Bose Cinemate II vs Soundbar - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 01-13-2012, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Someone please help answer a simple question.

I know that Bose is hated on this board, but my question is very direct and I am hoping for a direct answer without bashing.

If price is equal, would you get the Bose Cinemate II or a Sony W550 soundbar or something comparable? Remember, take price out of the equation.

Bottom line...would the sound from the Cinemate II be appreciably better than the sound from the Sony soundbar? Please give your opinion, I would particularly like to hear from Davyo on this.
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-13-2012, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalryan View Post

Someone please help answer a simple question.

I know that Bose is hated on this board, but my question is very direct and I am hoping for a direct answer without bashing.

If price is equal, would you get the Bose Cinemate II or a Sony W550 soundbar or something comparable? Remember, take price out of the equation.

Bottom line...would the sound from the Cinemate II be appreciably better than the sound from the Sony soundbar? Please give your opinion, I would particularly like to hear from Davyo on this.

Hey,,,, not sure how much help I can be as I have never heard the Sony 550 inside my house,,, only heard it at the store's and as we all know making a judgment on anything heard or seen in a store is the worst thing anyone can do.

I have had the Cinemate's all over at my house for a visit and know them pretty well and also have owned all the other Sony bars except the 550,,, so I can kinda base my comments off that a bit I guess.

The best Cinemate is the Bose GS series ll, the little gemstone speakers do sound much better than the standard Cinemate speakers on the lower costing series ll.

As far as which is going to sound better in your house between the Bose and the Sony,,, I have no idea,, each system reacts differently to its "surroundings" (pun intended).

Walls and reflective areas will affect soundbars and the Cinemate greatly.

Honestly,, the only way to really know which system is going to work best is to buy them both and demo them side by side or buy each one and take it home for a spin one at a time if you cant afford to buy both at the same time,,,,,,,, return the loser back to the store.

I know for myself,, Im very very happy with my new Bose 1SR soundbar,, it was not cheap and lacks basic features that would be nice to have but the sound Im getting out of this thing is simply stunning,,, sounds like I have a full-on surround system hooked up in my living room,,, sound wise it beat out my Sony 350 soundbar,,,,, but with that being said I think my Bose 1SR would also beat out the Cinemate system's,,, so the Sony vs the Cinemate would be more of a fair comparison.

Hope that helped a tiny bit.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-13-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

I currently have the Cinemate II in my house and I think it sounds really, really good. That said, I'm not catching much of a surround effect and that probably has a lot to do with the room that it is in which is somewhat open, but the speakers are bouncing off of four walls still.

Bottom line is this, I can't decide whether it is worth it to box up the Cinemate II and return it to give the Sony 550 a try. In other words, I think the Bose sounds excellent, but I don't want miss out on something else that may be better for essentially the same amount of money.

Can anyone comment on the "surround effect" that you may or may not get out of the Sony 550? I realize that neither of these systems can replace a full blown 5.1 true surround system, but that's not what I'm after.

I want the best sound I can get in a minimalist package for $300-$500, period.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-13-2012, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalryan View Post

Thanks for the reply.

I currently have the Cinemate II in my house and I think it sounds really, really good. That said, I'm not catching much of a surround effect and that probably has a lot to do with the room that it is in which is somewhat open, but the speakers are bouncing off of four walls still.

Bottom line is this, I can't decide whether it is worth it to box up the Cinemate II and return it to give the Sony 550 a try. In other words, I think the Bose sounds excellent, but I don't want miss out on something else that may be better for essentially the same amount of money.

Can anyone comment on the "surround effect" that you may or may not get out of the Sony 550? I realize that neither of these systems can replace a full blown 5.1 true surround system, but that's not what I'm after.

I want the best sound I can get in a minimalist package for $300-$500, period.

Have you looked at the Vizio VHT510,,, thats a great little system.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #5 of 31 Old 01-13-2012, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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No, I have not looked at the Vizio...maybe I will. Currently, I'm pretty satisfied with the Cinemate II, but from what you said in your first reply to me, I'm wondering if I should step up to the GS Cinemate? In doing my research, most reviewers said they could not tell a difference between the Cinemate II and the Cinemate GS, but you seem to think otherwise.
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post #6 of 31 Old 01-13-2012, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalryan View Post

No, I have not looked at the Vizio...maybe I will. Currently, I'm pretty satisfied with the Cinemate II, but from what you said in your first reply to me, I'm wondering if I should step up to the GS Cinemate? In doing my research, most reviewers said they could not tell a difference between the Cinemate II and the Cinemate GS, but you seem to think otherwise.

