Bose's CineMate GS II system has been on the market for a few years. But because it is still one of the best selling 2.1-units on the market, we are curious to hear how it stacks up against the competition.
The functionality is a little basic. There is no blu-ray player, you´ll need to acquire one separately. Instead, you´ll get two small speakers, a subwoofer, which also houses the system’s amplifier and signal processing, as well as a compact control unit with two audio inputs: one analog RCA line input and an optical digital input that support Dolby Digital signals. No HDMI, that is. DTS audio is not supported, but must be converted to PCM format in the DVD or blu-ray player’s menu system. A programmable universal remote is also included, which can be set so that it controls the TV and the player. Wall brackets or stands may be purchased separately. Handling is generally very simple, both in terms of installation and use.
Compared with sound bars the Bose system has the advantage that you can put the speakers farther apart and thus get a wider stereo perspective. It´s done at the expense of dialogue that is not as clearly centered.
CineMate has no fan and therefore there´s no mechanical noise. It is a great advantage when you are listening to music at low volume.
The subwoofer is quite powerful and both mellow and rhythmic in the upper bass range. It is not lagging behind the speakers, which is great. The speakers lack dynamic energy at the top of the treble frequencies, which makes the dialogue less open and airy than we prefer. The upper midrange however, have better power, where women's voices tend to have a lot of their energy. Though it is not possible to ignore the lack of resolution even here, and real deep bass is not present.
Movie sound is great coming from just two speakers. That's because Bose uses a mixture of direct and reflected sound, creating a diffuse but large soundstage that is perfect for movies. For music it lacks a little precision in the stereo image.
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- 2.1-channel speaker system with premium Gemstone speakers, improved digital acoustic performance
- Designed to enhance the audio from your TV and existing video sources
- Universal remote controls system and most components connected to your TV
- Simplified setup, with only a few connections to make. Ideal for small- to medium-sized rooms.