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Teufel Cinebar Pro review: Earth-shattering bass but not much else

Christopher Minasians
4 Oct 2018
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,100
inc VAT

The Cinebar Pro has plenty of connectivity options and an incredible bass thump but it’s found wanting elsewhere

Pros 
Thunderous bass
Versatile connectivity
Cons 
Disappointing sound quality
No upward firing speakers for DTS:X or Dolby Atmos
Expensive
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Soundbars come in all shapes and sizes: from small dinky speakers that sit in front of your TV to huge elongated slabs of metal that have speakers housed inside. The German's aren't subtle with their designs (think of BMW), so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Teufel has opted for one of the biggest soundbar/subwoofer combinations you can think of. If that wasn't enough, the Cinebar Pro even has two antennas sticking out of it – it's a monster.

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Teufel Cinebar Pro review: What you need to know

The Teufel Cinebar Pro is a two-part home cinema audio package comprising a soundbar and subwoofer. The bar itself houses eight drivers, two of which are sideward-firing. These create a virtual surround sound, which the company labels, in surprisingly un-ironic fashion, “Dynamore Ultra technology”. The subwoofer is equally meaty and produces loud enough sound to shake your house’s foundations.

Unfortunately, although it excels in some areas (it’s crammed with connections and supports Google Cast, among other things) its surround-sound standard support isn’t a strength. It’s a 2.1 channel set up (left, right and subwoofer) and supports Dolby Digital and DTS, but not Dolby Atmos or DTS:X and it lacks both upward- and rear-firing speakers, which hinders its chances of competing with the best at this price.

Teufel Cinebar Pro review: Price and competition

At £1,100 (not including the £30 shipping), the Cinebar Pro isn’t cheap. At that money, it goes head to head with the incredible Samsung HW-N850, and the HW-K950, both of which have full Atmos and DTS:X support and upward-firing speakers. The latter has rear speakers, too.

Elsewhere, there are cheaper alternatives with Atmos, such as the LG SJ9 and the Onkyo HT-S5805 system, both of which cost around £560. It’s also worth considering the impressive subwoofer-less Samsung HW-MS750 for a mere £439, although you could add the £300 wireless subwoofer to complete the setup and it would still cost less than the Teufel Cinebar Pro.

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Teufel Cinebar Pro review: Design, features and connectivity

Design-wise, the Cinebar Pro lacks the classy, sleek look its rivals have. Instead, the German manufacturer opts for a more gamer-centric design with its moody, black brushed aluminium enclosure.

It isn’t a pretty look and its case isn’t helped by a pair of antennas that stick out at the back. It’s the first time I’ve come across a soundbar with antennas and it contributes to a rather messy look, especially added to the triangular shaped rubber stand that sits loosely underneath it. Not my cup of tea.

Still, you can tidy it up by wall-mounting – it comes with built-in wall mounts located at the rear – and, better still, if you have lots of wires sprouting from the rear, these can neatly be managed using a series of integrated rubber tabs.

To control the soundbar, there are four physical buttons at the front: power, source, volume up and volume down. The buttons feel a little clunky when pressed; there’s a sense of quality missing. Nevertheless, they provide quick access to the soundbar’s most basic functions and for everything else, there’s the remote.

The Cinebar Pro’s remote control provides a comprehensive set of controls. There’s one-touch access to all your sources, separate controls for bass, treble and the subwoofer level, and even a button for direct access to lip sync adjustments. It’s a bit on the large side as a result but it’s not uncomfortable to use.

As for connectivity, the soundbar has one of the most comprehensive set of inputs and outputs I’ve ever come across in a soundbar. There are two 3.5mm auxiliary inputs, a pair of digital inputs (one optical TOSLINK, one coaxial), a 3.5mm jack output for the optional rear speakers, a subwoofer out and five HDMI 2.0 ports (four inputs, one output), all supporting HDCP 2.2, 3D and 4K 60Hz (4:2:0) or 4K 30Hz (4:4:4). There’s even a 3.5mm output jack at the front, which allows you to plug in your headphones; useful for when you don’t want to disturb your cohabitants.

