Placing Your Bose® Home Theater Systems and Speakers

The following guide gives you some suggestions for creating the audio atmosphere of a Bose® home theater system . This guide will help you properly place, setup and connect your Bose Lifestyle® or Bose Acoustimass® system in your room. We recommend that you experiment with the orientation and placement of the Bose speaker cubes to experience the sound most pleasing to you. Exact placement of Bose Lifestyle® speakers is not as important because the Bose ADAPTIQ process will calibrate your Lifestyle® System to give optimum performance in virtually any room. For a more detailed explanation of how to set up your product, please refer to your owner’s guide.

Lifestyle Media Center

You need to place your media center somewhere near your other components (TV, Cable Box, VCR) so cable connections are easier. Be sure of the length of your cables before you pick a permanent spot for your Media Center and components. Make sure that you do not block the front of the Media Center because the IR Emitter will not properly communicate with other components, also leave enough room to open the front door on the Media Center.

Bose Cube Speakers

Follow these guidelines to help you select the locations for your speakers in your Bose system. Trying alternate arrangements of the speakers will take advantage of the unique sound characteristics of your space.

Left and right front speakers

The sound from the left and right front speakers should seem to come from the edge of the picture, so that the acoustic image is close to the size of the visual image.

  1. Place the cubes so that they line up with the vertical center of the TV screen.
  2. Place them up to 3 feet (1 m) from the edge of the television. We recommend a maximum distance of 3 feet (1 m) so that the sound does not become separated from the picture. The Bose speaker cubes should also be at least 6 feet (2 m) apart from each other. You may wish to vary this distance based on room conditions and personal preference.
  3. If your Bose Home Entertainment System features cube speaker arrays, direct one speaker cube of each array forward. Direct the other speaker cube toward the wall or in a different direction to reflect the sound. For a system featuring single cube speakers, direct each cube toward the wall or in a different direction to reflect the sound.
  4. The front speaker cables included with your Bose system allow the cube speakers to be placed up to 20 feet (6.1 m) from the Acoustimass® module.

Note: Bose cube speakers are magnetically shielded so you can place them close to the TV will not affect the picture quality.

Center channel speaker

The sound from the center channel speaker should appear to come directly from the center of the picture.

  1. Place the center speaker or cube array directly above or below the center of the TV screen, or at the closest convenient location.
  2. Align the speaker or array with the front of the TV screen (not pushed to the back of the TV).
  3. For a single speaker, direct the cube facing forward. For a Bose speaker cube array, direct each of the speaker cubes slightly away from center, to create a wider area of direct sound.
  4. The center speaker cable included with your Bose system allows up to 20 feet (6.1 m) distance from the Bose Acoustimass module.

Note: If you put the Bose speakers in a bookcase, be sure to place them on the front edge of the shelf. Placing speakers in an enclosed space can change the tonal quality of the sound. This effect is minimized if the shelves are filled with books.

Surround speakers

The surround (rear) speakers create an area of sound around the listener.

  1. Place the surround speakers in the back half of your room.
  2. Position the speakers so that they are at the listeners’ seated ear height or higher. The speaker cube should be directed slightly away from the listeners so that you cannot pinpoint the exact location of the sound source.
  3. The surround speaker cables included with your Bose system allow up to 50 feet (15.2 m) distance from the Bose Acoustimass module.
  4. If you are unable to run wires to your surround speakers, you can use the Bose SL2 Wireless Surround Link to send the signal wirelessly to your surround speakers.

Acoustimass module

The Bose Acoustimass module provides the deep, low frequency sound for your music and movies. The Acoustimass module also powers the rest of the speaker cubes in the system so all the wires from the rest of the speaker cubes will be run to the Acoustimass module.

