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Bose® Lifestyle® T20 home theater system

7 Reviews

Item # 018LST20B

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Our take on the Bose® Lifestyle® T20 home theater system

Easy setup and operation Bose Unify™ technology makes it easy to connect and control all of your home theater components, including a Blu-ray player, cable box, and game console. Clear on-screen menus provide all the information you need to easily switch from one video source to another. Plus, you can control everything using the system's backlit, universal remote. You won't even have to input any codes — just point each of your existing remotes at the console and follow the onscreen instructions.

Get beautiful Bose sound from a simple, elegant system

Enjoy engaging home theater sound with all your movies, TV shows, and video games from a system that's easy to set up and use. The Lifestyle® T20 system lets you connect up to six high-def video sources to the system's media console, and enjoy simple control of everything using one remote. Five Direct/Reflecting® speaker arrays and an Acoustimass® module add wraparound sound to your video without adding clutter to your room.

Easy setup and operation

Bose Unify™ technology makes it easy to connect and control all of your home theater components, including a Blu-ray player, cable box, and game console. Clear on-screen menus provide all the information you need to easily switch from one video source to another. Plus, you can control everything using the system's backlit, universal remote. You won't even have to input any codes — just point each of your existing remotes at the console and follow the onscreen instructions.

Sound that's perfectly adjusted for your room

The ADAPTiQ® auto calibration system simplifies setup by automatically tailoring the sound to the size and shape of your room. Just put on the supplied headset with built-in mics, sit in five of your family's favorite spots, and the system configures its own speaker distance and delay settings. You can be sure that everyone in your room hears the best sound possible.

Four swiveling, dual-cube speakers plus a center channel speaker deliver exhilarating sound, and blend elegantly with your décor. They feature Bose's patented Direct/Reflecting® speaker technology, which sends a mixture of direct and reflected sound to your ears for convincing wraparound effects. A separate, powered Acoustimass® module adds thrilling bottom-end rumble to your movie soundtracks, and can be tucked away in a corner or under an end table.

Product Highlights:

  • thrilling 5.1 surround sound for movies, sports and video games
  • 4 swiveling, dual-cube speakers plus a center channel speaker
  • connect up to 6 high-def video sources (4 HDMI, 2 component video)
  • Bose Unify™ technology simplifies setup and control
  • video upconversion via HDMI delivers the best possible picture quality on your TV with all your video sources
  • ADAPTiQ® automatic speaker calibration adjusts to your unique room to give you the best sound
  • includes RF remote control
  • main console: 16-5/8"W x 3"H x 9-5/16"D
  • front speakers: 3-1/16"W x 6-1/4"H x 4-1/16"D (each)
  • center channel speaker: 6-1/16"W x 3-1/16"H x 4-1/16"D
  • Acoustimass® module: 8-1/8"W x 13-3/16"H x 21-3/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year module / 5 years speakers
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Control console (AV20)
  • Acoustimass module (PS28 III)
  • 4 Direct/Reflecting cube speakers
  • Horizontal center-channel speaker
  • RF remote control
  • 4 "AA" batteries
  • ADAPTiQ audio calibration headset
  • AC power supply (with attached 6' DC cord)
  • Two 5' detachable AC power cords
  • 30' Acoustimass cable (with proprietary connectors on each end)
  • Three 20' lengths of speaker wire (with a RCA connection on one end and bare-tinned wire on other end)
  • One 50' length of speaker wire (with RCA connections on one end and bare-tinned wire on other end)
  • 59" HDMI cable
  • 6' Stereo RCA cable
  • Triple IR emitter (with attached 6' cord terminated by a 3.5mm connector)
  • USB Flash-drive
  • 4 Large self-adhesive rubber feet (for acoustimass module)
  • 4 Small self-adhesive rubber feet (for center-channel)
  • Operating Guide (Eng/Fre/Spa)
  • Setup Guide (Eng/Fre/Spa)
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • Online Product Registration
  • Bose Contact List
  • "Our Commitment To You" note
  • USB Update note

Great system! Easy to set up and easy to use. My first Bose system and I'm not disappointed.

Rob, Tehachapi, Ca


Bose® Lifestyle® T20 home theater system Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(7 Reviews)

Bose® Lifestyle® T20 home theater system

Rob from Tehachapi, Ca on 11/2/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great system! Easy to set up and easy to use. My first Bose system and I'm not disappointed.

