Bose Lifestyle 48

The Bose Lifestyle 48 can store up to 340 hours of music from your CDs, learn what music you like and play back similar tracks. It's tiny speakers produce top-quality audio that is hard to beat.

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Bose systems are well-known for their tiny speakers capable of producing good-quality sound. The lastest top-of-the-line model is no exception. Included in the Lifestyle 48 are five Jewel Cube satellite speakers, each only 11 centimetres high and consisting of two rotatable speakers stacked one on top of the other. The Acoustimass module, responsible for the bass, looks somewhat like the case of a large PC. It measures about 40 centimetres high, 60 centimetres deep and is all-black with a metal grille at the front.

The heart of the Lifestyle 48 is the Bose Media Center - a sleek silver and black unit that has round edges at the top. For its rather small size it's quite heavy. It features a flip-up transparent panel to access the controls and DVD tray. The Media Center's irregularly shaped round top and front lift-up lid is a slight hindrance as it makes it difficult to sit other components on top, like an Xbox or digital set top box. Otherwise the design is close to flawless with the inconspicuous Jewel Cube speakers blending in with the décor of most living rooms.

During setup, the user manual is a good reference for initial speaker placement and connection tips. However, where the Lifestyle 48 really shines is in its ADAPTiQ audio calibration system.

The two DVDs that are bundled in the ADAPTiQ calibration package introduce users to the Bose Lifestyle 48 and set it up for optimal performance. The first disc includes an initial setup chapter containing an interactive demonstration on where to place each of the five Jewel Cube speakers and the Acoustimass module. It then plays a test loop through the front left and right, centre, rear left and rear right speakers to ensure you've got all the cords in the correct place. Once the basic setup is complete and verified, you are prompted to enter the second DVD.

The second DVD asks you to choose five locations around your room where you are most likely to be listening to music or movies. You are then asked to insert the ADAPTiQ headset to the auxiliary input of the Media Center. The headset looks similar to a set of headphones but instead of housing speakers it has two microphones that sit above your ears to measure the sound from the Bose speakers. The system then plays more test sounds, analyses the levels as you sit in your five chosen listening locations and adjusts the speaker settings accordingly.

Bose also introduces a technology called uMusic, which allows the Lifestyle 48 to store hundreds of CDs (up to 340 hours of music) from your collection on the Media Center's hard drive. Once stored, you can rate songs by pressing "+" on the remote control (for a song you like) or "-" (for a song that you don't particularly like). By comparing attributes from these songs through the built-in Gracenote database, the Lifestyle 48 "learns" your tastes in music and can select songs to play back accordingly. For example, it might find music of similar genres, artists or composers to songs you've rated highly.

For high-resolution TV sets, the Lifestyle 48 supports progressive scanning output for DVDs and the also supports CD, CD-R/RW, VCD and MP3 files.

The user manual outlines how to best get surround sound by reflecting the Jewel Cube speakers to bounce the output around the walls of the room. Instead of placing the rear surround speakers directly at the centre of the room, bouncing the sound off the rear and side walls creates more atmosphere, especially in smaller rooms.

During our play back of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, we hadn't heard such good sound since seeing this blockbuster at the cinema. Even when we nudged up the volume for the battle for Isengard scene, the Lifestyle 48 reproduced perfect surround sound and bass free from distortion. Sitting in the five locations we'd chosen for setup, it was hard to determine the source of the deep, pounding bass as it seemed to radiate around the room. The crispness from the staggeringly small speakers is astounding.

For audio connectivity, the Lifestyle 48 has four main A/V inputs: TV, VCR, cable/satellite and auxiliary. Each of these supports a set of analog audio jacks and a digital coaxial connection. There is also a digital optical connection.

For video output, when playing a DVD, Bose includes composite and S-Video connections. It is surprising on such a high-end system that there is no component or digital video output, such as DVI or HDMI, for higher quality connections.

The white remote control is relatively large but doesn't go overboard with a insane amount of buttons. One of the best things about the remote is that it doesn't rely on line-of-sight infrared but instead uses radio frequency (RF) so it can work through walls from adjacent rooms and even outside.

Bose includes all the cables to get your Lifestyle 48 set up straight out of the box. Component video adapters, S-Video and composite video cables are included alongside antennas for AM and FM radio.

The elite Lifestyle 48 produces purely stunning sound but with an AU$8,000 price tag, it certainly isn't for everyone.

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johho posted a review   

Think of Bose as a lifestyle, if you like to drive a quality car, drink quality wine, and enjoy intergrated stereo, and rather spend you cash before you die then Bose suits. I noticed only the folks who hate bose complain. Hot Holdens out perform BMWs I rather a BMW.


mikey posted a review   

The Good:absolutely nothing

The Bad:sound quality, price

If you pay 8 grand for a system that is so compromised and sounds so terrible you might as well shoot yourself in the face.

Bose is simply terrible. Just terrible. To those who have bought this system, I feel sorry for you. Go out and listen to some proper hifi.

Bose is an absolute joke when it comes to proper hifi. An absolute joke.


