Bose S1 Pro Speaker Deep Review 2020: Is It Worth It?
It’s always good to try something new, and even though you will find a reasonable selection of portable, all‑in‑one sound reinforcement systems available to buy, there aren’t many that claim to be as lightweight or as versatile as this latest offering in one of the longest‑established names in the market. Continuing to build up their interesting story from your day when Amar Bose commenced fixing radio sets those years back, Bose do certainly have form in terms of innovation (think noise‑cancelling headphones, for example, or the L1 speakers), and they seem to be to be continually striving to bring us new ideas.
Great & Small
The S1 Pro is marketed as a ‘multi‑position PA system’, and in my own view it takes the complete notion of portability to a fresh level. This is a very compact little bit of gear and certainly smaller than some studio monitors out there; stood upright it’s only 330mm or 13 inches tall, and of them costing only 241mm (9.5 inches) wide it creates an exceptionally low‑profile ‘landscape’ monitor, even enabling the wedge angle. The ‘multi‑position’ tag alludes to the actual fact an internal sensor detects the orientation of the enclosure and applies computerized compensation to the EQ, optimising it for the positioning where it’s being used, and boosting its go‑anywhere appeal.
When I first unboxed the S1 Pro I was surprised at how small it certainly looked, and I must admit to wondering just how much sound could actually emerge from such a little speaker calling itself a ‘PA’, regardless if it did have a Bose logo on leading. So, rather than reading the manual, or installing the battery, or looking into the Bluetooth connectivity and so forth, I simply stood it on to the floor and put some music through it – and I must let you know that the sound level this little speaker can produce is both surprising and impressive, and there’s no insufficient bottom end either!
Much like most self‑powered speakers, you may get a good notion of the essential functionality by looking at the control panel. The S1 Pro includes a three‑channel mixer with two identical inputs for microphone or line‑level sources, and a third channel for line‑only (with a mini jack) or Bluetooth input. Right away you’re thinking ‘singer‑songwriter with guitar and perhaps backing track’, and I’m sure that’s where most of the S1 appeal will see favour, but its audio tracks capability and flexible placement options may also start uses as a discreet floor monitor, engineer wedge, or as a concise main PA, particularly if used as a pair.
The S1 includes a built‑in three‑channel mixer, with two mic/line inputs and one line input that may also accept a Bluetooth source.The first two input channels are given with blend XLR/jack connectors which will have a balanced or unbalanced feed, and the channel level control comes with an associated LED that presents green for signal present and red for signal clipping. The EQ is basic but effective enough, with just two controls – fixed treble and bass – and there is a tiny slide switch for recalling a ToneMatch preset for guitar or voice. The presets certainly are a good way to get started on establishing the S1 Pro in virtually any given space, and so are intended to be utilized when connecting a mic or instrument right to the S1 mixer inputs, instead of when working with it as a PA speaker fed from an external mixer. There’s an on‑board reverb processor open to channels 1 and 2, which has one particular level control for every single input. It works nicely and will be useful in adding a lttle bit of character in an exceedingly dry venue.
The 3rd mixer channel includes a 3.5mm stereo jack input and an even control (and LED) only; no EQ is provided which means this must be adjusted on whatever external device is connected. This channel also serves as the Bluetooth input, and there’s a pairing button for establishing reference to the foundation device. Once linked this proved very stable, in fact it is an extremely convenient feature – whatever eliminates cables (and works properly) is wonderful for me. One application where this feature came in very convenient was at a school performance, where in fact the student’s music teacher could cue and run backing tracks by using a mobile device from an off‑stage position, leaving the student absolve to concentrate on their live show.
Finding An Angle
If you look into the exterior of the S1 Pro enclosure you can view why they call it ‘multi‑position’: there are several angled surfaces that permit it to be situated in many different attitudes. One of the most unusual positions can be an upright (ie. portrait) mode, but tilted back again to aim upwards at the close‑in audience or at the performer – this uses among the cabinet surfaces and doesn’t need any extra feet or stand hardware. I came across this position to work nicely when I used it as a keyboard monitor within an orchestra pit, and could aim the sound right where it had been needed. You will find a standard 35mm speaker stand/pole socket on the bottom of the S1 Pro, so getting enough height on the machine won’t be considered a problem.