Pros: Sounds great! EASY to set up.

Cons: I thought the bass system was wireless, but all the speaker wires must terminate there, making it impossible to put it where I wanted.


MARCOS from San Diego, CA on 10/28/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

All that I expected and more



Bose LiveStyle T20

Anonymous from Addison, TX on 7/20/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The power plug in to the main receiver doesn't connect firmly. Had some problems when pushing it into my shelf the power would be lost.

Pros: Great sound and easy setup.

Cons: Power connection to main receiver isn't solid.


Tubular031 from Texas on 1/17/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Do not listen to the haters out there. Yes Bose costs more than others and if you wanted to you could build a system for less. I just wanted something that worked out of the box and works well. This system is sweet. All too many times I have tried to piece things together and end up spending more on different trial and error setups. Most will complain about the lack of bass. There is lots of bass with this system just not the thump pound you in the chest bass. I am ok with that. My living room is about 20x30 and is open to the rear (kitchen) with 10 foot ceilings. These 5 little cubes FILL the room with sound. Amazing how much sound they put out and its clean and clear sound. 3 HDMI inputs on the back and 1 on front. There is also 2 more inputs on the back that use rca or component and can use l/r audio or optical audio.

Pros: Easy, nothing else to buy, works well and makes LOTS of sound! Small foot print

Cons: Not thumping bass but enough for the average user. Costs a bit much but worth it. wish it had more hdmi inputs.


Fuesty from Angleton, TX on 6/21/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This system sounds great. It was easy to set up, the on screen directions are easy to follow. The remote setup worked for all of my components. The speaker calibration is easy to perform. Why listen to a 5.1 surround with headphones? Plug it into the DVD or TV. The only negative for me was the length of the speaker wires to the surround speakers. I coiled the excess to sit at the base. CR support said that it should not inhibit the sound performance. Did not trim the length yet in case it would void the warranty. It comes in the original Bose box with the components in separate boxes inside. So, that is double boxed.

Pros: It's all good.

Cons: Lengthy speaker wire.

Very nice, but has flaws

Bill from Buffalo, NY on 3/16/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Lifestyle T20 is a very nice 5.1 surround setup. It comes in one big box, shipped from Crutchfield in its original factory box and not double-boxed - ugh, and inside are separate numbered boxes. It's really not rocket science to setup and the average tech junkie can easily perform this task by following the directions that guide you box-by-box in the setup. The sound is very very good and this unit was a top-rated system on CR's web site. Now the bad (many people only rant and rave about how great something is, but I want to let you know the warts in this $2,000 system): The headphone jack and main TV volume are on the same circuit! Picture this, you are watching a show at midnight with the volume set to 45 for a pleasant listening level. You are done watching your TV show and then unplug the headphones from the jack -- WHAM! You now have level 45 sound coming from all speakers! A major oversight in my opinion. The Bose unit insists on upscaling everything you attach to it to your TV's max resolution (1080p in my case). OK, great, but imagine how old-school VHS tapes look at 1080p, or even standard DVDs. The Bose can set the resolution lower, but it is system-wide. I would much rather have individual settings for each device -- that way I could have the DVD and VCR set to 480i and my satellite dish set to 1080p. I know this may be a rare setup, but nevertheless it's my setup. No direct support for satellite radio, but you can get it to work.

Pros: Easy setup with numbered boxes for each step of the install. Included "headphones" to setup the surround sound from five prime viewing spots that you determine (couch, floor, chair, etc.) Recognizes most equipment that I attached and sets up the Bose remote to control your devices fairly accurately.

Cons: See main review as I ran out of room here.

Bose Lifestyle T20

LHK from Highland park, IL on 1/14/2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I guess I am the first person to review the above mentioned product. Firstly, the sales transaction with Crutchfield was flawless. Bose states that the T20 has a simple set up process. Don't be fooled. This is a complex system. I had it installed by a Crutchfield subcontractor and they had difficulity. They even had to call Bose for technical assistance! After finally getting set up, I used various sources of audio (surround sound, dolby, etc), to test the system. The sound is terrific. Audio is rich, with good intergration of sound from all speakers. My room is 19x19, with a very open floor plan, and this system manages the space well. You can set your preferences for bass, treble, and etc from the on screen options list. This helps to customize the sound to how you like to hear music, verbal conversation, and the bangs and booms of an action dvd. The only question I have, is this system worth the money. This is my my first HTIB, so I have nothing to compare it to. Forgetting about the cost, its an excellent home theather system. I hope this information is helpful to you.




