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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sounds great
Connected my maxell system with an optical lead work's well in conjunction with the tv speakers when setting the sound level put the tv on mute first sounds great on films and music channels awesome on my Xbox all in all a great improvement on my tv speakers well worth the money
Published 15 months ago by dippymick

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reliability is a major issue
This product met my requirements - weight and clarity - but after 24 hours it kept switching back to the TV speakers,and altering my settings. Switching HDMI and Optical cables made no difference,neither did following all the Troubleshooting suggestions in the manual. It is a measure of my liking for its sound and price that I've opted for a replacement rather than a...
Published 2 months ago by Choosy


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sounds great, 8 April 2013
This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
Connected my maxell system with an optical lead work's well in conjunction with the tv speakers when setting the sound level put the tv on mute first sounds great on films and music channels awesome on my Xbox all in all a great improvement on my tv speakers well worth the money
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really a 3.5 star product.....? See updates below..., 26 April 2013
By 
P. F. Cope "Pamandlawrence" (Staffordshire, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
Purchased from the four letter auction site, we were looking for a soundbar that we could mount the flatscreen onto thus saving space and the clutter of additional speakers. In this respect, this Maxell product scores well, only adding a couple of inches to the height of the tv, and it does look neat when set up.
Controls at the side of the unit are touch sensative and each application brings with it an indicator light on it's front grill, saving a seperate display screen. The supplied remote is of a membrane type but works supprisingly well and finally, the available inputs could put a budget home cinema to shame!
We have the unit connected direct to the output of our tv using an optical cable which leaves us the option to use tv without the bar for less intense type viewing.
Our reason for purchasing the bar was to 'flesh out' the sound from the tv as it's sound is somewhat lacking given that it fires sound downward and not outwards...common with most new flatscreens. In this regard, the bar is a success and actually sounds a decent quality. Where it falls down is the actual volume available. The spec suggests a total output of 70watts (4x10 for front and 30 for sub) and if this is the case, i'm a monkeys uncle!
With hindsight, a pair of Bose Companion 2's would have been a better option but this would not have produced the neatness the Maxell gives, nor the range of possible inputs.....all in all, a neat solution with a decent sound quality for the money, but be prepaired to use the tv speakers aswell should you want to go that little bit louder.

UPDATE

After using this soundbar for a few months, I decided to investigate wether it was possible to increase the output level of the optical out from our Sony TV, to boost the volume of the Maxell ( working on the basis that the TV was acting as a form of pre amp ). On our set it was not possible, but what I also tried was using a pair of phono to phono leads to connect direct from our sky box to the Maxell and the result...much much louder! If you use it in this fashion, you would have to totally mute the TV speakers as there is a distinct echo produced if both are left outputting sound. The Maxell remote lets you sellect which cable type you wish to listen to at the press of a button, so I have left both connections in situ. The only downside is that the sound, through phono leads is somewhat 'thicker' and less distinct, and the level of tone control the Maxell gives is not able to counter this new sound fully. Now at least this soundbar can give me two options of use depending on which type of programme I am watching.
Finally, have tried programming the Maxell handset to control our TV volume...it worked perfectly and was very simple to do, the instructions are contained in the manual provided.

UPDATE

Just over nine months on, this product is still going strong and looking like new despite having a 46" Sony TV sitting on it! Must mention that the touch controls on the unit itself rate as the best of their type I have ever encountered and are a pleasure to use. Since posting the review, there have been a few negative comments made on this Maxell. From my experiences I can only presume that some faulty units got loose which must be annoying for the purchasers. However, it must be remembered that this is a budget product and, as some other posters have said, expectations must not be raised too high. For me, the soundbar (should be called a soundboard) still makes a good overall contribution to general TV viewing.
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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product and services, 23 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
Having recently moved to a larger house, we upgraded to a larger TV also (Philips 39" LED, bought from Richer Sounds).

Whilst the sound quality is adequate, we decided to invest in a budget sound bar seeking greater clarity and depth.

I spent many days researching the options on this and other sites and eventually settled for the Maxell which does not appear to be widely available. I could find no English reviews of this sound bar and finally considered Google translations of a number of German websites. Whilst the translations were a little hit and miss, nevertheless the reviews were all positive.

The features that attracted me to the Maxell are:

1. I liked the design and the fact that the TV sits on top of the sound bar. (4 soft rubber cushions are supplied which you fix on top of the sound bar to reduce any possible vibration). Whilst there are similar cheaper options available, they did not appear to be as robust nor have as wide a range of connection options.

2. Both the TV and sound bar are ARC compatible so that they can be connected by a single HDMI cable. (I bought the Amazon Basics high speed cable which is also ARC compatible). None of the other budget sound bars have this capability which I particularly wanted - the prevailing view appears to be that HDMI connection gives the best quality sound. It also means that you can control volume from the TV remote and only need to use the sound bar remote to select from the various options.

