After reviewing and utterly enjoying the Companion 5 last week, I ventured to a land of Bose Virtual Surround Systems in search of the home entertainment equivalent, and amidst the top of the range products I tried out, one stood out and actually left me very impressed. As I stated last week I firmly believe that the market is jam packed with wanna-be wireless solutions for home cinema, and also established brands have yet to find a breakthrough in the technology, well this was in the back of my head constantly throughout my search, but it quickly got obliterated once the amazing experience of the VideoWave was presented to me.
Let me start off by clearly laying down the main differences between this system and the rest. The VideoWave is an all in one entertainment solution for a complete home cinema system, which means that both the Audio and the Video aspect of home cinema is covered. The VideoWave is Bose’s first TV, and they wouldn’t be Bose if they didn’t show off.
The amazing thing about this system is the total elimination of visible speakers and subs, which are integrated in the 46″ TV. The TV itself is 1080p Full HD LCD six inch thick screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 7481:1 Contrast ratio and 0.03 cd/m^2 average black level rating. The picture quality is well above average with extremely deep black levels which create that colour popping effect that makes the picture stand out. The top notch LCD delivers superbly crisp SD and HD pictures whilst incorporating one of the most innovative user interfaces I have ever experienced.
The sound is handled by a new Phaseguide processor which manages to target each individual sound from the seven built in speakers to any corner of the room, replicating the function of pristine quality tangible speakers in places where there is nothing at all. The low frequency notes are handled by a built in subwoofer system designed solely for this product, and is made up of six individual woofers connected to an acoustic wave guide for that extra deep bass. The Phaseguide system would be useless without the new ADAPTiQ system which calibrates the system to perfection and eliminates all audible distortion. It is very similar the Onkyo’s Audyssey system, but virtual surround needs a more sophisticated calibration system to make up for the shape of the room, furniture, and positioning that might throw off any targeted sound from the intended destination. The TV is sleek in design and the assembly is sturdy, combining refined elegant looks with reliability.
The console of the system has a built in Media player with the latest 1080p up-scaler, and comes with Component, Composite, HDMI, and USB connection inputs. Any item you plug into the console is recognized by the system, and after a quick inspection, the system will offer you the best connection solution for the optimal video and audio output. Bose also threw in an iPod / iPhone dock with the console, which enables you to access your media directly from your Apple product whilst controlling it remotely via the amazing control system. This clever remote control device is simple and straight forward, and sports a very attractive minimalistic design. When I tried it the first time it kind of reminded me of the virtual remote controls applications available for smart phones, as it only bears the basic controls and also incorporates touch controls through a touchpad pad for quick scrolling. The amazing thing about this remote is that the console quickly recognizes the item plugged in, and after a few remote clicks it will manage to pair the Bose remote to the new device. A remote control with such an extensive database of paired products would easily costs €200+, and be the size of a refrigerator. The interface is fantastic and easy on the eye, there aren’t too many over complicated menus and the touch pad scrolling it is easy to navigate through.
The minute I was presented with the Bose demo I was astounded, I was actually constantly looking for the rear and side speakers, the effect was surreal and the sheer power of the system left me speechless. This system does have a hefty price tag, but when considering the high quality LCD, the amazing sound system, the universal remote control system, and the elimination of wires and cumbersome woofers, you really aren’t that far off from the price of a separate component systems matching this quality.
I will wrap things up by admitting that once I tried this system, all my senses started tingling with pleasure. My eyes feasted upon the amazing picture quality, my ears were continuously pleasured by the different sounds going off around me, my gut was shaking with deep bass vibrations, and my mind was baffled by the masterpiece Bose created. This is ultimate entertainment at its best.
Overall Rating: 10/10
For more information regarding the price and availability of the product kindly contact Zoom.
Written by Matthew C.