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Bose® Lifestyle® 38 System

DVD home theater system with uMusic™ (System with silver satellites)

3 Reviews

Item # 018LS38S

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Our take on the Bose® Lifestyle® 38 System

Another first from Bose®: intelligent home theater. The Lifestyle® 38 system includes five tiny dual-cube speakers and a décor-friendly Acoustimass® bass module that work together to fill your room with fabulous surround sound. Plus, you get Bose's proprietary uMusic™ technology, which lets you store and organize up to 200 hours of music inside the system's sleek, compact media center component.

Another first from Bose®: intelligent home theater. The Lifestyle® 38 system includes five tiny dual-cube speakers and a décor-friendly Acoustimass® bass module that work together to fill your room with fabulous surround sound. Plus, you get Bose's proprietary uMusic™ technology, which lets you store and organize up to 200 hours of music inside the system's sleek, compact media center component.

Storing your music is as easy as loading a CD into the player and pushing a button. Once you've transferred your CD collection onto the Lifestyle® 38 system, there's no more need to rummage through jewel cases to find the songs you want to hear — they're all right in the player! The uMusic™ intelligent playback system can even learn which tracks and which kinds of music you and other household members like best, and create playlists automatically.

Just add a TV — Bose's Lifestyle® 38 system will deliver a clear, crisp DVD picture. The speakers work together to fill your room with surprisingly powerful suround sound for movies and music. And to make sure you're getting the best sound possible, the included ADAPTiQ™ audio calibration system automatically tailors the sound to your room and furnishings. It listens to your room, learns where your speakers are, and adapts the audio output to overcome any acoustical challenges. You no longer need a perfect listening environment to get incredible sound!

You can control the system — plus your TV, VCR, and cable box or satellite receiver — from anywhere in your home using the multibrand-for-video RF remote. And to maximize your entertainment options, this system includes Bose® link, so you can connect the Lifestyle® 38 system to a compatible Bose® system in another room. Then, you and a housemate can each listen to different music in different rooms!

Product Highlights:

  • swiveling dual-cube satellite speakers (front left/right, center, surround left/right), video-shielded
  • Acoustimass® bass module
  • plays DVD-Video discs, DVD-Rs & DVD-RWs, CDs, audio CD-Rs and CD-RWs, and MP3 CDs
  • built-in Dolby® Digital and DTS® decoding, for surround sound from DVDs
  • Bose® Videostage® 5 steering circuitry, for surround sound from VHS, stereo, and mono sources
  • selectable progressive-scan mode for smoother video with HD-compatible TVs (via the component video output)
  • uMusic™ intelligent playback system stores up to 200 hours of music
  • ADAPTiQ™ audio calibration system
  • Bose® link
  • 20 AM/20 FM presets
  • 1 video input/output (composite, S-video, and component — component video output requires included adapter)
  • inputs and switching for 4 audio sources (4 analog, 4 coaxial digital, 1 optical digital)
  • stereo analog output
  • digital outputs: 1 optical, 1 coaxial
  • multibrand-for-video RF remote
  • dimensions:
    • media center: 15-3/4"W x 3-11/16"H x 11-1/4"D
    • satellite speakers: 3-1/8"W x 6-1/4"H x 4-1/8"D
    • bass module: 8-1/8"W x 16-1/8"H x 25-1/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • designed for use with "Region 1" coded DVDs

What's in the Box:

