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Marshall Middleton review: Portable heavyweight sound

Marshall Middleton review: Portable heavyweight sound

Marshall Middleton

The Marshall Middleton is the portable Bluetooth speaker to bring for your next outdoor party. Its quad-speaker setup (and it's even expandable with multiple Middleton speakers) is plenty powerful, while the solid (but not ruggedised) build, and IP67 water and dust resistance are ideal for the outdoors.

Quick specs

  • Two 20W Class D amplifier (woofers), Two 10W Class D amplifers for (tweeters)
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • 1.8kg
  • Battery life of up to 20 hours

The Marshall Middleton has a similar amp-inspired design as other Marshall speakers, such as the Acton III. But at 1.8kg, the Middleton is the heaviest portable Bluetooth speaker I have used. That being said, I had no trouble lugging it around thanks to the carry strap. I actually used the speaker as a music-playing dumbbell to add some resistance training to my daily walks, though I doubt Marshall intended it to be used that way. And if you're wondering why there are speaker grilles on all sides, it's because they indicate the location of the four drivers. With IP67 water and dust resistance, you can also bring this speaker to the pool or the beach.

Marshall Middleton
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

If you're up for it (or have friends with their own Middleton speaker), you can link two or more speakers (dubbed Stack mode) for even larger, more immersive sound. It's simple — pick a speaker and triple-press the Bluetooth button to start a Stack session. Then double-press the Bluetooth button on other nearby Middleton speakers to add them to the main speaker. You control music playback and volume using the brass-coloured multi-directional control knob, which also doubles as the power button. Besides Bluetooth, the speaker also has a 3.5mm aux input, and a USB-C port for charging. And in a pinch, the Middleton can also act like a power bank, and charge your devices via the USB-C port.

Marshall Middleton
While the Middleton comes with an app, you can do quite a bit with the physical controls, like checking the battery status, or tweaking the bass and treble levels. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The first thing I noticed about the Middleton is the presence of its bass. It's deep, tight and punchy. Lower frequencies like the bass guitar come across prominently, but the sound remains balanced. The trebles sound bright, and not overwhelmed by the bass. And even with the volume set at around 50%, the Middleton fills my living room. The soundstage is also excellent. Marshall has a multi-directional 360-degree sound feature dubbed True Stereophonic that probably works because the Middleton has drivers on all its four sides.

While it's built for the outdoors with up to 20 hours of battery life, I found the Marshall Middleton to be rather handy at home. For example, I would bring it to the kitchen to have some music while washing dishes. If you don't already have speakers in your rooms, the Middleton is a convenient solution. However, it's not exactly cheap at S$499, and the weight could be an issue. The sound quality, though, is definitely heads and shoulders above most portable speakers. Get it now from Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon SG.

See Also

Note: Review unit provided by Marshall.

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