Bose LifeStyle V35 vs V25

Discussion in 'Arts and Photography' started by JD666, Sep 21, 2013.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    So there's a BOSE showroom close to where I stay. And more than anything else, just out of comfort, I am considering a BOSE setup for my home theater.

    Before all the anti-BOSE bashers start off on me, Ill be honest. i like the jewel cubes, and the sound that they put out for their size. Which is very very impressive.

    Already have had 2 BOSE setups in the house (Acoustimass and CineMate II). They run, and are built to last.

    So now the options are -

    LifeStyle V35 - Which basically come with the smallest speakers, the JewelCube design.

    LifeStyle V25 - Which come with the slightly bigger cubes aka Direct reflecting speakers.

    Here's a comparo of the same -

    Bose V35 vs V25.png


    Now, I am getting the V25 for around 70k and the V35 for 1 Lakh +

    Need suggestions on alternates, if any viable. Which can offer the same or better size to performance ratio, and probably cost cheaper?

    Floor Standing speakers, won't do due lack of space. Book shelves probably yes, since these would also be wall mounted.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Heard the V35s, The 25s and the T20s.

    not much of a difference between the 25 and the 20, since they use the same speakers, but different console.

    However the difference between the V35 and the 25s are pretty much what I remember hearing them the first time.

    The 35s are sharp, slightly tinny and loud. The 25s have better depth.

    Heard a Harmon Kardon 5.1 setup as well. Decent enough, though the size of the speakers put me off em.

    Wharfdale is an option here, anyone with any experience with them?
     
  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    So it has been over a year since I got the Bose V35. A lot of bricks and nasty comments later I have the following feedback to provide on the system -

    Setup and Installation -

    Which as expected was a breeze. Everything is supplied with the system. To the extent that there were 4 different type of power plug cords for installation. There are 2 power points needed, one for the receiver, other for the Subwoofer.

    The wires for the Speakers have Uni-directional plugs, so you can't really get them wrong. Wire lengths are more than adequate for a room that is upto 15x15 feet in size (rear speaker cable length).

    The front and center speakers do also have cables that must be 10ft easy (each) so a spaced out or a setup that requires you to do extensive routing is also possible.

    I had the system up and running in about 45 minutes, which was pretty okay.

    The system comes with a USB stick to upgrade the system software. No updates till now.

    As everyone knows, the speakers have their own proprietary screws and threads. This made buying speaker stand which were specific to BOSE or spoiling the threads. A hefty 18,000 INR bill later, i had 4 speaker stands to mount the FR, FL, RR and RL on.

    Power up and Setup -

    Super quick and easy. The Universal remote is bulky and big, but works even if you are not pointing it at the system. The wireless range (tested) is over 35 ft and two walls (Operating the system from the balcony).

    The iPod dock uses the older 30 pin connector and not the new Lighting port. I purchased a second hand iPod touch (64GB 4th Gen I think) for about 10k for this reason. Charges and plays back perfectly.

    There are some basic settings for audio that can be tweaked - Audio mode for instance, that toggles between Original, Enhanced and Recommended.

    Bass and Treble can also be set between _+6.

    Individual speaker level is available only for Center and RR and RL (both RR and RL together). Again this is in a range of _+6.

    I placed the 4 corner speakers with a slight off-set (about 30 degrees) for a bigger sound stage.


    The system does come with an intelligent sound system setup microphone that tweaks the sound, but I did not run the setup thru it (as advised by the showroom rep).

    Audio Quality and Playback

    The Jewel Cubes are pretty impressive for their size and can handle power between 125-175 Watts at 8 Ohms. As usual BOSE does not publish any sensitivity or frequency response details. The highlight of the sound quality is the crispness of the vocals. Sometimes bordering on tinny sound, but really really crisp.


    I was made aware by the showroom rep that the V35s from the onset are better suited for Movie/dialogues and the 25s have better depth for Music/Audio playback. I concur fully with this statement. So if you're shelling out that extra buck for the smaller speaker setup, be aware.