To me there was a difference with the non-GS and the GS,,, but if you have a wide open type room neither Bose is going to give you a good surround effect.

The Vizio seems like it might be a good option for you to take a look at,,, I had the VHT510 for a while and was very happy with it,,,, much much cheaper than the Bose as well.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #7 of 31 Old 01-13-2012, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

To me there was a difference with the non-GS and the GS,,, but if you have a wide open type room neither Bose is going to give you a good surround effect.

The Vizio seems like it might be a good option for you to take a look at,,, I had the VHT510 for a while and was very happy with it,,,, much much cheaper than the Bose as well.

Cheers
Davyo

Are you saying that in an "open type" room that a good soundbar is going to give me a better surround effect than the Bose?
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post #8 of 31 Old 01-13-2012, 05:47 PM
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Go check out the the Bose Cinemate 1SR
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-14-2012, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalryan View Post

Are you saying that in an "open type" room that a good soundbar is going to give me a better surround effect than the Bose?

No,,,almost ALL soundbars and the Bose Cinemate as well are very dependant on walls to bounce sound off of.

Even my much loved Bose 1SR soundbar is very dependant on walls to reflect sound.

The reason I suggested the Vizio VHT510 is because it has the rear/side speakers so it is not as dependant on walls to bounce the sound off of.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-16-2012, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

No,,,almost ALL soundbars and the Bose Cinemate as well are very dependant on walls to bounce sound off of.

Even my much loved Bose 1SR soundbar is very dependant on walls to reflect sound.

The reason I suggested the Vizio VHT510 is because it has the rear/side speakers so it is not as dependant on walls to bounce the sound off of.

Cheers
Davyo

I guess here is what I'm getting at...am I going to notice a significant difference in sound between the Bose Cinemate II and the Sony w550 soundbar or are they going to be, mostly, indistinguishable?
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post #11 of 31 Old 01-16-2012, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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In my impatience, I went to best buy and bought the W550 so I could compare to the Cinemate 2...uhh...this was no contest. The Cinemate 2 sounds worlds better on every level.

I tweaked the Sony soundbar to the settings that many have posted on this site and found it to be tinny and weak compared to the Bose.

I know that there are Bose haters on this forum, but the reality is that the Cinemate 2 sounds really, really good. I know, I know, I must have terrible hearing if I think that Bose sounds good.

Maybe so, but to this person's ear, the Bose smoked the Sony sound bar and it wasn't even close. Just one person's opinion, but I thought I would throw it out there.
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post #12 of 31 Old 01-16-2012, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalryan View Post

In my impatience, I went to best buy and bought the W550 so I could compare to the Cinemate 2...uhh...this was no contest. The Cinemate 2 sounds worlds better on every level.

I tweaked the Sony soundbar to the settings that many have posted on this site and found it to be tinny and weak compared to the Bose.

I know that there are Bose haters on this forum, but the reality is that the Cinemate 2 sounds really, really good. I know, I know, I must have terrible hearing if I think that Bose sounds good.

Maybe so, but to this person's ear, the Bose smoked the Sony sound bar and it wasn't even close. Just one person's opinion, but I thought I would throw it out there.

Dont worry about the Bose haters/bashers,,,,, most of the time they have never even heard the Bose system they are bashing,,,, they like to bash cuz it make's them feel like they are some kind of audiofile.

Some of the sheep will even post the typical crap like "No highs no lows, must be blose" and other clever sayings and BS,,,,,,, the opinion that matters most is yours and if you are pleased with the sound.

Im very happy with my Bose 1SR soundbar and in the past have been impressed with the Cinemate's I have personaly demoed at home,,, I dont slam a product that I dont have hands on experience with,,, I base my opinions on real world experience,,,,, and not mindless sheeple bashing slogans.

I have always pointed out the downsides of Bose products and the upsides,,, no audio gear is perfect.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #13 of 31 Old 01-18-2012, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

Dont worry about the Bose haters/bashers,,,,, most of the time they have never even heard the Bose system they are bashing,,,, they like to bash cuz it make's them feel like they are some kind of audiofile.

Some of the sheep will even post the typical crap like "No highs no lows, must be blose" and other clever sayings and BS,,,,,,, the opinion that matters most is yours and if you are pleased with the sound.

