on 4 November 2013
The Maxell MXSP-SB3000 Soundbar is a different take on other soundbars currently available on the market. This one functions as a base for your TV to sit on. It has a wooden frame which acoustically improves the sound quality and I was very surprised with how bassy and loud this unit can go!
It has Bluetooth 4.0 which is great for playing my music through my iPhone and 3 HDMI ports as well which is always useful. You will also find 2 digital audio inputs - one optical, one coaxial, and 2 analogue inputs, RCA and of course a 3.5mm minijack (you can pretty much connect anything to it!)
The fact that everything is enclosed in one unit instead of having cable going everywhere like you find in a standard 5:1 system keeps clutter to the utmost minimum.
One thing I would suggest is trying out all the different settings until you are happy. I found that the sound quality greatly improved when you turn on the SRS Wow HD processing and the TruBass as well. With these turned out the sound quality improved immensely. Overall I am very impressed with the Maxell MXSP-SB3000 Soundbar
on 10 February 2014
I replaced a full (expensive) 5.1 sound system with this product as my wife objected to all the cables around the room and I, with my deteriorating hearing, was starting to find speech sounded a little muffled and needed to crank up the volume. This has solved both problems. It is neat and effective. As mentioned elsewhere, using the SRS Wow HD setting is essential but otherwise I find I don't make a lot of use of the other settings apart from occasionally tweaking the bass up slightly for action films. Generally, the bass is pretty good helped by the enclosure being larger than that usually found on soundbars I assume. Bluetooth works well and tracks streamed from my tablet sound very natural. The other big plus for me were the number of connections available, I use all 3 HDMI slots and the coaxial input for TV sound as my TV does not support ARC (Audio Return Channel). I may change the latter to optical input at some point but the sound is so good it would only be for experimentation. My rating of 4 stars rather than 5 is due to the lack of Dolby and not allowing input through the USB connector but still, I believe, very good value for money.
on 30 August 2014
I must admit I was a touch worried about buying this. I had only seen the Maxell brand name connected with blank media and accessories, but knowing I could rely on Amazon's superb returns policy, I thought I'd give it a go. All the other soundbases I looked at were too small to fit safely under the rather large stand base of my 42" Plasma, but this one is perfect. It also looks like it was custom made to sit very nicely on my AV cabinet, with a few centimetres to spare each way. My wife was particularly pleased, as she admitted it was quite some time before she realised it was there! The connections available at the rear are very comprehensive, future-proofing any planned, (or unplanned) TV upgrades. As my TV doesn't have an HDMI return (ARC) facility, I connected up to the optical in, which works fine. Thankfully, apart from all that, it also sounds pretty good. At last, I can hear those American, southern accent, mumbled-under-explosion drawls or those Oh-so-important, Cockney/Geordie/Irish/Sottish, under-the cistern-flush whispers that even young people are rewinding and stabbing the subtitle button to discern! The "Standard" setting works well, without too much "boom & "tizz" so to speak. The "Cinema" setting is good for movies/box sets. Even the "Music" setting works quite well for concerts/gigs/festivals. The "SRS WOW" setting is generally a bit too over the top for me, but I have to admit it did work very well on a particularly badly mixed soundtrack of a recent DVD. I found I didn't need the bass boost at all. Please let me clarify all this by saying it's not what I would class as "Hi-Fi" - but that's not what I would expect from a single box full of small loudspeakers. Nor is it a substitute for a good home cinema system. Instead, it has a very listenable, kind of organic quality, (probably something to do with the fact that it's built into a large wooden box) that adds excitement when necessary and is capable of surprising subtlety as well. The remote although small, is perfectly functional, with the nice facility to dim the display. I haven't tried the Bluetooth/Remote learning/USB facilities. Overall, it's so refreshing to have a single device - no huge mass, or mess of cables - that you just fit and almost forget. This has been in use most nights for the past six weeks. Only unknown now is the reliability factor, but so far etc . . .
UPDATE ON 20th August 2015: Still very happy with this. Had to replace old 42" plasma with a new 47" smart TV, (optical input) and works just as well. If necessary, I can even adjust the audio sync when watching BBC iplayer!
For me, the best sound setting on most material seems to be STANDARD with SRS WOW, no bass boost and volume around 12 to 15. MUSIC setting seems slightly better for music with volume increased, (depending on programme source) to around 18 or 20 for a more immersive experience.
on 10 March 2014
My previous sound bar was much heavier and larger with the speakers orientated towards the viewer.
