What We Like
- Stealthy design with a small footprint.
- Versatile and easy to position.
- Decent tone for its size.
What We Don’t Like
- Lack of some critical features.
- Wired subwoofer where it really should be wireless.
Bose CineMate 15 is one of the most compact and reasonably powerful soundbars you can get under $500. This is a very odd design for this price range, but there are a few reasons why it’s among the best.
Usually, when you are spending half a grand on a soundbar, you are expected to get a longer one that is packed full with transducers. Needless to say, Bose chose to do things differently. Their CineMate 15 is actually extremely compact. More so that most of the soundbars on the market, despite their price.
We are looking at a 12″ unit with a subwoofer that is longer than the bar. That should tell you all you need to know about the size of this soundbar. In classic Bose fashion, the entire package comes in a well thought out, all black design. The soundbar features a black grille which hides the transducers, while the rest of the chassis is made of quality materials.
It is a similar case with the subwoofer Only difference being that it features a large, front firing slot port. In all honesty, the woofer cabinet looks more like a smaller computer tower than a speaker. The whole idea behind CineMate 15 was to get a stealthy unit, and that’s exactly what it is.
In terms of features, there are some good news and some bad news. First thing first, this is one of the very few $500 soundbars that come with a wired subwoofer. Most other brands will give you a wireless one. With that said, the features are somewhat limited as well.
Bose focused the entirety of CineMate 15’s performance on their TrueSpace technology. To be perfectly honest, it does a great job at compensating for the lack of power and girth in the soundbar. Their Acoustimass subwoofer module plays a decent role in this as well. When it comes to connectivity, you get all of your analog and digital inputs which make the CineMate 15 more or less compatible with any TV out there.
At the end of the day, this soundbar offers what many would consider a fairly limited package of features. However, in standard Bose fashion, you need to turn this thing on before you make the final judgment.
If there’s one thing we have to give Bose praise for, it’s how much girth they have managed to pack into this soundbar. We are talking about a very tiny system that is more than capable of filling out a medium sized room with decent audio.
Bose’s TrueSpace technology is to thank for this, as well as a number of other built-in tools. Lows are pretty well defined and full of range, while mids and trebles are as good as they can be from such a limited system. In all honesty, the main perk of this Bose setup is its small footprint. Otherwise, it is lacking significantly behind the competition in both power, definition and overall features.
Those who are working with a smaller TV and a rather limited space will absolutely benefit from this Bose solution. In some ways, it is a scalpel in a sea of sledgehammers.
A little underwhelming but ultimately decent solutions from Bose. CineMate 15 offer decent audio to those who need a compact soundbar. All performance aside, Bose could have made that subwoofer wireless. However, that’s not something they plan on doing.