Bose Lifestyle 48 Series IV (black)
Manufacturer: Bose Corp. Part number: 43478
- CNET Editor rating: Not yet rated
- Average user rating: 1.5 stars out of 3 reviews
- The Bose Lifestyle 48 DVD home entertainment system will change the way you think about movies, music ... even your CD collection. Digitally store and organize up to 340 hours of music in the media center, featuring a progressive scan DVD/CD player. The ADAPTiQ audio calibration system analyzes your room and adjusts your Lifestyle home theater audio system's sound ... Read more
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as of 04/15/2014
An Audio Enthusiast's Review
by JLAudioisthebest on January 18, 2009
Pros: Easy set-up, low profile. But seriously, continue to read.
Cons: Weak highs, no mid-range, boomy "fake" bass, no sub-bass. Out of date by today's home theater standards; it lacks 6.1 or 7.1 surround sound, Dolby Pro-Logic II, and a Blu-Ray player. Overall, it's extremely overpriced.
Summary: I have heard audio equipment costing as little as an $18 iPod dock to a pair of speakers costing $50,000. But, this is a review on the Bose Lifestyle ...
Summary: I have heard audio equipment costing as little as an $18 iPod dock to a pair of speakers costing $50,000. But, this is a review on the Bose Lifestyle 48, therefore speaker equipment that expensive is irrelevant. The audio equipment that is relevant, however, costs MUCH less than the Lifestyle 48, and that is the main reason I have given it an abysmal rating.My Paradigm system has 2 Atom Monitor bookshelf speakers, a Cinema center speaker, 2 Cinema ADP surrounds, an 8 in. Jamo subwoofer, and a Yamaha RX-N600 6.1 surround receiver. This system is worth about $1600. A couple common arguments (among lots of others) "Bosephiles" would have against this system are 1) it would have too many components if a DVD player and other things were added, and 2) it has to be upgraded constantly. Well 1) having one unit that does everything may be easier to use, but if one feature breaks, the whole unit has to be fixed. In a component system, if a component breaks, you only have to fix that one component, which would allow you to still use some features. 2) Yes, this system is upgradable, but that's an advantage. I plan to get a rear surround, a better sub, and other components in the near future, which will improve my system. In a Bose system, you're stuck with 5.1 surround, and there's no way you can make it sound any better by adding better components.
To begin, I'd like to explain what BOSE is about. I'm guessing you've seen their TV advertisements and/or you've heard Paul Harvey, both of which/who proclaim how good their stuff is. You also may have seen their advertising in magazines, too. Maybe you've been to a Bose store. They have their products set up so that they're right in your face, and when you start the demo, the volume is usually turned up really high, and you hear a voice talking about how the speakers work and how great they are. In the demo of the Lifestyle 48 in their "theater room," they "demonstrate" how the system is equal to or better than the sound of bigger speakers. Well get this, the dealer I go to sold Bose for years until Bose went into their own stores. When they had Bose, they separated the Bose systems from their other brands, and they sold quite well. But, when they moved them to their main show room with their other brands, the Bose systems barely sold; people bought their other brands instead way more. This explains why Bose has their speakers in their own stores (or in Best Buy's case, they're separated from all the other brands. A place called D&R even has their Bose stuff in a separate room). This is done so you have no other brand to compare them to. The owner of this dealer also showed me a leather CD case with the Bose logo on it that still contains all of the demo CDs that were used to demonstrate Bose's speakers, all of which are heavily equalized to make the Bose speakers sound REALLY good in the store. This means when you listen to Bose speakers at dealers, that's not how they're going to sound when playing a regular CD. Also, I noted that you might have seen a Bose advertisement in a magazine. But, get an actual audio magazine, such as The Absolute Sound, Stereophile, among others, and try to find a review, or even an advertisement, of something Bose. To save you the trouble of looking, I'll tell you that you'll never find one. Bose is known in the world of hi-fi as being a joke. So basically, Bose is a really good advertising company. Their logo "Better Sound Through Research" should be "Bigger Sales Through Advertising.
To further understand a speaker, speakers are made up of "drivers," which vibrate to make sound. The most common drivers are the tweeter, the smallest driver, which produces the high notes, a mid-bass, which produces the lower notes, and a mid-range, which produces notes that fall in the middle. There's also the subwoofer, the biggest driver, which produces the lowest notes; the notes you "feel" more than "hear." Lets look at the Jewel Cubes and the horizontal center speaker, which the LS 48 has. It's obvious they're tiny; so tiny you'd think they'd contain only a tweeter. But in fact, they have a "twiddler," which is a cross between a tweeter and a mid-range driver. So, these speakers can"t reproduce the highest notes, and are frankly not big enough to produce real mid-range. The Acoustimass generator is a cross between a mid-base and a subwoofer. Therefore, it can't reproduce accurate mid-bass, and it can't play low enough to be a subwoofer. Basically, a Bose Lifestyle system has a lot of negative compromises to get small. A Bose dealer even told me this.