    The V35 scores on the sharpness and crispness of the sound it produces. However you do feel that the depth is lacking. This can be a dilemma when listening to music. Listening to music in regular Stereo Mode (front speakers only) or 3-Stereo Mode (Front + Center only) does not give the full depth that one would probably look for.

    Switching to 5.1 and increasing the rear speaker level by 2 or 3 from 0, and you are surrounded by the music. BOSE uses their own tech for decoding and sending the audio signals. They expect to handle most of it with minimal input/involvement from the user/listener. Once I find a sweet spot, I don't tend to mess/play around with it much.

    Where this system really impresses is during a movie. The surround effect, the bass, dialogue, every little nuance is suitably highlighted, with not one bit overpowering the other. I enjoy a movie more on this than probably any other HT that I've experienced.

    The Bose Sound Module or Bass Module does lack in providing the deep bass that I've grown up with (JBL Control 10 Sub with a 18-350 Low Pass), but perceptibly so, is about adequate.

    If you are a bass heavy listener, or generally like that thumping bass with your music, this isn't the system for you. From what I understand, they pick certain frequencies from the bass range and highlight them to create a pseudo bass environment. This does not really work for bass or low frequency heavy songs, since eventually there can be no replacement for displacement. Cranking up the Bass level also does not have the necessary impact, though at low volumes (40-50) it can be more than sufficient to say.

    Value For Money and verdict

    This is the million dollar question. Does a BOSE sound as good as the money it costs. Honestly? No. I'd probably rate it a 7 out of 10 of the systems I've heard. With a little bit of interior improvement and better placement, I'd probably take it up to 8, but that's about it.



    Then why a BOSE?

    Ease of installation, setup and running. Good all round performance. Minimal tweaking necessary, Works with any setup/installation. Warranty (no questions asked replacement). Durability (Have systems that have been working for over 5 years with no issues what so ever).

    You don't really have to put the effort in setting up the sound stage or speaker placement. I didn't bother with my walls, or sound damping or anything. On a tiled floor, the speakers are on stilts and at equal distance from the TV. That's about it. And it sounds good. My ECS JBL speakers were really picky about placement to get the sound right.

    For the size and power output, I don't think there is much that comes close enough. The Cubes look downright beautiful in any environment and are always a talking point. For my 12x16 Living room, this was an ideal size as well.

    Plus, I can take these back with me whenever I have to leave. A bulky, heavy, cumbersome system is a big deterrent towards this. I'd probably need to pack the bass module separately and that is about it. The receiver and speakers can fit in a small Samsonite easily.

    What I do miss -

    In today's time, USB playback is a well established norm. To not have that is a big big miss in my opinion. Even if they (BOSE) could not do Video playback, at least audio playback should have been an option. That too especially considering that there is a USB port on the FRONT!

    The bundled iPod dock was of a type that was from more than 1.5 years ago. If not an upgrade, at least a suitable convertor or some other convenience would've been nice.

    Bluetooth Audio was another omission that I'd like to hold against them. Simply cannot over look these bits today. Especially when they are making Bluetooth speakers for playback.

    Hope you liked this mini review.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  4. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    SO to be honest, it seems like it is what you expected. I think you knew buying the product, you won't be getting sound worth that much money, but you were paying for the ease of use, durability, service, etc.
     
  5. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Yes, The sound quality is good, definitely better than majority of all the HTIBs out there. No point comparing even with the Korean brigade, this is way way better. Don't get me wrong, but for a system that's nearly 2.5 Lakhs, the size and the sound quality do make a case for themselves. Yes there are better and cheaper options, but they are either a component setup with having to source everything individually, or require some form of tweaking or the other.

    Where it scores is consistency and durability. I don't have to keep tweaking the settings, I throw anything at it, and it plays it decently with not having to mess around at all. I don't have to invest in high end wiring, sound damping/deadening in my living room or anything.

    This doesn't need burning in or anything. Just plug and play. And I know people who've been using their 901s for over 20 years now.
     

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