Lithium battery technology is rolling out rapidly during the last couple of years, and the Bose S1 Pro makes good usage of this by including a battery‑power option. The battery has to be installed as it is normally shipped separately (there are several regulations covering this in several countries), but that is a very fast and simple process and only requires undoing two screws on underneath of the unit to eliminate a metal plate. Making sure the battery power may be the right way around (by looking at the connector pins), you merely push it into place and re‑fix the cover plate, and you’re all set.
When the S1 Pro is connected to the mains provide you with the battery will automatically charge at the correct rate, in fact it is correctly OK to leave it plugged in. In the event you need it, you will find a Quick Charge mode, engaged by moving the energy switch towards the tiny battery icon. Obsessive folk like me wouldn’t imagine leaving home unless the S1 were fully charged, so thankfully the battery status is easily checked: when the S1 Pro is started up the energy LED indicator will flash several times to point the charge status, or you can press the Bluetooth pairing button twice to start to see the same indication if the machine has already been on and you don’t want to power‑cycle it. If battery level is below ten percent, the energy indicator lights red, otherwise it’s blue, and four flashes means you have over 75 percent in the tank.
Bose’s manual says that the battery provides up to 11 hours of operation, and takes a the least three hours for a complete charge using the Quick Charge option (you can’t utilize the S1 while it’s fast‑charging). I wasn’t in a position to run the machine for anywhere near this long (I didn’t have time), but I did so make usage of it for an excellent 3‑4 hours without the recharge, and that basically should be enough to cover most situations! I used the S1 Pro for two outdoor events, one for music and one for announcements, and used it on battery the whole time without issues whatsoever. At one event specifically it had been especially good never to need to fight for the nearest power outlet, and the refreshment persons can keep their kettle plugged in every day. Smiles at all times.
Out & About
I used the S1 Pro in a few rehearsals, both as a vocal floor monitor and as a keyboard amp, and it had no difficulty maintaining my 16‑piece band. (If I’d had another unit I’d have liked to try rigging them as a tiny PA system on stands, as an individual speaker wasn’t right for the area.) The versatility of the S1 Pro is increased by the smart auto‑EQ trickery I mentioned earlier, although it’s quite subtle and the entire system output could be helped by where in fact the S1 is put. It’s worth tinkering with placement to attain the best results in virtually any given performance space, and particularly if playing in a fresh venue.
I have to have used the S1 Pro in only about every way over a week or two, and whether it had been on a pole, a table or on to the floor it had been always possible to have a good, clear sound balance. The published frequency response of 62Hz‑17kHz doesn’t seem to be hyped or marginal at all, the horizontal HF coverage is quite wide, at 120 degrees, and it includes a way – somewhat like those miniature vertical arrays – of seeming to fill the area with sound and reaching an excellent tonal balance over the audience area. This is a very compact speaker, so it’s obviously not likely to produce chest‑pounding mid‑range at 50 meters on grass, neither is it something your heavy rock frontman will want to rest his foot on, however the output levels it could achieve whilst maintaining an excellent sound balance and quality are truly surprising for such a tiny box.
Aesthetics will always be portion of the Bose tradition, and the S1 Pro is definitely a good‑looking speaker and would look right in the home in virtually any classy piano bar. The Bose badge on leading grille could even be rotated through 90 degrees, and the must‑have fashion accessory must be the neat little slip‑on travel cover that simply drops outrageous and still allows usage of the large integrated handle at the top surface. There is more info on the Bose website, and there’s a free application designed for iOS and Android that can be utilised to gain access to some additional functionality, including a stereo mode allowing you to connect to another speaker.
The S1 Pro can have its firmware updated with a micro USB port on the control panel, and the very thought of future updates just increases its appeal. At a current street price around , like the battery pack, it’s not really a giveaway but it holds true Bose design and quality, and I can’t imagi