Taking your music with you wherever you go has never been easier. The invention of Bluetooth has created a unique way of playing music across multiple environments. From headphones and earbuds to mini-speakers and home theater systems, Bluetooth connectivity is practically a standard for portable speakers and various audio solutions.
One of these portable Bluetooth speakers is the Marshall Tufton. It is billed as the perfect “made for the open road” speaker.
We have looked at other marshall speakers, but this is the first truly portable speaker they have on offer. At least among the ones we have previously reviewed.
So how does it stack up?
You are about to find out in our in-depth Marshall Tufton review…
The Build and Design
One thing we know for sure is that the build quality is quite good. Marshall knows how to put together a speaker and amplifier. The Marshall combo amps are proof of this. Likewise, the Tufton is at its core a super-compact Marshall combo amp tailored to personal audio reproduction rather than live guitars.
Plenty of iconic style…
In fact, it was designed to resemble a Marshall amplifier. It features control knobs that look a lot like the ones you find on Marshall amps. Furthermore, it has a solid metal grille on the front that is adorned with the legendary Marshall logo.
Additionally, the corners feature flush-mounted caps that add to the aesthetic. As well as adding protection and durability. The finish is a lovely black leatherette. There is also a detachable carrying strap that looks like a guitar strap. Likewise, there are actual strap-pins on the sides where the strap attaches.
Ready for the road…
This is a very rugged and durable speaker. It weighs just over 10 pounds and measures 9.02 x 6.42 x 13.78 inches. For a compact travel speaker, this is heavier than most. However, it can’t really be called heavy, either.
Basically, the weight relative to the size is a good indicator of the build quality. It is solid and extremely well-built. No doubt, it can handle being on the road or a variety of environments with ease.
Furthermore, this speaker comes with an IPX2 water-resistant rating. This means it can shrug off small spills and splashes. You can not leave it out in the rain, but the rating does add to its road-worthiness.
The Controls and Connections
Along with a high-quality build and iconic design, this speaker has easy-to-use controls and connections.
Analog sound-shaping controls…
On the top, you will find a control knob panel. There are Treble and Bass control knobs along with a Power/Volume knob. Plus, a Bluetooth button and a battery indicator light.
You can easily shape your sound with only the Treble and Bass knobs. Furthermore, the sound quality is well-balanced and detailed, but we will address that in greater detail in the next section.
The Marshall Tufton features Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. This allows you to connect the speaker with any Bluetooth-enabled device. And the signal has a range of up to 30 feet from the speaker. As a result, you have greater portability with this speaker.
However, there is no standard WiFi connection. So, you cannot pair it to a home network. But, since this speaker is intended for travel and mostly outdoor use, we do not consider this a shortcoming.
A nice feature of this speaker is the Multi-host function. This means you can switch between two different Bluetooth devices for the audio source.
It’s a pretty cool function because it not only expands your playlist potential, but can stop the arguments about who is going to be the next DJ.
Alongside the Bluetooth connection is a 3.5mm wired connection. This gives you the option to connect to things like a desktop computer or home audio system. What’s more, the 3.5mm connection can even be used with a car stereo if it has an AUX input, as many do.
Overall, the controls are simple and straightforward, and the connection options are geared towards portability. We did not find anything that could be considered a deal-breaker.
As this is a travel speaker, we expected the battery to provide a decent amount of playtime. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised by the battery. Especially considering the internal components and the overall punch this speaker offers.
On a single charge, you can expect up to 20 hours of continuous playback. There is a built-in Lithium-ion battery that requires a mains socket to charge. Thankfully, a mains lead is included.
Likewise, a quick charge function gives you four hours of playtime with 20 minutes of charging. Plus, the battery indicator light on the top panel ensures know how much power is left.
A tiny downside…
That being said, some people will be a little disappointed there is no USB charging option. In fact, we did find it odd that a travel speaker did not include that option?
After all, there are not many mains outlets when sitting around a campfire. But once again, we do not see this as a major flaw.
Finally, we come to the most important aspect of this speaker and review. We knew we could count on Marshall to deliver an excellent soundstage. And that, they did.
First, the speaker utilizes a bass-reflex cabinet design that ensures minimal distortion from the lower frequencies.
Second, are the amplifiers for the tweeters and subwoofer. There is a 10-watt Class D amplifier that powers the tweeters, while the subwoofer uses a 40-watt Class D amplifier. So, combined, you have 50-watts of power.
The frequency range is 40 – 20,00 Hz and a maximum sound pressure level of 102 dB. These specifications work to ensure a well-balanced, clear, and detailed sound.
But there’s more…
In addition to the amplifiers for the tweeters and subwoofer are two 15-watts Class D amplifiers for the full range drivers. Specifically, for the mid-range driver on the back of the speaker.
This is part of the Multi-directional sound configuration. Essentially, this speaker offers a true 360-degree stereo sound by using three separate drivers on the front speaker. Plus, an extra midrange driver on the back.
The result is a richly detailed, balanced, and immersive sound experience. We would expect nothing less from Marshall.
Marshall Tufton Review Pros and Cons
- Portable and durable.
- Excellent soundstage.
- Analog controls.
- Multi-directional sound.
- Powerful 40-watt amplifier.
- Convenient carrying strap.
- Multi-host function.
- 20 hours of playtime.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Iconic Marshall styling.
- Slightly heavy for a portable speaker.
- No USB charging option.
Looking for more super speaker options?
If so, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers, the Best Party Speakers, the Best Alexa Speakers, the Best Tailgate Speakers, and the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Radio currently available.
Also, take a look at our reviews of the Best Wireless TV Speakers, the Best Solar Powered Bluetooth Speakers, the Best Bookshelf Speakers under 500 Dollars, the Best Powered Speakers, and the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers you can buy in 2021.
Marshall Tufton Review Final Thoughts
One thing we can say for sure is that Marshall has evolved. They are no longer limited to guitar and bass amps, as the Tufton clearly demonstrates. And we can expect to see more home and personal audio solutions from Marshall in the future.
The Marshall Tufton is a very durable and road-ready portable speaker. As we mentioned earlier, it is not as small or as light as other travel speakers. However, the sound quality and toughness mean this speaker can put numerous compact portable speakers to shame.
Honestly, we found way more to like about this speaker than to dislike. Therefore, if you are in the market for a portable Bluetooth speaker, the Marshall Tufton should be at the top of your list.
Until next time, happy listening!