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Maxell MXSP-SB3000 review

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Maxell MXSP-SB3000

Summary

Our Score:

9

Maxell MXSP-SB3000 – Operation

Unlike some soundbars that confound you with cryptic flashing lights and clunky remotes, everything about the Maxell is straightforward. The LED panel displays inputs, volume levels and other key messages clearly, while the extensive array of sockets on the back makes it easy to connect all your components.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000

The remote rocks a retro grey-on-grey colour scheme, with a comprehensive array of small but serviceable rubber buttons. The layout is helpful, with volume and playback keys clustered in the middle and clearly-labelled buttons for each input at the top – much better than toggling through all the inputs with a single button.

It’s also good to see dedicated Bluetooth pairing and LED dimming buttons, while sound modes are controlled using individual Bass, SRS and EQ buttons. It’s a learning remote that can be programmed to operate your TV, hence the cluster of TV controls at the bottom.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000

Bluetooth setup is easy – hit the pairing button on the unit or the remote, then find it on your device. Communication was consistent and steady during our test, although if you pause playback the unit goes into standby after about three minutes, which annoyingly means you have to reconnect the devices.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000 – Performance

It’s very rare that a soundbar at this sort of price blows us away, but the MXSP-SB3000 does just that. It delivers a surprisingly ballsy and confident sound that won’t just fill the room but most of the house too. This is thrillingly demonstrated by Iron Man 3 on Blu-ray, particularly the scene in which Tony Stark’s Malibu home gets blown to smithereens.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000

It’s a bold, commanding sound, full of energy and vigour. As the first missile hits, the explosion rips through the room both on screen and in reality. Rich bass pulsates from the woofer and debris goes flying with a crisp high-frequency crunch. As Pepper gets wrapped in the Iron Man suit, its metallic clanks are loud and hefty.

More missiles and bullets slam into the house with satisfying aggression, and when the house finally splashes into the sea the moment feels suitably big and perilous. The Maxell handles all this chaos with admirable composure and authority – you can crank up the volume to near maximum and it refuses to distort.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000Maxell MXSP-SB3000

Individual sounds are given room to breathe and dialogue emerges loud and clear. The speakers and woofer fuse coherently, plus bass output isn’t too heavy-handed or boomy – although it does start to ‘chuff’ slightly in the ‘2’ setting, which should be avoided.

In the ‘Standard’ preset, high-frequencies sound flat compared with rival soundbars from Philips and Samsung, but activate SRS Wow HD and the sound comes alive. Small details sound crisper and clearer, and there’s a greater sense of width. Modes like these aren’t to everyone’s taste, but in this case it really does enhance the sound. SRS also sounds great with music – tunes streamed from a Bluetooth-equipped iPod are handled with delightful openness and balance.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000

Should I buy the Maxell MXSP-SB3000?

The MXSP-SB3000’s ‘TV base’ design won’t suit everyone, but its entertaining performance certainly will. Sound quality is excellent for the money – movies sound bold and powerful, with crisp SRS-boosted detail and punchy bass from the built-in woofer.

But what makes the Maxell such a bargain is its spec sheet – three HDMIs, two digital inputs, ARC and Bluetooth is a generous line-up at this price. It’s a shame the USB port doesn’t support music playback but that aside the MXSP-SB3000 is a great-value speaker upgrade.

Maxell MXSP-SB3000 – Verdict

Thrilling performance and generous connections make the sub-£250 MXSP-SB3000 one of the best-value soundbars on the market

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 9
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Value 10

robchan

September 30, 2013, 12:04 am

Trusted reviews has become the best place to read when you are interested about soundbars thanks to you, Danny and the rest of TR-team!

In your opinion which soundbar has the best sound if you have to choose between the
Maxell MXSP-SB3000 and the Philips HTL5120?

Googhy

October 13, 2013, 12:27 pm

It's all very good to see that this is a great soundbar, but where/when does it become available to the masses living in the UK?

david

November 4, 2013, 3:42 pm

Its available on Amazon now ;)

Troy Dyall

November 22, 2013, 10:28 pm

Would also like to know the anser to robchans question. its out of those two for me too...

Troy Dyall

December 7, 2013, 11:25 am

HELLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...............

spf

December 8, 2013, 10:41 am

Very disappointed with this - blutooth music and PS4 was good and loud........ BUT with movies via hdmi from my ACryan or from my TV via hdmi the sound was
very low - I had to put the volume all the way up to MAX and still would prefer
a bit more loudness.......... very disappointed as if it went louder it would
have been great.......

Anthony Borg

December 17, 2013, 6:22 pm

Will this work with a wall mounted SAMSUNG 46" Series 7000 Smart TV. 1 Reviewer stated unit not suitable for wall mounted TV as the speakers project beyond the TV face.

andyvan

December 18, 2013, 9:35 am

I'd say, no. It's really meant to sit underneath a TV on a pedestal.

JupiterMoon

December 19, 2013, 7:46 pm

Have been trying to buy this since it was reviewed on TR. Zero success. There must have been just a handful made available in the UK. Listed on tesco.com recently but immediately out of stock. Maxell clearly never intended to sell these in any quantity at this price. Shoddy. Should never have been given editorial space...

andyvan

December 20, 2013, 9:30 am

That's not fair at all. More likely is Maxell didn't expect the product to be such a success, and didn't have the production in place to cope with demand.

This independent looks like it has some:

http://www.freemans.com/produc...

Nick Wilsdon

December 26, 2013, 2:32 pm

It's listed again on Tesco.com now - at £200 (in stock - 200 points). Looks like they are dealing with the stock issue. HTH

SurreyFan

January 4, 2014, 8:52 am

I got one from Planet Gizmo online

Kev

January 7, 2014, 4:59 pm

Just bought one with no problem at all, I live in Malta and bought it on Amazon it was shipped to me within around 9-10 days via DHL.

Mark H

January 8, 2014, 1:35 pm

Would this support CEC with a Panasonic TV? i.e. will the Panasonics remote be able to control the volume? The TV has viera link and is only a couple of years old.

skip

February 17, 2014, 2:27 pm

great review ... very thorough review ... now all there is to do is buy one !

chris

February 21, 2014, 6:38 pm

happy days ....

only just ordered so unsure how quickly i will get

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/so...

skip

February 28, 2014, 1:22 pm

just recieved from sainsburys - very easy to set up on my lg smart tv - sound is good for a £130 piece of kit - bluetooth works a charm - very large tho - and spans the length of my 42" tv

get yourself a bargain from sainsburys online

Jacques Briffoteaux

August 4, 2014, 7:37 pm

I got some distrurbing noise when I start the sound bar, with or without cables connected to. It's pretty annoying and loud enough that I hear it clearly and need to put higher volume, Anyone experienced that? Any great idea to fix this?

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