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. I am considering a V20 system but am trying to find out if it would be appropriate for a family room that is 22×22 feet in size. What is the maximum room size you would recommend to use this system in? Also, what wattage rating does this system have? I have not been able to find this information. Thanks in advance.

  2. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    The V-20′s rear speaker wires are 50 feet long and since your max distance is less than half the speaker wire length, you will be fine with wherever you put them.

    Bose does not list wattage on their systems, but each speaker is amplified and has plenty of power to get the job done. If you want to buy the V-20 from us, here is a link to the product page. You will receive Free 2nd Day Air Shipping and $100 in Reward Dollars to our store in order to purchase brackets, cables or other accessories for your system.

  3. Gatormike on said:

    I have an old Bose AM-5 System and would like to add some rear and maybe a center speaker to my system. I have no way of concealing wires to the back of the room and was wondering if the Bose SL-2 transmitter would connect directly to my Sony 5.1 Amp so I could have rear sound with out running wires across the carpet? I know Bose make a good center speaker, so I am okay there. Thanks

  4. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Gator Mike,
    The SL-2 only works with Bose Lifestyle Systems and 5.1 Acoustimass Systems. It will not work with the AM-5 and is not compatible with other manufacturers products, sorry.

  5. FrankL on said:

    I own a LS V20. I am trying to hook my HP notebook (Pavilion dv9758ca) digital sound to my LS V20 to play my audio files. The HDMI connection on my PC will only plug into the DVD HDMI input in my LS media center (the other HDMI input is used up for my digital cable link and the AUX input does not have an HDMI port). This is far from ideal as the video signal has to recognized in order to play the audio signal. Although equipped with a Realtek HD Audio card, it appears like my PC does not support the S/PDIF format, so I cannot use the headset port as a means to send my audio signal through a digital Coax cable. Is there an alternate way of passing the audio stream from my HP notebppk to the Bose system?

  6. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    The way I see it you have three options
    1) You could get a new soundcard for your HP which I am sure you don’t want to do.
    2) You could connect with analog audio instead of digital
    3) You could connect your cable box with component video to free up an HDMI input. What most people don’t understand about the V20 and V30 is that if your output to the TV goes through HDMI, you really don’t need HDMI on any of the inputs. A component video signal will be upscaled and sent through the HDMI cable going to your TV so you will basically get the same quality picture as you would if you had an HDMI cable plugged into the input. You would need to get a digital coax or fiber optic cable for digital sound if you went this way. Just a thought.

    If you are going with options 2 or 3 and need cables to complete them here is a link to our Cables product page.

  7. Nicole on said:

    I recently moved into a condo that already had Bose Acoustimass 10 speakers mounted into the walls; however, the bass module was not left behind. Am I able to plug the speakers into a regular receiver or do I need to somehow purchase the bass module? If I do need to purchase it do you have any recommendations where this can be done and how much it might be because I cannot locate one that is sold separately.

  8. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Any Bose equipment that works as a unit (Lifestyle, Acoustimass, 321) is meant to work with its own particular equipment. If you plugged the speakers into a receiver instead of the Acoustimass Module they might work, but probably wouldn’t sound very good since the crossover points were set to work with the Acoustimass Module and nothing else. I would not recommend this. You may be able to purchase one from Bose, but the problem you will run into is that you are not going to know what series Acoustimass module you will need. Call Bose at 1-800-999-2673 and explain your situation, they might be able to help you. If not your other option is to get another Acoustimass 10 since the wiring is already done and you already have the brackets. If you want to go this route, here is a link to the Acoustimass 10 product page on our site. We have it on sale right now and if you buy from us you will receive $45 in Reward Dollars to use towards a future purchase on our site.

  9. Kevin P on said:

    I just purchased a V20 and I’m trying to link my PS3 remote with the bose, since I use my PS3 for DVDs. Does the Bose remote recognize the PS3 as a DVD player and if it does which list would I find it under…DVD, DVD/DVR, etc. Sincerely, A man with too many remotes!

  10. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    We do not have a list of the Bose remote codes, the only one who would have access to this info is Bose. Call Bose tech support at 1-800-905-2138.

