Bluetooth speaker (700g vs 300g). The updated model looks almost identical to the 2020-launched Emberton but boasts an improved battery life (30 hours vs 20 hours), Stack Mode and True Stereophonic virtual 3D sound.
Both speakers are available to pre-order from the Marshall website (opens in new tab) now with the ultra-compact Willen priced at £90 / $120 (around AU$160) and the Emberton II at £150 / $170 (around AU$270).
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