Maxell MXSP-BT03 Bluetooth Rechargeable Speakers

Maxell MXSP-BT03 Bluetooth Rechargeable Speakers
For anyone my age or older, Maxell was once the compact cassette brand of choice. These days, it still sells media of various types but has branched out into other entertainment-related products.

The MXSP-BT03 and its little MXSP-BT01 brother are focused on those people for whom headphones aren't enough, as they'd like the whole world to share their dubious choice of music. To that end, any Bluetooth-enabled phone, tablet or PC can quickly be paired to them and any sounds are then channelled to the relatively small speakers inside.

With just two 3W speakers in the bigger MXSP-BT03, and a single 2W cone in the hockey-puck-sized MXSP-BT01, they're not really built to serenade the whole beach. But what they’re fine for is providing some localised sounds, where your phone can stay hidden away in a bag or pocket.

The more expensive MXSP-BT03 is the more extensively featured device, having volume controls, support for Bluetooth 4.0, APT-X, and a longer battery life of 15 hours. The cheaper MXSP-BT01 costs almost half as much, but offers less volume, fewer controls and a marginally shorter lifespan on a single recharge.

Each is built to be charged with a standard USB phone charger that Maxell doesn't include, and it suggests that just 2.5 hours connected to one is enough for a full tour of duty.

Having used both, I've come to like the MXSP-BT01 more, even if the bigger model is superior in almost every respect. My only bugbear with it is that Maxell has used a single button for both turning the speaker on/off and also pairing Bluetooth. Because of this, I discovered that it can be challenging to turn it off entirely. To achieve this challenge, you need to turn the Bluetooth service off on the phone/tablet, or it will keep waking up each time a sound is made.

The MXSP-BT03 has a dedicated on/off, along with a headphone jack to use when you’ve annoyed those around you sufficiently. As both speakers also have integrated microphones, it's possible to use them as ad hoc hands-free or conference call gizmos.

Looking at these products in relationship to other rechargeable Bluetooth speakers, they're neither inconsequentially cheap nor outrageously expensive. I would have preferred to have heard some bass in the MXSP-BT03 output, and the MXSP-BT01 is so small that it could feasibly have been made waterproof.

However, in most respects they do what Maxell claims for them, and they come in four colours for those who like to be colour coordinated with their accessories.

• Price: £44.99 (MXSP-BT03) £24.99 (MXSP-BT01)
• Manufacturer: Maxell
• Website:
• Required spec: Bluetooth-enabled audio device