You may have heard a Bose system yourself, or have heard from someone that Bose is really good. If you think it sounded really good or you believe that person, ask yourself or that person "what other brands have you heard?" Yes, we've all probably have heard brands like Sony (lower end), Panasonic, JVC; the list goes on of inexpensive brands. There are more than just those brands out there. Go to an audio store that specializes in audio and/or video only. They carry brands that aren't mass-produced like the ones they have at Best Buy, but still can be cheaper that Bose (stores like this often carry pairs of speakers that cost more than a LS 48). There are a wide variety of brands these stores carry, but I'll use Paradigm as an example, which is what I own. To give you an idea how Paradigm sounds, I heard a Paradigm 5.1 system that consisted of their "Cinema" speakers (which are small), a 12 in. Velodyne subwoofer, and a $200 Sony receiver. All together it was about $1200. I tell you what, it's hilarious how bad this system makes the Lifestyle 48 sound. Add a Blu-Ray player, an iPod dock, and a Logitech Harmony remote, and you're up to about $2000; half the price of a the LS 48. This system is much more capable; it has a Blu-Ray player, and those Cinema speakers, although small, have a tweeter and a mid-range, and the Velodyne subwoofer is a REAL subwoofer.
Updated on Jan 18, 2009
Updated on Jan 18, 2009The $4000 Lifestyle 48 gets you 4 Jewel Cubes, a horizontal center, an Acoustimass module, and an integrated component. For that $4K price tag, you could get something AMAZING. People often like Bose for their speaker's small size, so I'll use small speakers as an example. Get 2 Paradigm Cinema "90s" as fronts, 4 Cinema ADPs (surround-specific speakers), a Cinema center speaker, a Velodyne Optimum-8 8 in. sub, a Yamaha RX-V863 7.1 receiver w/ an iPod dock, a Sony BD-S550 Blu-Ray player, and a Logitec Harmony multi-function remote. Including misc. parts, this would be almost exactly $4000. If that $1200 system could easily beat a Lifestyle 48, this would slaughter it sound quality and feature-wise. BTW, I'm not advertising these brands. Heck, some other good brands are Wharfedale, PSB, and Speakercraft, plus others. Sony also makes some great receivers. Speaking of which, even the least expensive receiver I know of has a room-optimization feature just like or better than Bose's AdaptiQ.
Updated on Jan 18, 2009Along with people liking Bose for their small size, I've heard some people say it's "the best" and/or superior to big speakers. Well, remember what I said about that Bose dealer saying their systems sacrifice performance to get small? They're right. Although Bose systems sacrifice MUCH more than the systems I've given as examples, all small speaker systems can't produce the mid-bass and power bookshelf and tower speakers can produce. Therefore, if you have room for bookshelf or tower speakers, then GET THEM. And, for the price of a Lifestyle 48, take the $4K small system example, and get a pair of Paradigm's Mini Monitors+ stands, 4 Monitor ADPs, a Monitor center, the same Blu-Ray player and Harmony remote, plus parts; but then exchange the receiver and subwoofer for less expensive models. This would also be almost exactly $4K. And, for about $300 more or so, you could get Paradigm's Monitor 7 towers. Also, please note that just because a speaker is "bigger" doesn't mean it's "better."
Updated on Jan 18, 2009I'd like to quickly note something about this equipment I've been recommending. You won't find it at "big box stores" such as Best Buy or Circuit City. Paradigm does not mass-produce their speakers, and are built to extremely high standards, with is unlike similar brands these stores carry such as Klipsch, Polk, and JBL. Also, I do know for a fact that the dealer I go to use to carry all three of those brands, and the owner told me both Klipsch and JBL both are very difficult companies to work with for the consumer and the dealer (warranty, service, etc.) I also remember them having a pair of higher-end Polks on clearance, and it took them nearly 6 months to sell, for people didn't buy them in front of their Wharfedale and Paradigm speakers.
Also, make sure to get Yamaha's "RX" and Sony's "STR" model receivers. Big box stores do carry these two brand's receivers, but they are oddball models. I did see a Yamaha RX model at a Best Buy before, but it was an out-of-date model.
Updated on Jan 18, 2009Anyway, I will update my review to answer any replies this review may receive. If you reply, check back later and I will most likely have followed through on my word.