Im very happy with my Bose 1SR soundbar and in the past have been impressed with the Cinemate's I have personaly demoed at home,,, I dont slam a product that I dont have hands on experience with,,, I base my opinions on real world experience,,,,, and not mindless sheeple bashing slogans.

I have always pointed out the downsides of Bose products and the upsides,,, no audio gear is perfect.

Cheers
Davyo

I agree 100% Davyo...the cinemate is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is very, very good at what it claims to do.
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post #14 of 31 Old 01-18-2012, 08:47 AM
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Or maybe...it is because people are comparing Bose to bigger speakers with full range drivers. Which isn't a fair fight...

However, I think the two major complaints about Bose ARE:

1. their own claims "Get a full range sound in a small form factor speaker" which is complete bull...a 2 1/4 inch driver with no tweeter will NOT sound like a decent bookshelf or tower speaker.
2. Bang versus the buck...even if you go small, there are better speaker (subjective, I know) for the same or less money. I briefly owned the Lifestyle system* and the satelittes and "base module" in that package are garbage! Orb, Cambridge Audio, Klipsch, Polk, hell even Pyle Pro make satelitte speakers as good as those Bose Sats...

That and a set of Companion II computer speakers that are so bad that they have been replaced by 20 dollar Altec Lansing speakers, and well, fool me once...fool me twice...won't get fooled again!

*edit...sorry, it was the Acoustimas system that I had! My bad....

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Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #15 of 31 Old 01-18-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalryan View Post

I agree 100% Davyo...the cinemate is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is very, very good at what it claims to do.

Agreed,,,, the Cinemate can sound pretty darn good in the right setting.

Bose is a love/hate releationship for me,,,, some things they do very well and some things they do very badly,,,,,,,, ohh well, no company is perfect.

I do know I love the sound coming out of my 1SR Bose soundbar, but I hate the price I paid for it and the lack of basic features that should have been included on the 1SR.

Cheers
Davyo
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post #16 of 31 Old 01-19-2012, 11:57 AM
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I am not arguing with you, davyo...you have forgotten more about audio that I have learned! And I did buy a Bose Wave CD player for my mom, becuase she needs SIMPLE and SMALL FOOTPRINT...and this thing is perfect for her.

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post #17 of 31 Old 02-05-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalryan View Post

In my impatience, I went to best buy and bought the W550 so I could compare to the Cinemate 2...uhh...this was no contest. The Cinemate 2 sounds worlds better on every level.

I tweaked the Sony soundbar to the settings that many have posted on this site and found it to be tinny and weak compared to the Bose.

I know that there are Bose haters on this forum, but the reality is that the Cinemate 2 sounds really, really good. I know, I know, I must have terrible hearing if I think that Bose sounds good.

Maybe so, but to this person's ear, the Bose smoked the Sony sound bar and it wasn't even close. Just one person's opinion, but I thought I would throw it out there.

I have been debating a similar problem. I have the original Bose Cinemate system which I really like. We bought an LG 55LW5600 3D TV and I figured it might be time to move up to a digital hdmi based system or perhaps at least optical. I have to use the headphone jack on the LG to connect to my Bose as there are no RCA out ports. Works fine though. Mind you I feel I hear a slight hiss from the speakers.

I went and bought a Sony 550w soundbar. The subwoofer was fine but I must not have given the soundbar a fair try as it sounded no better than the TV speakers. The reason I took it back after a day was that I could hear the fan in the receiver. It's a small fan and it was driving me crazy. I must have had a defective unit as surely Sony would not have a receiver that was noisy for a Home Theatre?

I have been debating giving the Sony another try. The question then is whether or not the receiver is totally silent? Can the soundbar be placed behind the TV. I don't like it sitting in front. The other option would be on a shelf below the TV.

I have a Sony iPhone dock which gives rich sound. The 550w, apart from the subwoofer, gave thin, tinny horrible sound. I am hoping it was just me.

Am not interested in surround sound, but fewer wires, stereo sound with a nice subwoofer. The hdmi switch is a real plus. If not the Sony or the Cinemate then what else? Would it be worth moving to the Cinemate II to get optical?

I never realized that audio could be so complicated!


