Pros + Simple setup was easy and fast
+ Bass is very good
+ Delivers great sound quality
+ Remote is easy to program
+ Small size and minimal wiring
Cons - NO EQUALIZER
- NO user visual interface
Summary Wow, what can I say, really impressed with this system!
Simple, basic connection and setup - it doesn't get any easier than this. Even if you have very little experience connecting an audio system, you will be up and running in 10 mins, and what's more you don't need an amplifier or A/V receiver for most applications. Accepts traditional 3.5mm audio cables and toslink optical audio connection (both types of cables are included). I use the optical audio and for some reason the connection on the interface unit is never really that secure (end that connects to my tv audio out is fine, though). Could just be my setup.
Great for small to medium size apartments, bedrooms, or anwywhere that space is limited. That's really the environment this system was designed for and where it shines. The system itself is so small that it should fit in just about any room, which is great for those of us who don't want or have room for huge floorstanding speakers or even bookshelf speakers. I have the gemstone speakers simply sitting on the tv stand, but if you want to get a little better speaker placement (important for the higher frequencies these speakers produce) you might want to use speakers stands. One of the nifty design aspects of these speakers is that they have ports on the rear side, which is not by accident as these are designed to reflect off a wall as well, which gives them better dispersion and sound stage.
Of course what good is small size and easy connectivity if the sound quality is not there? This system is proof that sometimes good things can come in small packages.
After comparing this to different systems I have owned and different systems that I heard while shopping around, this system was in my opinion excellent in the amount of detail, clarity, fullness and warmth it produces. The bass is adjustable, and while it won't rattle every window in your house if that is your thing, it will produce more than ample bass for most tastes. Actually I think the bass unit (Acoustimass as Bose calls it) for this system is really unique in the range and balance of frequencies it produces. There is clearly some acoustic and equalization magic going on underneath the hood of this unit, and it works in near perfect tandem with the gemstone speakers.
One of the first things I noticed when listening to music that I was familiar with was that I could hear sounds and instruments that I never heard before, which is one of the great things that a good system will bring out. I also really appreciated the balance of this system when watching movies where I don't have to constantly change the volume during transitions between action and dialogue.
Okay so I'm clearly a fan of this system, but all that said, if you are more budget conscious, don't expect this to be the absolute best sounding or flexible system $X00 can buy... you are paying for sound quality yes, but you are also paying for the above mentioned things. Keep that in mind. I bought it for all these reasons and honestly I could not be happier. Yeah it is pricey, but definitely worth looking into for an excellent balance of sound quality, space conservation and simplicity.
Lastly, if you are wondering whether the GS Series II is worth the extra money compared to the regular Series II, I felt that the GS definitely sounds "better" to me than the regular Series II. Seemed to be a more balanced sound and crisper highs with the GS. But ultimately that is up to you and your budget. If you never heard them side by side, you would probably be happy with either one... but for the record the GS is better ( and if you will buy the cinemate GS Series II, I suggest you have to check for best deal before you decide at --> Hometheatersystemsuggestion.blogspot.com/2011/11/bose-cinemate-gs-series-ii.html ).
Hope this review helps.
Pros Ease of use, setup and most importantly sound!
Cons Price, one of the most expensive
Summary Spend a good bit of time reading up and reviewing home theater systems, simply put this was the best all around without huge installation cost. It took the better part ten minutes to install.
Pros Sleek, rugged, legendary reputation and priced competitively. I worked on commerical fishing boats and the best sound systems always had Bose speakers. I think the subwoofer summoned a few whales to peek about from time to time.
Cons Optical wire does not make a locking connection. I placed a little piece of electrical tape over the terminus to secure it.
Summary I know I'll have these speakers for 10-20 years. And unlike other speakers, I won't regret a single day for having bought them.
Pros Remarkable sound from Dolby 5.1 sources. Easy to install if you have an optical digital output from your HDTV
Cons Won't decode any DTS-ES or DTS-HD signal, the latter being the most common for Blueray discs. You must step down DTS sources to PCM, losing most of the 5.1 mix and ALL of the magic this system offers with Dolby-encoded content.
Summary I experienced the Cinemate system at both Best Buy and at the Bose store in our local mall. Best Buy used the Bose propriety demo disk. The Bose store used the Blueray disk of Toy Story 3. What the Bose employees didn't tell me was that they had changed the settings on their BlueRay player output to PCM to allow it to be played by the Cinemate system. Most BlueRay discs are coded in DTS-HD. This system will not play any DTS content.
It took me a while to figure out what the issue was and a call to Bose's tech support confirmed that Cinemate systems do not support any DTS content. They said I would have to step down the output to PCM. I did this and then compared a the Balin's Tomb scene from The Fellowship of the Ring using Dolby 5.1 and the DTS-ES choices in the film's menus. The difference was devastating. The Dolby 5.1 sounded rich, with all the proper echo and sound effects. The DTS output sounded flat, had no separation of the sound effects and might as well have been coming out of my TV speakers.
If simply want to get great sound from Cable or Satellite HD content (all broadcast in Dolby 5.1 or less) this is great system. If you want to use the system with a Blueray player, don't buy it.
Pros crystal clear sound
Cons nothing other than more inputs
Summary Honestly you hear people bashing bose all the time. Most of the people doing this are people that have never owned the system or have like 1200 dollar receivers and stuff like that. I paid about 750CDN for my bose cinemate GS Series II. If you actually take the time and do the math on a low to medium range set up your looking at a receiver($300) and set of speakers($300/pair) and a sub($250) would cost you are looking at well over that price point. Do yourself a favour and buy the system and try it out in your home and see if it sounds good to you. I recommend getting the table top stands as well, they look srp and it actually makes the speakers sound better when they are suspended in the air and not resting on a bookshelf. I really am enjoying the system...maybe its the one for you 2.
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