The fact is that if you’re reading this, you’re likely to be well down the road in considering a better alternative to the standard audio systems integrated into modern TVs. Whilst an entry-level soundbar without a subwoofer is likely to offer a noticeable improvement over a standard TV’s audio, you’re probably looking for something more.
Something punchier, fuller and something that’s able to offer a more accurate and immersive listening experience.
So, no surprise then that you’re considering the Bose CineMate 15. On paper, it certainly would appear to tick the boxes to provide that level of audio quality. But, in reality just how well does the Bose fare in delivering improved audio across a selection of different listening styles and genres.
Let’s find out in this in-depth Bose CineMate 15 Review…
The striking thing about the Bose CineMate 15 is its compact size. Measuring a mere twelve inches in length, the soundbar is one of the smallest on the market. Within this small package is contained a total of four speakers. Two are front-facing and are able to produce upwards as well as front emitting sound. The other two speakers are side facing.
To help dissipate and spread the sound effectively, the four speakers work in tandem with Bose TrueSpace signal processing. In our opinion an excellent combination.
What’s more, for such a small footprint these four speakers are able to produce an impressive level of sound. Even at high volumes, the sound is distinct and clear. Dialogue is audible and the high and mid-range frequencies are still able to punch through.
The subwoofer really does an excellent job of creating a heavy and powerful bass. The bass response from this subwoofer is more than capable of bringing that cinema experience into the home. It’s also more than capable of enhancing the listening experience from any TV shows, games, music or music videos.
The Bose, although overall producing a pleasant listening sound experience, does have some minor limitations.
Firstly, it should be noted that this system is not true surround sound as it lacks the additional speakers you would expect to find in such a setup. As a consequence, although doing an admirable job of creating surround sound, it can’t match the more immersive experience that dedicated home theatre equipment is able to provide.
Most likely due to the compact nature of the soundbar, the soundstage though perfectly acceptable is not as expansive when compared to larger soundbars and systems.
The Bose CineMate 15 still brings a pleasingly impressive amount and quality of sound for such a compact unit. There’s no doubt that the Boss is more than capable of providing great sounding audio to any small or medium-sized room.
Features & Specifications
Let’s take a closer look at the features and specifications. We’ll start with the soundbar, which definitely differentiates itself from the competition due to its relatively small size. Yes, this has minimalism and Scandanavian ergonomics written all over it. It’s the Ikea of the audio world. If you’re looking for a good quality, no-nonsense, ergonomic and sleek solution to your audio needs, then this could be for you.
Well, as you’d expect there are the usual array of audio inputs available to connect to your TV. These include a choice of digital optical, coaxial and analog. The good news is that all the cables are included, which also includes the cable connection to the Acoustic mass subwoofer.
It should be noted that the cable used to connect the soundbar and the subwoofer is a Bose proprietary cable. This cable is ten feet in length. If you are considering situating the subwoofer further than this then you will need to buy an extension cable from Bose.
The system can be controlled by the supplied programmable universal remote. This is really the only remote you’re ever likely to need. Though a great thing to have it would have been nicer if they could have made it smaller. It’s big!
The subwoofer, like the soundbar, is an elegant and stylish piece of design. Easy to place or hideaway behind furniture if required. And more good news is that like the soundbar it’s a simple plugin and play piece of kit. There should be no worries at all with this setup.
The subwoofer does have a bass control button. Unfortunately, this can only be operated manually. So, if you have hidden it away somewhere, you might have to get involved in a few acrobatics to adjust it. We can’t help thinking it would have been so much easier if there had been a remote bass function.
This might prove annoying if you’re regularly switching between listening to music, playing games or watching movies and consequently may need to adjust the bass levels.
In addition, we would also have liked to see some level of sound control, to include mids and treble. Treble at the very least. Sadly, there are no such options with the Bose CineMate 15.
In terms of features and specifications, there are a few other things that are also noticeable in their absence, that at this price point we might reasonably have expected to be present.
Firstly, there is no Bluetooth connection. This is, in our opinion, the biggest omission. These days entry-level soundbars are usually sold with Bluetooth connectivity. We really would have expected to see this on the Bose CineMate 15. Secondly, there is no USB port. Again, a surprising omission. And finally, there is no wireless connection between the soundbar and the subwoofer.
This does leave us to conclude that at this price it is definitely a feature thin package. With this in mind, it very much has to justify its position in the market by the quality of the build, sound, and design alone.
Looking for more options?
If you’re not quite sure if the Cinemate 15 is the one for you, it’s well worth checking out our in-depth reviews of the Vizio SB3220N F6 2 0 and the Vizio SB3821 C6. As well as our reviews of the best Wireless Home Theater Systems and the best Wireless TV Speakers currently available.
Bose CineMate 15 Pro & Cons
- Good quality clear sound.
- Good bass response.
- Great build quality.
- An attractive and stylish design.
- A compact design suitable for use in small spaces.
- No Bluetooth or USB connectivity.
- The subwoofer requires a wired connection.
- Bass control on the subwoofer is a manual knob.
- No ability to control mids, treble or bass on the soundbar.
- The soundscape could be better.
In short, the Bose CineMate 15 gives a solid account of itself and is overall consistently able to deliver a good quality of sound. However, we honestly can’t overlook its lack of features as previously discussed.
This soundbar and subwoofer combo was first released in 2014. Now that’s some time ago, and reviewing the product now, we can’t help thinking that if it were released today, some if not all of these missing features would likely be included.
Undoubtedly, for people with the budget to purchase a Bose CineMate 15, there are alternatives with better features available. There are also plenty of more HiFi orientated, though less feature-rich choices available.
But, despite all of this, the Bose CineMate 15 still has its place in the market. It’s certainly an interesting take on the more conventionally sized soundbar and offers a genuinely different and attractive solution, where features and functionality are not the key purchasing issue.
Happy watching and listening.