Portable Bluetooth speakers are incredibly popular for all sorts of uses from pumping out music at a BBQ to listening to music in the kitchen. One of my favourites this year is the Marshall Kilburn II in burgundy.
I won’t lie, I’m a big fan of the design, which takes its design cues from the iconic Marshall guitar amp.
The styling won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but the Kilburn II stands out in a crowded market of BT speakers that look incredibly samey.
The retro looks include three analogue control knobs that move satisfyingly smoothly for volume/on/off, bass and treble. There’s also a dedicated Bluetooth button and a 10 LED, battery level indicator for added effect and convenience.
The Killburn II is splash-proof with an IPX2 rating and offers over 20 hours of playtime on a full charge, which takes up to 2.5 hours. 20 minutes gets you 3 hours of portable playtime.
Although not particularly small (243 x 162 x 140 mm) or light at 2.5kg, it does come with a faux-leather guitar inspired strap that makes carrying it easy and cool.
I used it in open spaces where it doesn’t look out of place, but it also looks fantastic in a kitchen, bedroom locker or living room coffee table.
The front features a metal speaker grille mesh and a large and prominent, white Marshall logo.
The overall fit and finish of the Kilburn II is excellent. Each corner of the speaker is protected by rounded plastic end caps and faux-leather covering. The base has four rubber feet to improve
vibration and give it grip.
There’s no support for NFC, but you do get a 3.5mm AUX port around the back. Key features include Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX.
In terms of sound quality, the Kilburn II certainly holds its own with power and loudness that has no problem filling even a large room.
Marshall claims that it’s the loudest speaker in its class and based on my time listening, it’s hard to disagree.
The speaker offers a multi-directional sound, but most of the sound comes out of the front where the bigger speakers are.
The rear speaker does make a difference though it is much better than a lot of Bluetooth speakers that don’t have this.
Sound quality is excellent overall with a strong bass that isn’t mushy. The midrange is clear and highs are crisp.
The overall sound is clearly tuned more for rock than R&B or soul but it works surprisingly well in all genres to my ears.
The Marshall Kilburn II is simply cool and distinctive with awesome sound, great battery life for those who will more than likely use it in a house rather than at a house party.