  11. Blair on said:

    Hi i was wondering if 301 bose speakers,bose acussitmass subwoofer and bose vcs-10 center speaker are compatable with my jvc home theater amp. Thank you,Blair

  12. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    The Bose 301 Speakers and the VCS-10 Center Channel will work with your JVC. The Acoustimass Subwoofer is not available for sale by itself, it comes with either an Acoustimass System or a Lifestyle Home Theater System. You will need to buy a powered subwoofer instead. We have several in our Subwoofers section (click on the link to follow). Here are links to the Bose 301 Speakers and Bose VCS-10 Center Channel Speaker.

  13. Nick G on said:

    Hello. I have a Bose Lifestyle 18 III system. Can I replace the single cubes with Jewel cubes? Can they plug straight into my current base module simply using wire adapters, with they work fine? thanks.

  14. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    This will not work. The Jewell Cubes have different crossover points that only work correctly with their intended systems. Plus you can’t buy just the speakers by themselves. Sorry.

  15. Thanks for your reply. What about dual-cubes, will they work with the LS18 III? Thanks.

  16. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Again the crossover points will be different and you can’t purchase the speakers by themselves.

  17. Wow I was just about to put in an order for acoustimas 10 speakers, I already have a JVC receiver, when I noticed that all speaker wires have to be hooked up to the subwoofer? That is not good for me. I have already wired my speakers to go to my receiver, in an area which is located in a seperate room where it won’t be near the subwoofer. I cannot just hook the speakers up directly to the receiver…as it would sound bad? This would mean I have to make more holes and more cable to the subwoofer. I’m not sure I want to do that. Any other solution?

  18. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Unfortunately with this particular system, the only way to connect the speakers is by going through the acoustimass module. We may have other solutions for you, call our customer service department at 1-866-224-6171 and talk to one of our installation experts, they will be able to talk you through your problem.

  19. HI, I am interested in purchasing the VCS-10 bose center speaker?? My question is will the VCS-10 work with my Lifestyle 35 currently? I am wanting to replace my tiny jewel cube center speakers with the VCS-10 to get a deeper bass sound in the voices..WIll it work if connected to the Acoustimass Module from my lifestyle 35?? Any info would be appreciated..Is there any options to replace my jewel dual cubes center speakers with something a little better? I mean, the jewel cubes are great, loud and perfect clarity, just need a little deeper tones at times. Any inpo would be appreciated. Thanks

  20. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Using a Bose VCS-10 with your current Bose Lifestyle 35 system would not be ideal. The Lifestyle systems have the crossover network already built into the amp for the speakers that come with them.

  21. I have a lifestyle 38. General question: is it ok to position the front cube speakers directly on a shelf or some thing of the sort (that is, not to use a floor stand, table stand, or wall mount?

    Also, I know that much is subject to personal preference re sound, but generally which do you think would be better having the L/R front cube speakers centered on the left/right of my 46in Lcd but only about 4.5 ft apart (supposed to be at least 6ft apart), OR roughly six feet apart but approximately 1.5 feet to up above the respective top corner of the Lcd?


  22. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    I would recommend putting the L/R speakers 2ft. off the screen if possible. This doesn’t always work though. In that case with the Bose Speakers and the Lifestyle system will compensated for it. The Bose Lifestyle system has a technology included with it called ADAPTiQ. This technology will help in real world conditions when you can’t always put speakers where they need to be.

  23. Andrew G on said:

    I am interested in the Bose cinemate system ,my room is 15 by 12 .Is this a good system with the 2 speakers ? Or should I go with the Acoustimass 6 seris 111 -5,1 speaker package –or something else
    $126.00 more ?

  24. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Andrew G,
    The Bose Cinemate system would work fine in your size room with just the 2 speakers. Although the Bose Acoustimass 6 system with a Home Theater Receiver would give you a better Home Theater experience.

