It's been said that first impressions can and do leave an indelible impression.
That being said, the Cine5 made a strong one after its first run out of the box. Initially, the high end had a nice presence in the large room used for the systems first listen, providing a pleasant amount of treble to the mix without being too over the top.
We were also initially impressed by how well the Cine5 filled a big room with music. Casual music listening is up-mixed through the Cine5 to allow all of the systems speakers to be used at once.
As mentioned previously, the Cine5 uses full range drivers, so things are a little lacking from day one from a pure listening standpoint. However, it's not all bad because certain types of music (slower acoustic for example) sound great in the high-stakes department. It's more a case of things becoming harsh and lost in this department with certain types of music.
Due to the mid-sized drivers chosen for the Cine5, mid range should be quite respectable and is for the most part.
There are good quantities of reasonably well balanced mid bass coming out of the unit. Although, again we must stress how much the performance varies with different types of music.
As a basic rule, the more complex the signal became, the muddier the output of the Cine5 became, ranging from outstanding acoustic listening performance right through to not so outstanding performance with more complex layered audio.
We have already covered this, so let's make things brief here. It really comes down to what is being played back. Heavy gaming and music breaks up the low end badly. However, basic FX and most mid bass will come through well.
It is with the use of full range drivers that enables the Cine5 to do what it does. And as we have said in the past, the use of full range drivers to handle everything is always a gamble. Largely this is because of the variable nature of different types of media being exposed to the Cine5.
Gaming is an enjoyable experience through the Cine5 because of the well rounded and predictable nature of the sound being produced by the unit. However, to touch again on a previous point, the low end is going to be an issue for gaming and unfortunately will span across a wide range of games, because if experience teaches anything, game designers love throwing in dollops of deep bass into their games.
The solution of providing gamers with surround sound built into a single speaker is one with a good amount of merit. It's just an issue of really catering to those specific needs such as low end response that gamers cry out for.
Overall, though, this is a good little unit if kept within its scope of performance. It should provide casual gamers with enough to keep them happy as well as casual music and movie consumers.
We must use the word 'casual' here, though, because it describes exactly the ethos behind the Cine5; which is a 'complete experience' for the casual user.
Surround performance is acceptable during testing, providing a sense of being in a dedicated surround environment most of time.