Bose Lifestyle 8 Series 2 Home Theater System Review

Updated February 21, 2017

The Bose Lifestyle 8 Series II is a home theatre system from the American audio electronics manufacturer Bose corporation. The Lifestyle 8 Series II system has been replaced by other Lifestyle products in recent years, including the Series III and IV models currently sold by Bose. However, the Lifestyle 8 Series II is still available from some retail outlets and offers a good option for many buyers.


Bose debuted its Lifestyle series of home theatre systems in the early 1990s. In 2001 Bose began offering the Lifestyle systems with a DVD player and in 2004, the Series II systems were made available. Spanning several models, including the Lifestyle 8, the Series II systems featured a progressive scan DVD player with a universal remote control, the BoseLink system for connecting additional audio components, and Bose's Adapt IQ calibration technology for better audio quality. The Series III arrived in 2006, but the Series II continued to be made available for some time.


The Bose Lifestyle 8 Series II home theatre system features an Acoustimass bass module, five individual direct/reflecting speakers (making it a 5.1 surround sound system), and a progressive scan DVD player capable of playback of various popular formats including DVD±R, DVD±RW, CD-R/RW, VCD, and compressed MP3 and MPEG-2 files. The Lifestyle 8 Series II also includes four RCA audio inputs, an RCA audio output, and a fibre optic input/output. For video it includes inputs and outputs in S-Video, component, and composite formats.


Overall, the Bose Lifestyle 8 Series II home theatre system is an excellent performer, with rich sound quality and a small, elegant packaging. The five individual speakers are small enough to remain discreet but produce a sound that would be expected from much larger modules, thanks in part to the Bose AdaptIQ system. The bass module provides deep bass that is free from distortion and the large number of inputs and outputs make it easy to integrate the Bose Lifestyle 8 Series II with existing or future components in your home theatre.


One of the major disadvantages to the Bose Lifestyle 8 Series II home theatre system, common among Bose products in general, is the high price. New Lifestyle 8 Series II systems sold for over £650 and used systems continue to demand a high price. For buyers wishing to have the absolute best Bose system, the Lifestyle Series III and IV offer more advanced technology (although the same speaker formats) in the £1,300 to £2,600 range. Compared to other entry-level home theatre systems, the Lifestyle 8 Series II appears overpriced.

Summary for Buyers

Another issue concerning the Bose Lifestyle 8 Series II home theatre system is availability. Having been superseded by the Series III and Series IV systems, along with higher-end Lifestyle systems like the 28, 35, 38, and 48, the Lifestyle 8 is considered out-of-date and only available sporadically from retailers. When considering any Bose product, buyers will have to weigh the premium price against the audio quality and prestige of the brand. Visiting a Bose retail store may be a good idea, as it will offer the chance to hear Bose products in person.

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