  25. George Neslie on said:

    Dear Sir,
    I have the following equipment: Panasonic Plazma TV(TH-50PZ700U),Sony Blu-Ray DVD player(BDP S300),Yamaha Receiver(RX-V2092), and just purchased-used- a Bose Acoustimass Series IV 10 Speaker system.Only have basic cable, but with the built-in HD receiver am able to get HD broadcasts.
    I understand the hooks-ups from the module to the receiver and the speakers to the module. However, I am not sure where the TV or DVD player hook. Being an older receiver,will I still be able to get HD from the TV & blu-ray player? Should I leave the HDMI cable from the TV to the player as is?
    Thanking you in advance for your help! George Neslie

  26. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    George Neslie,
    I would leave your HDMI cable plugged in directly to your TV from your Blu-ray player. This will give you the best picture quality. You will still need to feed the the Yamaha receiver with digital sound though. This can be done with a digital coax or fiber optic cable. Then to use your digital tuner from your TV there should be a digital audio out. Use this to get your sound from the TV back to your Yamaha receiver. This will also be done with either a digital coax or fiber optic cable.

  27. Can I put an Acoustimass module in a high position, like under ceiling? On same wall as TV?

  28. I just purchased the Lifestyle 38, but my living room is L-shaped with the TV in the corner of the 2 longest wall. What’s the best way to set up the speakers with this kind of configuration?

  29. mike star on said:

    I have an old Acoustimass Bose system with 3 sets of cubes. I am powering them with an Onkyo 7.1 receiver. On the back of the module there is just a LF center and RF input/output. Can I add 2 more sets of Bose cubes directly to the receiver for my rears?

  30. Hi, we have a TV monitor, the Bose Lifestyle system and cable box in the closet with an RF remote. Can I hook up the Wii system, if so how?

  31. Sir…I am afraid I may have just been suckered on eBay, but maybe you can help. I recently bought what I thought was a complete lifestyle system from an individual on eBay…it has the 5 typical dual cube speakers and bass module. After receiving the unit, it says it is a lifestyle model 5 music center. There was no instruction manual so I found one online, but it doesn’t show where this system come with rear or center speakers. Is it possible to add these to the unit or will they simply be another set of left and right speakers and have no surround effect from the rear of the room? The unit was advertised with all 5 speakers and module. The module says it is an Acoustimass 25 series II. ANY help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED…..Thank you, Frank

  32. KENNETH LEGER on said:

    I have the first Bose 3-2-1 system. The problem I have is that I purchased a new TV and I am unable to figure out why the sound does not come through my TV when not using the DVD. Everything works fine for my DVD, but sound does not work through my speakers for my TV; I hooked up everything the same way I had the old TV hooked up. Thanks.

  33. For Christmas I received a Onkyo TX-SR806 7.1 channel Home Theater Receiver, and will use a Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Player DMP-BD35. The receiver will put out 130 watts per channel. How well will the Acoustimass 10 series 1V work? How about the 16 series II? My TV is a Diamond series Mitsubishi 65″ 1080p DLP. Any thoughts or suggestions GREATLY appreciated!

  34. Bill Wood on said:

    I have a Bose Lifestyle 28 system connected to my Samsung 52″ LCD. In addition, I have a Comcast cable box for HDTV. I recently purchased a Samsung Blu-ray player and have it connected directly to the TV with an HDMI cable. I have an optical cable from the Comcast box to the Bose system for standard HDTV. How and what do I connect from the Blu-ray to the Bose system for audio only if I am using the Blu-ray player? Will I get true 5.1 sound through the Bose system?

  35. I recently purchased an Acoustimass 10 system. I used my existing in-wall wiring for the back speakers and spliced them to the 25′ wires supplied and left the remaining cable wound up behind the module. Will the excess wire (25′) breakdown the signal to my back speakers? Should I cut the excess wire off? Any help would be appreciated.

    P.S. The system sounds great.

  36. Suraj Nyalakonda on said:

    I have the Bose Lifestyle VS-2 and recently purchased a PS3: how do I connect my PS3 using an HDMI cable to my TV and still get the Bose sound? I have a Pioneer Elite 60 inch TV. I appreciate your help. Thank you.

  37. My family just purchased the Bose V20 lifestyle. I’m just wondering how we could link the Playstation3 to the Bose. Would is go under music player, DVD, etc?

