Bowers & Wilkins MT30
- Sounds great, original design, fantastic subwoofer.
- Heavy, slightly clunky wiring setup.
Rich sound and an inventive design ensure the MT30 is a winner.
Price$ 3,894.00 (AUD)
When it comes to home theatre speakers they don't get much better than B&W's Mini Theatre range. Three packages are available, each using the same set of five satellite speakers, but coming with a different subwoofer. We took a look at the MT30, the top of the range system which comes with the novel PV1 subwoofer, and were extremely impressed with its performance.
The PV1 (short for pressure vessel) is no ordinary subwoofer. Spherical in shape and weighing in at over 20kg, it's more akin to an oversize bowling ball than a speaker. With dual 200mm drivers, one on each side, this is like no subwoofer we have ever seen. Normally we like to tuck subwoofers out of sight, as they hardly blend with the aesthetic of the average living room, but with the PV1 you'll have no such concerns. The striking system will appeal to the avant-garde and minimalist alike.
The sound was very impressive, with beautiful clarity across the whole spectrum. The PV1 was especially noteworthy, proving that subwoofers can do a lot more than churn out the odd boom. The level of detail present in the lower frequencies was some of the best we have heard from a home theatre system. Dramatic cinematic scores and action scenes alike are greatly enhanced by the use of a high quality subwoofer and we really felt the difference. The PV1 is no slouch when it comes to volume either; with a whopping 500W of power, it has more than enough punch to shake foundations.
Moving on to music we were similarly impressed. Usually we find that home theatre systems aren't quite up to the challenge of realistically presenting music, and there's usually an obvious gap in the mid-range sounds. With the MT30 we really couldn't tell we were using satellites and a sub; the audio blended perfectly to present a beautifully immersive sound. The smooth, mellow tones of Coldplay's X&Y album sounded as good as we've ever heard it.
Moving on to the bizarre hip-hopping sound of the Gorillaz, things were a little more mixed. The stand out track on the Demon Days album, Feel Good Inc., sounded spot on, with warm bass, rich vocals and great balance. When we switched to Last Living Souls we were a little disappointed. It still sounded quite good, but this track is extremely hard for a satellite and subwoofer system to accurately reproduce: a combination of high vocals and pounding bass leaves very few mid frequency tones to combine the two together. Still, only one track sounding a little off out of dozens is no mean feat, and we were still extremely impressed overall.
Our first impressions of the system's design were that it was a bit heavy. This isn't unexpected with large speaker setups, but the relatively small speakers in the MT30 certainly belie their weight. Each of the five satellites is finished in attractive gloss sheen with a matte top. Our unit came in a charcoal colour, but the MT30 is also available in silver. A rubber foot slips off to reveal the speaker connections, and also a pair of Allen keys. These are used to unscrew various parts of the stand. Each of the five speakers contains the keys, which is handy for those with a tendency to lose things.
Setting things up proved to be a bit more of a chore than we are accustomed to with speakers, partly due to those Allen keys. Each of the terminals on the speakers has to be manually unscrewed to insert the wires, then resealed. A small cut out in the base of the speakers is supposed to let the wires trail through and hide out of sight, though we found this was far too small for our chunky cables. Seeing no alternative, we had to let the speakers perch precariously on the wires, somewhat spoiling the fancy look. No matter, this could be fixed later.
The subwoofer, being a bit more advanced than the usual, required some manual tweaking. This is verging into audiophile territory and makes a welcome addition to the system. Adorning the side of the PV1 is a set of small recessed dials, which can only be operated using a coin. This sounds a bit retrograde but actually helps enhance the looks while ensuring the dials can't be knocked accidentally. These give access to power, volume, EQ modes, phase and low-pass frequency control. The most important of these is obviously volume, and it's always nice to be able to adjust this on the subwoofer itself rather than relying on a DVD player or AV receiver.
With a fairly hefty price tag it's clear the MT30 isn't aimed at the cost conscious shopper. If you've got money to spare and want a home theatre system that stands out from the crowd, you can't go far wrong with the MT30. In fact, the excellent PV1 subwoofer alone makes the system worthwhile.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTest Automation EngineerVIC
- CCService Desk Quality Assurance AnalystNSW
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- TP.Net DeveloperSA
- FTSenior Security Sales SpecialistVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTLife/400 Resource - PermanentNSW
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- FTSales Account Manager | Cloud Solutions | Global Tech GiantNSW
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Networks Specialist - DNS PlatformVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)VIC
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- FTSAP BW ConsultantACT
- FTSenior Software EngineerVIC
- CCUnix Systems AdministratorNSW
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- TPTechnical WriterQLD
- TPIT Project Manager - Office relocationVIC
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTSenior Project Manager - PERMANENTACT