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As for the CB 50 SW subwoofer, it’s styled in the same luxurious gloss-black finish as the Cinebar with two eye-catching silver stripes running down the front, all of which prevents it from looking like an eyesore if you can’t hide it away. But for a system that’s all about saving space, it’s remarkably big and bulky, measuring 30.5cm x 42cm x 46cm – something a bit more compact would have been preferable. You may want to factor that in when planning where you’re going to put everything, and it’s also worth noting that unlike some of Samsung’s soundbars the sub connects to the Cinebar using a cable, which could cause you further installation headaches.
Connections are basic but this isn’t designed to be an AV epicentre – if you only have a couple of sources to connect (a DVD deck and Sky+, let’s say) then the selection should suffice. On the back of the main unit are two pairs of analogue stereo inputs, optical and coaxial digital inputs and the subwoofer output, while the back of the sub sports a cinch input and a volume dial, but more complicated controls like crossover and phase are sensibly omitted.
The Cinebar can decode Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks and features a stereo amplifier (2 x 100W), but to make the sound more movie-friendly Teufel has included Dolby Virtual Speaker to generate a virtual surround effect. It comes in three modes – Stereo, Wide and Reference – which can be selected using the Mode button on the remote.
Joining Dolby Virtual Speaker is a range of EQ modes primarily for music playback, including Rock, Pop, Classic and Jazz, although for movies you’re better off opting for the ‘Flat’ setting.
Unsurprisingly the system is a complete breeze to setup – place the components, plug them in, hook up the sub cable, done. But bear in mind you’ll need two free plug sockets as both units need power. Once installed the number of adjustments are limited. You can fine-tune the bass and treble levels using the Tone key, or change the sub volume using the +/- keys on the remote (separate from the main volume keys).
The credit-card sized remote will probably end up living down the back of your sofa, and it’s fitted with squashy buttons that are a little laborious to press. But at least they’re neatly arranged and well labelled.
To test the Cinebar 50’s mettle we fired up that old home cinema stalwart Gladiator and it’s safe to say that the sound quality is among the best we’ve heard from a soundbar. Perhaps not as smooth, powerful or detailed as the B&W Panorama (unsurprising given it’s about £1k dearer) but even so it’s a marvellous performer.
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