Films look great but the impact of a well made film with great sounds is tremendous. I’ve seen more than my fair share of indie short films and so often gorgeous DLSR footage is paired with painful to listen to audio that ruins (to my ears) great work. Watch something like Requiem for a Dream, which has absolutely stunning design, and see how important sound can be to enhancing a film. So … if you’re making films, please pay attention to sound. And if you’re watching films it’s equally important. Which is a roundabout way of me saying I recommend you get the Maxell MXSP-SP3000 soundbar.

Great sound is so important, but setting up great sound can be such a hassle. The Not the Nine O’Clock News HiFi Sketch is very old but magically captures how unnecessarily baffling setting up speakers can be. That’s the magic allure of soundbars – with simple plug and play magic you get almost as good sound. It’s obviously a question of compromise, and depends on where you draw your lines. The easier option – the sound from your TV – is usually quite poor. The most complex – a detailed installation, wiring up several speakers, amps and sub woofers to precisely measured corners of the room to hit various sweet spots is way more trouble than the average person is willing to live with. But how good is a soundbar?

I’ve lived with the Maxell MXSP-SP3000 and have almost nothing bad to say about it. The unit has a unique design and is more of a soundboard that your TV sits atop than a soundbar per se. If you’ve not wall mounted your TV it’s a great looking way to go about things. The wooden casing with a brushed black veneer makes it classy, if a little oversized.

It’s also super affordable at only £229 and adds a range of connectivity options – you can pop in three HDMI inputs, optical, analogue and Bluetooth playback. Bluetooth playback at this price point is super as it’s easy to connect your mobile devices so you can easily mix things up for playlists at parties. There’s also a front USB port, although sadly that’s just for charging.

The sound is also pretty impressive for what you’re shelling out. The Maxell’s Class D amplifier pushes 30W per channel stereo from the front speakers, while the integrated subwoofer cranks out 100W coming from the built-in woofer. Bass is wonderful once you activate the Bass button (the Brooklyn Nine Nine theme really pops). You also need to have the SRS on pretty much constantly to get any approximation of surround sound, but when it’s on films sound great. The usual EQ presets are one button away so you can tailor the experience to suit your viewing pretty easily.

Also bundled is a tiny, retro-styled learning remote that can be programmed to operate your TV, which is very much in keeping with Maxell’s clutter free agenda.

£229 gets you great sound and incredible ease of use. Check it out.