2020 is shaping up to be the year of the wireless home theater thanks to WiSA — a wireless home theater technology — and companies like Enclave Audio which is using WiSA to create home theater systems. Enclave’s new $1,500 CineHome Pro is one of two new wireless 5.1 systems the company is announcing today and it’s also the first wireless 5.1 home theater system to be granted the THX Certification for integrated systems.
The second system is the $1,000 CineHome II, a slightly less powerful version of the CineHome Pro that is not THX Certified. Both systems come with a full complement of speakers: Two front speakers, a center channel, two surround speakers, and a sub-woofer. Because these are WiSA-certified speakers, they’re compatible with any WiSA transmitter. So if you already own an existing WiSA transmitter, you can place these speakers around your living room and have them set up in minutes — no speaker cables or A/V receiver required. If you don’t own a WiSA transmitter, Enclave’s CineHub is available as a $100 add-on to either the CineHome Pro or the CineHome II.
If you’re not familiar with the many benefits of WiSA technology, we have a full WiSA explainer that will walk you through how it works, its features, as well as some of its limitations.
The CineHub connects to your TV via HDMI-ARC or optical cable and has a WiSA transmitter built-in. With support for Dolby Audio, DTS Digital Surround, and uncompressed PCM, you’ll get true 5.1 surround sound in a wireless speaker package. Each speaker needs its own power source, but as long as you have an available power outlet, you can place them pretty much wherever you like. Unlike using an A/V receiver for a 5.1 surround system, the CineHub works more like a soundbar. Volume and muting is controlled via your TV’s remote control, but you access the CineHub’s advanced settings via Bluetooth using an app on your phone or tablet.
In addition to the HDMI-ARC and optical inputs, there’s also a 3.5mm aux input and the Bluetooth 5.0 connection can be used to stream music from any Bluetooth audio source.
Enclave hasn’t released the power specification in watts for the two systems, but we do know that the CineHome Pro features 14 drivers across its six speaker units, whereas the CineHome II only uses 12. The Pro’s front and surround speakers are a bit taller, and its subwoofer driver is larger: 10 inches vs. the CineHome II’s 8-inch unit.
The biggest difference, however, is that THX certification we mentioned. First, a caveat: The certification is only valid if you use the Pro speakers with Enclave’s CineHub transmitter. On their own, used with another WiSA transmitter, the speakers are not certified by THX. This is because of the various categories of THX certification. When paired with the CineHub, the CineHome Pro speakers are designated with the THX integrated systems certification, which means THX has confirmed that the system has “the power to fill a small room without the need for room-filling speakers, where the viewing distance from the screen is 6-8 feet,” according to THX.
To determine that this is the case, THX engineers “listen to demanding soundtracks in the THX Home Theater Room to ensure the speakers sound natural and unstressed even at cinema levels,” THX said in a statement.
We’ve never tested a THX-certified integrated system before, so we can’t really make any predictions about how the CineHome Pro will sound, but as soon as we get one in for testing, we’ll be sure to share our findings.
Last week, Platin Audio released the first Tuned by THX wireless 5.1 audio system — the $899 Monaco 5.1 — also a WiSA-based home theater speaker system.
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