Cabasse Stream Base – Design and Connections
Stream Base is a beautifully designed product that oozes French finesse. The glass top panel and silver edge trim combine elegantly by the black cloth grille hugging the front and sides. It sits on thick feet with silver trims. The only downside to the design is that its conservative dimensions – 650 wide by 290mm deep – mean you can only place TVs up to 42-inches and weighing no more than 35kg on top. If you have a sizeable TV or living room, this isn’t the soundbase for you. Discretion is crucial for a soundbase and Cabasse’s minimal styling helps it blend in. The front panel sports a couple of Cabasse logos, but there are no buttons at all. A text display shines through the grille and provides helpful updates, but it doesn’t disappear when idle.
Cabasse opts for a “single-cable” setup, providing an optical input for connection to your TV but no HDMI sockets. There’s a 3.5mm mini-jack input for portable devices and a USB port, the latter allowing you to play music files stored on pen drives and stream them to other Cabasse multiroom speakers. You can also connect devices via apt-X Bluetooth, with NFC providing an easy way of pairing Android phones.
CABASSE STREAM BASE – FEATURES
Cabasse reveals its audiophile intentions with an active four-way speaker design for each stereo channel. It uses two dome tweeters, four mid/bass drivers and a 13cm down-firing subwoofer. The tweeters receive 10W of power, while the mid/bass drivers get 25W and the sub gets 40W.
There are two sound modes to choose from – Hi-Fi and Home Theater. The latter attempts to expand the soundstage while keeping dialogue focused in the centre.
On the wireless side, the Cabasse allows you to stream music from Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz and Tidal, as well as your own DLNA devices. It supports hi-res files up to 96/24 resolution.
Cabasse Stream Base – Setup and Operation
Rigging up Stream Base is a piece of cake, thanks to the single-cable optical connection. The most complex part is connecting the unit to your router, which is all carried out through the Stream Control smartphone app. It found my Stream Base and latched onto the router without any fuss whatsoever. Stream Base uses the same remote as other products in Cabasse’s streaming range. It’s a quirky egg-shaped zapper with gloss-black styling and minimal buttons. It sits nicely in the palm and the buttons are thoughtfully placed, although they’re a little too small.
CABASSE STREAM BASE – PERFORMANCE
So far, so good. But it’s the Stream Base’s performance that really seals the deal. Its four-way design results in a full-bodied, sophisticated sound. The mid-range is solid and detailed, side-stepping the hardness and “honk” that can befall lesser soundbases. Voices are clearly projected, balanced out with the perfect amount of treble and bass depth. Its sound is also packed with detail, revealing textures and nuances lesser soundbases leave behind. Fire up The Force Awakens on Blu-ray and the First Order invasion on Jakku is rendered with life-like clarity. It picks out the gentle crunch of footsteps on the dirt and the fizz of blaster shots, while Kylo Ren’s processed voice is buzzing with distorted detail and sibilance.