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on April 1, 2008
I'm in the unfortunate position of having audiophile ears but a small budget. So I shop carefully for audio equipment. I purchased a pair of Sony B3000s here recently ($84), and while I auditioned them I was also testing a pair of Klipsch B-3 bookshelf speakers ($329). I only use my system for audio, by the way, in combination with a 100w Sony subwoofer, and I listen mostly to classical music.

I noticed a big difference in sound right away- the Sonys seemed to be accurate up and down the frequency range while producing a very even, smooth ensemble sound in full orchestral passages. To my ears the Klipsches did none of these things well. I'm an orchestral musician and I know what different instruments sound like- the Sonys reproduce all the instruments very accurately. The Klipsches, on the other hand, were so bright and lively that I found them harsh and difficult to listen to. They're more efficient, so they produce louder sounds at the same volume setting, but that's not a consideration for me. All that I want is accurate reproduction.

I compared both pairs side-by-side with a wide range of recordings, for about 50 to 60 hours each, and ultimately, for my tastes, the Sonys far outperformed the Klipsches. And at 1/3 the price of the Klipsches they were a heck of a bargain. They're not high-end speakers so they're not going to blow your doors off, but for the money they're a great value.
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on January 5, 2008
The first thing I thought when I unpacked these speakers was "these are not bookshelf speakers". The first thing I thought when I hooked them up and gave them a spin was also "these are not bookshelf speakers!" They are not terribly heavy and could easily be placed on a shelf or hung from the ceiling, but they really sound best on stands by themselves.

I also own a pair of SS-B1000 speakers, and those are also impressive for their size (which truly is bookshelf), but the difference in the clarity of the bass is just astonishing. Even at low volume levels, the bass has a presence and realism lacking in the 1000s, though it isn't any louder in the mix, and transients are palpable as much as they are audible.

The look is nothing out of the ordinary, but the performance and price certainly merit giving these your consideration. The size is small enough to be able to hide among the furniture if you are so inclined, though they really deserve a clear path from speaker to ear. My only (very minor) gripe would be the spaghetti-thin speaker wires included in the box, which are best replaced immediately.

EDIT JANUARY 2010:
I finally have something to compare these to -- I got my hands on a pair of Tannoy SRM12Bs (aka "Little Red Monitors"). Needless to say, the LRMs alone blow away the SS-B3000s alone, which is why they still fetch $800 a pair even though they're 30+ years old. The SS-B3000s have been relegated to the support role, where they are more than adequate.

If you're looking to upgrade a bookshelf stereo, these will definitely do it. They are a massive upgrade from the SS-B1000s that came with mine. But if you're expecting them to go toe to toe with speakers costing five times as much (or more), they won't. If this is the biggest speaker you can reasonably accommodate (small room, guest room, office, etc.), then these are an excellent choice. If you expect them to replace speakers several times their size and weight, sorry again. You can only bend the laws of physics so far. :)
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on May 24, 2007
I bought these to replace a pair of Infinity 2-ways. The old speakers were 6 ohm, and seemed fine driven by an old JVC stereo receiver. Later, a co-worker sold me his old pro-logic reciever. I picked up a set of 8 ohm Sony center, subwoofer, and surrounds. We listen to music a lot, and using the crossover in the sub, keeping keep the receiver on stereo, I thought the music sounded pretty good. However, with the old fronts being 6 ohm made it really hard to balance the sound levels when we watched a movie in surround. Just today, I got these as part of an overall system upgrade to full 7.1. These speakers arrived first, and I couldn't wait to see them on my stands. What an amazing difference. We haven't changed anything else in the set-up yet, and the music is SO much richer and clearer. I paid more for those little Infinity's way back when. These are a real bargain at Amazon's price. Don't let the "bookshelf" description fool you; on a pair of 14" stands, these sound as good as many floorstanders I've heard.
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on December 10, 2011
For the novice who doesn't have high expectations they will make a great addition to any home theater. They are pretty good all around and nothing for the price comes close. However, the biggest problem I had with these speakers out of the box is the lack of mid range. Speech especially didn't sound where it should be and was improperly placed in the frequency range. The other problem was the low range. A lot of people say they have earth shattering bass, I wouldn't say so. Its certainly very good, but if you listen to music or watch movies with a lot of LFE's then you will definitely need a sub. Don't get me wrong, they aren't bad, in fact they are very good, just not as spectacular as other reviews will have you believe.