3. It was within budget at 120.

4. It has many connection options, in the event that I ever decide to get into gaming etc.

The Maxell has limited scope for fine tuning the sound which may put some people off but I suspect this applies to most cheaper products.

As to the actual experience, well the service from Smartgear was excellent - it arrived within 48 hours rather than the advertised 5 to 7 days. It was easy to set up. It certainly enhances the sound - the tinny reproduction of the TV speakers is already a distant memory - and the surround sound setting does introduce a cinematic quality, albeit not on the scale of top of the range sound systems.

All in all, highly recommended.

UPDATE December 2013

Having been very happy with the 252, a couple of months ago it stopped delivering any sound! My tv pop-up indicated that the sound bar was active, and the sound bar responded to instructions from the remote but was silent. I checked all the connections and tried rebooting it without success.

So I contacted the retailer (Smartgear) via Amazon's website. Smartgear responded by phone within a couple minutes of my e-mail and after discussion decided to put me in direct contact with Maxell and to monitor progress. Maxell made a number of suggestions, none of which worked so it was agreed that my unit was faulty. They asked me to return the unit direct to them for checking, and assuming the fault was confirmed, would offer either a refund or replacement.

Eventually, the unit was confirmed as faulty. Rather than a direct replacement, Maxell have agreed that I can upgrade to their new 3000 sound bar (paying the difference in cost). I would happily have accepted a direct replacement for the 252 had the new model not been available but am attracted to the 3000 model because of its bluetooth connectivity but mainly because of its enhanced power. i expect to receive the 3000 shortly.

Obviously, this course of events was disappointing but I do feel that I was just unlucky. The procedure leading up to the eventual replacement was a little slow (partly down to me) but throughout both Smartgear and Maxell were clearly doing their best to resolve the problem to my satisfaction. I will review the 3000 once I have had an opportunity to test it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reliability is a major issue, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
This product met my requirements - weight and clarity - but after 24 hours it kept switching back to the TV speakers,and altering my settings. Switching HDMI and Optical cables made no difference,neither did following all the Troubleshooting suggestions in the manual. It is a measure of my liking for its sound and price that I've opted for a replacement rather than a refund - maybe I was just unlucky, but judging by other reviews,Maxell should get its act together over quality assessment. If the replacement plays up I'll be seeking a refund, and updating this review.
Points of information - The Optical cable socket has a cover that has to be pulled off. Most,if not all, speakers have to be run in, and improve with use. There's a bass port at the rear so the unit should be close to a wall.
Update:
Unfortunately, the replacement unit also only functioned satisfactorily for a few hours,then kept switching back on to the TV speakers(The TV is a 3 month-old Sony KDL42W705B - HDMI Arc and Optical cables were purchased new).I have applied for a refund. This review is now downgraded to One-Star.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, neat and tidy sound system, 20 May 2013
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This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
if you want quality 2.1 surround sound without wires then this is the unit for you. with a variety of connectors for device input it delivers superb sound for the price. It is not full adjustable, but if you can adjust the sound via the TV which does the same thing. The TV will sit neatly on top of this stylish unit
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what I expected after some configuration glitches, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
I recently bought an LG 32LN575V Smart Digital TV which I knew from the reviews had poor sound quality in common with most other 32" flat panel TV's. The TV sound proved to be as disappointing as the reviews said so I was in the market for a Soundbase style speaker and chose the Maxell MXSB 252 on the basis of cost and connectivity. Soundbars are generally too long and I did not want a large separate base woofer as my living room is compact. I also looked at units from Denon, Panasonic and Richer Sounds own brand Cambridge which are more costly.

Appearance wise the SounBase is just a black box and it is slightly wider than my 32" TV. The curved top plate helps to reduce the appearance of bulk.

I was as confused as some of the other reviewers getting the unit going when it was delivered (quickly and efficiently in a huge box) and thought at first it was not working as no power lights show when it has a sound connection.

I had ordered an HDMI lead with the unit but could not get this to work initially so used the headphone lead that came in the box. This worked pretty well allowing the TV remote to control the sound level which I liked because the separate Maxell remote is pretty small and unresponsive.

The only downside was that it took a few seconds for the sound to start when the TV was switched on and a few minutes for the soundbase to go to standby when you switched it off. Sound was pretty good compared to the TV speakers on the standard setting though of course not up to an expensive hi-fi. For most listening I prefer it on the standard settings.

I was not content with the headphone cable link so ordered an optical lead and another HDMI lead to try and get the optical and HDMI leads working.

When the leads came through I got the optical cable working and it sounded better than the headphone lead but there were a number of issues. As others have said you have to use the Maxell remote to change the sound level which is inconvenient and when the TV was switched on the sound was muted and distorted until you flipped channels.