Updated on Mar 14, 2009Alright, I've figured out the Lifestyle 48's worst nightmare. If you're set on spending $4000 on the Lifestyle 48, then this is what you want instead:
2xParadigm Cinema 70s (fronts)
4x " Cinema ADP (surrounds)
1x " Cinema CC (center speaker)
1x JL Audio f110 Fathom subwoofer
A Yamaha RX-V663 7 channel receiver w/ iPod dock
A Sony DVP-NC800H 5-disc DVD player
A Logitec Harmony remote
While I've mentioned the Paradigm Cinema cubes before, I haven't mentioned the JL Audio Fathom. First of all, you may notice my username refers to this. While although you really cannot say one company is the best, JL Audio's subwoofers, car and home, come extremely, come extremely close. The Fathom subwoofers are the best-reviewed home subwoofers ever reviewed, and they compete with subs costing 10x as much. Speaking of which, the 10 in. Fathom here is, however, about $2K; so it does represent half the price of this system. But if you're set on spending $4K, you want this sub and this system.
Updated on Mar 14, 2009I thought about something recently, and that is the Lifestyle 48's capabilities. It has Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound decoding, and 5.1 surround sound (2 fronts, 2 surrounds, 1 center, and a "bass module")
The Yamaha RX-V663 receiver mentioned in the previous update has Dolby True HD and DTS-HD surround sound decoding, which are made for handling Blu-Ray DVD's uncompressed soundtracks, and they even make regular DVDs sound way better. The Bose Lifestyle 48 can't do as well because it only has the now-outdated Dolby Digital and DTS. The Yamaha receiver also has 7.1 surround sound, so it can have 4 surround speakers, while the Lifestyle 48 only has 2 surround speakers.
This just shows how out of date the Lifestyle 48 is.
Updated on Apr 18, 2009This is an update to "The LS48's worst nightmare". This system would cost a bit more, but would be WELL worth it:
2x Paradigm Cinema 70s (fronts)
4x " " ADPs (surrounds)
A " " 110 C (center)
A JL Audio f110 Fathom (subwoofer)
A Yamaha RX-V665 7.1 A/V receiver w/ iPod dock
A Sony BDP-S550 Blu-Ray player
A Logitech Harmony Remote
Including wire/cables, this would cost just a little over $4K, and would blow the LS48 away like nobody?s business (BTW I'm not advertising for JL Audio).
Also, if you have room for big speakers, this is what you could get:
2x Paradigm Monitor 7s (fronts)
4x " " ADP-190s (surrounds)
A " " CC-190 (center)
A Paradigm DSP-3100 (subwoofer)
(Same electronics as previous system).
This would be almost exactly $4K. Bose?s claim that bigger speakers cost more than their systems is completely false. If you ever hear someone say Bose is equal or superior to bigger speakers, don?t listen. They've been warped by Bose's advertising.
Updated on Aug 23, 2009Correction to "big speaker" system above: To be almost exactly $4000, this system would have only 2 Paradigm ADP-190 surrounds. But, that Yamaha receiver does have 7.1 surround sound, so you could add two more eventually.
You're correct; people should go out and audition multiple systems to find a one they like, and that's what I am getting at. I'm mostly suggesting Paradigm because it's what I own and it's an audio brand most people have probably not heard of. But yes, stay away from Best Buy. Their speakers are kind of cheaply-built. But, I did find out they carry that Yamaha receiver and that Sony Blu-Ray player, so not everything they carry is bad.
Anyway, other brands I would suggest are Wharfedale, Bowers and Wilkins, and PSB. These brands are typically carried at dealers that are smaller, and have a showroom(s) that is/are sort of like a small room that would be in one's house (opposed to the big, open space in a Best Buy, which is an unrealistic environment).
2 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Avoid: UMusic system is waste of time
by dcnelliott on June 15, 2010
Pros: Audio and video ok; base response good.
Cons: Remote control of other peripheral inputs poor; TV not controlled well in particular.
UMusic system is total waste of time - hours to load; 200 stored CD's can disappear in an instant if power goes out.
Summary: I bought Bose Lifestyle 48 System over a year ago. Overall video and audio are good, but minor problems include:
a) No Blue-Ray capability for DVD's
b) Poor synchronization ...
Summary: I bought Bose Lifestyle 48 System over a year ago. Overall video and audio are good, but minor problems include:
a) No Blue-Ray capability for DVD's
b) Poor synchronization of remotes for peripherals like TV & cable; despite what Bose store reps tell you, you can't control eveything with one push of the button - you might as well keep all your remotes.
However, MAJOR problem has to do with UMUSIC system:
One of primary selling points used by Bose store reps is telling you that you can load 200 CDs into system, the Bose will store & remember them all, and by Gracenote technology you can create infinite playlists based on music preferences, and never have to load/reload CD's again. (technology is much like iTune Genius Mix).