Hands-on research

Product Research

Overview: The Bose Lifestyle T20 is a 5.1-channel home theater system consisting of an AV Control Console, Acoustimass Module, 4 Direct/Reflecting Cube Speakers, and a Horizontal Center-Channel Speaker. The Lifestyle T20 also includes the ADAPTiQ audio calibration system to optimize system performance for your room. In addition, there is an RF remote control included for convenient wireless operation of the entire system and your connected components.

Note: The AV Control Console measures 16.375" (w) x 3.125" (h) x 10.25" (d). Speaker measurements listed in Features & Specs.

Video Section
Audio Section
5.1-Channel Speaker System
Convenience Features
Remote Control

Video Section

6 HD Video Connections: The Bose Lifestyle T20 features six high-definition connection so you can enjoy up to six HD video sources-such as your Blu-ray Disc player, cable box, satellite receiver, and gaming system.

  • 4 HDMI (ver.1.3) Inputs: The Lifestyle T20 features 3 rear-panel HDMI inputs and 1 front-panel HDMI input for a one cable audio/video connection. The system's HDMI inputs will accept 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p video signals.
  • 2 Component Video Inputs: The T20 is equipped with 2 rear-panel component video inputs. The component video inputs will accept 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i video signals

Note: The unit is also equipped with two rear-panel composite video inputs and a front-panel composite video input (the composite video input will support 480i only). The two rear-panel composite video inputs share the audio inputs of the unit's component video inputs.

HDMI Monitor Output: The Bose T20 features an HDMI (ver.1.3) monitor out to connect your TV. All video inputs (composite, component, HDMI) are output via HDMI to your television. The HDMI output can be set to 480i/p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p to match the capability of your television.

Note: The AV Control Console does not feature a composite, S-video, or component video monitor output.

HDMI 1080p Video Upscaling: Automatic video upscaling ensures movies and sports use the highest resolution capabilities of your display; up to 1080p over HDMI.

Image View Format: The Bose Lifestyle T20 features various image view formats to match your connected television and source content. You can select from the following.

  • Normal: Leaves original video image unchanged.
  • Auto-Wide: Fills width of the screen without cropping any content.
  • Stretch 1: Stretches video image evenly from the center.
  • Stretch 2: Stretches the edges of the video image much more than the center portion of the image.
  • Zoom: Enlarges the video image.
  • Gray Bars: Places vertical gray bars on the left and right of a standard definition video image.
  • Fit: Fits the video image to your screen.

Game Mode: This mode produce improved video performance for game systems.

Source Over-scan: This features applies a video over-scan to the current video source.

Audio/Video Sync: This function adjusts the audio delay to synchronize audio with the video. This can be adjust between -2 to +5.

Audio Section

ADAPTiQ Audio Calibration System: Your room is unique, with size, shape, textures and other elements affecting the sound you hear. ADAPTiQ audio calibration system provides greater freedom of speaker placement in  your room. It customizes the system's sound to fit your room, for a consistent, high-quality performance. It analyzes the way your room's dimensions and other variables affect sound, then automatically adjusts the sound of your Lifestyle surround sound system to the acoustics of your room.

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 and a 28' cord terminating in a pair of stereo male RCA plugs. These plug into the system's front-panel left and right RCA inputs.

Proprietary Videostage 5 Decoding and Post-Processing Circuitry: Proprietary Videostage 5 decoding and post-processing circuitry, combined with Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding, Dolby TruHD, and DTS, delivers a high-quality, multichannel surround sound experience from practically any source: DVDs, videocassettes, stereo CDs, even older mono TV shows and movies.

Sound Modes: The Lifestyle T20 home theater system offers the following Sound Modes.

  • Original: Plays stereo audio when stereo audio is received from the source.
  • Recommended: Plays 5-channel audio whether or not 2- or 5-channel audio is received from the source.
  • Alternative: Plays 5-channel audio when either stereo or 5-channel audio is received from the source.
  • Enhanced Mono: Plays simulated surround sound when monaural audio is received from the source.

Audio Compression: The Bose Lifestyle home theater system offers the following audio compression adjustments.

