Geneva Model Cinema review

Best soundbase £400+, Awards 2015. If you've got the budget for a premium soundbase, then the Geneva Model Cinema won't disappoint - it's a brilliant buy for the money. Tested at £550

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It might be pricey, but this is the best soundbase experience money can buy


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    Big, authoritative sound

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    Clear dialogue

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    Expressive and insightful

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    Tonally balanced

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    Well built, stylish design


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    No HDMI ports

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We’ve always been rather fond of products from Geneva, and the company’s first soundbase isn’t about to break that trend.

At £550, there’s no doubt this is one of the priciest soundbases we’ve tested. But after just a few minutes in its company it’s easy to see where the money has been spent.

Build and design

The Model Cinema generates a big, open and authoritative sound

The Model Cinema generates a big, open and authoritative sound

For a start, the build quality is a notch above some of its cheaper rivals. The cabinet is built from MDF but with a smooth metallic finish in a choice of black or white. A stylish matching metal grille adorns the front of the unit, while a simple silver logo and a number of touch sensitive controls sit along the top.

A suitably stylish remote is included in the box too, offering volume and tone controls (we left the default settings, but it’s worth playing with them to suit your room), input selection, power, some EQ settings and a Bluetooth pairing button.

It’s well built and clearly labelled, plus the buttons have a reassuring click to them. Sometimes, it’s the little things that count.

No HDMI inputs, but you do get coaxial/optical digital and analogue ones

No HDMI inputs, but you do get coaxial/optical digital and analogue ones

Behind the grille, there’s a total of five drivers in three acoustic chambers – four 5cm tweeter/mid-range drivers and one 13cm woofer, totalling 120W of power.

There’s also a handy LCD display, hidden behind the grille in the top right hand corner, to display some information to support your remote commands. This will adjust itself automatically to suit the room’s lighting conditions so it can always be seen clearly.

We’re finding it a bit of habit, even at this price, for soundbases to go pretty basic on their inputs, and there are no HDMI ports available here either.

Instead there’s one each of optical and coaxial, a pair of analogue ins and a 3.5mm jack for attaching a portable device. There’s also Bluetooth A2DP on board for streaming music from a phone, tablet or laptop.


Settle in for the final battle scene in Fury and you realise the scale the Geneva is capable of. It’s a big, wide sound from a box that measures just 70cm across, with a level of authority unlike any soundbase we’ve heard.

Dynamically it puts much of the competition to shame; in one breath it’s powerful and full-bodied, and the next, subtle and considered.

It approaches Fury’s high-octane final scene with poise and confidence, attacking the low-end blasts of guns and grenades with a rich, detailed tone, while still remaining nimble enough on its feet to deliver the tension in a demanding soundtrack.

Make sure you play with the tone controls to get a sound to match your room

Make sure you play with the tone controls to get a sound to match your room

The midrange is open and spacious. It offers an expressive, agile performance and there’s stunning clarity through dialogue - voices are filled with depth and texture.

There’s no thinness at the top end either, and even at volume the Geneva remains composed, with a clear treble that isn’t put under pressure by the constant zinging of gunfire.

Detail levels are top-notch too, and we’re impressed at the precision with which the Geneva organises its soundfield.

It brings together most of our favourite things in the competition into one, and doesn’t compromise at any point, which is refreshing to say the least.


When there are great soundbases out there for £250, it can be hard to see the benefit in spending an extra £300 on the Geneva. But it only takes a quick comparison to make it clear.

The whole experience here is just a notch above the rest. Yes, it’s among the priciest soundbases we’ve tested, but you’ll hear the difference every time you use it.

If your budget can stretch a little, the Geneva Model Cinema will transform your TV sound better than any soundbase we’ve tested. An easy five stars.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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