  1. Place the Bose Acoustimass module along the same wall or close to the same end of the room as the TV monitor.
  2. Select a convenient location—under a table or behind a sofa, for example. Do not allow furniture or drapes to block the ventilation openings of the module. Be sure there is a gap of at least 2 inches (5 cm) between any surface and the front opening or the grille on the bottom.
  3. Place the Acoustimass module within reach of the audio input cable, speaker cables and an AC power (mains) outlet.
  4. Select a position for the Acoustimass module. For proper ventilation, place it on the long edge, with the connectors facing the floor. An alternate position is on its largest side, with the bass and treble controls facing up. Do not place the module on either end.
  5. Once you have selected a position for the module, place the four self-adhesive rubber feet near the corners of the bottom surface. The rubber feet provide increased stability and protection from scratches.
  6. Aim the Acoustimass port (the round or rectangular opening) into a corner for more bass or aim the port into the room or along the wall for less bass. Avoid blocking the air flow by allowing a gap of at least 2 inches (5 cm).
  7. For best low-frequency performance, do not place the Acoustimass module at equal distances from any two walls or from a wall and the ceiling.

195 comments on “Placing Your Bose® Home Theater Systems and Speakers

  1. Can i connect Bose Jewel cube speakers to Bose Acoustimass 10 Series IV module? Currently i own acoustimass 10 Series IV module with 5 regular bose double cure speakers. I would like to upgrade to sleek Jewel Bose speakers. Will this cause any damage to Jewel cubes? or any audio performance issues? Can someone help me on this?

  2. Electronics Guru on said:


    The systems Bose sell are designed to work as a complete unit. So the different components are designed and tuned to complement the other. This means that while it’s physically possible to mix-and-match components, it’s not recommended by Bose or myself. Moreover, it will likely void your warranties.

  3. I am planning to purchase a Acoustimass® 10 speaker system. What is the difference between Series IV and Series III? Are there any major improvements?


  4. Electronics Guru on said:


    The Series IV system has a horizontal center channel. Instead of a regular swivel speaker it lays down to better match widescreen TVs. The horizontal speaker also projects sound in a wider angle to ensure the center channel’s content is better heard by those sitting off-center. Other features and specs remain the same, so just the improved sound stage.

  5. DARIN OGEER on said:


  6. Electronics Guru on said:


    Since you own the system you can try different things. Please know that modifying the system voids the Bose warranty and is against the idea behind Bose systems. The units are designed and packaged as a particular system and are not meant to be changed since it will upset the numerous audio and physical properties engineered into the system. So while it’s possible to construct your own new system it will not be a Bose system in the purest sense, and therefore I recommend against it.


  8. Electronics Guru on said:


    There is Bose 3-2-1 Cinemate. There is a 3-2-1 system and a Cinmate system, each with a few different configurations.

    The 3-2-1 systems are complete and designed to work as a single unit, providing receiver/amp functions, DVD player and speakers all together. The Cinemate systems are speakers systems designed to be connected to sources like HDTVs and other audio output devices.

    So if you have a 3-2-1 you don’t need a receiver, and the audio output connects to the bass module which drives the speakers. If you have a Cinemate then yes, you can connect to a receiver for audio.

  9. Zawareh on said:

    I have a lifestyle 12 system which i have rarely used in teh past 10 years. Recently I reconnected the system and all was working fine. After few days the remote control stopped working. I changed the batteries but no luck. i also tried to change the house codes since I shifted to a new place but still no luck. But all of a sudden the display is flashing number 6 while in Aux and CD modes. I guess something I did that screwed up the original code setting on the remote. Can you please advise me how i can restore or readjust the settings. Thank you.

  10. Electronics Guru on said:

    Zawareh (159):

    Call Bose directly at 1-800-278-1281. They should be able to get your system running again. And if not, maybe you can work out a deal to upgrade or get the unit serviced.

  11. Jonathan Tharnstrom on said:

    I just purchased a Bose lifestyle 34 series 4 system and the vs-2 video switcher is not carrying the audio from the HDMI to the Bose receiver. Is this normal?

    The system is set up as follows an HD cable box and PS3 both using HDMI connections to the Bose vs-2 then and HDMI cable from the Bose VS-2 to the TV. Currently the audio is not traveling to the receiver via the HDMI cables so i have resorted to using an optical audio cable for the PS3 and an analog connection for the cable box. Do you have any suggestions because it seems like the HDMI should carry the audio.