  • Enhance Dialogue: Enhances sound output so you can hear movie dialogues more distinctly.
  • Smart Volume: Reduces the range of volume levels in a movie soundtrack so the difference between extremely loud outbursts and soft sounds is less noticeable.
  • Off: No change to audio track.

Volume Offset: This function increases the volume level of the select source relative to other sources (0-10).

Bass & Treble: You can independently adjust the system's bass & treble level.

Speaker Level: You can adjust the volume level of the center-channel and rear speaker relative to the system's front speakers.

Volume On TV: This feature enables the system to display the volume level meter and mute indicator on your TV.

TV Speakers: This function sends HDMI audio to  your TV (audio from the TV is not affected by plugging headphones into the control console or by pressing Mute or Volume on the remote).

Note: HDMI audio is only sent to the TV via the system's HDMI inputs. It will not output audio from analog connected sources to your TV.

Analog & Digital Audio Inputs: The Lifestyle T20 is equipped with analog and digital inputs.

  • Analog Audio Inputs: The Bose T20 features three rear-panel analog stereo RCA audio inputs and one front-panel analog stereo RCA audio input.
  • Digital Audio Inputs: The T20 features three rear-panel optical and coaxial digital audio inputs.

Bose Link Input: You can use the Bose Lifestyle T20 to listen to content from a Bose link-compatible system, such as another Lifestyle system. Connect that system to the Bose Link input connector on the rear-panel of the control console.

Headphone Output: The Lifestyle T20's Control Console features a front-panel 3.5mm headphone output for connecting a set of headphones (sold separately). The system's speakers are muted when a set of headphones are connected. The headphone volume level is controlled by the system's main volume.

5.1-Channel Speaker System

Direct/Reflecting Cube Speakers: This Lifestyle T20 home theater system uses 4 Direct/Reflecting Cube speakers to fill your room with compelling surround sound. 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". Direct/Reflecting speaker technology delivers lifelike spaciousness from a natural balance of reflected and direct sound; similar to a live performance. You'll hear movies, music and sports come to life in convincing detail.

Horizontal Center-Channel Speaker: The horizontal center-channel speaker delivers natural sounding dialogue and vocals, while visually complimenting your flat panel TV screen.

Acoustimass Module: The system's Direct/Reflecting Cube speakers work in concert with a hideaway Acoustimass module to deliver a fuller range of theater sound and effects. Exclusive technology in the module helps provide the emotional intensity you feel at the theater or in a concert hall. The system's Acoustimass module delivers the clarity of pure sound reproduction down to the lowest frequencies, even at the loudest levels. Because it eliminates audible distortion, you can place the Acoustimass module almost anywhere, even behind furniture, and all the sound will appear to come from the system's tiny cube speakers.

Speaker Mounting: Each speaker has a single 5mm threaded insert for optional Bose or universal wall brackets (018UB20B, sold separately) or stands (018UFS20B, sold separately).

System Connections: The Control Console plugs into the Acoustimas Module via the included proprietary system cable. The four satellite cube arrays and the center-channel speakers then connect to the Acoustimass module via supplied speaker cable. The satellite cube and center-channels speakers feature spring-clip connectors to attach the speaker cable.

Convenience Features

Bose Unify Technology: Exclusive Bose Unify technology provides easy-to-follow onscreen messages to guide you through the entire setup process. The Unify intelligent integration system uses on-screen navigation to simplify system setup and everyday use. This proprietary technology walks you through setup, showing the right inputs and best connection options, and even verifies you've done it correctly. Each connected product is automatically added to the source menu accessed on your TV screen. Clear, on-screen menus provide all the information you need for your connected sources.

USB Port: The Control Console features a front-panel USB type-A port for viewing JPEG still-image files from a USB device, including a digital camera. The USB port is also used for updating system software.

Note: A 2GB USB thumb-drive is provided for system updates.

Remote Control

Wireless Remote Control: The Bose Lifestyle T20 home theater system includes an RF remote for wireless control of the entire system. The remote works on radio frequency (2.4 GHz) to operate through walls and floors. This advanced radio frequency remote works throughout your entire room (up to 33'). You do not need to aim it at the system's control console.

Remote Programming: The system's Unify technology simplifies programming the Bose remote to control the Lifestyle system and your components attached to it. During setup, the Unify system references an internal database to identify each connected component, and automatically teaches the Bose remote to control it.

IR Emitter Cable: The remote control also offers IR commands using the included IR emitter cable to control connected IR devices.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.