Andrew posted a review   

The Good:nothing really

The Bad:no HDMI, no BD live, outperfomed by $200 Blu Ray Player, ridiculous price

Check this out first - Energy RC-Micro 5.1 speakers system $699 RRP from Bing Lee. Made in Canada. They are part of Klipsch Group, Inc. which oversees business operations for the Energy®, Mirage®, Klipsch® and Jamo® speaker brands and distribution companies worldwide. You will be surprised with that phenomenal sound. Once you hear Energy RC-Micro you would never consider Bose again.


Mick posted a comment   

The Good:"BOSE" = "Buy Other Sound Equipment". ( nothing)

The Bad:price & outdated in some aspects

Popularity of a name brand doesn't equate to quality. Bose mystique feeds off of its well-targeted audience: the ignorant, ill-informed, mass-market consumers who search for simplified hifi audio solutions in "all-in-one" chain stores such as Myer or David Jones.In all stores that sell Bose, you will see one of two types of Bose displays. First, there is the more common 'end-cap display' with a small TV screen, neatly laid out Bose components with speakers and extended steel arms that reach around to create a surround environment. In this setup, the trick to making the Bose system sound good is in unfair comparison and unrealistic environment. In most of these low-end stores, no other 5.1 surround system is configured in such a way because the store does not have a dedicated listening room. Therefore the experience of listening to Bose is more fulfilling than hearing the other 5.1 speaker systems that are all lined up in a row on the shelf-top facing you. The Acoustimass displays are also only about six feet around, therefore when you're listening to the Bose demo in the pocket, the speakers will most likely sound powerful from three feet away. You put the same system in your average 20 by 20 foot living room and in order to fill that airspace with the same sound pressure level, the AM-15s will audibly distort in numerous frequency bands. Bose also carefully selects music and movie sequences that flatter their speakers and most effectively utilize its built-in accents.

Audio newbies often throw out the "But I heard that Bose is good!" defense, to which I respond "From who?" Was it a sound engineer, electrical engineer, materials scientist, studio engineer, sound producer, recording professional, musician, Mark Levinson? Ray Dolby? George Lucas? Anyone credible? Or was it your neighbor with the GoldStar walkman, Teac boom box, Funai mini-system, and Sylvania receiver? Perhaps the ubiquitous Bose Ads that they find in completely irrelevant magazines such as Popular Science, Times, Playboy, GQ, People, Astronomy, etc, had some sort of subliminal effect against the better of their judgment? But that's just conjecture...

In the industry, "BOSE" is considered an acronym for "Buy Other Sound Equipment".

Before you buy read this excellent review of Bose Acoustimass speakers.


Gordon posted a review   

The Good:mediocre performer

The Bad:price

Don't waste your money.This six-speaker unit costs $4999 RRP. From dissecting it, I can tell you it costs $100, no more than $150 tops, to assemble. It performs similarly to a $500 Sony surround sound system and is very easily outperformed by a $350 Cambridge Soundworks system. For $4999, there are at least three dozen other configurations from companies such as KEF, PSB, NHT, Mission, Tannoy, Diva, Polk, B&W, Energy, Paradigm, M&K, Infinity, Mirage, Monitor, Jamo, Axiom, nOrh, Anthony Gallo, Dahlquist, Sound Dynamics, Acoustic Research, Phase Technology, Definitive Technology, Wharfdale, Boston Acoustics, and Klipsch that easily outperform all Bose speakers from the 151s to the 901s.


Earlobe posted a review   

The Good:Sound that gives you tingles

The Bad:Price

Hi all,

Yes price is an issue but goto eBay and buy individual components to slowly make up your Bose system. I bought 2 jewel cubes (8OHMS) and plugged them into an old Panasonic Stereo (6OHMS) that has built in splits for highs and lows. Plugged the jewels into the high and plugged the low into a sub I had lying around and it sounds wonderful. I'm assuming when I eventually get the acoustimass and media centre it will sound even better. Love it !

Once you've heard Frank Sinatra on a Bose speaker you'll never go back !



Andrew posted a review   

The Good:Amazing rich sound.

The Bad:Price

Always loved bose, since I first had a set of companion speakers


Sjv posted a comment   

The Good:Sound quality, build quality, bose updates, adaptiq

The Bad:No Blu-ray, hdmi

Bought it and love it! BTW, Adaptiq does give you Bose showroom sound at home...almost.

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User Reviews / Comments  Bose Lifestyle 48

  • johho



    "Think of Bose as a lifestyle, if you like to drive a quality car, drink quality wine, and enjoy intergrated stereo, and rather spend you cash before you die then Bose suits. I noticed only the fol..."

  • mikey



    "If you pay 8 grand for a system that is so compromised and sounds so terrible you might as well shoot yourself in the face.

    Bose is simply terrible. Just terrible. To those who have ..."

  • Andrew



    "Check this out first - Energy RC-Micro 5.1 speakers system $699 RRP from Bing Lee. Made in Canada. They are part of Klipsch Group, Inc. which oversees business operations for the Energy®, Mirage®,..."

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