It’s been a while since our friends from Bose came to set up the Lifestyle 235. I said I could do it myself, but they insisted on coming in and giving us a demo personally. Well, they did come in and I did check out the demo, but it’s taken a while for me to actually get this product reviewed as I was waiting for a nice TV to match it with. Well, finally, I had an LED TV from LG, so I got down to it. So here’s what I think of this luxury 2.1 system that emulates surround sound.
Tiny speakers, big sound
Design and Features
I had to actually set up the entire system from scratch, as it was taken apart when our AV room was getting cleaned. I found it really easy to do, and I didn’t even have to refer to the manual. The cables are all nice and thick, and the connectors fit in their sockets very easily.
The first thing I noticed was that the subwoofer is quite large and boxy and kind of reminds me of a server. Not the trendiest design, but the satellite speakers, called the Gemstone ES, actually make up for it quite well as they are nice and elegant. The speakers themselves are really small and perched on these cool looking pedestals. Then there’s also the main A/V receiver unit which looks pretty ordinary, but is definitely a lot sleeker than most of the regular units I’ve seen so far. Last but not least, Bose has also included an iPod Dock that can be hooked up to the Lifestyle 235.
The inputs section at the back
Connectivity is not a problem where the LS 235 is concerned, as it has almost everything you could want. The back panel has three HDMI inputs and one output as well as component, composite and optical inputs among others. Of course, it also has a USB slot. The front panel also opens up to reveal more connections – an additional HDMI and USB input as well as a composite input section. The panel also has the menu buttons.
More inputs with the menu buttons in the front
The remote for the LS 235 is quite massive. While some may see this as a negative, it doesn’t really bother me, even though it’s almost as big as my arm (I kid you not!). But it’s really solid, a bit heavy, although really easy to use. The best thing about the remote is that you can control other stuff with it as well, including the iPod connected to the iPod dock, a TV and the Blu-ray player.
The rather large and heavy, but functional remote
The system is really easy to use. It took me no time to figure out exactly how to get started and soon enough, I was watching a movie on Blu-ray. I compared the quality of video by connecting the Blu-ray player directly to the TV as well, and I have to say that connecting it via the A/V receiver was the way to go. The audio quality is also brilliant, and the dialogues were crisp and cut through everything else well. Even the action sequences were brilliant, with the surround sound emulator working well to give the desired effect.
The dock allows you to play your favourite music
I also tried playing some music off of the iPod dock, and even this one’s really easy to operate. The only downside is that you have to operate it from the remote and lose control over your iPod or iPhone. However, it’s really easy to navigagte through your folders. It even played back videos from my iPhone, that’s definitely an added bonus. The LS 235 shines when it comes to playing music as well, and that was clear when I tried out various genres from Dubstep and Hip-Hop to Acoustic and Progressive Metal. It definitely sounds better with well-produced electronic music though.
I really think this is a great system, but it is way too expensive at Rs. 1,63,013. A lot of people will definitely argue that there are plenty of proper 5.1 home theatre systems available for the same price or less. This is true, but this is a luxury product after all. I love almost everything about this home theatre system from its design to the way it reproduces audio and video.
The Bose LS 235
Although I really do love this home theatre system, the price somehow does not feel justified. If you pump in just a little more money, you can just as easily pick up another system from Bose, the V25 5.1 Home Entertainment System for approximately Rs. 1,79,888.This one has similar features including the iPod dock. So that is something you should definitely think about.
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