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Mar 24, 2018

How to ditch the Lifestyle 600/650 Remote and use a learning IR remote

The Lifestyle 600/650 uses an RF remote that does not transmit IR codes to the console. This means that a universal learning remote cannot learn from the Bose supplied remote. Bose also deleted the "IR Teaching" feature from newer Lifestyle products such as the 600/650, so the console cannot broadcast and teach IR codes to a universal remote.


When contacting Bose about how to teach a learning remote to control the Lifestyle 600/650 they offer to send you "IR Hex Codes". These are the numerical values that perform a single button on the remote. For example, the Mute Toggle function is IR hex code 0000 006b 0022 0000 0157 00ac 0015 0015 0015 0041 0015 0015 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 0015 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 0015 0015 0041 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0041 0015 0015 0015 0041 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 0041 0015 00ac


Unfortunately there are no universal remotes that allow you to key this in, so knowing this information is largely useless.


There is a solution so that you can teach your learning universal remote to control the Bose 600/650...


Purchase a "Logitech Harmony" remote and use it to teach your learning remote. The Logitech Harmony retails for $129 but is readily available on the street for $69. So consider the price to ditch the Lifestyle remote to be $69 and for that you can either use your own remote or the one that logitech supplies.


The Logitech Harmony remote is a nicely built and very good functioning IR remote. It's main drawback is an unnecessarially convoluted setup process and setup menus. Fortunately, you don't need any of that...


Once you get the Logitech Harmony remote set it up in the most minimal way possible. You won't be needing any "Activities" (which are the complicated and confusing part of the product.) Just get the remote onto your Wifi and connect to it using the Smartphone app.


Now, add the Bose Lifestyle 600/650 device, using the smartphone app. Again, you do not really need any "Activities".


At this point you have a means of generating IR signals that will control the Lifestyle 600/650 console. Plug in the IR emotter, and using the smartphone app select the Lifestyle 600/650 device from the main "Devices" tab. You will see a screen with some of the remote's functionality. You can flip left and right through several of the pages to select whatever Lifestyle 600/650 remote function you desire.


To teach your remote, put it into learning mode for the button you want to teach. Then, on the smartphone in the Harmony app press the Lifestyle 600/650 function you want it to teach. Note that you need to hold your learning remote almost immediately against the Harmony emitter...not the 4"~6" that the manual says.


One other detail is important. The Bose IR codes are quite long. So you need to press the function button on the smartphone for several seconds...not just a simple short press. This will ensure that the IR code is reliably transmitted.


The good news is that the Logitech Harmony IR functions available is a very complete list, and they all workl so you can have great control over the Lifestyle 600/650.


I have confirmed that the latest Dish Network Remotes all work with this method and they can learn any of the Lifestyle 600/650 codes. So now I can switch sources and control the Lifestyle 650 using just one remote for it, my sattelite receiver, and can even control SoundTouch music from it.


Spending $69 to buy a Ligitech Harmony remote merely to teach your preferred remote how to control the Lifestyle 600/650 may seem like a waste of money, but in truth it is just a 2% premium to ditch the Bose remote. And, you may like the Harmony Remote (but I don't.)