After using them for a month I opened them up and unsurprisingly discovered they have no crossover. Just some capacitors to cut off the low frequencies on the mid and tweeter. The woofer gets the entire signal. I didn't want to invest to much time and effort into these as they are temporary so I just picked up a stock crossover from parts-express.com. Their store branded version was $18 each. I wired them in and found the mid range I was looking for. They are still an $80 pair of speakers but they sound so much better. Most importantly the non-existent mids appeared, the highs are cleaner and more discreet, and the lows are smoother and punchier.

I know this is not the ideal way to setup speakers but its better than nothing. I am not going to waste my money and time by calling Sony for specs on their junk drivers and building crossovers from scratch.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon January 18, 2008
I bought these through Amazon's Warehouse Deals for $59 and change (plus free shipping and no sales tax). The pair I got were brand new and in perfect condition, and had apparently been returned to Amazon by a previous buyer because the box got beat up during shipping.

If I'd paid $100 for these speakers I'd still be happy. I got them to replace Advent mini indoor/outdoor speakers with a passive subwoofer for a bedroom stereo system. The Advents cost more nearly 10 years ago, but the Sonys sound so much better. The Advents sounded muddy; the Sonys are so clear I am amazed. I can hear subtleties in music from CDs that I never heard before. The highs are crystal clear, and when there is silence on a CD, there is silence from the speakers, no hum or air sound at all.

The bass from the 8 inch woofers is good, putting out a bass sound that has both oomph and clarity. I mostly listen to classical these days, though I love rock, and with classical I am not concerned about having insane bass (like those cars that sound like they are subwoofers on wheels), and for a bedroom system I do not need dance party volume.

As other reviewers have noted, these speakers are large for bookshelf speakers, though this is not a problem for me. And as other reviewers have noted, the speaker wire that comes with them is so thin it's useless. I don't know why Sony bothers including it.

I have the speakers connected to an Onkyo TX-8222 stereo receiver (50 watts per channel) with 16 gauge speaker wire, and I have the speakers about 6 feet apart. This set up is more than adequate for a 12 X 16 bedroom. (People who are mystified by speaker wire might look up the page at the Crutchfield site that explains the basics of gauge, etc.)

I am very happy with these speakers.
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on August 30, 2007
For my 7.1 surround sound these were large enough for sound bass and yet small enough to hang from speaker brackets I bought at Walmart. I had listened to the smaller versions of these but were 2-ways with little bass. These 3-ways are the way to go along with a center speaker for voice and a sub-woofer for bass. Best Buy could get these at $110 a pair but when I ordered them, they never called me while the same day I ordered these from Amazon and they showed up a day earlier than Best Buys would have...plus Amazon shipping was free and no tax. WTF more could you ask for. Don't hesitate...go ahead and order them. Very versatile speakers.
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on June 7, 2007
This model replaces the Sony SS-MB350H, which I also bought a few months ago. They're virtually identical, except the Sony SS-MB350H had "kevlar reinforced" woofers instead of mica, and the SSB-3000 has a bass port on the back, which the SS-MB350H did not.

Some people complained about the lack of bass in the previous model, so I guess this is Sony's response. I got a 12" sub to go with the SS-MB350H's, so now I have plenty of bass.

They're good looking, they sound great, unbeatable value, two thumbs up from me.
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on September 17, 2007
I am very impressed with these speakers. I am setting up a 7.1 surround sound system and bought these for my rear speakers but I tried them temporarily to replace my main front speakers and they could very well do that. Very good sound at a great price.
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on August 5, 2007
I am very happy with this set. I bought it for our surround sound in our bedroom in order to replace the old huge Sanyo speakers, they were great too; The SSB-3000 are used as the front speakers (I bought the SSB-1000 for the rear speakers and they are also great for this purpose and set up). Even at high volume, which I usually don't use, it performs without distortion. DVD movies, and music, sound great in our room. The receiver I use, Sony, is 150wts of power.
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on June 18, 2008
I have much more expensive speakers and none come close to the sound for the price and incredible value. These speakers will stand up favorably to speakers costing much more. I use for music and home theater in my bedroom with smaller sony surround, sub woofer and center channel and they are absolutely stunning looking and sounding....just get them and see for yourself. I am listening to them as I am writing this review and I am telling you, you can not beat them.
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