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Maxell MXSP-SB3000 review

Tom Morgan
15 Nov 2013
Price when reviewed 
230
inc VAT

Plenty of features, but its sound quality could be much better

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Sound bars can boost the sound quality of your TV setup without the need to clutter up your living room with lots of speakers and wires, and they’ve grown in popularity as prices have begun to drop. The Maxell MXSP-SB3000 is an entry-level sound bar at a great price that looks good and promises a lot.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000

Many sound bars sit in front of your TV, but the MXSP-SB3000 is long enough to sit underneath it. It has a sturdy wooden frame that, according to Maxell, can support a TV up to 80Kg in weight. As it has curved edges, any TV with a wider base won't sit securely on top of it.

The MXSP-SB3000 looks great, too, with a brushed metal effect finish that should match the colour of many TVs. A single-line LCD display sits in the centre of the unit, and it lets you check volume and the active input at a glance. However, you’ll need to be sitting a few feet from the display as the text isn't large enough to read clearly from far away. Even so, the display’s much clearer than competing sound bars from Orbitsound, which either rely on flashing LEDs to impart information or eschew source and volume indicators altogether. The option to dim the display is much appreciated, as it means you can reduce the brightness if you find the light distracting when watching films.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000

A row of touch-sensitive buttons sit on top of the unit, directly above the display. It's useful for changing the volume or switching sources if you can't find the remote control. The USB port on front is another useful inclusion, although you can only use it to charge your smartphone or tablet. Thankfully, you can still play music on your smartphone thanks to the MXSP-SB3000’s built-in Bluetooth connectivity.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000

It's great to see high-quality aptX Bluetooth too, although regular A2DP streaming is also supported for devices that don't support aptX. Switching to the Bluetooth source automatically makes the speaker visible to nearby devices, with no need to input a passcode to pair your handset or tablet.