    Thank you,


  12. Electronics Guru on said:

    Jonathan (161):

    Yes, it’s normal. The VS-2 is a video enhancer, and it is not designed to transmit audio through the HDMI cable. The VS-2 was designed as an add-on for existing Lifestyle systems since the media consoles didn’t not have HDMI connections. The VS-2 provided owners a way to simplify their video connection and get the best possible video performance from their connected devices.

    Bose has since updated their Lifestyle systems to include HDMI that transmits both audio and video, thus integrating built-in full HDMI functionality. Note that you are not losing sound quality by running a separate cable, and that if connected properly, the audio/video will be switched and synced automatically.

  13. Anthony on said:

    Hi Electronic Guru,

    I wish to set up a whole house audio system with wireless expansion to other room. I wish to get the V25 lifestyle, 2 roommate speakers and already have the 3-2-1 GSIII series. Please can you advice on what other connections i will need to accomplish this. Thanks.

  14. Electronics Guru on said:

    Anthony (163):

    We’d love to help you get your multi-room setup up and running. Please call 1-866-224-6171 and talk with one of our custom installation experts. They will be able to provide the best service over the phone since they can exchange information in real time and work through the design process.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon!

  15. Jet Black on said:


    I’ve just bought my Bose 321 GS Series 3 Home Theater System.

    I would like to ask something about the proper positioning of my Acoustimass Module into my Living area. In fact, the exact dimension of my living area in condo unit type is 3meters x 3meters only. Let say, my sofa and center table facing widely on 3meters wall’s dimension with my TV, how to fix the right position of my Acoustimass Module for me to get the optimum performance in this regards.

    Thank you

  16. Electronics Guru on said:

    Jet Black:

    The standard setup for home theater is displayed above in the room diagrams. Basically, the TV and seating are arranged at opposite walls, with the subwoofer placed next to the TV or in a nearby corner. Usually corner placement is best.

    But — room characteristics are just as important as room size. For example, a concrete floor transfers much less bass than a wood beam floor, and different wall/floor/ceiling coverings will affect sound.

    So in other words, start with the basic setup with front speakers close to the TV and Acoustimass Module in a nearby corner. If you’re not satisfied with the sound try positioning the subwoofer closer to the seating area. You can also adjust the volume levels of the individual speakers so the balance between the satellites and subwoofer produces a more even sound. That can be achieved through the system settings after consulting your owners manual.

  17. Jennifer on said:

    I have a Bose 321 Series III system. Had no problem watching dvds but now all I get is ‘communicating with your tv’ message on the Bose receiver.

  18. Electronics Guru on said:


    To be any help I’ll need more details. If you want to get your problem fixed sooner you can call in and talk with one of our customer service reps, but you can also call Bose tech support. If there’s a problem that requires service, Bose support can arrange it over the phone.

  19. I have a new Bose V35 system. The range for bass/treble was fine before i ran ‘Adaptiq’. It is now limited to +/-6 and there is not enough range for my taste.
    How can I re-initialize the system to remove this constraint (Adaptiq). When I go through the menu I can only see options to run Adaptiq again, but not to remove.

  20. Electronics Guru on said:

    Rob (169):

    Running the Adaptiq will modify the system. The changes made are based on the characteristics of your room and the locations you chose during the test. Your Bose system is now tuned for your room and the listening points. If you run the Adaptiq again it will adjust the settings based on any changes to the arrangement of your system or the listening points.

    The +/- isn’t a limitation of output range of the system but a limitation of your ability to alter the sound. In other words, as you make one change the system adjusts so the Adaptiq settings remain intact. The full range (pre-Adaptiq) is not available because it would throw off the system’s Adaptit settings.

    To our knowledge there is no way to unset Adaptiq. Unlike older Lifestyle systems, there is no menu-based procedure for simply turning off Adaptiq. If you’re still unsatisfied I would suggest calling Bose directly. They can answer your technical questions and arrange for service (if needed) or possibly replacement if no solution is found.

  21. I just bought a house that came with an Accoustimass 10 system installed. Can I use my Lifestyle 48 as the surround system source? If so, how do I connect them?

