The most recent iteration of Bose’s game-changing L1 portable PA system appeared almost 10 years ago. But now the company is highlighting three “new generation” models – the L1 Pro8, L1 Pro16 and the L1 Pro32, with a choice of two powered bass (subwoofer) modules, all of which address specific power needs from musicians to DJs.
Each model has been completely redesigned from the ground up with advanced functionality, app control (via Bose’s L1 Mix app) and Bluetooth connectivity, and streamlined for easy transport.
There’s a lot of unpack with the new L1s, and so we hooked up Guitar World Tech Editor Paul Riario with the L1 Pro16 (opens in new tab), the “middle child” of the three, to give it a test run.
“There are clear-cut improvements in sound and performance that will undoubtedly speak to solo artists and songwriting duos looking for a compact PA that delivers on all fronts,” Paul says.
And indeed, the streamlined system boasts high output and extended low frequency, and offers versatile coverage with a J-shaped line array that features 16 articulated 2" neodymium drivers and delivers 180-degree horizontal coverage – making it ideal for DJs, singer-songwriters and small groups.
Among the highlights are an integrated subwoofer with a unique RaceTrack driver design for powerful bass and a built-in three-channel mixer that can accommodate a variety of audio sources and features an uncomplicated control panel.
The system boasts illuminated rotary encoders for instant access to volume, tone and reverb settings per channel, and you can add in even more instruments and other audio sources via a dedicated ToneMatch port.
There's also ToneMatch preset buttons (Mic and Inst) on channels one and two, and a System EQ button to scroll through optimized EQ presets (Live, Music and Speech). What’s more, the L1 Mix app allows for complete wireless mixer control from your smartphone or tablet.
It’s a whole lot of tone and functionality in a package that Paul calls a “contoured and sleek design that’s super refined.”
To demonstrate just how refined it is, Paul unboxes and sets up the L1 Pro16 system from soup-to-nuts. And then we get to the good part – the performance.
As is made clear, the Pro16 is, as Paul observes, “a superb all-in-one PA that is exceptional in cleanly articulating a broad frequency spectrum. Add to that Bose’s available Tone Match technology to further enhance your live sound, and it makes this system a real cut above the rest.”
To sum up, he says, “Bose taps the Pro16 as the sweet spot of the L1 line, from the size to the performance ratio. And I’m inclined to agree here."
The Bose L1 Pro16, he continues, “is the complete package for a portable and powerful next-gen PA system, with remarkable 180 degrees horizontal sound coverage for small to medium venues and even outdoor spaces. Definitely check it out.”
For more information, head to Bose (opens in new tab).