I tried the new HDMI cable without success so I looked back through the Amazon reviews and the rather unclear instructions that came in the box. Eventually I worked out that you connect the HDMI socket marked ARC on the TV to the OUT HDMI socket on the soundbase (not the IN!) On the TV you choose External Speaker (Optical/HDMI ARC) and select PCM on the digital sound out setting. If you set AUTO on the digital sound out setting you get no sound on the HD channels. The LG has something called Simplink which is their version of Consumer Electronics Control or CEC. This has to be set On with the Auto Power also set on.Now I get sound immediately when the TV goes on, the soundbase goes into suspend mode immediately the TV is switched off and the TV remote controls the sound.

Having used the unit for a couple of weeks I am pretty happy with the sound though in some speech there is a buzz which I have not eliminated yet and I actually like the red light that shows up when the unit is in suspend mode matching the red light on the TV.

To summarize I am very happy with what I got for the money and give it four stars based on the quality and cost. If you want home cinema levels of sound this is not for you but that would cost a lot more, take up more room space and have a lot more cabling.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased ......., 27 Mar 2013
By 
S. D. Taylor (Dumfries, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
Firstly I ordered this item on a Friday and it arrived the following Tuesday, well wrapped and in one piece. It was very easy to get set up, we used the supplied RCA cables as my TV has only one HDMI socket and that is being used by my Sky box. There certainly is a powerful sound from the bar and we are getting used to operating it. My only slight minus was the remote control very small and I'm sure it will go missing for long periods of time but once the unit has been set it will always come on at the same level as it was turned off. All in all a smashing product at a very good price you can hardly go wrong ......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good value, 12 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
Straightforward external speaker(s). Much better than TV speakers.
Very few adjustments possible (2 bass settings and SRS) but that's just what I wanted.
If you want a good value simple unit pick this, if you want more settings control pick something else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An affordable way of improving tinny TV sound, 9 Jan 2014
By 
R. A. Brown (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
There are so many quite pricey sound bars on the market and I didn't want to spend a lot just in case the result didn't please. The problem is that flat screen TV's produce poor quality sound with little bass resonance. Having used this model for a while, I have come to the conclusion that some of the TV sound problem rests with the programme one is watching. Some older programmes have poor sound quality that doesn't reproduce well whatever you do with it. Even some modern programmes sometimes have poor quality sound.

The Maxell MXSB 252 certainly helps to give an improved sound quality for most programmes although it is often necessary to adjust the volume and tone settings in order to achieve a reasonable result Sometimes, it is even necessary to mix in some sound from the TV set if the sound is muffled.

Some of the reviews I read before purchasing this model were made by people who obviously didn't have the patience to experiment. You have to be prepared to alter the sound bar and TV settings to suit because many older programmes were not made to be played with modern TV technology.

Having said all this, yes, this is a good accompaniment to a modern TV. At least you can hear something of the middle and lower musical tones.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value sound base (bar), 28 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Maxell MXSB 252 Digital SoundBase TV Speaker (Electronics)
Very good performance - reproduces film soundtracks impressively with good solid base notes and a clarity utterly missing from my Sony Bravia speakers. OK, it is not like a top of the range hifi but it is astonishingly good. If I had a criticism it would be that people without prior knowledge of HDMI/ARC will find the user guide poor. Here are the things you need to know. You must have an HDMI socket marked ARC ( usually HDMI1 or HDMI2 ) and this must connected to the 'OUT', YES, the OUT HDMI socket on the Maxell. Ensure that your TV HDMI1(ARC) socket is 'ALWAYS' enabled, and that your TV is set up for external sound system (using the TV menus). Now you stand a chance! If you haven't got HDMI/ARC on your TV you must use the 'optical' link. If you haven't got this you are in for a poor experience as you will have to use the RCA phono cable provided. You cannot get any interaction between the TV and the soundbar with this - it doesn't have the ability. So assuming your are using HDMI/ARC. Make sure you are using a fairly modern HDMI cable that has ARC implemented.( makes you cable a two way device with control signals catered for)
If your TV has a number of HDMI ports, plug your devices e.g. Humax box,Blu-ray player, INTO the TV.That way ALL your sound will be passed through to the Maxell via the single HDMI/ARC cable connected to the 'OUT' socket. All you will need is the TV remote now. Switch the TV on and off and the soundbar will be switched also. Change the volume on the TV remote and you automatically control the soundbar. Aside from initially setting the volume balance and the bass level you desire you may now throw the maxell remote controller into a drawer - you will not need it unless you want to set up the Maxell soundbar differently. I like to minimise controller and have simplicity so my family don't have to know anything, they just switch on and switch off the TV.
It took just 10 minutes to install the Maxell as above and I am very pleased with it. Caveat: If you have an old TV without ARC or opto link you will have to get used to using yet another controller - If you plug in you other devices into the soundbar port e.g.dvd player etc you will have to use the little Maxell controller to switch sources......I'd buy a modern TV first. I hope this has been helpful. Good luck.
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