When I picked up the box I was surprised how light this was, around 8KG.
The stand of my 60" plasma was slightly larger than the Maxell so the suggested means of installing the TV on top of the sound base wasn't possible.
I plugged it up via the optical out of my plasma as all of my hdmi leads feed into it providing a single means of digital output. I see there are numerous other options for hdmi connectivity along with analogue connections for all possible setups.
The sound via Sky was underwhelming at first, due to the volume coming out of the sky box. It was really only once I started using Netflix, Ps4 and my media player that I appreciated the volume, space and fullness of the sound.
The three levels for bass are useful for music and I tend to have the SRS option enabled most of the time.
When I notch up the sound all the way I don't hear any distortion and although the unit is considerably lighter and thinner than the Vistron VH-9080 sound bar I had before, the quality of audio and volume is far superior.
The learning mode of the remote has now meant I no longer have to use the TV remote which is also a big plus.
I'd recommend this system for people who have a) 46" + TV's b) kind neighbours
on 10 July 2016
Have had this for a couple of months as wanted to try it for a period before reviewing
I replaced a large surround system as the wife wanted to refresh the front room and my large speakers were to be moved out. I looked at sound bars and in the end went with this, it is big, I only have a 36" TV and it did take a day or two to get used to the size but now do not even think about it
Operation could not be easier, I run the optical output from the TV and have a Talk Talk free-view, Amazon stick and a Android unit all plugged into the TV via HDMI, the unit switches on automatically and using the Bluetooth from I phones 4,5,and 6's could not be easier (volume of the phone also controls volume)
Sound quality is excellent, it does not replace a full stereo with large speakers but is great for me streaming spotify, rock radio etc from iPhones.
For the TV sound I had no idea how limited the sound was until I used this, watching shows with good sound tracks like peaky blinders etc is just excellent, occasionally I changes the setting around but not much.
Overall I would say this is one of the best items I have purchased for a while and the sound quality for the price is excellent, do not be put off by the size. I was very cautious about replacing out a surround system but found i use this every time with the TV whereas the surround system was occasional
If you are not sure as I was not, go for it you will not be disappointed
on 26 March 2015
It has all the Base Thump that I can handle. Great for action movies / rock music. Great for the price. Good looking product.
Shame about the huge white plastic sticker on the top surface that was neigh impossible to remove without leaving a sticky mess behind.
Why mess up a good looking product with a crappy sticker!
on 28 April 2016
At times I am amazed by the sound and other times I'm a little disappointed. I sometimes find that I have to increase the volume way too high to make out movie dialogue even on speech settings, and I'm not sure if it is the actual Soundbase at fault. The two star deduction is not because of any issues with the sound though, but because of the remote control. The tiny remote takes CR batteries, and I find myself going through these batteries way to quickly. I have to replace the batteries weekly at the moment, but I am not sure if maybe it's a fault as I didn't come across any other reviews mentioning this issue before I purchased the item.
on 12 December 2013
I recently updated my review of the Maxell 252 sound bar because it developed a fault and had to be returned. As indicated in that update, I decided to upgrade to the new SB 3000 rather than accept a replacement 252.
The 3000 is rather larger than the 252 and therefore heavier and larger TVs can be placed on it (this was not an issue for me). It also has blue tooth connectivity which would appeal to some though again is not an issue for me. The remote is larger and more robust which should satisfy those who felt that the remote supplied with the 252 left something to be desired.
There are rather more options to personalize the sound. There is also an LED display on the front which tells you which mode and connection you are using - also an improvement over the 252.
The reason I went for the upgrade was simply the greater power available from the 3000. The 252 certainly delivered a significant improvement on my TV speakers and first impressions are that the 3000 delivers even more.
So is it worth the extra £100 price? My subjective opinion based purely on the sound is definitely yes.
Just be careful to check the measurements as it is quite a sizeable piece of kit.
on 13 March 2014
I'll be echoing a lot of other people's comments here, but I think this is an excellent product and at the £180 mark is definitely much more speaker than you would get from a more conventional sound bar at the same price point.
As with most people who buy these, my new Panasonic LED backlight TV has poor sound. Noticeably worse than the 6 year old Samsung LCD screen that it replaced which was itself pretty average. Even my wife instantly noticed how bad it was and she is pretty tolerant of technological inadequacies.
The big problem with the TV was that the sound was so flat we found ourselves having to turn the volume up high to be able to decipher anything, but that made it so loud that it was waking up our daughter upstairs!