That’s not all, though. The Cinebar Pro has Chromecast and Spotify Connect built-in for audio streaming over Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, too. So, you can send an audio stream via Chromecast through TuneIn, Spotify, Soundcloud or any other service that supports Chromecast audio and that includes your browser.

Finally, onto the T 10 subwoofer, which connects wirelessly to the main unit. The woofer is big, and the exposed driver can be either front- or downward-facing. There are four small plastic-rubber feet that keep it off the ground. It’s a rather ingenious design but there’s no grill to protecting the speaker cone if you have it facing out, which can be a problem if you have pets or inquisitive children. As for connections and controls, you get a coaxial input, a sub level dial, a “Bass Boost” selector (Neutral, 50Hz and 70Hz), and a 0-180° Phase switch, too. That’s a lot more control than you usually get on a home cinema sub.

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Teufel Cinebar Pro review: Sound quality

The Cinebar Pro has eight drivers. There are two 100mm midrange drivers facing out at the sides and at the front you get a further two 100mm drivers and a pair of 25mm tweeters. The soundbar on its own has an RMS power output of 200W. The huge 250mm (driver diameter) subwoofer takes on the 37-200Hz frequencies for that low-end shunt and outputs 150W of power.

As you might have noted, there are no rear-firing or upward-firing drivers, which is an omission at this price. There’s no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support, either, but  Teufel is confident, however, that its “Dynamore Ultra technology” can more than make up for this and create its own virtual surround sound effect in your living room.

In practice, however, the system failed to deliver anything like this and, as I sat down to a little Transformers: Age of Extinction action, I simply didn’t feel as involved or immersed in the sound as I’d expected to be. I never thought I’d say this but I simply didn’t feel at one with Optimus Prime, nor did I care about the huge amounts of destruction happening on screen.

The Cinebar Pro struggles to create a three-dimensional surround sound effect, whether or set to the Dynamore “Wide”, “Ultra” or the “Surround” settings. A simple soundbar and subwoofer setup is always going to struggle here, to be fair, but the Samsung HW-N850 achieves the feat and it also has no rear speakers.

On the plus side, the Cinebar Pro kicks out a lot (and I mean A LOT) of bass. Indeed, the sub delivers so much of the low stuff that I had to go around moving stuff about so it didn’t rattle and this was with Bass Boost disabled.

That huge T 10 subwoofer delivers excellent low-end rumble and with the ability to tone it down for smaller living room spaces you’ll always be in control of what you shake. There’s plenty of quality, too. It has a controlled mid-bass slam and is able to extend all the way down to 37Hz. Even if the Samsung HW-N850 is able to dig deeper to 34Hz I’d still pick the Teufel system if I wanted to create seismic waves.

Moving onto the mids, I chose to use The Revenant as my test disc. Here, I found myself disappointed. Voices lacked of body and substance and even with the treble settings at +5, the mids lacked punch. In battle scenes, I found voices were drowned out by the thunderous subwoofer. When it comes to dialogue, from TV shows to movies, the Cinebar Pro fails to deliver, something that, perhaps, can be attributed to the lack of a dedicated centre channel and driver.

That’s a shame because the Cinebar extends well into the top-end frequencies and doesn’t sound particularly sibilant, either. Cranking up Bruno Mars’ That’s What I Like and the bar produced a smooth, engaging sound, with enough detail to keep things interesting.

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Teufel Cinebar Pro review: Verdict

The Teufel Cinebar Pro might have all the right connectivity options, and have a massive subwoofer included but that doesn't excuse its flaws, which, at £1,100 are hard to forgive.

The system has no upward firing drivers or support for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X and its distinctly average mid-range response and lack of a centre channel means the Teufel Cinebar One Pro is just one to avoid.

If you have £1,100 to spend on an AV system, either the Samsung HW-N850 or the HW-K950, make an infinitely better purchase.

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