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Bose raises the bar on their Lifestyle systems!Posted
I was the proud owner of a Bose Lifestyle V35 (which use jewel cube series I speakers) before switching to the Bose Lifestyle 600 (which use jewel cube series II speakers). I thought to myself how much better can the sound get? I wasn't expecting much difference. Well Bose managed to raise the already spectacular sound quality of the V35 another notch with the Bose Lifestyle 600. The jewel cube series II speakers have better treble details than series I. As a result they're a bit brighter sounding than the jewel cube series I. Series I is still a phenomenal speaker and maybe some would prefer the slightly "warmer" sound with the toned down trebble. Overall, I would say the Series II is an upgrade with the slight improvement in treble clarity and slightly crisper sound across the board. The Acoustimass 300 bass module that comes with the Lifestyle 600 is very impressive. The V35 Acoustimass module (PS48III) also impressed me but the 300 raises the bar here. It has even more oomph behind the bass as well as a bit cleaner sounding bass. I have faith the max bass output is a fair amount higher on the 300 vs the PS48III even though I haven't pushed the 300 that hard yet. The PS48III was already quite an impressive bass module so this should give you an idea how good the 300 really is! Setup was a breeze with this system. The first step is to connect the console to power and connect it to your TV using the hdmi ARC connection. Then the system walks you through the rest via the on screen display. The 2nd step is pairing the remote since it'sn't paired from the factory. The oncreen display says to hit the "OK" button on the remote but it does nothing until the remote is paired. As another reviewer mentioned, the manual or on screen directions don't seem to tell you exactly how to do this. One quick phone call revealed you pair the remote by simultaneously pressing and holding 3 buttons for about 10 seconds: 1) the power button on the console, 2) the "OK" button on the remote and 3) the "glow button" which is on the back side of the remote. The system then walks you through connecting all the speakers, connecting all devices as well as programming the remote for controlling those devices if you choose to. Bose did an excellent job on making this very user friendly! One interesting difference from the 600 to the V35 is on the 600 the front 3 speakers are connected with one thick cable directly to the back of the console which splits into 3 separate cables for each speaker. The surrounds are "wireless". I say "wireless" because technically they're not wireless because they still each require being plugged into an outlet which powers a power brick which is then wired directly to the speaker. This can help with eliminating long wire runs to the back of the room but it could also complicate things if you don't have a plug by each surround location. Luckily Bose thought of this and added a good 10 feet of extra wire to run so you don't have to plug in the power brick TOO close to the surround speaker location. I also heard Bose will have an option for directly wiring the surrounds at a later date. For me and my setup the wireless works in my favor and made our setup process easier. On the other hand, the V35 had all the speakers directly connected to the Acoustimass module and one proprietary cable (which carries all 5 channel's signals) connected from the Acoustimass module to the console which created a rats nest behind the Acoustimass module. The 600 Acoustimass module conveniently only needs one power cable connection and that's it! The signal is received wirelessly. SoundTouch enabled means you can connect the Bose console to your wifi and stream high quality music and even update the system wirelessly using the SoundTouch App (which I heard some people don't like the App). I used it a little bit and it worked fine but since I have Chromecast I just use that to stream music via Spotify premium. That way I can navigate Spotify directly from the Spotify App. This system will also allow you to stream music via Bluetooth which is another great option. On a side note, we actually first bought the SoundTouch 300 soundbar with the Acoustimass 300 bass module and virtually invisible 300 wireless surrounds. We didn't realize until later that the SoundTouch 300 only supports Dolby Digital and DTS which are older sound formats. To Bose's defense I couldn't find another soundbar system that decoded the latest sound formats such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master-HD or PCM multichannel which are today's highest quality lossless formats. So this may be a limitation of soundbars not having a dedicated console like the Lifestyle systems have. I also missed having an RF remote since the SoundTouch 300 only comes with an infrared remote so you must point directly at the soundbar. There also was no volume # so it was always a mystery what volume your system was at which I found to be very annoying. The SoundTouch 300 also only comes with 1 hdmi arc, 1 standard hdmi and 1 optical. The idea was that you plug everything into your TV and run one cable (hdmi ARC or optical) from your TV output to the Bose input. Essentially you use your TV as the central hub in this system. Unfortunately, most TV's only have 3 or 4 hdmi inputs which could work for simpler setups but unfortunately it wouldn't work for us. You can add a switcher to get more hdmi inputs but that setup isn't ideal in my opinion. I highly recommend going with the lifestyle 600 over the SoundTouch 300 setup. I know it's almost twice as expensive but the extra features are so worth it! Bottom line, this is my dream system and I wouldn't buy anything different! I love the tiny speakers in combination with the unbelievable sound quality that Bose is famous for. I will recommend this system to all my friends and family. If you're interested but skeptical or on the fence, I dare you to try the 30 day risk free trial out in your own home before you judge this system!
I would recommend this to a friend