The difference with this device is instantly clear. The size of it (and it is a big beast, the same width as my 42 inch TV and almost as deep as my TV stand) means that it comfortably can separate out the different pitches of sound. This means that you can listen to it at low levels and the sensation is that it is much louder than it really is because you can hear every element clearly.. This means that I can listen downstairs at a volume that I think is quite loud, but it isn't carrying through doors and walls so my 2 year old's sleep is undisturbed. Anyone with young children knows the value of that!!
The sound is particularly impressive with SRS turned on - really feels expansive and when you are watching TV there is a real sense of the sound coming from beyond the screen. I wouldn't go as far as to say it is a surround sound replacement, but it definitely improves the immersiveness of movies etc.
I'm not a true audiophile, so I can't tell you how this compares to a true hi-fi set-up, but my previous solution had been to plug in a good quality Altec Lansing docking station to the TV (approx cost when new £150-£200) so I had already improved the TV sound, and this soundbar is a vast improvement on that.
The other brilliant thing about this soundbase is the connectivity. Because it has HDMI pass through as well as HDMI ARC in the output channel, it means that I can feed all my current HDMI devices into the speaker (Xbox, Sky box, PC) with just one cable going between the speaker and the TV. This means that none of those devices are attached directly to the TV so I now have 2 free HDMI connections where previously I had none left. And because of the ARC capability, anything else I attached to the TV by any means, the sound will still be produced by the speaker with no extra wiring required. Oh and you can play music from your mobile/tablet via bluetooth which is great too.
Even better, the remote control has 9 simple buttons to allow you to select the input, (4HDMIs, 1x Line in, 1 x analogue audio, 1x Digital Optical Audio, 1x coaxial and 1x Bluetooth) rather than the one button and menu/cycle through system that most TVs have, so switching the inputs of both Audio and Visual is the quickest I've ever known.
All in all, I can't remember being this happy with a gadget.
The only thing that stops it being a complete no-brainer is the look/styling (which is an issue of personal taste, but I think it looks a lot smarter in real life than it does in the pictures) and the size of it (which might be an issue if your TV is wall mounted and you don't have a big TV stand.) If however you have a 40" plus TV on a stand that is as wide as your TV, then this speaker will fit perfectly with it.
Basically, if you have a new TV and haven't bought a soundbar yet and this is roughly your price range, then buy it. Don't be put off by the Maxell name - they might have been quiet for a few years, but they know what they are doing.
on 9 August 2015
If your looking for a soundbar/soundbase for your tv then you won't go far wrong with this Maxell MXSP-SB3000. I purchased this soundbase after researching and looking around the web for something that was better sounding then my Samsung 42" plasma tv speakers and also something to replace my hi-fi setup and six speakers which just cluttered up the tv corner in my lounge. What impressed me towards the purchase of the Maxell was it's overall all in one design (I think it's better looking than the black plastic drain pipe's with a separate sub-woofer box, more clutter!), also the positive customer reviews of the Maxells overall sound quality output and the large array of supporting connection options.
The unit is constructed of either mdf or wood (the same principle as good hi-fi speakers) with a brushed black satin finish with full length front speaker cloth, it's a nice weight and feels very solid on my 3 tier glass tv oval stand, the soundbox supports and looks just right under my six year old 42" plasma tv. My first connection setup was with the optical connection from the tv to the Maxell and leaving my bluray and pvr connected to the tv's HDMI ports, and then as an alternative setup I also tried the HDMI tv port to the HDMI ARC Maxell port, and connecting my bluray and pvr dircetly to the Maxell HDMI 1 and 2 ports. I also have a Chromecast stick which went into the Maxells HDMI 3 port and was powered up by the front USB charging port, I found this option suited me best. My tv is CEC enabled and does not have an ARC HDMI port.
Once setup the sound is what you want to test to see if you've made a good or bad purchase. I firstly went for the setup of SRS enabled, Bass setting no 2 and used the EQ Music setting option, and the nice surprise is that it sounded really good on both low and high volumes. The sound filled my 6M x 5M lounge very well. Without SRS enabled it lost a lot the wow factor, but once enabled it transforms the sound for a better listening experience. The Bluetooth playback from my Android phone works well within a 6M range before the signal starts dropping out. Turn the volume up and it gives out a pleasurable experience of listening to music similar to that of a hi-fi unit.
Overall for me it has met all my requirements, it looks and sounds great and has tidied up the corner of my lounge as well.