That is precisely the CineMate Series II from Bose . A simple way to meet the needs of a user who does not want to complicate his life, or make a large investment, but who is looking for good quality sound for his home theater system . Electronics and speaker design make it possible to fill this niche.
It hardly takes any electrical or electronic knowledge to get the set up and running, and since it's a 2.1 surround sound system, you don't need to run cables to the back of the room either. There is no construction to do, and there is no possibility of tripping over cables. It is simplicity in person.
Design and build
Inside the package there are very few items. Among them the great Acoustimass module stands out . It's actually big compared to the rest, but compact when compared to other subwoofers on the market. It has a 5.25-inch speaker cone, and also houses the necessary amplification for the bass and for the rest of the boxes that make up the system. It is finished in black, and the user will be able to place it wherever they want, because it is not directional sound. The most logical place is under the TV table, but it can also be put in a corner of the room, as long as the length of the cables allows.
The two front speakers are small, with the front curved. Its shape is designed to spread sound throughout the room, including calculated bounces off the walls that provide the enveloping sensation. Plus, they eliminate the need for a center speaker. They offer adequate sonic performance, and pair perfectly with the subwoofer. They are tuned to work together, and cover the entire frequency range in a very balanced way without the user having to worry about additional settings for echoes or delays. All you have to do is place the front two on either side of the TV screen.
An integral part of the Bose CineMate Series II is a tiny box that connects via a special connector cable to the rear of the Acoustimass subwoofer . It is the interface or connection box, where the audio connectivity and the infrared signal receiver for the remote control are located . It's not a complex system like those multi-channel amplifiers from Pioneer or Sony, which feature an intricate connection panel on the back. There is no such problem here. It is a simple equipment for people who do not want complications and who do not have excessive needs. They just want multichannel sound from their DVD or Blu-ray player, and that's exactly what they get.
At the rear of the junction box there is only one optical digital sound input and one analog stereo audio input . In this way the user will be able to connect his Blu-ray reader, but also a CD or an MP3 player. The speaker system has been designed to offer cinematic sound, although it performs quite easily when working with exclusively musical sources, where the bass resolution capacity of the Acoustimass subwoofer is noticeable.
It is convenient to place the junction box just below the TV. A cable comes out of its back that must be connected to the subwoofer, which has one more connection for a special multipin plug. It is an output that provides the sound signal for both speakers, although you have to connect them with the special cable that is included, so it is better to treat it with some care, because replacing it should not be cheap.
Installation and performance
The equipment could not be simpler, but in case someone feels a certain technological phobia, it comes standard with a DVD disc with installation and use instructions. Installation takes very little time . All you have to do is find a suitable place for the front speakers -preferably on both sides of the TV-, another for the small junction box , and a definitive place for the subwoofer .
The next step is to connect the cable coming out of the junction box in the corresponding place on the back of the Acoustimass bass module, and the double speaker cable in the other available outlet. This cable will in turn connect to the rear of the two front speakers. And the task is almost finished, it only remains to connect the DVD or Blu-ray player to the back of the junction box using an optical cable.
Those who only have a coaxial output will have to get hold of a small coaxial-to-optical converter which, fortunately, is easy to find in the trade and is not too expensive. The use of articulated-type front speakers allows a noticeable enhancement of the surround picture over other 2.1 channel all-in-one home theater systems on the market. It makes a very effective interpretation of 5.1 sounds, and also incorporates its own digital process technology called TrueSpace , which is responsible for offering that surround image through the two front speakers. It also has another called Videostage 5 , which generates surround sound from all kinds of sources, even if they are stereo or monophonic.
Power is fine, although it is a design created for small and medium rooms . Its sound would be lost in large rooms, where the bounce system would not be effective and the volume would not fill. It is perfect for a living room, a small room, for a children's room or even for a small apartment. By the way, the remote control could not be simpler and, despite everything, it provides full access to volume control and source management. Still, accustomed to those huge and bulky remote controls that come with televisions, there will be users who take a while to become familiar with it.
It is not an equipment for sound experts. The Bose CineMate Series II is also not going to satisfy fans of cinematic sound, those who, when a helicopter passes behind them in a movie, also want to hear the screech of each of the blades separately. This is a good starter kit , attractively priced and easy to install, offering good sound.
Many starter kits sound like the user is half deaf. This not. It is true that the sound envelope is not as precise as that obtained with a five-speaker system, but you do not have to install a pair on the back wall of the living room, which is sometimes a tremendous hassle. For owners of micro-floors and housing solutions, it is the ideal choice. Few 2.1 systems on the market can rival it with a certain dignity. In fact, given the orientation ability of the front speaker cones, it would be more competitive with a good soundbar, although in that case the stereo and surround image will be better than with the sound projector with a similar price and easier installation.
|Type||2.1 home theater system|
|Elements||2 CineMate Series II Speakers|
|Junction box connectivity||Optical digital input|
Stereo audio input
|Subwoofer Connectivity||Interface input|
|Dimensions and weight||CineMate Series II Speakers:|
86 x 188 x 127 mm
367 x 222 x 485 mm
|Target price||600 euros|