  • Black Acoustimass module
  • 5 Silver dual-cube speakers
  • Silver and black Media Center
  • Setup Disc 1
  • Setup Disc 2
  • Headset with attached 30' cord (has left and right RCA audio connectors)
  • White RC38T1-27 wireless remote control
  • 4 "AAA" batteries
  • DCS91 Media Center power supply with attached 6' cord (Output: 33V/1.1A Max)
  • 1 AM loop antenna
  • 1 AM antenna base
  • 1 FM wire antenna
  • 7.8' AC power cord (for use with Media Center power supply)
  • 6.25' Acoustimass module AC power cord
  • 5.75' S-video cable (has an S-video connector on each end)
  • 6' Composite video cable (has an RCA composite video connector on each end)
  • 6' Stereo audio cable (has left and right RCA audio connectors on each end)
  • 29.5' Audio input cable (has a phone-type jack on one end and an 8-pin male connector on the other end)
  • Three 20' gray front speaker cables (each cable has a single RCA connector on one end and tinned wire on the other end)
  • One 49.7' gray surround speaker cable (has two RCA connectors-one for each surround channel-on one end and tinned wire on the other end)
  • 2 Component video adapters (has S-video and RCA composite video connectors on one end and 3 RCA jacks on the other end)
  • TV on/off sensor with attached 6' cord (cord is terminated with a minijack mono connector)
  • 2 Self-adhesive Velcro mounting strips (for mounting TV on/off sensor)
  • IR emitter with attached 6' cord (cord is terminated with a minijack mono connector)
  • 1 Self-adhesive foam pad (for mounting IR emitter)
  • 4 Self-adhesive rubber feet (for the Acoustimass module)
  • 4 Self-adhesive rubber pads (for dual-cube speakers)
  • Operating Guide (English/Spanish/French)
  • Installation Guide (English/Spanish/French)
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • Bose Product Registration and Warranty Information
  • End User License Agreement Notice sheet
  • AM antenna instructions
  • Quick set up guide
  • "Our Commitment To You" letter
  • List of worldwide Bose corporate contacts

Bose® Lifestyle® 38 System Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(3 Reviews)

Great system

Anonymous from Sunrise, FL on 2/15/2006

I found that if you actually hook up the system correctly and get your sound settings properly set to the room, the sound is unbelievable.<BR>However the Bose is a little tricky. It uses direct reflecting sound. <BR>The system is designed to have the speakers pointed away from you. The sound reflects off walls and other obstacles in the room giving you a very unique and lifelike sound, but you have to calibrate the system to the room for it to sound good. The system will do 3/4 of the work for you but you still need to tweak it yourself to get it just right, and when you finally get it right there quite simply is no mistaking it!<BR>



Look Elsewhere

johnl73 from TEXAS on 1/7/2006

I decided to upgrade from an older 3-2-1 Bose to a new Lifestyle because i was excited about the new U-Music feature.. BOY was i disapointed. what they fail to tell you is that in the process of copying your cd-s to the systems storage space, it loses quality. HDCD's are recorded in standard cd-quality and i even noticed loss of quality when recording standard cd's to the system. I didnt spend $3000 to LOSE sound quality. When i called Bose tech. support to ask them about it, I had to explain to them what HDCD's were. No thanks.



Bose® Lifestyle® 38 System

Cutco760 from Springfield, NJ on 7/6/2005

Please do yourself a favor and buy the components. I had this system for 2 weeks and I was unhappy and embarrassed. I did return it, a Yamaha Amp provides more power and real life sound. Needless to say the speakers and woofer are great. Very few companies can produce a clear receiver and unfortunately Bose is not one of them. Do your self a favor get an Onkio or Yamaha receiver. The image quality is not great either. The speakers is the only thing that I would recommend here. Other than eliminating the DVD or CD player, this system did not do much. If you want to have a party dont go there, the sound level will not be what you want it to be. Ohh one last thing, it did not go with my Big Screen from Sony. Good Luck to you!




Hands-on research

Product Research

uMusic System
ADAPTiQ Audio Calibration System
Remote Control
Inputs and Outputs


Media Center: The media center includes an integrated DVD player and AM/FM tuner and provides access to more of today's most popular audio and video content, including CDs, CD-R/RWs, DVDs, DVD-R/RWs, Video CDs, and MP3 CDs. The media center also includes a uMusic intelligent playback system that stores up to 200 hours of music. The media center incorporates advanced radio frequency (RF), infrared (IR) and TV power sensing, and works with the universal radio frequency remote for control integration.

Acoustimass Module: Innovative technology within the improved Acoustimass module in the Lifestyle 38 system combines to deliver the clarity of pure bass reproduction down to the lowest frequencies, even at the loudest levels. The design allows prodigious airflow at the lowest bass frequencies, working to recreate bass so natural and pure, its source is almost impossible to localize.

Direct/Reflecting Cube Speaker Arrays: These cube speaker arrays can be swiveled, allowing you to reflect sound off the walls as well as project it directly into the room. The result is full, spacious sound throughout the room, not just in one small "sweet spot."

Surround Sound Decoding: The Media Center has built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoders. For analog sources, Bose's Videostage 5 decoding circuitry (see below) is included.