  38. I purchased the lifestyles V20 which I love. I have a couple of issues though. I puchased a 52″ inch Samsung (touch of color 650 series) I can not get the Bose remote to find the code for the TV. I have to constantly use the cable or the original TV remote to shut the TV off. Why is that? Why won’t it find a code. I bought these system together new. The next question is I have a PS3 that I have hooked up to the HDMI port that read DVD. When we play a game the digital read display reads that the sound is coming out in 5.1, but when I watch a blue ray movies the digital display states the sound is in 2. The movie states it is in 5.1 but does not display that as the game does. Why is that? It seems to sound OK just reading different then the games. Is there something I need to do in the system. The Bose manual is not to friendly. I also can not find the codes for the PS3 remot4e in the Bose system. Your knowledge would be greatful in these confusing matters.

  39. Can this system play Blu-ray disc? Thanks

  40. Al. J. on said:

    I have a Lifestyle 35 with jewel cube speakers. If I purchase a Lifestyle v10 system, can I substitute my jewel cube speakers for those that come with the V10? Trying to save some money.

  41. Jason A. on said:

    I have a LS-18 Series 2 and a VS-2. My Cable box is HD, and I’m using HDMI cables. The background noise is great but when the various individuals talk, they are very muffled. Also, depending on the channel, I’m constantly changing my speaker from 5 audio to 2.

  42. atalay efeer on said:

    I have lifestyle 28. Is it possible to use Jewel cubes with the same subwoofer?

  43. Okaidja on said:

    I have an AM-16 that sometimes experiences stress when I play a movie with lots of bass. When I adjust the LFE too low I don’t experience the bass I want. What do you suggest I do? I was wondering if the AM-16 could be connected to a receiver without the cubes connecting back to the bass module for power? Thanks.

  44. Electronics Guru on said:


    The DVD drive in this system cannot play Blu-ray discs. But we have a nice selection of Blu-ray players and can work with you to get the systems linked up properly.

  45. Electronics Guru on said:


    1. Make sure the LFE settings on your receiver are adjusted properly — is the woofer handling too wide a frequency range?
    2. Check speaker levels — too low and you’ll have to turn the system volume up higher than necessary, which puts more stress on the bass module.
    3. Add additional subwoofers to better distribute bass and overcome poor room acoustics.

    Keep in mind that each system and the room it’s in is different. Better performance can usually be achieved through simple measures like adjusting speakers and speaker placement or modifying default settings to match the characteristics of your media room and listening preferences.

  46. Darren on said:

    Can the dual cube speakers be mounted sideways using the UB-20 mounting arms? Does this affect the sound?

  47. Alexei Pineda on said:

    I have a Bose Lifestyle V20, and I have a Blu-ray Sony BDP S300 and a Sony Bravia AW15 projector. I connect the projector with HDMI in the console and the Blu-ray with HDMI, but there’s no signal. Do you know if I must to reset all devices or if there’s a special connection for the projector?

  48. Electronics Guru on said:


    Yes, you can mount the speakers sideways. But keep in mind that the brackets are designed for a vertical installation, with adjustments — both vertical and horizontal — being achieved using the movable arm. The sound quality should not be affected if they’re aligned properly and calibrated as instructed.

  49. Electronics Guru on said:


    It’s very difficult to make a judgment without knowing a lot of information regarding device setup, options selected, cable type, etc. Therefore I’d recommend calling our customer service reps at 1-866-224-6171 so you can discuss the exact configuration and find a solution to your problem. The problem could be any of the components in the system or the cables connecting them, but do make sure that the cables are properly connected and each device is set to send/receive signals from the HDMI ports. Usually devices will have an “auto” option or troubleshooting mode that may default settings or correct any incompatible signals or settings. Resetting the devices should resolve any handshake problems if they exist.

  50. Prasad on said:

    I bought a SONY STRDA 4300ES receiver with 1 subwoofer port and 1 Optical output port. I need to connect it to Bose Lifestyle25 Acoustimass25 with 1 Coax cable input. Does it work?

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