In the office today I have a set of MX 3+ 2.1 speakers, a budget friendly audio solution from popular German audio company Wavemaster. Their brand is ever-growing in popularity here in Europe and the company seems intent on making a bigger push into the market with their latest range of products, with the aim of providing high quality solutions that don’t cost the earth, but do they have what it takes to battle it out with some of the other big names in the audio industry, or even just the general consumer side of the market that is currently dominated by brands like Logitech and Microlab?
Wavemaster have been around for quite some time now, but have been in their current form since HMC took over the company and trademark back in 2009.
“Constantly developing a complete new branding and product line. Wavemaster is one of the multimedia brands with the longest market experience and we strive to make it one of the leading trademarks in Central Europe,”
- Satellites: 2 x 7 cm full range drivers
- Subwoofer: 13 cm bass driver
- Integrated amplifier with 3 separate channels
- Amp performance (RMS): 50 Watt
- (subwoofer 30 Watt, satellites 2 x 10 Watt)
- Frequency response: subwoofer 30 – 150 Hz, satellites 150 Hz – 20.000 Hz
- Cable remote with ON/OFF function, volume control, headphone jack and line-in
- Satellite speakers with compact design (wall mountable) and detachable front cover.
- Subwoofer in wooden cabinet with bass reflex technology, bass control and main power switch.
- Connection: 3,5 mm mini stereo plug or Cinch
- Measurements (WHD): Satellites = 82 x 178 x 98 mm,
- Subwoofer = 170 x 280 x 253 mm
As you can see from the specifications above, this is a fairly compact solution with a slim style vertical sub, a pair of compact satellite speakers and an in-line controller that make them perfect for home computer and desktop applications. Of course, their range is wider given that the speakers feature a simple 3.5mm jack plug that will ensure their compatibility with everything from TVs, games consoles, computers, phones, portable music players and anything else that features an audio output.
The MX 3+ comes complete with a separate sub woofer, two satellite speakers, wired controller, 3.5mm audio cable and a 3.5mm to AUX adaptor that can be used when connection to devices such as a games console, TV or DVD/Bluray player. Not exactly a lot in terms of extras but when it comes to an all in one audio solution, there isn’t really anything else you need to get the system up and running.
The subwoofer is made of glued MDF and since its fitted with a 13cm driver, it’s still heavy for a compact subwoofer. A touch of silver plastic trim around the driver port adds a little touch of style and the extended trim around the bass port gives the front of the sub a very modern and stylish appearance that shouldn’t look out-of-place next to your desk or home entertainment system.
Around the back of the subwoofer we find the main I/O panel, this features a bass level control, line in, controller connection and the left/right speaker outputs. Further down the unit you will find the master power switch and hard-wired mains power cable.
The satellite speakers are really nicely designed, much better than I was expecting for a set of budget speakers. Featuring a separate driver and tweeter, good quality removable covers and overall a very clean-looking construction.
Around the back you can see that the speakers are hard-wired, which is pretty common for an all-in-one solution. A welcome addition is the support for wall mounting the speakers.
The wired controller is really well designed and made, a large control dial on the top allows you to toggle from standby mode and control the overall volume of the speakers, while a pair of 3.5mm jack plugs allow for headphone and line in connections.
Setup & Installation
Setting up the MX 3+ speakers is very straight forward, connect the speakers, connect the volume controller, hook up your 3.5mm audio cable to your device and plug them in, it couldn’t be much simpler. Overall it took around five minutes to have the system up and running and since everything is clearly labels or only has one place it can be connected, you shouldn’t run into any issues here.
Not having the biggest subwoofer on this system had me thinking that it wouldn’t pack much of a punch, I was however complete wrong about this and for a budget solution the MX 3+ still pack a powerful bass response. Music playback was loud and clear, made all the more enjoyable thanks to the bass control dial on the back of the device that allowed me to tailor the sound to my liking. Mid tones are well represented and there is a delightful warmth to the sound that really suits music playback as it offers a relaxing tone and low to mid volume ranges.
I decided to fire up a few of my favourite movie scenes to push the limits of these speakers, the one that stood out the most was the Battle of Pelennor Fields in lord of the rings. The heavy and over powering bass frequencies in this scene did nothing to muddy the sound of the higher frequencies and vocal track and overall these speakers are more than capable of giving your favourite movie some extra life. You may not have the pleasure of full surround sound but you do get plenty of tone and more than enough volume.
Gaming was much the same as movies, not the breath-taking experience you would get with a high quality headset or surround sound system, but nothing disappointing either. A great solution for those wanting get more immersion from their favourite console or PC games without spending a lot of money.
General windows sound effects, email notifications, a little YouTube browsing and other such sound related activities are well suited to these speakers, while you can turn them up and blast out your favourite album from time to time, they are still perfectly suitable for low volume desktop usage on a daily basis and their compact size lends well to having the speakers alongside your monitor or TV screen.
The budget end of the speaker market isn’t exactly lacking in choice these days, with seemingly endless brands battling it out for their share of the market. So when a brand like Wavemaster come along with their entry to this part of the market it can easily go unnoticed and from a consumer point of view it can be very difficult to define the good from the bad, at least until you get them home and try them.
Many people would be cautious about the MX 3+ given their low price as one tends not to associate value with quality, yet Wavemaster seem to have struck that balance perfectly. These speakers are not going to win “system of the year” from some prestigious audio group, but that doesn’t make them any less of a solid performer. You can’t expect perfection in this price range and as far as your general consumer is concerned there is nothing wrong with the audio that comes from the MX 3+ and were you to but a set today, hook them up to your TV, games console or PC you would be very happy with how they perform while you watch a movie, play a game or just listen to some music.
They’re also really well styled, particularly the satellite speakers that share a few of the style points of speakers that cost well over three times the price. With the front panel covers on or off these speakers should look great next to any system and their discrete enough not to be intrusive in a desktop environment. Build quality is decent too, sure they’re made of plastic but there are no rough seams or glued edges that normally plague the lower price end of the market.
I’m happy to give the MX 3+ our eTeknix editors choice award, while I’m not exactly blown away by their performance, they still performed better than I expected in all my tests. I think these are some of the better made, sounding and priced speakers on the market, that actually stands out from the somewhat over crowded budget multimedia speaker options that are currently on the market. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on future developments from Wavemaster in the future as the brand is already showing a lot of promise.