What is it?
This beautifully designed sound bar from Maxell serves as a base to your television, turns the low quality sound from your television into a high quality experience, connects to devices via Bluetooth, and gives you a USB port to charge your devices.
Look and feel
The unit is fairly big, and serves as a solid base to the television that will (recommended setup) go on top of it. They have included pads that attach to the television base, and give it stability. The top of the unit has a wooden frame, which has been acoustically designed to enhance the bass experience. The front features a display, and touch sensitive buttons, as well as the USB slot. The display gives you information about your input, your equalizer settings, your volume, etc.
The back features the various ports, which include 3 x HDMI IN, 1 x HDMI out, Optical input, Line IN for 3.5mm connection, as well as RCA In. There is also connection for the power cable on the back.
The unit has that charm you found in the wooden speakers of old, and somehow looks very modern at the same time.
The set up is fairly simple. You have a fair few options, but the recommended one is using the HDMI port.
You can plug up to three HDMI sources in to the back of this speaker, and then the speaker transmits your selected HDMI to your television. This means that all the information goes through the soundbar, and it plays your sound accordingly. I thought that this might mean that the soundbar will transmit some ‘visual’ information with the video, but there is nothing that gets in the way of your video, and the only display you get is through the LCD display on the sound bar. The HDMI also passes complete information, 3D, resolution, etc, so you don’t need to worry about anything happening to your picture quality.
Other ways to set it up are using optical out from your television/media player, line in, or RCA sockets.
The Bluetooth setup is fairly simple, and using the remote it takes a couple of clicks. You go to Bluetooth mode, click ‘Pair’, and then just scan and connect with it using your device.
The remote control
Most sound bars come with some form of a remote control these days, and the MXSP-SB3000 is no exception. The remote can be used to choose an input, DIM the display, turn Bass up and down, and turn on SRS WOW. You can also pan through 5 equalizer settings through it, and it is particularly useful if you are playing devices via Bluetooth, as it has Play/Pause, Skip, Previous/Next functionality.
What is more impressive is that Maxell have packed in the Learn feature with their remote. That means that you can teach it to learn the various features of your television’s remote, and hence control it using this as well. Anything that means we have to hold less devices is a definite win for us!
The USB Port
This comes with a USB port on front, that is advertised to charge devices. This is all it does, and though one may hope that it plays music, it doesn’t. Can’t blame Maxell for false advertising, and we hope that at some stage a future update may push USB playback as an option.
The speakers deliver 30W outputs, while the bass is rated at 100W. Added is the SRS WOW HD output, as well as 5 equalizer modes.
Having said that, it delivers a powerful sound, and the bass shakes you like you want the bass to shake. The sound is true, the sound effects are brilliant, and depending on what equalizer setting you’re using, you get what you want.
In fact, clarity is where this speaker really shines. From dialogues, to the hidden details in sound effects we often ignore, to bullets hitting cars, everything is enhanced and presented how you want to listen to it. Not too loud, not imbalanced at all. Just perfect, in almost a subtle but not so subtle way.
This speaker has been designed to enjoy movies, and anything that packs in sound effects will be a straight hit with this one.
The bass is prepared to move you, but you can turn it up even more if you like.
The device retails for about £220, and this suddenly makes it very attractive. Most sound bars are above the £250 mark, and once you put this in perspective with the competition, you realize you get a lot more for your dollar.
A sound system that delivers both power and clarity at the same time, and enhances your television’s sound. The ability to play music over Bluetooth is a definite plus, and once you put this in perspective with the price, you have a really good deal on your hands.