Sounded great at the time to me so I bought it, and spent COUNTLESS hours (60? 100?) loading CD's (each takes 10-15 minutes), categorizing them, then training the presets to play what I want (e.g. I don't want Beach Boys singing their version of "Silent Night" when I want to hear a jazz mix...)
Then, one day, our power went out. Only for 10-15 minutes, tops. WIPING OUT ALL MY SAVED CD'S. Now there is no stored music. I talked to Bose rep, at his recommendation sent it to their service center (at my cost), and spent over $150 for them to replace hard drive, AND THEY COULD NOT RECOVER MY STORED MUSIC.
So basically right now I have a basic DVD player with a decent sound system. Needless to say I was P.O.'d. It will be FAR less traumatic for me at this point to connect up my iPhone & play my easily-personalized playlists from that than to waste another month of my life reloading CD's into Bose.
Bottom line: don't waste your money on this turkey. Or your time.
Its good for people who wants to attach lots of gadgets with the system.
by seegupt on July 29, 2008
Pros: Good voice quality and crisp sound
Cons: Expensive, and Video enhancer piece is not very useful
0 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Bose Corp.
- Part number: 43478
- Description: The Bose Lifestyle 48 DVD home entertainment system will change the way you think about movies, music ... even your CD collection. Digitally store and organize up to 340 hours of music in the media center, featuring a progressive scan DVD/CD player. The ADAPTiQ audio calibration system analyzes your room and adjusts your Lifestyle home theater audio system's sound for great performance. Tiny, award-winning Jewel Cube speaker arrays and a horizontal center-channel speaker fill your room with thrilling 5.1 surround sound. The VS-2 video enhancer simplifies your system's integration with other sources, including those with HDMI. And there's more. Bose link allows you to connect your Lifestyle 48 DVD home theater system to compatible Bose products in as many as 14 additional rooms.
- Product Type Home theater system
- Product type Home theater system
- Dimensions (WxDxH) & Weight Media center : 15.7 in x 11.5 in x 3.7 in / 9 lbs,
Speaker system : Satellite speaker : 4.4 in x 3.2 in x 4.5 in / 1.1 lbs,
Speaker system : Subwoofer : 8 in x 21.6 in x 13 in / 26.2 lbs,
Speaker system : Center channel speaker : 5.5 in x 2.6 in x 2.4 in / 2.4 lbs
- Color Black
- Components Control console,
- Surround System Class 5.1 channel
- Built-in Decoders Dolby Digital,
Videostage 5 decoder
- Bass Control Yes
- Treble Control Yes
- Additional Features Multi-room audio output,
Bose link compatible,
uMusic intelligent playback system,
Auto sound calibration
Networking & Digital Media
- USB features Audio CD storing only
- Speaker(s) Satellite speakers,
5 x Center channel speaker - External - Wired,
1 x Active subwoofer - External - Wired
DVD / Blu-ray
- DVD/Blu-ray type DVD player
- Media Format SACD,
- DVD Repeat Modes A-B repeat
- CD Playback Modes One track repeat,
All tracks repeat,
Random play / shuffle
- Supported Digital Audio Standards MP3
- Supported Digital Video Standards MPEG-2
- Output Resolution 1080p
- Additional Features Progressive scanning,
Video black level expansion
- Tuner Type Radio tuner - AM/FM - Digital
- Tuning Display Fluorescent display
- Preset Station Qty 40
- AM Preset Station Qty 20
- FM Preset Station Qty 20
- Antenna Form Factor Loop AM / wire FM
- Additional Features FM stereo/mono switch
- Equalizer Yes
Inputs & Outputs
- Connections 1xHeadphones-Side,
1xSystem components control bus-Rear,
1xComposite video input-Rear,
1xComposite video output-Rear,
1xS-Video input(4 pin mini-DIN)-Rear,
1xS-Video output(4 pin mini-DIN)-Rear,
- Headphone Jack Yes
- Coaxial Digital Input Yes
- Coaxial Digital Output Yes
- Optical Digital Input Yes
- Optical Digital Output Yes
- DVD/Bul-ray upscaling Yes
- Built-in display Fluorescent
- Type of remote control Universal remote control
- Supported Devices Cable box,
Satellite TV system,
- Features Multi-brand compatibility
- Included accessories Audio cable kit,
Video cable kit,
Speaker cable kit,
Universal remote control,
- Cables Included Speaker cable kit,
Audio cable kit,
Video cable kit
- Built-in clock Sleep timer
- Timer Sleep
- AV Furniture None
- Power Device Power supply - Internal
Dimensions & Weight (Shipping)
- Weight 72.8 lbs