B&W MT-30 review

Best style speaker package £1500-£2000, Awards 2010. A no-brainer: the only really tough choice you’ll have to make is deciding which finish to pick Tested at £1694

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best style speaker package £1500-£2000, Awards 2010. On top of its game for five years – that doesn't happen by accident


  • +

    Timeless looks

  • +

    sonically unrivalled for scale, dynamics and detail

  • +

    superb subwoofer


  • -

    Some care required with partnering kit to avoid bright treble

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Excuse the dust, but we've had to consult the famous What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision archives. And we could barely believe our eyes: we first reviewed the B&W MT-30 package in September 2005.

Little has changed – even the price remains the same. Yet it is still a staggeringly accomplished performer and – spoiler alert – still the best system at this price level.

Five M-1 satellites are joined by the legendary, multi-Award-winning PV1 subwoofer, the star of B&W's AV range and the most revolutionary sub we've come across. The system looks as lustrous as ever, the black finish ensuring there's no hint of the style having dated over the years.

Small speaker terminals will require bare wire rather than terminated speaker cable in order to connect them, after which you'll be able to integrate your cable, stand and speaker snugly into a tidy package.

PV1 subwoofer is star of the show
That curvaceous subwoofer is the star of the show. Muscular, agile and tight bass lines are soon forthcoming, with the Blu-ray disc of Saving Private Ryan again coming to our rescue when an all-out surround sound barrage of the senses is required. The power and weight never dominates either, the PV1 doing fine work without a fanfare.

This speed and power underpins the B&W sound and gives the system the base on which to build real dynamic excitement and tension.

The M-1 satellites take up the baton and deliver a sound with scale and space that's unrivalled here, sounds comfortably filling our large listening room.

We do advise a modicum of caution when choosing your partnering electronics, as bright-sounding kit could send this system over the edge at times. Otherwise, it's full steam ahead for the MT-30 system. In this price sector it is – still – the system to beat.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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