B&W invests millions into speaker research and design and when you look at the thought that has gone into the MT-30 set, it's easy to understand why. From gorgeous metal alloy enclosures, through intelligent speaker cable management to robust build quality, this 5.1 system is a treat for both the peepers and the ears.
The PV-1 sub is a previous Home Cinema Choice award winner, so we couldn't ask for a better bass caretaker here. The design remains eye-catching in a world of square subwoofers. Two aluminium clam shells enclose a pair of long-throw, metal-coned woofers while a solid rubber moulding holds the pieces together and isolates the PV-1 from the floor.
Connected to a multichannel amplifier, the B&Ws make their presence felt immediately with a spin of Groove Armada on CD.
They're not the most sensitive on paper, but they seem to deliver a few extra dB than some of their rivals. A stereo pair, with the mighty PV-1 taking care of the low end, truly sing in 2-channel mode with dance music.
Pump Up The Volume
The mix opens up even wider playing a multichannel DVD Audio disc of The Beatles' Love. The high frequencies are delicious and bass tumbles effortlessly from the sub. Setting the B&Ws apart from the others is volume: when you crank it up, there's no sign of strain at all.
This animal enthusiasm also works well with movie soundtracks. With the four satellites spaced evenly apart in even quite a large room and the centre directly under the screen, you can create a very seamless, spherical soundstage. This makes them highly practical, because while it's always best to have your front pair somewhere close to your screen on either side, most people will be buying these to fix to the wall or ceiling.
Action movies are well suited to this system because, despite their size, sudden rises and falls in volume don't seem to faze these boxes and the sub positively thrives on deep-throated explosions. However, they do still have the refinement necessary to convey subtle sound effects, dialogue and delicate musical scores.