Marshall Kilburn Review

Marshall Kilburn Review

The Marshall brand is probably familiar to anyone who has ever held a guitar in their hands or watched a live band. But Marshall not only produces guitar amplifiers but also has several Bluetooth speakers in their range. In addition to the large Woburn, the Stanmore, and the Acton, which all rely on an external power supply, Marshall also has two battery-powered speakers in its range. Those being the Stockwell and the Kilburn. The Kilburn has been on the market for some time and has received many positive reviews. You can read below how Marshall Kilburn performed in my test!

PROS:

  • Great quality
  • Clear sound
  • Very good battery life
  • Controls for varying bass and treble

CONS:

  • Unfortunately, no hands-free function
  • Not protected against splashing water
  • Quite heavy at 3 kg
  • Not 100% suitable for all music genres

Specifications of the Marshall Kilburn

  • Frequency response: 60 Hz – 20,000 Hz (manufacturer information)
  • Weight: about 3000g
  • Bluetooth version: 4.0 + EDR
  • Power: 3 digital power amplifiers: 2 x 5 watts RMS (l/r) and 1 x 15 watts RMS (sub)
  • Battery life: up to 20 hours at moderate volume (max. 50%)
  • Driver: 2 x 3/4″ hi-fi dome tweeter with ferrofluid cooling + 4″ bass woofer, softly suspended (crossover frequency: 4200Hz)
  • Dimension: (W x H x D) 242 x 140 x 140 (mm)
  • Water protection: no
  • Hands-free function: no

Packaging and first impression

Marshall Kilburn comes in a fairly large box, which already shows the relatively high weight of the speaker. If you open the box, you will first find a very thick manual (or book), a stylish spiral cable (3.5 mm jack), and a power supply for the (unfortunately) proprietary charging connection. Then, if you lift another piece of Styrofoam, you get to the speaker itself. The Kilburn is wrapped in a black cloth. On its sides is an attachment to which a leather strap is attached. Red velvet is sewn on the inside of the belt, which also underlines the retro look. The strap is reminiscent of a guitar strap and, of course, fits perfectly with the Marshall brand.

Overall, the look of Kilburn is very much based on the world-famous Marshall amps. We find a brand-typical grid cover with large Marshall logs on the front. A thick artificial leather runs all around, which makes the Bluetooth speaker quite handy and robust. Various controls are attached to the top, which will be later discussed. A bass reflex opening and the proprietary charging connection are installed on the back. Finally, we find a screwed flap on the underside through which the battery can probably be changed.

Kilburn is a real highlight for rock fans because of its looks. The processing is at a very high level. Nothing rattles or wobbles. Only the weight is very high at 3 kg. There are currently somewhat handier speakers.

Features of the Kilburn

Unfortunately, Kilburn does not have many outdoor qualities. It is relatively large and also quite heavy at 3 kg. In addition, it is not protected against water and does not offer a charging function for external devices. This makes it more of a mobile Bluetooth speaker for the home, the garden, or maybe the rehearsal room. Unfortunately, you won’t find a hands-free function either.

In return, the Kilburn offers something that most loudspeakers do not have. On the top of the speaker, you will find various controls that can be used to adjust the sound of the Kilburn. In addition to the volume, the bass and the treble can be varied here. However, the separate volume control ensures that it cannot be changed synchronously with the connected player.

There is also an on/off toggle switch on the top, a source, and a pairing button. Three LEDs provide information about the origin and the battery status. Next to the LEDs is a 3.5mm AUX input.

Sound of the Kilburn

After I unpacked the Kilburn for the first time and held it in my hands, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and the look and had great expectations of the sound. The size and weight of the Bluetooth speaker fueled hopes of decent bass reproduction. The many positive reviews from other portals and Amazon made the anticipation grow.

However, after switching on and playing the first songs, a feeling spread that is not the case with many speakers. Believe me, I have heard and tested a lot of speakers over the years. The sound of Marshall Kilburn didn’t do anything for me. No “WOOOW! What a sound!” but also no “WOOOW! How bad! “. The Kilburn sounds good, no question about it, but the sound has nothing special, in my opinion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach particularly low in the low-frequency range or falls off quite a bit here.

In addition, this range between 100 Hz and 200 Hz is raised, which makes the sound a bit “boomy” or “boomy.” I would have preferred a deeper bass boost of around 70 Hz to 80 Hz. Although there is a bass control on the top of the case, this unfortunately only influences the entire low-frequency range, which means that the basic tuning in this range is retained.

The Kilburn has its strength in all kinds of (how could it be otherwise) rock music. Voices come across clearly, and guitars are, of course, extremely well reproduced. On the other hand, electronic music or hip-hop suffers a little from low-frequency reproduction.

In a direct comparison with, for example, the Sony XB40 (assuming the correct sound configuration via app) or the Dockin D Fine, the Kilburn could not assert itself for me. The music playback is good, but I lack some depth.

Please don’t get me wrong, the sound of the small Marshall speaker is really not bad, and it rightly has a large number of fans, but there are now other Bluetooth speakers that are more compact, lighter, and sound more powerful and also offer more features.

Conclusion

With the Kilburn, Marshall has a stylish Bluetooth speaker in its range, which deserves a lot of praise for its retro look alone. The processing is at an absolute top level. The Kilburn plays a consistently clean sound, and no distortions could be detected even at full volume. The great strength lies in the playback of rock and acoustic music. However, there are now other Bluetooth speakers that go a step further. All in all, Kilburn is still recommendable and the first choice for many rock fans.

Marshall Kilburn Review
Marshall Kilburn Review

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