  22. Electronics Guru on said:

    Bill (171):

    The Lifestyle 48 is designed to be used with the Acoustimass module that it came with. The speakers are the same but the bass modules are different. You can use the Lifestyle 48 and the Lifestyle 48′s bass module, then connect the satellite speakers to them.

    The bass module that came with the Acoustimass 10 system will have to be connected as a second sub, although there will be no volume control. So in other words, yes, your Lifestyle 48 can be used, but only if you just connect the satellite speakers to its bass module.

    Why? Because the Acoustimass 10 system is designed to work with a regular receiver…non-Bose systems. If you have questions, please call us at 1-866-224-6171.

  23. I recently bought Acoustimass 15 series III and it’s upgrade kit speaker (rear center) to make it 6.1…What is the main difference between AM 15 series II and AM 16 series?…. what is the ideal or how many degrees should I rotate it’s cube array speakers?

    Hoping for your usual assistance…..


  24. Electronics Guru on said:

    Rex (173):

    The main…and only…difference between the AM15 and AM16 is the rear-center surround sound speaker. The AM15 was the original system, but was replaced by the AM16; the AM15 was then discontinued.

    In terms of “ideal” there isn’t one. Keep in mind that the arrangement of your speakers and angles you choose are based on the listening room. The distance from the listener, height of the speakers, whether they’re main or surround, and a bunch of other factors go into determining the speakers and their particular setup.

    I will say this, the speakers are recommended to have one facing the nearest wall (often the one it’s mounted to) and the other towards the listeners. This is why the speakers are called “direct/reflecting”. It provides a great mix of direct sound for volume and reflected audio for a feeling of space and depth.

    You will have to experiment with your system to get the desired sound…depending on if you want more direct or reflected audio and whether you want more or less sound aimed at certain listening points.

    As always, if you have questions please call 1-866-224-6171.

  25. I have purchased the bose acoustimass 10 and had it set up great in my old place, but we just moved and the only option to the room set up is a diamond shape with the tv in the corner. any suggestions in where to place the speakers? also how do you get a more crisp sound, my rear speakers sound dull in sound?


  26. Greetings…I have a Pioneer VSX-1125K 7.1 home theater receiver with Acoustimass 10 speakers (ss side, L & R, subwoofer and center) and Acoustimass 5 speakers (ss rear with crossovered woofer). Is this the proper configuration for 7.1 surroundsound?

  27. Electronics Guru on said:


    Corner placements are difficult. The biggest decision is how you are going to balance the L/R/C channels. If your corner is large, like by a 50″ TV, you can put the speakers around the TV and slightly angle the L/R speakers down the opposing walls. This will help separate the front channels but will produce a more “immersive” experience rather than direct, loud sound.

    Another option is to mount the L/R speakers on the walls just outside the corner, although this will create a weird setup with the L/R being in front of the center channel and also causing the speakers to “float” on an empty wall.

    The surround speakers should be placed as far back as possible while retaining their surround sound purpose. So place them behind the listeners if possible but don’t put them close together…not like the front L/R. If you must, the surround speakers could be more like side speakers, although for a 5.1 they’re really intended is back/corner speakers.

    To get more crispness increase the treble on the surround speakers, and up the surround level. Keep in mind that if you did the AdaptIQ that you’ll need to re-run that in your new room, because the old settings won’t be the best choice for your new room. It could be too that the rear speakers are aimed too far apart…try adjusting them so there’s more direct sound.

  28. Electronics Guru on said:


    Yes, the AM10 system functions as the main, with the AM5 as the rear. The AM5 doesn’t need a sub pre-out or LFE out, so the AM10 sub will be your bass maker; the AM5′s sub will provide additional but less bass closer to the seating.

  29. I have an old Bose Lifestyle 30 system (purchased 2001) with 5 jewelcube speakers + accoustimass module. It has only RCA audio outputs/inputs, not Coax.
    I recently bought a new HD TV, Samsung UE7705 LED. I was told by the dealer that the TV would not be compatible with the Bose system, because of the lack of an optic input.
    Is there any way to make this work?
    Can I change the Bose receiver with a newer model (Bose or non-Bose) to get surround sound from the old speaker set?

