Enclave CineHome HD 5.1 Wire-Free Home Theater System

Get rid of all that speaker wire

Home theater and surround sound are great. Still, running wire to five or more speakers and finding ways to hide the wire from view is a challenge. The Enclave CineHome HD 5.1 Wire-Free Home Theater-in-a-Box is one of a small and increasing number of home theater system options that incorporate wireless speakers. Is it up to the task? Find out in our review.

What We Like
  • Conforms to the WiSA wireless speaker standard.

  • Good sound quality.

  • No noticeable lip-synch problems.

  • Built-in test tone generator.

  • Access to audio content on Bluetooth-enabled portable devices.

  • Access music streaming services using the app and Bluetooth or Chromecast.

  • HDMI video pass-through (no extra video processing or upscaling).

  • Combines the center channel speaker with other central hub features.

  • Speakers and subwoofer are independently powered but can turn on and off as a group.

What We Don't Like
  • Each speaker is connected to AC power using a power cord.

  • High frequencies and transient sounds are subdued compared to the mid-range and bass.

  • The subwoofer provides good low-frequency bass response but exhibits a mild level dip at about 50 Hz.

  • No Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio decoding.

  • The on-screen menu is kind of skimpy.

The Enclave CineHome HD Wire-Free Concept

The Enclave CineHome HD outwardly looks like most home-theater-in-a-box systems. It comes with five speakers (center, left, right, left surround, and right surround) and a powered subwoofer. However, unlike most packaged home theater systems, the speakers are powered. This means that each speaker houses the drivers and a built-in amplifier.

Each speaker (except for the center channel speaker) has a built-in wireless receiver. While this eliminates speaker wire clutter, each speaker comes with a detachable power supply that must be plugged into an AC outlet.

In other words, you're trading wires for AC power cords, which means each speaker needs to be close to an AC outlet.

The Smart Center

The center channel speaker is the hub of the system (referred to as the Smart Center) in addition to its role as a speaker. It has wireless transmitters that send audio signals to the other four speakers and the subwoofer, along with its built-in drivers and amplifier.

The CineHome HD Smart Center uses the 5.2-5.8 GHz band for wireless transmission. This isn't the same technology that's used for Wi-Fi transmission.

The Smart Center also functions as a scaled-down version of a home theater receiver. It performs audio decoding and processing tasks for the system and provides the needed physical connections.

Here is what's provided:

  • Audio decoding: DTS 5.1 Digital Surround, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Digital Plus.
  • Audio processing: Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Dynamic Range Control (Dynamic Compression), Bluetooth, and analog (using an RCA-to-3.5 mm adapter).
  • Connectivity: There are three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output—3D and 4K pass-through are supported. ARC (Audio Return Channel) is supported for audio. Additional connections include one digital optical audio input and one analog stereo input (3.5 mm). In addition, the Smart Center speaker unit also incorporates Bluetooth, which allows direct wireless streaming from compatible portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The Enclave Audio App and Internet Streaming

Stream locally stored music using Bluetooth, along with a choice of streaming music services such as TuneIn Radio, Spotify, Soundcloud, and Tidal using the Enclave Audio app for iOS or Android. As a bonus, wireless AV casting from a smartphone is accessible when a Chromecast device is plugged into one of the HDMI ports.

Included Accessories

In addition to the speakers and subwoofer, other things you get in the Enclave CineHome HD package include six AC power supplies with cords, one HDMI cable, a remote control (provides basic functions and access to the on-screen menu system), an owner's manual, a quick start guide, and warranty documentation.

System Setup

Each speaker is identified on the back as to their placement requirements for easy setup: Smart Center (SC), left front (LF), right front (RF), left rear (LR), right rear (RR), and subwoofer.

After you plug in the speakers and place the speakers where you want them, power up the Smart Center speaker. It automatically searches for each speaker and performs the pairing process. Once that's done, you're set to go.

Connect the Smart Center channel's HDMI output to your TV or video projector to access the on-screen menu.

