Customer Review

98 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bose V25 system: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, February 5, 2011
This review is from: Bose Lifestyle V25 Home Theater System (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I just bought the V25 system last week. Here's a rather long review with points to consider...
The Good:
Setup is of the system is ridiculously simple - with guided instructions that show up on your TV and verify that you have everything connected correctly. Bose also includes a setup system called AdaptIQ that uses 2 microphones in place of speakers on a set of headphones (note: see "Bad" below). You wear them and sit in 5 different locations around your room while the system plays a series of test tones from each of the system speakers and the Acoutimass subwoofer. Then the system analyzes the readings and automatically sets up the system to match your particular room acoustics. It's smart enough to know if you haven't moved position between test tones, displaying on the screen "It doesn't appear as though you have moved since the last test, please move to another position" (or a message to that effect).

The same intelligent design goes into their remote control unit. The system guides you through setting up the Bose remote control (very solid - almost seems like billet aluminum) to take over the functions of all your other remotes. Anyone can do this - Bose really has machine/human interface and usability down to a finely tuned science.

All speaker wires are color-coded and marked for polarity at both ends. They have RCA audio jacks on one end and solder-tinned bare wires on the other. Speaker connections are made without tools by pressing a button while inserting the wires into the clearly marked holes. The rear speaker wires are 50 feet long - easily long enough to allow drilling through the floor and running them across your basement ceiling to the exact location you need in your room (assuming you have a basement). I had the entire system setup in about 90 minutes - including running the wires as described.

It's incredibly convenient to run every conceivable component, from Playstation, to iPod, to DVD, to Satellite or Cable TV, to Satellite radio, etc., all from the one Bose remote. When you press the "Source" button, a list appears on your TV that you can scroll through and the system switches to it. You have almost complete control of your iPod (I couldn't get to the iPod setup menu via the remote). Song titles appear on your TV screen. If the source isn't on or somehow got disconnected the system tells you how to fix it - right then and there. If your iPod is off, the system turns it on. It's incredibly intuitive to use. Bose effectively re-wrote the book on designing for usability. The remote is a radio-frequency remote so it doesn't need a line of sight to the unit and you can put the main unit in a cabinet or wherever. It works through walls. The remote also has a nice feature where you can temporarily turn on backlighting with the press of a button on the back, just above the battery cover (4 AA batteries, included). The only downside to the remote is that the buttons are a little too close together and the "Source" list disappears pretty quickly if you don't select from it (about 2 seconds or so). That beats some systems where informational banners or messages stay on the screen so long that you miss whatever it is you're watching (or worse, need to find the button in the dark to dismiss them).

The Bad:
In my situation and opinion, the V25 system has poor bass response at low volume. In order to get a good bass response, I had to turn up the volume to above 50 (on a scale of 0-100), which makes it much too loud for casual listening.

I have a set of Bose 901 speakers that I was hoping to somehow tie into the surround sound. 901s have incredible sound and the V25 system just doesn't match them for clarity and bass response. You can't tie them in. In fact, there are no other accessible audio outputs to the system than those for the 5.1 speakers (which originate from the Acoustimass subwoofer - the Acoustimass speaker is connected to the main speaker with a proprietary cable). I know, I know, additional speakers would destroy the surround sound effect. However, I would have liked to use the 901s in place of the rear direct/reflect speakers. The supplied speakers are very small and meant for mid and high frequencies. The system equalization sends very little bass to them, so the 901s can't just be connected in their place or you'd be wasting their awesome bass capabilities. Prior to buying the system, I spoke with Bose technical support and was told that I could expand the system to use the 901s, effectively getting simulated 7.1 sound. Great, I thought, that's what I'll do. However upon setting up the system, it was readily apparent that there were no other audio outputs to use. I called customer support again and the guy I got this time said that even if I bought the optional expansion kit, I wouldn't be able to use the 901s in the same room without getting a distinct echo effect. The expansion kit is meant to expand the sound in to other rooms as a separate system (i.e. listening to a separate source) - not as part of the same source audio.

AdaptIQ: If the bass response of the V25 system had matched the 901s, I would just use the 901s in another part of the house and leave it at that. However, after using the AdaptIQ automated equilization program, you are restricted from turning the bass up beyond +6. If you don't use the AdaptIQ setup you can turn the bass up to +14. Good, I thought, I'll just turn off AdaptIQ and turn up the bass via the "More" menu. Too bad. Once you run AdaptIQ you are stuck with the reduced settings and there is no way to manually turn the bass up past +6. To their credit, Bose offered to send me out a new system free of charge so that I could set it manually to suit my tastes. However, before doing that I had an idea while on hold with their technical support: re-run the AdaptIQ setup while covering the Acoustimass subwoofer with pillows and blankets. When Kevin the tech support guy took me off hold, that was also his suggestion. I tried it and it worked! The system hears less bass during setup and adjusts the middle setpoint of the bass gain to a higher level - allowing you to effectively turn up the bass. (I think it would have been simpler to just put a gain control on the Acoustimass module, or allow turning off AdaptIQ) In my opinion, Bose is so intent on keeping you from setting up the system "incorrectly" that they restrict the system too much to allow for individual tastes.

