What’s most apparent is the Cinebar’s ability to dig out detail and convey high-frequency effects in a clean and enjoyable manner, even when the volume is turned up to near maximum. This gives soundtracks an irresistible sharpness and dynamism that some soundbars struggle to muster.
The opening battle scenes, for instance, are all clattering swords, swishing arrows and shouty soldiers, and through the Cinebar it makes for a gripping listen – the melee of effects are flung around the soundstage with satisfying directness and energy. Later on, it effortlessly teases out the gladiators’ clinking armour as they prepare for battle.
There’s also plenty of width – cut to the cheering crowds inside the coliseum and it certainly feels like you’re being enveloped. It’s no match for the clean channel separation and accurate placement offered by real rear speakers, but the soundstage is wider then you may expect.
We’re also happy with the clarity of dialogue, which comes through cleanly no matter how action-packed the scene. The subwoofer is a bit more restrained than we imagined it would be given its size and quoted power output, but it still lends convincing depth to the sound of chariots thundering round the coliseum without sounding boomy.
The Cinebar is also a dab hand with music through the analogue stereo inputs, unearthing plenty of detail. Adele’s 19 on CD sounds fantastic and her distinctive vocals are relayed with a pleasing tone. It’s a very crisp, clinical sound and perhaps lacks some of the warmth you’d get from some other Teufel speakers but it’s still utterly enjoyable.
The Cinebar 50 is an impressive soundbar debut from Teufel, offering the sort of sophistication we’ve come to expect from this company in terms of design and sound quality, without you having to pay an unreasonably high price for the privilege.
It’s definitely better than many cheaper rivals (the Crystal Audio and Sharp spring to mind), which justifies the higher price tag. You also get some nifty features into the bargain like a USB port and Dolby Virtual Speaker, which is moderately successful here, although we’ve heard better virtual surround and overall the sound quality falls short of B&W’s benchmark.
And while we’re having a moan, some HDMI ports and HD audio decoding would have been nice and that sub is inexplicably big for a space-saving solution, but these are mere blips in an otherwise superb soundbar.