Philip
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post #18 of 31 Old 02-17-2013, 01:43 PM
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Hello,
try using an optical to rca converter. 20 bucks on ebay. I to have the first cinemate and have connected with the converter. it works real well. sound good.
better than spending 719 dollars for a new gs system.
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post #19 of 31 Old 02-17-2013, 01:44 PM
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Hello,
try using an optical to rca converter. 20 bucks on ebay. I to have the first cinemate and have connected with the converter. it works real well. sound good.
better than spending 719 dollars for a new gs system.
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post #20 of 31 Old 02-19-2013, 03:42 PM
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I work at Fry's and have demoed both units for customers over and over. I personally think the Bose Cinemate II gives a better sound than the Sony Soundbar mentioned. Highs and mids sound more crisp and clear, and the lows were better sounding to me. If I had to pick a system that's simple and easy to use, the Cinemate II is a great system for your average consumer (albiet a bit overpriced)
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post #21 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 11:51 AM
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I did a great deal of research and testing to find a suitable soundbar under $600.00. The Bose Cinemate II sounded OK at the store display. I liked the Harmon Kardon SB 16 ($599.99) and the Klipsch Icon SB 1 ($599.99). When for another trip to Best Buy and they had the Polk Audio IHT Soundbar 6000 for $399.99. That is $200 less than the Klipsch model I really wanted. Ended up buying the Polk 6000 to avoid the wrath of my wife and took it home for a spin. I have an open concept living/dining room with marble floors. The Polk sound decent, but not great. I had to ditch my old 5.1 surround sound system and got tired of dragging out the rear speakers (on stands) when I wanted to watch a movie. The amp finally died, so the trash it went. I realize soundbar would not provide true surround sound. I wanted good music playback from Pandora, etc., and wanted decent movie sound. I really was not totally satisfied with the Polk. It was OK, not great. Then, 2 days after buying the Polk, Best Buy put the Klipsch Icon SB 1 on sale for $449.99! I took the Polk back and paied the $50.00 bump for the Klipsch and I could not be happier. This guy rocks! Music sounds great and movies are better. For a mid-priced soundbar, the Klipsch is a winner IMO.
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post #22 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 06:57 PM
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The klipsch is a great soundbar, probably one of the best at around $500. I have heard the polk many times and everytime it has left me disappointed. Another great soundbar is the Harman Kardon SB16.
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post #23 of 31 Old 03-06-2013, 11:25 PM
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The problem is, is that you guys think the Sony 550w sounds better, I hear that sony htct260 and 550w play like every other weekend and by comparison the htct260 which is cheaper sounds better to me.

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post #24 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orijin View Post

The problem is, is that you guys think the Sony 550w sounds better, I hear that sony htct260 and 550w play like every other weekend and by comparison the htct260 which is cheaper sounds better to me.

Isn't "better" a subjective description?

We are here to help you. Please help us to help you. If you provide incomplete information, at best, we can give you an incomplete response.
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post #25 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 09:36 AM
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Can be but I have showed numerous probably in the 100 range by now the comparison between both the htct260 and the htct550w and everyone prefers the htct260 over the 550w. Music and movie sound.

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post #26 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 11:57 AM
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The 550W may have better specs, but I personally think the HT260 sounds better as well. Although it may be because of where the sound bar is being played (in a very open show room).
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post #27 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 09:05 PM
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Just some advice, never just listen to a soundbar directly in front of it. Listen to it at 45 degrees angle doesn't have to be exactly there but you get a better accurate hearing at an angle of how the sound bar sounds like.

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post #28 of 31 Old 09-16-2013, 05:00 PM
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Was in target today and they had the Bose Cinemate II non- GS version marked down to $160. I was interested in a soundbar but couldn't pass up this deal. They still had two left at that price ( streetsboro, Ohio).
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post #29 of 31 Old 09-17-2013, 03:04 PM
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At $ 160.00, the Bose would be an outstanding deal. Even traditional Bose bashers like me couldn't complain about that.

Question as I have been away for a while. Does DavyO still contribute?

I see that the lovely Possum Girl went over to the dark side (or maybe the bright side) and abandonded her soundbar for a full range system but still dispenses wonderful and helpful information.

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post #30 of 31 Old 09-17-2013, 03:59 PM
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Hi David,

I haven't seen Davyo around here for quite a long time. Perhaps he found some other toy to become obsessed with. biggrin.gif

Thanks for the kind words. My family room isn't very soundbar friendly so I consider my move to a Def Tech setup to be the right choice for me. I'm enjoying the heck out of it and have been re-listening to all my blu-rays over the summer.
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