We’ve been looking at Bose gear a lot recently, so rather than halt the trend we’re going to continue with a quick peek at the CineMate Series II 2.1 sound system today. This compact 2.1 home theatre system sports Articulated Array speakers and is specifically aimed at users looking to hook up a sound system to their TV. There’s a simple setup, with a four button easy to use remote control.
* 2.1 channel configuration
* 2 speakers and sub-woofer, all wired
* Integrated Amplifier
* 1 x Optical audio input (SPDIF)
* 1 x audio line-in
The key with the Bose CineMate Series II is it’s ability to fool the user into believing that they have full surround sound produced by just two speakers. Bose reckon they do this, and describe the process with a couple of boffins in the video below.
Pros – Ease of use and setup, sound quality
Cons – Lack of treble/bass controls
An average score of 3.7 out of 5 based on these 3 reviews.
Whilst the 3.7 score for the Bose CineMate Series II doesn’t exactly light up the home theatre sound system world, the reviews are not massively negative. So if you’re looking for a sound system for a spare room or may be just have a small lounge the CineMate Series II may be what you’re after.
We confess, we like soundbars, nice shiny soundbars. Of course they may not pump out the greatest quality sound in the world but if you’re looking for a compact alternative to multiple speakers and trailing cables then a soundbar is what you are after. And today we are looking at the CineMate 1 soundbar from quality speaker manufacturer Bose. Unfortunately with that ‘quality’ tag comes a high price and US$1,499 is not cheap by anyone’s standard. But let’s first look at the numbers and then the reviews before closing our wallet on the CineMate.
* Wall-mounted option for soundbar
* ADAPTiQ audio calibration system – funky system that sets up the CineMate to suit your room
* PhaseGuide sound radiators work with TrueSpace technology to ensure the sound gets to where it’s supposed to be!
* SmartSource input selection system to ensure the best quality sound source is selected
* Wireless Acoustimass module – no nasty cables!
* The remote control is programmable to enable use with other gear
* Soundbar – 4.9 x 36.8 x 2.4 inches ; 7.8 pounds
* Acoustimass module – 11.1 x 14.7 x 7.6 inches ; 13.8 pounds
An average score of 4.47 out of 5 based on these 3 reviews.
Despite the glowing customer reviews, we’re going to give the Bose CineMate 1 SR speaker system a thumbs down. There are too many negatives that just grate for our liking, no HDMI, no iPod dock and there are a number of ‘satisfied’ customers who readily admit that for movies and games they’d rather have a 5.1 system. Whilst we realise that a soundbar is never meant to fully replace a surround sound system in terms of audio experience, asking someone to pay $1500 for an inferior product is a touch cheeky if you ask us.
If you disagree and/or have the Bose Cinemate 1 SR then please comment on your experience below
Samsung’s range of 3D HDTVs, the UND7000 series, have an incredible 0.2 inch bezel to give the models an almost “all-picture” look. Even the still shots of the range look striking. The UND7000 series consists of three models, sporting different screen sizes, 46, 55 and 60 inch. We’re going to concentrate on the mid-range 55 inch model, the Samsung UN55D7000. The reviews are glowing for the 55 inch model and it is currently a top seller at Amazon. So let’s take a deeper look at the Samsung UN55D7000 3D LED HDTV.
* 55 inch display
* 1920 x 1080 resolution
* 240Hz Refresh Rate
* Dolby Digital Plus / Dolby Pulse, SRS TheatreSound HD
* 15W x 2 speakers
* 3 x USB ports, 4 x HDMI, 2 x Composite and 1 x Component inputs, PC input, Digitial Audio Output
* Ethernet LAN connectivity
* With Stand 1240.0 x 790.9 x 309.8 mm
* No 3D glasses
* QWERTY remote control
* Built-in Wi-Fi, Skype app, digital recorder
The slim line T Series speakers from KEF make their T305 Home Theatre System worth checking out. As well as being space-saving the 35mm thin speakers look stylish too and despite their small size they deliver on power. And in general the reviews say that the sound quality, which of course is what it’s all about, of the KEF T305 matches the stylish slimline looks. Interested? Then read on ….
