Marshall Emberton – a portable speaker packing a punch

The Marshall Emberton is the most compact Bluetooth speaker to the portable speaker range. Marshall utilises True Stereophonic, a unique form of multi-directional sound allowing the user to experience 360-degree sound.

How does it do that from such a small speaker? Marshall has found a way to separate the spatial content of stereo recordings, so that the small Emberton speaker can produce a much larger and louder sound than its footprint.

The Emberton features that iconic Marshall styling, such as the solid metal grille and iconic Marshall script adorn the front of the speaker, echoing the legacy of rock ’n’ roll. Up top, the speaker is controlled with a single multi-directional control knob allowing you to play, pause, skip tracks and adjust the volume of your speaker, as well as turn it on or off.

Combine that with IPX7 water resistance and over 20 hours of playback you have a true poolside companion. If your party goes longer than 20 hours, it can be fast charged with the USB-C cable offering 5 hours of playback in 20 minutes. It is available in store now for £129.99.

REVIEW: JBL Pulse 2

Having owned the JBL flip 2 for a number of years, it got used pretty hard, mainly at full volume at student pre-drinks gatherings. It had a few drinks spilt on it and unfortunately a few issues cropped up. The charging port stopped working and then after getting that fixed, recently one of the speakers blew. Thankfully, I wasn’t sitting in a silent room for long as I got hold of the newer and slightly larger JBL Pulse 2 Bluetooth speaker.

JBL has updated the Flip model with the Flip 3, but I chose to go with the Pulse 2. Being ever so slightly larger and with LED lights I had to give it a go. Thankfully, now most of JBL’s Bluetooth speaker line-up is splashproof there isn’t much need to worry about the odd drink spillage or splash by the pool.

feature-6Lights out
The LED lighting is pretty gimmicky and it can be turned off when you want to prolong battery life and use it only as a speaker. But at a party or on the beach it can add to the drama – allowing the user to choose between a number of modes or use JBL’s colour prism lens to copy your favourite colour and let the speaker portray it. So far, every time I have tried to use the colour prism option it hasn’t worked.

JBL Connect
Can’t be bothered to walk over to your speaker to change the light sequence? Just download the app and change the style of lighting from equalizer all the way to fireflies. The app will also alert you when any updates are available as well as offering tutorials to using the speaker and connecting another speaker. That’s right, you can have a surround sound system by connecting multiple speakers and if your friends can’t decide what music genres to play – the speaker will support up to three simultaneous connections.

With no date in sight for voice assistant integration at the moment, it is only something spoken of in whispers whereby you can ask Siri or Google to play your favourite songs without having to lift a finger. If you are looking for a brilliant splashproof speaker that doesn’t break the bank, don’t waste any time and get it from the JBL store for £169.99 and available in either black or silver.

 

SPECS:
Transducers: 45mm x 2
Amplifiers: 2 x 8W
Input connection: AUX/Bluetooth
Frequency response: 85Hz – 20kHz
Battery: 6000mAh prividing up to 10 hours
Dimensions: 84.2 x 194.4 x 84.2mm

 

REVIEW: Cambridge Audio G2 Bluetooth Speaker

g2-gallery-10

The Cambridge Audio G2 Bluetooth speaker is much like the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chilli. Small, but packs a massive punch. About the size of an iPhone 6 plus, it is packed with technology. NFC connectivity for starters. If you are unfortunately not blessed with NFC on your phone, you will need to use the Bluetooth connectivity. Phone and laptop connect almost instantly after a quick and easy pairing session. Considered as a ‘Class D’ amplifier, this little unit offers a lot of power for very little size as well as longer battery power and cooler operating temperatures.

The G2 has a trick up its sleeve. Not only does it allow for 10 hours of playback but you can plug your phone in and it will act as a portable charger.


g2-gallery-11_0

Build Quality

Black aluminium mesh on both the front and back wrapped in a black metal casing. Six rubberised buttons adorn the top and a rubber anti slip pad sits on the bottom. It is a very sturdy piece of equipment which will look good on show no matter what colour you choose.  Readily available in Black, Champagne, Red and Blue. Red and Blue are both limited edition colours. The people at Cambridge Audio are proud to have their equipment built here in the UK since 1968, following one simple belief; “Music should always sound amazing.”

Voice Calling

When using the voice calling option on the G2 with both a standard call and a FaceTime audio call, the call was very clear on both ends however the receiver did tend to hear an echo of their own voice which can be somewhat tiresome.

g2-gallery-7

Party Speaker

If you have a second Cambridge G2 speaker, you can wirelessly link both of them for double the sound. Priced just a hair under £100, this portable speaker is definitely punching above its weight-class. Buy it now from here and fill your house with sound.

SPECS:

Driver: Two speakers and two bass radiators

Connectivity: Bluetooth connectivity with NFC for instant touch pairing, 3.5mm AUX jack

Input Connection: Bluetooth/ AUX/ NFC

Battery: 10 hours

Dimensions: 189 x 67 x 55 mm

REVIEW: JBL Flip 2

JBL Flip 2 box and speaker
JBL Flip 2 box and speaker

In the market for a bluetooth speaker? look no further. JBL have the answer with their speaker known as the Flip 2.

Like most modern gadgets, the Flip 2’s packaging is minimal, the box simply contained the speaker and its sturdy neoprene carrying case. Upon further inspection, the carrying case held the charger and instructions to the bluetooth speaker. To be fair JBL could have done without the instructions. It’s that easy to use. Press the on/off button on the side of the speaker, hit the bluetooth button and pair with your device and bang! you are ready to go.

wpid-IMAG0445.jpg

I am one of those difficult people who decided to run an Android phone whilst all my other tech is an Apple product.  This tends to bring about connectivity problems. The JBL Flip 2 has had no problems whatsoever, seamlessly connecting to my phone, Macbook and iPad.

What is great about this little speaker is that you can stand it up or lie it down depending or where you want to place it. six inches in height and crafted in beautiful metal and white rubber, it is very easy to mistake the design as part of the new Apple Mac family which is a compliment in its own right.

Another trick it pulls out of the hat, is that this speaker is also a speakerphone, great for an office or simply if you don’t want to hold your phone to your ear as you go about your business.

Testing it with two tracks, Outkast’s Rosa Parks and Muse’s Symphony part 3 where both tracks offer completely different levels of bass, treble and mid tones, the Flip 2 worked wonderfully for such a small speaker. At the beginning of Rosa Parks, there is a faint beat which is normally lost on headphones and some speakers however the JBL worked wonderfully. This speaker sounds a lot larger than it actually is and can compete with some of the top end speakers out there.

The downside that I have found with this speaker, is the battery life. It lasts 5 hours which is great but depending on the volume that figure may drop. I have found if you can plug it just do that and leave the wireless playing for when you really need it.

So go try it out and I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.

Spec Sheet:

Transducers: 40mm x2

Amplifier power: 2x6w

Frequency response: 100Hz – 20KHz

Signal to noise ratio: 80dB

Input connections: AUX/ Bluetooth

Battery: 5hrs listening time

Charge time: 3 hours by adapter