CNET First Look
JBL Cinema Base all about that bassThe JBL Cinema Base is a likeable sound base which offers easy hookup and packs a home theater punch.
[MUSIC] Buying and setting up a sound system to your TV is so much easier than it used to be. And this is mainly due to the availability of cheap but powerful sound bars and sound basses. Hi, I'm Ty Pendlebury and at $350 the JBL Cinema Base is a worthwhile entrant into the field and offers some unique features. Unlike most sound bases at the price, the JBL offers ACMI, but it's an odd iteration of it. This pod is designed to work with the ACMI audio return channel on TVs, and can play anything from the onboard tuner or smart TV. However, if you're not a cable cutter, sadly it won't work with a cable box as there's no ACMI input. So need to use the optical cables instead. The JBL is a well built cabinet with an impressive curved grill at the front and it's designed to support TVs up to 60 inches. This is a 2.1 channel speaker which offers a surround sound effect as well as a night time mode. The sound base decoded Dolby digital but not DTS. Like many other figures of its type, it offers bluetooth connection. But I did find it's one of the poorest performing with some audible distortion on some material. But it's movies and TV that you'll be using this for and it performs very well. With an exciting sound, with plenty of deep base from the onboard subwoofers. Don't expect it to go very loud though, as its brightness can get rather irritating at high volumes. Also the remote that comes with it, it's terribly crummy. While it's not my favorite at this price-level, I'd choose the Pioneer Sound Base instead, the JBL Cinema Base is nevertheless a good speaker that is easy to set up and use. This has been Ty Pendlebury for CNET.com. [MUSIC]