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This article was originally published in issue #56
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Unlike other similarly-priced “multi-position” loudspeakers, the S1 Pro carries sensors that can sense which of its four positions the loudspeaker has been placed in – level on a flat surface such as a tabletop for music playback, tilted back as an instrument amplifier, on its side as a floor monitor or on a stand as a PA loudspeaker.
Compact, lightweight, great sound
Onboard 3-channel mixer with Tonematch
Auto EQ optimisation for different usage scenarios.
Optional lithium-ion battery pack.
Powered PA Speaker with Mixer
3 x 2.25" Speaker Drivers,
1 x 6" High Excursion Woofer
3 Mixer Channels
2 Mic Preamps
Bose S1 Pro Multi-Position PA System
MSRP £529 (UK) $599 (US)
The S1 Pro Multi-Position PA System is the latest member of the well respected, Bose L1 family that, in recent years, has led a revolution in compact, self-powered PA systems based on line-array technology. Bob Thomas gives his review Bose S1 Pro.
Considerably more compact (to say the least) that its ancestors, the L1 System 1 & II and the later F1 Flexible Array System, the S1 adopts the latter’s “Articulated Array” concept to deliver a performance that makes it suitable in a wide variety of roles, from full-range PA, a floor monitor, or music playback system to an instrument amplifier that will cope with guitars, keyboards etc.
Small enough to fit into the overhead locker of an aeroplane, the S1 Pro is not only compact and extremely portable but also features an onboard three input mixer and power amplification to drive its three 2¼” mid/treble drivers and a 6” woofer. The three smaller drivers are configured in an articulated array format in which the central driver faces forwards and the other two point slightly upwards and slightly downward to provide a wide and even spread of the higher frequencies.
Unlike other similarly-priced “multi-position” loudspeakers, the S1 Pro carries sensors that can sense which of its four positions the loudspeaker has been placed in – level on a flat surface such as a tabletop for music playback, tilted back as an instrument amplifier, on its side as a floor monitor or on a stand as a PA loudspeaker. The S1 Pro’s onboard DSP automatically adjusts the EQ for optimum performance in each position.
The 3-channel onboard mixer has two mic/line channels, each with a combination XLR/Jack connector, reverb, bass and treble controls, a volume control and a signal present indicator LED. Both these channels are equipped with Bose’s proprietary “Tonematch” system. When off, the channel input preamplifier is set flat – good for an external mixer, keyboard or guitar modeller etc. The first position optimises the input for an acoustic guitar with a piezo pickup system, and the second position sets it up for a vocalist’s microphone. The third channel can connect to mp3 players, mobile phones, tablets etc via either wirelessly via Bluetooth or wired via minijacks. For connection on to a second S1 Pro (other loudspeakers can be used), there’s a Line Out jack socket.
For maximum portability, the S1 Pro can be powered via an optional (£130 RRP) rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack that gives six hours use on a full charge. Incidentally, if you do buy the battery pack it arrives “asleep” and, once you’ve fitted it, the S1 Pro has to be plugged into the mains and switched on in order to wake the battery up.
Despite its diminutive dimensions, the S1 Pro packs a hefty punch – the bass is solid and articulate and the midrange and treble are clean, clear and well-articulated. They also go surprisingly loud without any problem and, in the smaller venues that they’re designed for, you’re not going to have any problem being heard. The position-based EQ switching worked perfectly, and you can hear the quite distinct EQ differences between the various usage settings.
If you play an instrument and sing, S1 Pro on a stand would cover a small room like a folk club, and a pair would cope with a larger audience in, say, a restaurant. Although you wouldn’t necessarily base your career as an EDM DJ on the S1 Pro, the system will perform well for playing back any style of music.
Aimed at musicians, singers, small bands, DJs, corporate presentations, community events, the S1 Pro delivers accurate, high-quality sound in a compact, easy to handle and easy to operate package. A superb little all-in-one system that deserves an audition at your local Bose music shop.