If the sound balance needs further adjusting, access the system's built-in test tone generator. Then set the volume level for each speaker and subwoofer using a hidden menu. Refer to the user manual for details.

System Performance

The Enclave CineHome HD delivers a clear sound for movies and music. The center channel movie dialog and music vocals are distinct and natural. However, there's a steady drop-off at the higher frequencies above 12 Khz.

The system performs well for movies and video programming. When playing two-channel material, the front soundstage is wide and accurate.

For surround sound content, directional sound and ambiance cues project well into a room, broadening the front soundstage and providing an immersive surround sound listening experience.

Also, the blend of sound from front to rear is seamless. There aren't any apparent dips as the sound moves from front to back or around the room.

The subwoofer is a good match for the rest of the speakers, both physically and audibly. They're not there to provide a modest thump or overly boomy effect, as on some soundbar and subwoofer systems.

Using the combination of the subwoofer phase and frequency sweep tests provided on the Digital Video Essentials test disc, a faint low-frequency output may start at 30 Hz and increase to normal listening levels beginning at 40 Hz. The subwoofer crosses over to the rest of the speakers between 80 Hz and 90 Hz, all of which are good results for this type of system.

For music, the subwoofer provides a strong bass output. In the lowest frequencies, subwoofer texture—particularly with acoustic bass—is somewhat subdued but still tight. The subwoofer isn't overly boomy in the upper bass region (60 to 70 Hz). It provides clarity and a smooth transition from the mid and upper bass region to the upper bass/lower midrange capability of the satellite speakers.

With Dolby and DTS-related movie soundtracks, the system does a great job reproducing main front channels and surround effects, as well as providing good overall bass.

Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding are not provided. The system defaults to standard Dolby Digital or DTS.

Using an HTC One M8 Harman Kardon Edition smartphone, it's easy to confirm the CineHome HD's Bluetooth capability and stream music tracks to the system with acceptable sound quality.

It's a disappointment that Enclave Audio doesn't provide a statement regarding power output specifications. Still, the system delivers average listening levels for a small (12 x 13 ft.) to medium (15 x 20 ft.) size room.

Speaker Specifications

Here are the basic speaker specifications.

Center speaker:

  • Bass reflex design
  • Speaker drivers: one 20 mm tweeter, two 80 mm mid-range/woofers
  • Frequency response: 100 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Cabinet dimensions (HWD): 5.0 x 12.4 x 7.7 inches

Main L/R speakers:

  • Bass reflex design
  • Speaker drivers: one 20 mm tweeter, two 80 mm mid-range/woofers
  • Frequency response: 100 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Cabinet dimensions (HWD): 12.4 x 4.7 x 7.7 inches

Rear speakers:

  • Bipole design
  • Speaker drivers: two 50 mm full-range drivers
  • Frequency response: 100 Hz to 20k Hz
  • Dimensions (HWD): 5.0 x 8.1 x 4.3 inches

Subwoofer:

  • Bass reflex design
  • Frequency response: 28 Hz to 100 Hz
  • Driver: 217 mm (approximately 8 inches)
  • Dimensions (HWD): 17.7 x 12 x 13 inches

Enclave Audio doesn't provide power output specifications for the built-in amplifiers incorporated into the speaker cabinets.

The Bottom Line

The Enclave CineHome HD advances the cause for wireless home theater audio system and speaker options. However, it's designed as a basic system. Although it incorporates some interesting features, the Smart Center doesn't include everything found in a true home theater receiver.

On the other hand, as with any new product concept, you have to start somewhere. For mainstream consumers, the CineHome HD provides a good starting point. We hope that more is coming in the wireless home theater speaker and system product category from Enclave and others.

Taking all things into consideration, if you're looking for a home theater audio solution that's easy to set up and eliminates unsightly speaker wire, the Enclave Audio CineHome 5.1 Wire-Free Home Theater-in-a-box System is worth checking out. It's a step up from a soundbar or sound base. It provides an effective surround sound listening experience, as well as being almost as easy to set up and use.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer and returned upon completion of the review.