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Customer Review

110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product and services, 23 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Nov 2013 16:40:00 GMT
Hi, I have purchased this sound bar and have an arc lg tv connected by a new hdmi 1.4 cable but I cannot control the tv volume from the tv handset. The only way I can do this is via the phono connection which does not give such good sound. Am I missing something?

Posted on 3 Nov 2013 16:41:17 GMT
Hi, thanks for the review, I have purchased this sound bar and have an arc lg tv connected by a new hdmi 1.4 cable but I cannot control the tv volume from the tv handset. The only way I can do this is via the phono connection which does not give such good sound. Am I missing something?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2013 19:35:16 GMT
Haven't experienced this problem myself but presumably you can control volume using the sound bar remote?

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 18:13:23 GMT
Tolak says:
According to the Maxell website, the MXSP SB3000 is ARC enabled (and so would support CEC) but not the MXSB-252. (And the MXSB-250 doesn't even have HDMI, but might save some money compared with the 252).

Can you confirm that you have the MXSB-252 and working ARC?

Because the sound bar remote is tiny and redundant, the normal TV (and Sky) remotes would be preferred, so the ARC and CEC functions are important.
Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 19:07:18 GMT
Yes I have the 252. It is ARC enabled - don't know about CEC.

I have to say the unit is back with the manufacturer for testing because it has stopped working. However, the cause is nothing to do with the ARC connection - no sound at all is being received for example when connected to my CD player.

The 3000 would appear to be the latest version and appears to have many more features.

Posted on 26 Dec 2013 23:31:08 GMT
jadebunny says:
Hi do you know if this unit supports hdmi pass through while in standby?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Dec 2013 09:42:00 GMT
Sorry - don't understand what you mean by this - why not try the retailer or manufacturer.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Dec 2013 12:39:58 GMT
jadebunny says:
i mean while you have say your sky box connected to this sound bar through hdmi do you still get a picture on the tv when the sound bar is in stand by?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Dec 2013 13:00:19 GMT
Yes - no problem.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Dec 2013 14:23:36 GMT
jadebunny says:
Thanks! Just what i needed to know :)
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