Maxell was formed in 1960, when a dry cell manufacturing plant was created at the company's headquarters in Ibaraki, Osaka. In 1961, Maxell Electric Industrial Company, Limited was created out of the dry battery and magnetic tape divisions of Nitto Electric Industrial Company, Limited (now Nitto Denko Corporation).
The company's notable products are batteries—the company's name is a contraction of "maximum capacity dry cell"—wireless charging solutions, storage devices, computer tapes, professional broadcast tapes and functional materials. In the past, the company manufactured recording media, including audio cassettes and blank VHS tapes, and recordable optical discs including CD-R/RW and DVD±RW.
On March 4, 2008, Maxell announced that they would outsource the manufacturing of their optical media.
During the height of the Compact Audio Cassette's popularity, Maxell's audio cassettes were held in high regard, producing some of the finest examples of the standard available. The performance of the XLII-S (CrO2) and MX (pure metal particles) cassettes was regarded by many audiophiles to be the ultimate achievement in the pre digital domestic recording medium.
In the 1980s, Maxell became an icon of pop culture when it produced advertisements popularly known as "Blown Away Guy" for its line of audio cassettes. The original campaign conceived by Art Director Lars Anderson began as a two-page spread in Rolling Stone Magazine ad in 1980, and was made into television spots in 1981 which ran throughout the 1980s.
Maxell audio cassettes are available in 46, 60, 90, 100, 120 and 150 minute lengths.