There seems to be a growing focus these days on having rich, booming sound with us wherever we go. Lets face it, our smartphones simply do not have enough room left over to pack the internals necessary for stellar audio. For this reason, I typically opt to carry a Bluetooth speaker along with me when I need higher volume or just want better quality. Recently, Marshall announced its new Kilburn II Bluetooth speaker and we’ve been testing it out for a few weeks. Head below for more.
Marshall finds its spot in a crowded Bluetooth market
The Bluetooth speaker market has blown up over the past few years. There are so many highly-rated options on Amazon that it can be confusing for consumers to identify the best solution for their needs.
With such a wide variety out there, it can be easy to focus on features that have absolutely nothing to do with audio quality. Style and battery-life are areas that receive a high levels of attention since many consumers do not often know what to look for when buying a speaker. With Kilburn II, Marshall gives folks a product that will check those boxes and a whole lot more as long as you are willing to pay a premium for it.
Working from home, I do not often find myself needing to use a Bluetooth speaker. I typically pump tunes throughout my home via AirPlay 2 thanks to Apple TVs distributed amongst two televisions and an Optoma HD141X projector.
While this works out well most of the time, it tends to fall apart when I travel or spend a fair amount of time outdoors. Knowing that I was going on vacation and planning to spend much of it by a pool, I was relieved to have a review unit of the Marshall Kilburn II in my possession.
Marshall Kilburn II Bluetooth speaker unboxing
It could go without saying that the first thing I noticed about the Kilburn II was the packaging. While the sides and back of the box list all of speaker’s specifications, Marshall chose to hone in on what it thought will matter the most to consumers, design, portability, and 20+ hour battery life.
Upon opening the box, Marshall calls out its 50+ years of experience with its year of establishment being embossed on the first thing you touch.
Once everything had been unboxed, I found a quick start guide, legal & safety manual, power cable, and of course, the Marshall II speaker.
With dimensions of 10-inches by 7-inches by 5-inches and a weight of about 6 and a half pounds, the design of the speaker immediately made me think of a small amplifier or car battery.
The level of quality put a smile on my face before I had even powered it on. I could tell from attention to detail, that even though I was away from home, the Kilburn II was not going to let my audio experience suffer.
Unlike many speakers, Marshall’s Kilburn II does not require you to download an app to customize your audio. While tweaking headphones or speakers via an app may be a great experience for some, I personally enjoyed the approachability of simply twisting knobs for volume, bass and treble until everything sounded just the way I wanted.
Marshall’s Kilburn II Speakers shine with serious audio performance
During my time with the Kilburn II, I found the amount of sound it cranks out to be quite satisfying. I never found myself wishing that it could be louder and no matter how loud I made it, the quality did not seem to suffer.
Battery life is through the roof at 20+ hours. I listened to the majority of The Wrong Side of Goodbye (a great audiobook by Michael Connelly) and an hour or two of music each day for about a week without ever needing to stop and plug it in.
Bluetooth pairing was about as straight-forward as it gets thanks to a dedicated button, the ability to pair with two devices simultaneously, and a range of 30-feet.
Priced at $299.99, it is not surprising that the Marshall Kilburn II Bluetooth Speaker is the best Bluetooth speaker that I have used. I found the design to look good no matter where I placed it and the analog controls to be delightful and approachable for me and anyone else nearby to tweak.
If you are in the market for a high-end Bluetooth speaker, I definitely think the Marshall Kilburn II is worth considering. It is available for order from retailers like Best Buy, Crutchfield, and Amazon.