Published on November 4th, 2012 | by Greg


Pro­fi­cient MaxTV MT2: Big Sound, Small Pack­age

The phrase “sound bar” has a mixed rep­u­ta­tion. But it’s not a dirty word or a slur- in fact, though the cat­e­go­ry might not seem sexy, it’s im­proved re­mark­ably over the past few years. Though still con­strained by the laws of physics- boom­ing sound usu­al­ly re­quires big­ger space- new ma­te­ri­als and tech­nolo­gies con­tin­ue to al­low im­prove­ments. Just like your head­phones and ear­buds have got­ten bet­ter and less ex­pen­sive, so have sound bars, all-in-one so­lu­tions that make home the­ater-qual­i­ty sound sim­ple and easy.

The Pro­fi­cient MaxTV MT2 is the lat­est and great­est mod­el from an au­dio com­pa­ny that spe­cial­izes in some pret­ty high-end au­dio­phile-grade equip­ment. This cab­i­net com­bines two sub­woofers, two tweet­ers and four mid-ranges in a pack­age that is, re­mark­ably, on­ly four inch­es high. Wide enough to ac­co­ma­date most tele­vi­sions with­out look­ing too over­whelm­ing or be­ing dwarfed, it’s per­fect for mod­ern flat pan­el TVs. Many folks buy a nice tele­vi­sion and re­ly on the built-in speak­ers, which al­ways sound ane­mic. The dif­fer­ence is amaz­ing, and well worth the price- we def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend sav­ing a bit of mon­ey or opt­ing for a small­er screen- and putting some of the sav­ings to­wards the au­dio. Your ears will thank you.

Set­up is sim­ple, since pret­ty much any TV has a few out­put op­tions, and the MaxTV MT2 ac­cepts ei­ther dig­i­tal or ana­log con­nec­tions. We placed it un­der our Sam­sung 40-inch LCD and test­ed it with a va­ri­ety of sources, in­clud­ing Blu-Ray movies via a PS3, re­cent games like Dis­hon­ored, and tele­vi­sion as well. We used op­ti­cal con­nec­tions, but RCA and coax are al­so avail­able. The re­mote is small and cred­it-card sized, and there aren’t a lot of ex­tra­ne­ous op­tions- but you can ad­just tre­ble and bass set­tings as well as turn the sim­u­lat­ed sur­round on or off. We gen­er­al­ly left it on- it helps boost the mids with­out any no­tice­able dis­tor­tion- but on some mu­sic we turned it off for a more nat­u­ral, warmer tone. There aren’t any oth­er modes- we didn’t miss them though.

If you don’t have room for mul­ti­ple speak­ers, or don’t want to snake ca­bles around and wor­ry about place­ment, sound bars are def­i­nite­ly the way to go. Ex­plo­sions sound im­pres­sive- we were blown away while watch­ing the 007 flick Quan­tum of So­lace, and were al­so sat­is­fied with DTS and Dol­by sound tests like those on Pixar films such as Rata­touille that we use to check out the sound­stage. We had to sit a bit back from the unit to get the full ef­fect- close up and you won’t feel the sur­round; gamers es­pe­cial­ly might miss the pin­point ac­cu­ra­cy that comes with a true 5.1 sys­tem. But in a larg­er room, the unit has enough pow­er to fill it and make plen­ty of beau­ti­ful noise, 80 watts in to­tal.

More than Pro­fi­cient, the MaxTV MT2 is an ex­pert when it comes to im­pres­sive sound in a tiny pack­age. We loved some of the de­sign touch­es, like the mag­net­ic re­mov­able speak­er grills. And the in­clu­sion of Blue­tooth is a pret­ty great ad­di­tion- you can con­nect your smart­phone, lap­top, or tablet and play Pan­do­ra or your mu­sic col­lec­tion from your mo­bile de­vice, wire­less­ly. As with most new­er Blue­tooth sys­tems, pair­ing takes on­ly a mo­ment, and range is de­cent- but your re­sults will def­i­nite­ly de­pend a bit on mu­sic bi­trates; Spo­ti­fy stream­ing sound­ed pret­ty flat and life­less. At $600 and avail­able now, pri­mar­i­ly on­line, we wouldn’t buy it sim­ply for that ca­pa­bil­i­ty but it’s a tasty cher­ry on the top of the best sound bar we’ve seen. Save your­self some A/V has­sles this hol­i­day sea­son, and get a small, slick unit that is per­fect for the bed­room or apart­ment.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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