Marshall's Middleton Bluetooth speaker is the company's new weatherproof flagship

This portable Bluetooth boombox is rugged, IP67 rated and offers 360-degree sound.

Photo by Jon Turi / Engadget

Marshall already launched a few rugged, weatherproof portable Bluetooth speakers, but so far they’ve been relatively small. That changes today with the launch of the Middleton. It’s still portable enough to chuck into a backpack, but has an IP67 rating, 20+ hours runtime at mid-volume, dual woofers and tweeters pushing out 50-watts of 360-degree sound and moves into the bassier 50hz to 20kHz frequency range. It’s available in black starting today and priced at $300.

The Middleton is being pitched as the new flagship for Marshall’s portable Bluetooth speaker line and rightly so. Aside from the Tufton, which isn’t all that rugged and is significantly bigger, the Middleton is now one of the more powerful portables in the company’s stable. It’s the largest IP67 rated speaker they have on offer, measuring 4.3 x 9 x 3.75 inches, and one of the first to pump out sound from all four sides. It also ditches the rubber port stopper seen on other models, since the company has already waterproofed the components.

As mentioned, the Middleton is rated for more than 20 hours of playtime on a single charge, at low to mid volume of course. I haven't had the chance to test this on full blast for long periods of time, but the charge does seem to hold up well. The speaker has three battery cells totaling 9,600mAh, and you can use the speaker as a USB-C power bank if needed. Also, if your charge is running low while you're jamming out, you can always use it while its charging.

The 360-degree sound is driven by two 15-watt woofers, two 10-watt tweeters and a pair of passive radiators that serve to pump music out of the smaller ends of this chunky rectangle. The output from this four-pound device is respectable and it handles low frequencies well. You also get the trademark Marshall sound that gives you a good dynamic range and provides significant depth to whatever sounds you're vibing on.

Just like the Emberton and Willen, the Middleton has a soft-touch exterior composed of 55-percent post-consumer recycled plastic and is 100-percent PVC free. It also has a carry strap you can easily fit your hand through. On the top, you’ll find onboard controls that provide more hands-on adjustment than its siblings. There’s a Bluetooth button (which doubles as the Stack Mode control) and a multi-use joystick for power on/off, volume control and track selection (forward or back). You also get bass and treble controls, which are a welcome addition and a first for one of Marshall’s speakers without physical knobs. The level indicator works in conjunction with most of the above. It displays battery level, but also indicates volume, bass and treble levels all with backlit red lighting.

This speaker is also the biggest model to support Marshall’s Stack Mode feature. You can start a session using the Marshall Bluetooth app and pair with any other Middleton, Emberton II or Willen speakers using a double press of their Bluetooth buttons to join. It helps if you aren’t already paired with speakers joining the session. Like most Bluetooth portables, two (or more) sound much better than one and a double dose of the Middleton sound is a pleasure. The company claims you can pair a good deal of compatible speakers together, having tested up to 60 at one time. I've "stacked" two Middletons, an Emberton II and a Willen which worked well — once I unpaired all but the main speaker from my phone, that is.

For reference, the UE Megaboom 3 ($200) and JBL Charge 5 ($180) are good models for comparison in terms of scale, although they all have unique sound profiles. As usual, this puts the Middleton in a slightly higher price bracket than some others out there in its size, but Marshall products have usually been priced at a slight premium. The excellent sound quality and decent low-end capability definitely makes this model worth checking out.

You can order the Marshall Middleton in black from the company’s website starting today for $300. If you prefer the cream-colored option, you’ll have to wait until around Spring this year.


  • Frequency Range: 50Hz-20kHz

  • Drivers: Two 15-watt woofers, two 3/5-inch tweeters, two passive radiators

  • Amplifiers: Two 20-watt class D amps for the woofers, Two 10-watt class D amps for the tweeters

  • Battery Type: Built-in rechargeable Li-ion

  • Power Bank: Charge devices from the speaker with USB-C

  • Play Time: 20+ hours

  • Quick Charging: 20 minutes gives you two hours of play

  • Charging Time: 4.5 hours for a complete charge

  • Weatherproof: IP67

  • Aux: 3.5mm input

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.1

  • Range: 30 feet

  • Size: 4.29 x 9.06 x 3.74 inches

  • Weight: 4LBs

This article contains affiliate links; if you click such a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission.