Bose has released its first soundbar product, filling a gap in its product lineup and giving movie fans a fuss-free alternative to separate speakers.
The CineMate 1 SR, which is onsale now, uses proprietary Bose technology to create its room-filling sonics – much of it filtering down from the brand's VideoWave TV that was launched last year.
Five drivers lurk inside the cabinet, with the two at either end married to a phase guide – basically a tapered tube with a wire mesh fascia that helps disperse sound.
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What this equates to in practice is a wide soundstage that far exceeds the 93cm length of the soundbar. During a demo, TechRadar was equally impressed by how loud the CineMate could go without sounding strained.
Partnering the CineMate 1 SR is a new subwoofer (which Bose insists on calling a 'bass module). This is smaller than previous Bose models, and operates wirelessly, making placement a doddle. Again, first impressions are positive, with the sub providing a very hefty low-end to back up the soundbar's mid/high skills.
A neat trick of the CineMate 1 SR is that works in two positions – either wall-mounted or laid on its side, with Bose's Fleximount placement-compensation processing ensuring there's little difference in the audio performance.
Installing the CineMate 1 SR is helped by the company's AdaptIQ calibration wizardry, which uses a supplied microphone to analyse your room's acoustics and adjusts the sound accordingly.
Sources are connected via digital or analogue audio – but no HDMI input means no Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio lossless soundtracks.
Bose has also incorporated the soundbar into its new Lifestyle 135 system, which adds in a console with iPod dock, radio and four HDMI inputs. Like the CineMate 1 SR, this also features AdaptIQ and a programmable remote control.
The CineMate 1 SR is available for £1,300, with the Lifestyle 135 priced at £2,400.