Marshall Kilburn II Review
We tested Marshall Kilburn II and will show you the strengths and weaknesses of the box in amplifier optics.
The strengths of the Kilburn II by no means end with its beautiful vintage look, but also convince in terms of sound. You can adjust the sound exactly to your taste using the rotary controls and, thanks to the good battery life, you can also enjoy the clean and low-distortion sound of Marshall’s mobile speaker with its cult design for a long time on the go.
Marshall has achieved world fame as a legendary manufacturer of guitar amplifiers. Since the golden era of rock, the characteristic speaker towers have graced the stages of many well-known artists. For some time, Marshall has been trying to transfer this flair to other products such as headphones and Bluetooth speakers – with great success.
Marshall Kilburn II is the latest example of this approach. Available in black, indigo, gray, and burgundy, the classic Marshall lettering, metal grille on the front, and top carry-handle make it instantly recognizable. But looks and history are not everything. We thoroughly tested Marshall Kilburn II and will show you what the rocking Bluetooth speaker can do and how it fares everyday life.
- Consistent Marshall design
- Long battery life
- On a single charge, you have over 20 hours of playing time
- Portable, compact, and durable
- Water-resistant with an IPX2 rating
- Bluetooth 5.0 apt connectivity
- No headphones or 3.5mm AUX inputs
- A bit difficult
- High price
- It lacks sub-bass
- The water-resistance rating (IPX2) is very low
Marshall Kilburn II in the test: Beautiful design and great quality
With a weight of 2.5 kg and dimensions of 24.3 x 16.2 x 14 cm, the Kilburn II is not exactly tiny. And yet you are not tied to the garden or living room table with the Marshall box. The Kilburn II is also suitable for a park or lake trip with a practical shoulder strap and durable quality.
With protection class IPX2, the box is not waterproof, but it is protected against water falling at an angle. So, it would be best if you didn’t necessarily go swimming with the Kilburn II, but a light rain shower doesn’t have to trigger panic immediately.
A deceptively real-looking synthetic leather cover surrounds the case. The leather grain of the surface gives the box a pleasant, non-slip feel and high quality. As with the larger guitar colleagues, the corners are protected by black plastic edges.
Use the three controls at the top to turn on the Kilburn II to control the volume, bass, and treble. Use the Bluetooth button to connect new devices.
In addition to the obligatory volume control, you will also find rotary controls for adjusting the treble and bass on the top of the Kilburn II. Grooved metal caps, covered with non-slip rubber, sit on all controls. This is practical and underlines the old-school look of the box.
Visible at all times, red LEDs indicate the battery charge level.
Great sound, like from the stage. An equally convincing sound performance accompanies the beautiful design in the classic rock ‘n’ roll look. The shall Kilburn II sounds clean, clear, and powerful even at higher volume round, and precise mids are particularly noticeable when singing or voice playback in podcasts and the like.
This speaker from the British manufacturer masters has bass and high frequencies with flying colors even with a neutral equalizer. If you want more bass or sharper treble here and there, you can screw on the rotary controls. With a wide frequency range from 52 Hz to 20 kHz, there are hardly any nuances lost with Marshall’s loudspeakers. A powerful woofer and two tweeters are hidden under the grille front.
Marshall has hidden a total output of 36 watts in the Kilburn II faux leather chassis. As a result, the Brits are one step ahead of the 25-watt predecessor model. Twenty watts of this remarkable power are available to the woofer alone; the two tweeters are each supplied with 8 watts of power.
One tweeter is directed to the front and one to the rear. As a result, Marshall promises multidirectional sound. And in fact, the speaker doesn’t sound bad from behind either, although, of course, it’s much thinner.
There is another tweeter on the back.
The Marshall box also produces an amazingly good stereo sound image with this arrangement. Of course, no stage representation is expected here, as with separate floor-standing loudspeakers. Nevertheless, the British sound experts created a surprising three-dimensionality with the Kilburn II.
Easy to use, few extra functions
Marshall gives the Kilburn II controls for highs and lows but saves on other controls. The British sound engineers did it without a button or switched to pause the music or other playback functions on the Kilburn II. Unfortunately, in the app stores, Marshall’s Bluetooth app is also not compatible with the Kilburn II.
However, this does not affect the everyday operation of Kilburn II. The treble and bass controls offer so much control over the sound that there is hardly a sound wish left unfulfilled in everyday life. On the back, you will find a 3.5 mm jack input in addition to the connection for the power supply. Here you can connect other sources if necessary.
Another improvement compared to the predecessor is the connection via Bluetooth 5.0, including aptX support. As a result, Marshall has achieved an audible sound improvement. A prerequisite is, of course, a source device that supports the codec. However, this is the case with most modern smartphones, tablets, and the like.
Marshall installs a very powerful 5200 mAh battery in the Kilburn II. According to Marshall, it provides the box with around 20 hours of runtime, which was quite realistic in the practical test. Furthermore, once the battery is completely discharged, it is fully functional again after 2.5 hours on the supplied power supply unit.
Test result for the Kilburn II
Kilburn II brings some improvements over its predecessor. It impresses with its iconic vintage look and delivers technically and sonically properly. A total of 36 watts of power means plenty of power for every application. As a result, the Marshall box always sounds clean, controlled, and very low-distortion, even at higher volumes.
The two controls for adjusting the treble and bass are not just a nostalgic quote; they also offer real added value. You can use it to perfectly adapt the sound of the Kilburn II to your taste, the music being played, and the environment. The battery life of around 20 hours is also remarkable, as the box with an output of 36 watts also has a good appetite for energy. Ultimately, Kilburn II is not only a real eye-catcher for vintage fans, but also knows how to convince in terms of sound – and not just rock ‘n’ roll fans!