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Bose Unveils New L1 Pro Portable Line Array Family

Bose L1 Pro Family
(Image credit: Bose Professional)

The What: Bose Professional has unveiled the L1 Pro portable line array, the next-generation of its slender PA system technology. The first major overhaul to the line since Bose introduced the L1 17 years ago, the new L1 Pro systems aim to usher in a new era of on-the-go audio for a wide array of applications. 

The What Else: The new line consists of three systems—the L1 Pro8, the L1 Pro16, and L1 Pro32 with its choice of two subwoofers—all offering 180-degree horizontal coverage along with high clarity and tonal balance. A RaceTrack woofer design integrated into the L1 Pro8, L1 Pro16, and the Bose Sub1 and Sub2 modular subwoofers provides extended base response and less bulk, making the subwoofers easier to transport, carry, and fit onstage. Built-in multi-channel mixers offer EQ, reverb, and phantom power, while Bluetooth streaming capabilities and access to the complete library of ToneMatch custom EQ presets allows performers to play with recording-studio tonal quality.

Related: Bose on AV in the Post-COVID World

The Bose L1 Pro portable systems are complimented by the L1 Mix app, placing wireless control in the hands of users for on-the-fly tweaks. Performers can adjust mixer settings via phone or tablet from the stage, or even walk the room, hear how the mix sounds, and fine-tune on the go. Volume and tone settings can be changed in the app as well, with users able to watch the LED encoder move to match—the mixer and app are always in sync, in real-time. 

  • The L1 Pro8 is the most portable model, weighing in at 38.9 pounds (17.7 kilograms). Well suited for shows in small venues such as coffee shops and cafes, the slim design allows performers to benefit from setup simplicity and clarity. The C-shaped line array features eight articulated 2-inch neodymium drivers, and180-degree horizontal coverage with wide vertical dispersion allows audiences to hear clearly whether seated or standing, and even off to the extreme sides in small to medium venues. The integrated 7-by-13-inch subwoofer features a high-excursion RaceTrack driver, which is engineered to rival the performance of a conventional 12-inch woofer with a smaller footprint.
  • The L1 Pro16 balances power and portability, offering a streamlined system with high output and extended low frequency. Weighing 53.7 pounds (24.4 kilograms), it is well suited for DJs, singer-songwriters, and small groups performing in small-to-medium sized venues like clubs and bars, with users benefitting from portable system that offers extra room in a vehicle and on stage, alongside expanded bandwidth. Its J-shaped line array features 16 articulated 2-inch neodymium drivers, and 180-degree horizontal coverage, tight vertical control on top, and wide dispersion on the bottom covers audiences whether set up on the floor, an elevated stage, and even off to the extreme sides in medium-to-large venues. Its integrated 10-by-18-inch subwoofer features a high-excursion neodymium RaceTrack driver to provide the performance of a conventional 15-inch woofer. 
  • The L1 Pro32 is the most advanced L1 portable line array, weighing 28.8 pounds (13.0 kilograms). The Sub1 and Sub2 modular subwoofers weigh 35.5 pounds (16.1 kilograms) and 51.7 pounds (23.4 kilograms) respectively, meaning even this top-of-the-line model is powerful and portable. With high clarity and output, the L1 Pro32 gives DJs, singer-songwriters, and bands a top-quality portable PA system with powerful bass for medium-to-large-sized venues and events such as weddings and festivals. Its straight line array features 32 articulated 2-inch neodymium drivers, and 180-degree horizontal coverage with the most focused vertical coverage pattern and highest SPL over distance in an L1—providing intricate sonic detail, clarity, and consistency, even off to the extreme sides in larger venues. It combines with the Bose Sub1 or Sub2 powered bass module via a single cable, and SubMatch connectivity is included for both power and audio. Users have the option to stack two Sub1 or Sub2 subwoofers for even more bass, or unleash Cardioid Mode for focused, directional performance that negates rear-firing bass energy, steering the bass out front, and reducing feedback.

Each L1 Pro system features a built-in mixer, allowing creators to connect various instruments, microphones, and other sources with ease. Two combo XLR-1/4-inch phantom-powered inputs, 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch (3.5 millimeter) aux inputs are included. Illuminated rotary encoders provide instant access to volume, tone, and reverb settings per channel. There is even the option to add in additional instruments and other audio sources via a dedicated ToneMatch port—one cable provides both power and digital audio between the system and an optional Bose T4S or T8S mixer (sold separately).

“The new L1 Pro family gives users an ideal balance of performance and control on stage and portability everywhere else,” said Craig Jackson, portable PA category manager for Bose Professional. “We took what our customers loved about the original L1 systems and focused on making improvements in almost every dimension. The L1 Pro family delivers more output and bass extension than ever before and doesn’t compromise on portability. We’ve expanded the I/O and integrated ToneMatch technology allowing users to quickly optimize the sound of their instruments and microphones. And with our new L1 Mix app complete control of all mixing functionality is available from your mobile device. We are excited bring the L1 Pro family to market and can’t wait for our customers to experience them.” 

The Bottom Line: These three new portable PA systems are designed to deliver the flexibility for a wide variety of styles and audiences, and provide a solution for creators reintroducing live music and sound experiences into venues and online platforms. The ultra-portable L1 Pro8 is best suited for intimate spaces; the more powerful L1 Pro16 performs in small-to-medium spaces; and the peak-performance L1 Pro32 is a top-level portable system for entertaining large audiences.

The L1 Pro portable line array systems will be available starting October 2020.