Designed for solo acts, singer-songwriters, public speakers, and small events, the Bose S1 Pro covers a lot of territory in a compact package. In this Bose S1 Pro review, we’ll check out everything the portable speaker system has to offer.
Bose Offers a Battery Powered Portable PA in the S1 Pro
Portable PA systems are a godsend for anyone who needs to amplify their voice or instrument easily and conveniently. Despite being limited in channels, speakers like the S1 allow solo acts to run an entirely self-contained rig with near-instantaneous load-in and load-out times. The S1 Pro offers big sound for indoor or outdoor features, and despite being a little on the pricier side, it can solve a lot of problems and save a lot of headaches for small acts. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides a power cable-free way of amplifying sound on the go.
Bose S1 Pro Specs
- 2 combo XLR / 1/4″ inputs
- 3.5mm input
- Bluetooth input
- 1/4″ TRS line output
- Dimensions: 13″ H x 9.5″ W x 11.2″ D
- 15.7 pounds
- ToneMatch on channels 1 and 2 with one-touch vocal and acoustic guitar presets
- Auto EQ analyzes and compensates for resonances and hotspots
- Optimal sound in any position; built-in sensors and multiple aiming positions
How Do These Bose Speakers Stack Up?
On paper, the Bose S1 Pro speaker is impressive. It has a lot of tech under the hood that helps it sound great anywhere, so the performer doesn’t have to double as their own FOH engineer. Aside from that, it’s a fairly straightforward portable PA/speaker. I could see it being perfect for coffee shop gigs and parties, as well as spoken word events or small public addresses. Let’s have a closer look some of the important features.
Size & Design
The Bose S1 Pro is 100% portable. It’s about the size of a standard powered PA speaker and weighs just shy of 16 pounds with a convenient carrying handle built in. From a design standpoint, the I/O is nicely laid out on the back panel in an intuitive, uncluttered way. One of the sleekest design elements is placement versatility. You can stand the speaker up vertically, lay it horizontally, tilt it back, or use it like a wedge. It automatically senses and adapts to the position and optimizes the sound projection accordingly.
How Do They Sound?
Bose has cemented a reputation as having wide and even sound coverage through the speakers. The S1 Pro is no exception. They manage to extend dispersion by allowing sound to radiate not just from the front of the cabinet, but also from the sides. The result is sound that easily fills a room, and the Auto EQ technology helps keep the sound consistent even when listeners are moving throughout the room.
Generally speaking, anyone shopping in the portable PA category is going to prioritize just that: portability! Luckily the S1 delivers in that regard. We talked about the dimensions and weight earlier, which are about as portable as it gets without compromising features and sound quality.
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery promisees 11 hours of continuous playback. That’s more than enough for any type of gig or event, and you could potentially do several gigs a week between charges. It also has a quick charge function if you find yourself in a hurry and need some extra juice. Of course, you can always use AC power as a surefire backup.
Are the Bose S1 Pro Speakers Good for Live Music?
It would be great for a soloist or a vocalist/instrumentalist duo. The biggest restriction here is that you’re limited to two channels, so obviously you wouldn’t be able to run a full band through this thing. A singer-songwriter can carry this from gig to gig themselves, and run a vocal mic and their acoustic guitar through it — that’s sort of the main focus considering the ToneMatch feature for vocal and acoustic guitar effects. The auxiliary channel could provide backing track support for a more complete sound. In short, yes, it’s good for live music, but only specific styles.
Final Thoughts: Is This Portable PA System Worth the Price?
Bose products never come cheap. There are less expensive portable PA systems out there — no doubt about it. Surely the price ramps up with features like Auto EQ, ToneMatch, and battery power. If you can sacrifice those, then you could find an alternative at around half the price. That said, those same features are what set the Bose S1 Pro apart. For some users, they’re a key selling point and definitely worth the price of admission.