Bose CineMate 15 Home Theater Speaker System Review
Last month, we brought you the review of the Bose Lifestyle 535 Series III, a high-end speaker system that costs Php200K. Yes, it’s expensive but if you’re looking for a more affordable alternative from the same brand then you might want to take a look at the CineMate 15. Find out what we think of this home theater speaker system by reading our review below.
Design and Construction
If the Lifestyle 535 Series III looks complicated due to its multiple components, the CineMate 15 goes for the opposite and is tagged as the simplest soundbar system from Bose. While the Lifestyle has 4 satellite speakers, one center speaker, and an Acoustimass subwoofer modeul, the CineMate 15 only has two components: the Soundbar speaker and the Acoustimass module.
The Soundbar is made of plastic with a combination of matte and glossy finish. It has metal grills on the front and top as well as on the left and right sides. At the back you will see ports for the optical, coaxial, and R-L audio connections. Underneath is the rubber base to prevent it from slipping. The Soundbar is compact and discreet-looking so that it will sit well in front of your TV. It’s also relatively light as its just slightly heavier than the Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth Speaker at 0.68 kg.
The Acoustimass module, on the other hand, is huge and heavy and resembles a desktop PC case with a plastic body with matte finish. This is the component that handles all the bass heavy-lifting. At the back you will see the speaker connectors for the Soundbar, the volume knob to adjust bass levels, and port for the power cord. Since it is huge, it is meant to be placed on the floor along the same wall as your TV.
As mentioned earlier, the CineMate 15 is the simplest soundbar system from Bose. Setup was easy as you only need one connection to your TV. In our case, we used analog connection with the TV as output. Input connection will be to the soundbar which is then connected to the Acoustimass module. Now audio from the TV, regardless of source (HDMI, Cable TV, VGA), will be passed on to the CineMate 15.
The package comes with a Bose universal remote control which you need to power the system, adjust volume, and control other IR-equipped systems. A tiny white LED will light up to let you know that the system and will also blink whenever you adjust the volume. Unfortunately, there’s no visual indicator similar to what you see on your TV when you adjust the volume. In addition, the bass can’t be adjusted using the remote.
Powerful bass is the best feature of the CineMate 15. As its name suggests it can emulate the deep bass and rumbling that you experience inside a cinema. To achieve that effect the four-element speaker array and the Acoustimass module takes advantage of the walls and enclosure inside your home.
Sound quality, as expected, is good with powerful and punchy bass response that you can definitely feel. Mids and highs are also good as it is crisp and detailed. However, the bass can be overbearing at times so you might want to turn it down a bit in certain scenarios while the trebles could use some additional oomph. There will also be times when you would want to adjust the settings for bass and trebles to suit your preferences, unfortunately, the CineMate 15 doesn’t provide that option.
The Bose CineMate 15 delivers a really good auditory experience in a relative small and simple package. It is indeed the simplest soundbar system from Bose as it is easy to setup. However, that simplicity extends to not having a better visual indicator for volumes, no extra settings for audio, and no remote bass controls.
Sound-wise, it’s a drastic improvement from the usual audio quality your TV can provide. We used it for movies, music, ordinary cable TV shows, as well as gaming. The crisp trebles and wall-shaking bass will immerse you in a rich auditory experience.
Let me remind you though that this isn’t a 5.1 surround system so if you’re an audiophile with very high standards, the CineMate 15 may fall short in your expectations. For that level of experience we recommend the Php200K Bose Lifestyle 535 Series III. But for those that who want to take their TV audio up a notch without burning that amount of money, the Bose CineMate 15 is the first step to consider.
Bose CineMate 15 specs:
Four array speaker soundbar
Bose TrueSpace signal processing
1 x Optical digital input (on soundbar)
1 x Coaxial digital input (on soundbar)
1 x RCA L/R stereo analog input (on soundbar)
2 x Speaker input (on Acoustimass module)
2 x Speaker output (on soundbar)
Power: 100 – 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz (300 W)
Soundbar: 30.48 x 8.25 x 6.98cm
Acoustimass Module: 22.35 x 36.83 x 48.51cm
Remote Control: 5.33 x 22.35 x 3.04cm
Acoustimass Module: 10.56kg
What we liked about it:
* Really good sound quality
* Powerful bass
* Simple and easy to set up
* Doesn’t take up much space
* Analog and optical cable included
* Universal Remote included
What we didn’t like:
* No visual indicator for volume levels
* Limited audio settings
* Bass can’t be controlled by remote
The Bose CineMate 15 is available in the following Bose stores: Alabang Town Center, Glorietta 3, Power Plant Mall, SM Aura Premier, SM City North Edsa The Block, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, Shangri-la Mall, Trinoma. Authorized Dealers: Abenson Ascott, Ambassador Appliances, Ang Brothers, Anson’s (selected stores), Automatic Centre (selected stores) , Architectural Audio, Better Components Davao, Cebu Classic Hifi, Duty Free Fiesta Mall, Duty Free Resorts World Manila, Robinsons Appliances (select stores), S&R, Soundroom Cebu.
Authorized Dealers: Abenson Ascott, Ambassador Appliances, Ang Brothers, Anson’s (selected stores), Automatic Centre (selected stores) , Architectural Audio, Better Components Davao, Cebu Classic Hifi, Duty Free Fiesta Mall, Duty Free Resorts World Manila, Robinsons Appliances (select stores), S&R, Soundroom Cebu.