Installation takes a matter of minutes. Once in place, just plug it in and hook up your TV. It’s controlled by a tiny remote, which we guarantee you’ll lose down the back of the sofa at least once. Its fiddly blister buttons have a cheap feel, but they’re clearly marked and include dedicated keys for each source and sound mode, alongside Bluetooth pairing, volume and mute controls.
The LED on the front of the unit glows blue for Bluetooth, white for optical and green for analogue input. With no other indicators on the front, volume is judged by ear (the light flashes when adjusting). There are no bass or treble controls, so you have to rely on the four EQ settings to tweak the sound.
Bluetooth setup is quick and easy – hold down the pairing key and the Minx appears on your device. Helpfully it remembers up to eight devices so you don’t have to keep pairing them.
We placed Minx TV on a typical front room furniture unit, plonked our 40-incj Samsung TV comfortably on top and hooked it up using an optical cable. With Pacific Rim on Blu-ray, Minx TV delivers superb sound quality, creating a big, enveloping soundstage that perfectly suits the movie’s epic Kaiju Vs Jaeger battle scenes.
During the opening scrap between Gipsy Danger and Knifehead, Minx TV’s BMR drivers flood the room with bass in a similar way to Cambridge Audio’s fantastic Aero system. It makes the stomping footsteps feel suitably thunderous while bringing richness and depth to the dramatic score. There’s a remarkable sense of scale for such a discreet, inconspicuous unit.
Meanwhile midrange and high frequencies are rendered with drive and purpose, lending the Kaiju’s bellowing roar and the powerful clank of metal plenty of attack. It’s a forceful, engaging sound, but smooth too – you can push the volume high without any brightness or distortion. Dialogue is clear and prominent, allowing you to hear every word of the movie’s dodgy dialogue.
If we’re being critical, bass output gets a little overpowering at louder volumes, lingering a little too long during the more frenetic fight scenes, plus it lacks the impeccable detail you get from Cambridge Audio’s other Minx systems. But these are minor niggles – the size, clarity and volume of the sound are still impressive for the money.
Toggling through the EQ modes, we found Film to offer the best low-frequency balance. Voice mode is more compressed but brings extra clarity to speech, making it well suited to TV viewing (better, ironically, than the ‘TV’ mode).
Minx TV does a fine job with music too. Streamed via Bluetooth from an iPod Nano, the piano chords and breathy vocals of The Lost and Found by jazz chanteuse Gretchen Parlato sound vivid and intimate, conveyed with a more sophisticated tone than you might expect from a simple TV plinth.
Weighing up its price against performance, we have to conclude that Minx TV is a terrific purchase – although we’d say that the Maxell MXSP-SB3000 offers better value, throwing in three HDMI inputs and an extra optical input.
Still, Minx TV does what it says on the tin, bringing large-scale sound into your living room thanks to the impressive BMR drivers. It’s attractive, easy to use and offers built-in Bluetooth too, making it the ideal sound system for those who hate clutter.
With impressive performance and a smart, clutter-free design, Minx TV is a superb way of taking TV sound to the next level.