The Ugly:
I lied. There is no ugly. The system is beautiful to look at, use and listen to. I gave it a 4 because of the contortions I had to go through to adjust it to my liking. I've since ordered the expansion kit and am going to try using the 901s in the living room (same room) only for my serious audio-only listening with the main 5.1 system turned off.

Updated: 12-Mar-2011
I've since bought the Bose expansion remote (RC-35S2) to use the 901s in the same room as a second set of speakers. This requires me to use a separate power amp for the 901s, but I had one anyway and am simply using it. Now when I want to crank up the music I simply turn on the 901s and can nearly shake the plaster from the walls. I can also use these with the V25 5.1 surround sound without any noticeable echo effect - so perhaps the Bose technical support guy has better ears than me - I simply can't hear any echo. I'm all smiles these days and it's like listening to all my old music for the first time. Good thing it's winter and the windows are closed or I'd probably have the cops here.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 23, 2011 10:20:00 AM PDT
Lalan Kanade says:
Found this on Bose website, Hope this helps

Controlling tone, bass and treble
When you have the ADAPTiQ® system turned on, you are limited to adjusting bass and treble between -9 and +6. This is because the ADAPTiQ audio calibration process specifically tailors the sound of your Lifestyle® system to the acoustics of your room.

To adjust bass or treble between this range, follow these steps:
1. Turn the TV on and select the TV video input that connects to the Lifestyle® system
2. On the remote, press System. The "Audio" icon will be highlighted
3. Press the Down arrow to highlight "Bass Compensation" or "Treble Compensation"
4. Press the Right arrow to highlight the current setting
5. Press the Up arrow and Down arrow to adjust the setting
6. Press ENTER to confirm your selection and then Exit to leave the menu
Manually adjusting bass and treble beyond these range limits will alter the customized ADAPTiQ system settings. If you do wish to increase the range of bass and treble adjustment, you will need to turn off the ADAPTiQ system. (To turn the ADAPTiQ settings back on, you will have to reinstall the ADAPTiQ system. (See ADAPTiQ® system setup and deactivation.)
To turn off the ADAPTiQ system, follow these steps:
1. Turn the TV on and select the TV video input that connects to the Lifestyle® system
2. On the remote, press System. The "Audio" icon will be highlighted
3. Press the Down arrow to highlight "ADAPTiQ"
4. Press the Right arrow and then the Up arrow or Down arrow to select "Off" in the menu
5. Press Erase on the media center control panel to turn off the ADAPTiQ system
6. The ADAPTiQ settings are now erased
You can now continue to raise or lower the tone adjustments between -14 and +14 by following these steps:
1. In the System menu "Audio" options, press the Up arrow to select "Treble Compensation" or "Bass Compensation"
2. Press the Right arrow to select the current setting
3. Press the Up arrow and Down arrow to adjust the setting
4. Press ENTER to confirm your selection and then Exit to leave the menu

ADAPTiQ® system setup and deactivation
Your system comes with the ADAPTiQ® audio calibration system, which contains a special headset and two setup DVDs. Setup disc 1 verifies that your speakers are connected correctly and that the system is performing properly. Setup disc 2 leads you through the ADAPTiQ audio calibration system process, which adjusts the sound of the system to the acoustics of your listening area. The process takes approximately ten minutes. During this time please try to eliminate any other sounds in the room that could interfere with the acoustic measurements.
Using the ADAPTiQ audio calibration system
To use the ADAPTiQ audio calibration system, follow these steps:
1. Be sure that all Lifestyle® system connections have been made and that your speakers and Acoustimass® module are in their permanent positions
2. Turn your TV on and select the correct input to view the System menu. This will be the same video input that you use when viewing a DVD on the Bose® system. Lift the media center door and press Open/Close. Load disc 1 in the tray and press Open/Close again
3. On the remote, press CDDVD
4. As the DVD plays, listen carefully; you will be instructed when to insert disc 2
5. As disc 2 plays, you will be instructed to connect the ADAPTiQ headset to the AUX Audio IN jacks on the back of the media center. If there is a component connected to the AUX inputs, temporarily remove those connections
6. Put the headset on so the ear sensors rest above your ears. This headset allows the system to "hear" exactly what you are hearing. Disc 2 will explain the remaining steps for you to follow
When the process is complete, your system is calibrated to your room and ready to enjoy. Please save the ADAPTiQ headset and discs. If you move any of the speakers or furniture, or if you move the system to another room, you will want to perform the procedure again.
Turning off the ADAPTiQ system
To turn off the ADAPTiQ system, follow these steps:
1. Turn your TV on and select the correct input to view the System menu. This will be the same video input that you use when viewing a DVD on the Bose system.
2. On the remote, press System. The "Audio" icon is highlighted
3. Press the Down arrow to highlight "ADAPTiQ"
4. Press the Right arrow and then the Up arrow or Down arrow to select "Off"
5. Press Erase on the media center control panel
The ADAPTiQ system is now turned off, and the ADAPTiQ settings are now erased. To use the ADAPTiQ system again, you cannot simply turn it back on; you must re-install it using the ADAPTiQ discs included with the system. Follow the first set of instructions above to re-install the ADAPTiQ system.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012 7:05:38 AM PST
J. Hutchin says:
Hey! Thanks so much for the information. I appreciate it!
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