Videostage 5 Decoding Circuitry: While digital 5.1 decoding takes the home theater experience to a new level, you can enjoy it only from properly encoded materials like DVDs, digital satellite broadcasts, and HDTV. Unlike conventional digital systems, the Bose Videostage 5 decoding circuitry gives you a five-channel surround sound experience from everything you listen to, including VHS tapes, stereo CDs, even mono TV programs.

Bose Link: Using optional Bose components, you can enjoy the same source at the same time in two different rooms, or two different sources at the same time in two different rooms. The optional Bose link A cable is used to connect the system to a Bose SA-2 or SA-3 amplifier. The optional Bose link B cable allows you to connect a Bose 3-2-1 Series II system or a Bose Wave radio/CD II.

On-Screen Settings Menu: The on-screen settings menu allows for simple and efficient system control.

Audio Settings: You can adjust the following audio settings:

  • Movie EQ: automatically sets bass and treble compensation for the proper playback of movie sound tracks

  • Range Compression: range compression automatically adjusts the volume to allow you to hear soft sounds and to prevent you from being overwhelmed by a loud special effect, such as an explosion

  • Mono Decoding: automatically engages Bose Videostage decoding when a Dolby Digital bitstream indicates that it contains a mono program

  • Center Channel: focuses or softens the presentation of center-channel sound

  • Surround: allows you to adjust the level of the surround speakers

MP3 Playback:This system can play MP3 files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs using the ISO 9660 format.

Multi-Angle Display: This function allows you to choose the viewing angle of scenes that were shot from a number of different angles.

Note: This function is limited to DVDs recorded with multiple camera angles.

Station Presets: The built-in tuner allows you to store up to 20 AM and 20 FM stations. Once a station is stored in memory, you can select it using the remote control or the on-screen settings menu.

Parental Control: This system allows you to set playback restrictions for DVDs using Parental Control. Parental Control allows you to restrict playback according to a predetermined level. You can select a Parental Control rating from 0-8, which is protected by a 4-digit password.

Sleep Timer: The sleep timer turns the system off after a set period of time. You can adjust the sleep timer from 10 to 90 minutes in 10-minute increments.

Display Brightness: The display on the Media Center can be adjusted to one of four brightness levels.

Selectable Video Format: The system can output video in NTSC or PAL format.

Changing the Video Output for Component Video Connections: If your TV or video monitor is capable of component video input signals, and you have connected your TV to your system using the component video adapter (included), you must change the video output setting in the video menu. This will enable the media center to output a component video signal through the S-video and composite video jacks.

Progressive Scan Output: Progressive-scan video has less flicker and fewer motion artifacts than the traditional interlaced-scanning method, resulting in a superior picture. To take advantage of this feature, you must have a television with component video inputs that supports the progressive scanning mode. The component outputs on this unit can be set to pass either progressive or interlaced video.

uMusic System

uMusic Intelligent Playback System: This proprietary system digitally stores up to 200 hours of music in the media center, freeing you from managing a cumbersome CD collection. As it stores and processes the tracks from your CDs, this system draws information about the tracks from internal music databases. This data includes the name of each track, performing artist, style of music (genre), and other meaningful information that helps characterize the music you enjoy. The uMusic system actually listens to your music and learns your preferences to select tracks based on what you like.

Storing Music: Storing music in the media center simply involves inserting a CD and hitting the Store button. While storing a CD, you can listen to the AM or FM radio tuner, other CD tracks that are already stored, or other sources connected to the system (an analog connection is required). You cannot listen to the CD that is being stored, or watch a DVD using the media center disc tray.

Note: The system is designed to store the tracks of regular CDs only. It will not store MP3 tracks or the contents of DVDs. Storing a CD takes approximately 5 minutes.

Presets: The uMusic system provides Presets 1 to 9 ready and waiting to provide each member of your household a private space for their personal listening preferences. By using an exclusive preset, each listener helps this intelligent system distinguish their individual reactions to what it plays.