KEF T305 Home Theatre Specifications
• (2) 4[1/2]-inch woofers
• 1-inch tweeter
• Included wall mount plate and desktop stand
• Horizontal T301c center speaker also available
• 23.6 x 5.5 x 1.4 in; 3.3 lb.
• 10-inch driver powered by 250-watt Class D amp
• Line-level input only
• 15 x 14.6 x 7 in; 28.6 lb.
Pros – styling match for panel displays, excellent sound, strong subwoofer
Cons – Price
Whilst we struggled to find a lot of reviews for the KEF T305 Home Theatre System, the ones we did all gave it 5 out of 5. The only fly in the ointment was the cost but we feel in the speaker system market you do pay what you get for. Want better sound quality? You pay more money, as simple as that. So needless to say the KEF T305 Home Theatre Sound System package gets a big thumbs up from Our Picks.
An average score of 5 out of 5 based on these 2 reviews.
Today we’re taking a quick look at the stylish Bose SoundDock Series II iPhone/iPod speaker system. This music system certainly looks the part with the usual high standard Bose design and apparently it packs a punch too. The only downside that we can find is that a may be a bit too pricey for some people’s taste. However the SoundDock Series II certainly gets top marks on sound quality which of course is what it’s all about with a speaker system.
* Award-winning performance plus versatile features
* Ideal for use in kitchen, bedroom, living room—practically anywhere in your home
* Remote controls basic iPod® functions including playlist navigation
* Auxiliary input for use with other sound sources, like MP3 or DVD/CD player
* Compatible with most iPhone® and most iPod models
* Remote control (extra) handles power, volume, track seek and iPod playlist navigation from almost anywhere in the room
* Auxiliary input lets you play other audio sources, such as a portable DVD player, CD or other MP3 player
Today we’re taking a look at Onkyo’s networked 7.2 channel receiver the TX-NR709. This little puppy has eight HMDI inputs, is THX-certified and will playback media from your PCs using it’s “Play To” feature. An optional USB adapter will enable wireless connectivity for the TX-NR609 too. Along with iPod/iPhone connectivity and 1080p upscaling, the Onkyo TX-NR709 is a great receiver for any home theatre system.
* 110 Watts per Channel at 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 Channels Driven, FTC;
* HDMI Support for 3D, Audio Return Channel, Deep Color, x.v.Color, Lip Sync
* HDMI Video Upscaling to 4K with Qdeo Technology by Marvell
* Playback of Audio Files Through Local Network (MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, LPCM)
* THX Select2 Plus Certified
* 14.9 x 17.1 x 6.9 inches
* 26.9 pounds
* Network Capability Delivers Internet Radio and Network Streaming
* Direct Digital Connection of iPod/iPhone via Front-Panel USB Port
* Audyssey MultEQ XT Advanced Room-correction and Speaker Calibration
* Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz Add New Dimensions to Surround Sound
Pros – Great sound, easy to use, multiple HDMI inputs, network functionality
Cons – No Apple Airplay
We’ve never seen a piece of gear ever get top marks before, and the Onkyo TX-NR709 gets a massive five out of five from What Hi-Fi. Every review was glowing in its apparaisal of the 7.2 channel receiver and the unit is certainly a step-up from the TX-NR609 which it replaces, yet not in price! Needless to say the Onkyo TX-NR709 receiver gets a big Our Picks thumbs up.
An average score of 4.4 out of 5 based on these 4 reviews.
Here’s a great little LCD 720p HDTV for you from Panasonic, namely the Viera TC-L32C3, priced under $300. Whilst it doesn’t boast all the major features of the larger models, the TC-L32C3 does feature the Viera Image Viewer, an in-built viewer utilising the SD slot on the HDTV, a Game Mode and an Intelligent Scene Controller to improve contrast.
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