    Thank you

  30. Eelctronics Guru on said:


    Your TV can work with your older Bose system. You will need a Digital to Analog Audio converter. We do sell them! Call our Sales Team at 1-866-224-6171 they would be glad to help.

  31. I have a Lifestyle 48, circa 2004. Replaced the remote about 2 years ago (to have additional keys for controlling HD cable box/DVR). Recently (for the last month or so), the remote seems to have decreased range. The media center is located in a closet, about 20 feet from the couch (primary spot where remote is employed from). Works fine if I move closer to media center (say at about 15 feet away). I replaced the batteries, but this did not help. Any ideas?
    Only change I have made recently is hooking up a Terk powered AM/FM antenna (however I unplugged this and it did not help).

  32. Eelctronics Guru on said:


    A couple things come to mind on this. Check to make sure that you have the power wire for the media center as long as it can be and not bundled up. This is the antenna for the system to pick up the RF remote. Also another thing to do is wiggle/shake the remote. Does it make a rattle noise? The RF antenna sometime on these will come loose if the remote is dropped. Please let us know if either of these suggestions help you with your problem. If neither do you may call Bose Tech support at 1-877-210-3782. They may have some other suggestions for you.

  33. Hi, I have Bose LS V20. I bought Onkyo TX-NR5008 and want to replace Bose Media Center with it. But V20 acoustimass uses 9 pin media link cable to connect to the media center unlike Acoustimass 10. How can I connect V20 acoustimass with NR5008? Which cables should I buy for this?

    Thank you, Sam

  34. Eelctronics Guru on said:


    You will need to replace the whole system to use the Onkyo receiver. The Bose speaker are not compatible with the Bose Lifestyle speakers.

  35. i have Bose 3·2·1 GS Series II Home Theater System i would like to know if i can add 2 or 3 bose double cube speaker as rear speakers thanks

  36. Eelctronics Guru on said:


    Sorry, but you can not add any speakers to the Bose 321 systems.

  37. I have connected my Wii to my Bose Lifestyle V30. We are getting a video but no sound. We connected the wii directly to the TV and it works, but the sound is coming through the speakers on the tv, not the bose system… How do we get sound?

  38. Crystal on said:

    I have a lifestyle 48 and LOVE it, especially for listening to music. The only problem we have is when watching DVDs and BluRays. The background music is very loud and makes it hard to hear the dialogue. We’ve tried adjusting the audio levels with no luck. Any way to fix this?

  39. Eelctronics Guru on said:


    If you are having problems hearing the dialogue you will want to turn the Center Channel speaker up and the other 4 speakers down. All the dialogue of a movie will come from the Center Channel. One last thing you can do is run the AdaptIQ on the system. This should automatically setup all speaker levels for your room.

  40. Bose Speaker system on said:

    Thanks for brief information. I got my new bose system yesterday and was not able to place them in a perfect direction because of which i was under misconception that there is some problem in my speaker system. While searching for the solution for my bose speaker system i came across your post,which helped me out in solving my problem. Thanks electronic warehouse for sharing this great post with excellent picture presentation which helped me a lot in setting up my Bose Acoustimass® system in my room.


  41. sa pits on said:

    The Bose system is working really good here.

  42. engagement rings on said:

    Boss stereo system are one of the best systems out there. I am sure, lot of people will find it very attractive.

  43. Tworzenie stron Warszawa on said:

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  44. Eric Dawson on said:

    Thanks, Your Idea on the set-up of the living room was an excellent Idea. I love how the tables and the TV on it’s side. That’s my perfect and dream living room.

    Eric Dawson

  45. Coffee Brewer on said:

    As you mention above, you can use the Bose SL2 Wireless Link to connect up your speakers. I highly recommend this option. Not only does it save a whole lot of messing around with wires and clips and nail holes in the skirting board but, in my view, the sound quality seems even better, particularly in the higher frequency range. Although it’s probably my imagination.

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