Playback Options: When playing music stored in the uMusic system, you have access to the following playback options:

  • uMusic: selects the uMusic intelligent playback system mode for the stored source and overrides any previously selected modes
  • Rating +/-: allows you to apply a negative (-) or positive (+) rating to the stored music playing. With a negative rating, the system logs your negative response and moves to another track immediately. With a positive rating, the system logs your response as positive and continues playing the track. You are likely to hear more music from that artist and album sooner than some others.
  • Encore: queues up and plays stored music that most closely matches the style of the current track
  • CD#: plays the tracks from a specific CD when it is pressed just before pressing the number keys for that stored CD
  • Playlist: plays all the tracks, if any, assigned to a playlist; can be used with additional play mode options, like Encore
  • Whole CD: skips from the track most recently playing to the first track on the CD of origin and plays that CD from beginning to end

ADAPTiQ Audio Calibration System

Product Overview: The Bose ADAPTiQ Audio Calibration System customizes the Lifestyle system to the size and shape of the room and the position of the listeners/viewers in the room. It contains a special headset that contains microphones instead of speakers and two audio calibration discs. Once the Lifestyle system has been properly connected, it will take about 20 minutes to complete the process. The calibration process consists of generating and analyzing sounds through the Lifestyle system, then allowing the software to self-adjust the system's parameters to give you optimum performance for your room and approximate seating positions.

Headset: The special headset supplied with the ADAPTiQ system has no speakers, but special microphones designed to be worn above the ears. It enables you to take acoustic measurements in your room during the custom equalization process. The headset has an adjustable headband (7.5"-9.5") and a 30' cord terminating in a pair of stereo male RCA plugs. These plug into the left and right AUX input on the rear panel of the Lifestyle system.

Setup Discs: The ADAPTiQ system contains two setup discs. Disc 1 verifies that your system's speakers are connected correctly and ensures complete performance from your Lifestyle system. Disc 2 leads you through the audio calibration process, which tailors the sound of your Lifestyle system for the acoustics of your listening area.

Future Applications: Moving your Lifestyle 38 system to another room, or significantly changing the arrangement of the existing room (relocate seating, furniture, speakers or the Acoustimass module) will change the acoustic environment of the listening area. When that occurs, you can repeat the process to customize the system for the new environment.

Remote Control

Multibrand RF Remote: The remote is pre-programmed to control this system and certain functions on other brands of TVs, VCRs, and cable/satellite receivers. In addition, the remote emits a powerful RF (radio frequency) signal, allowing you to operate your system from another room.

Control Integration: The Media Center and universal radio frequency (RF) remote combine to provide complete system control. A radio frequency receiver is built into the Media Center for exclusive communication with the Bose remote. The infrared (IR) control system includes an infrared receiver and an infrared transmitter, allowing the Media Center to retransmit operating commands from the radio frequency Bose remote to the infrared-based video components, such as a TV or cable box.

Inputs and Outputs

Media Center Rear Panel:

  • AM Antenna: female mono sub-mini
  • FM Antenna: threaded F-connection
  • RC: female mono sub-mini for use with an optional antenna extender
  • DC Power: DC jack for use with Media Center power supply
  • TV Sensor: minijack for use with supplied TV on/off sensor
  • IR Emitter: minijack for use with supplied IR emitter
  • Serial Data: minijack
  • Main: 8-pin jack that connects to the Acoustimass module using the supplied audio input cable
  • Bose Link: 8-pin jack that allows you to connect an optional Bose component
  • Optical Input: standard Toslink digital input with a plastic cover
  • Optical Output: standard Toslink digital output with a plastic cover
  • Audio Output: left and right RCA audio jacks and a standard coaxial digital jack
  • Aux Input: left and right RCA audio jacks and a standard coaxial digital jack
  • CBL/SAT Input: left and right RCA audio jacks and a standard coaxial digital jack
  • VCR Input: left and right RCA audio jacks and a standard coaxial digital jack
  • TV Input: left and right RCA audio jacks and a standard coaxial digital jack
  • Video Inputs: RCA composite video jack and S-video jack
  • Video Outputs: RCA composite video jack and S-video jack
  • Ethernet: data port for future use

Media Center Right Side:

  • Phones: stereo minijack headphone output

Acoustimass Module Rear Panel:

  • Audio Input: phone-type jack that connects to the Media Center using the supplied audio input cable
  • Outputs to Cube Speakers: 5 RCA jacks (front left, front right, center, surround left, and surround right)
  • AC Power Jack: for use with supplied Acoustimass module AC power cord

Cube Speaker Array Inputs: Each cube speaker array has a 2-pin female jack for use with the supplied speaker cable.

Our Product Research Team

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