What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 9 Jan 2014, 3:15pm

Cambridge Audio Minx TV

Tested at £200
100100
5

This Cambridge Audio soundbase ticks all the right boxes. It delivers a fantastic, exciting sound for a great budget price

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For

  • Enthusiastic and engaging sound
  • Great detail and dynamics
  • Punchy, agile and taut
  • Even balance
  • Sturdy build
  • Inexpensive

Against

  • Deserves a better finish quality
  • Flimsy plastic remote control
  • A display would have been nice

Superb sound at a budget price – it’s a combination we love.

The Cambridge Audio Minx TV soundbase embraces our performance-per-pound ethos to a tee, delivering an excitingly captivating sound for £200.

As part of Cambridge Audio’s successful and Award-winning Minx range, this new soundbase (or sound ‘plinth’ as Cambridge Audio calls it) comes with high expectations. And it meets them confidently.

Cambridge Audio Minx TV

Sound quality

The Cambridge Audio Minx TV is, quite simply, a fantastic listen.

Switching from the TV to the soundbase sounds a bit like when you’re on a plane, and your ears pop, and you don’t really quite notice until you blow your nose or have to sneeze, and suddenly it sounds like the entire world has opened up and everything sounds clearer and more spacious.

That’s exactly the effect of the Minx TV soundbase.

It’s spacious, dynamic, vibrant and full of satisfying weight. The punchy and agile low end brings some much-needed muscle without sounding too laboured, while the top end sparkles with attack and tension.

Cambridge Audio Minx TV

If you want near-immediate results, though, we would advise running the soundbase in for a couple of nights, as it sounds a bit bright when played straight out of the box.

The Cambridge Audio Minx TV has a similar driver complement as the Minx Air 200 wireless speaker – and this is very good news indeed.

Two 6cm balanced-mode radiator drivers (which are capable of delivering an even, full-range sound) and a 16.5cm subwoofer perform together seamlessly to deliver a powerful and wonderfully integrated sound.

Cambridge Audio Minx TV

It incites interest, whether you’re watching repeats of The Big Bang Theory or the space-western Firefly on Blu-ray. Songs streamed via Bluetooth have that lively sense of rhythm, too.

While the Minx TV is no substitute for a dedicated hi-fi system, it does a great job in getting the best out of your digital tunes.

There are four EQ settings, but the differences between them are generally far too small for our liking. It’s still worth playing around with these sound modes, but though avoid the Voice preset, as it throws dialogue forward from the otherwise evenly balanced sound.

Build quality

Cambridge Audio Minx TV

The Minx TV’s solid build and matte finish look reassuringly stable. The raised feet lend themselves to the ‘plinth’ status, and the wooden cabinet is sturdy – we wouldn’t be worried about placing a large-screen TV on top.

The wooden finish betrays the Cambridge’s low price. It lacks the quality feel of the Maxell MXSP-SB3000, and could be more carefully applied.

Features

Connectivity is limited but practical. The main connection is the digital optical input, but there’s also a pair of phono inputs and a 3.5mm jack. You can stream audio files from your smartphone via Bluetooth, too.

There is, however, no display. We feel the need to gripe about this, as the Maxell MXSP-SB3000 (the Minx TV’s direct price rival) spoils us with a fantastic one.

The Minx TV is still easy to use, though, with an LED the single but easily understood status indicator.

Cambridge Audio Minx TV

The remote control, on the other hand, is an abysmally flimsy and dinky plastic wafer. It’s similar to the remote you get with the Minx 100 and 200 wireless speakers, but we’d like something more substantial for a soundbase.

It’s simple to use (buttons are clearly marked with all the functions), but it’s just too small and fiddly. It’s not as frustrating to use as the Orbitsound SB60’s remote, though.

Verdict

The Cambridge Audio Minx TV is everything we want from a soundbase. Punchy, dynamic, clear and exciting – it improves upon flatscreen TV’s tinny sound in every way.

The only rival that delivers a similar performance is the Canton DM 50. The Canton soundbase does have a touch more refinement and insight, but it’s double the price of the Minx TV at £400.

You might be tempted by the Canton’s premium-quality finish and sound, but the Minx TV’s equally brilliant performance at half the price is easily the better deal of the two.

The Cambridge Audio Minx TV gets it right in its first try. It’s an utterly engaging listen, delivering enthusiasm and subtlety in the same breath – you will definitely want this soundbase in your living room.

MORE: Best soundbars and soundbases to buy in 2014


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