The Classic is - exactly that. Introduced nearly 9 years ago, it was and remains, a great product. The Model I that replaced it in 2007 was functionally and aesthetically very very similar. Setting aside the 5 year discussion about whether it was a perfect replacement, the Model I was the solution that Bose offered to take the place of the Classic.
If Bose has introduced anything as the "new improved" version of the Classic, it was the Model II. Looking at both of them as straight-ahead portable, self-powered loudspeakers, what the Model II offered was a better experience at the extreme edges of the horizontal sound field.
Now that the Classic/Model I is discontinued, the closest replacement if you want the same forward projection and coverage, you need a Model II. If you want the same and better control of the EQ volume, and mini-mixer capabilities then you can get a T1®.
I think that the new Model 1S is a great option for people who need more coverage and bass than the ultra portable Compact can give you.
And if you need more coverage than the Model 1S can give you, then you need a Model II.
So at the end of this, I don't think that the Model 1S displaces the Classic/Model I, but it offers an option for people who might never have used the Classic/Model I to its fullest potential.
I was helping a buddy with his two new-to-him Classics last weekend. He was doing DJ / Master of Ceremonies duties at an event in an outdoor baseball park. Fortunately, the audience was on the field and in the first few rows of the stands (within the vertical sound field). It's been some time since I've seen the Classics in a situation like that. I was floored at how well I could hear the music and especially the announcements - from clear across the park (diagonal line through first and third bases). I think the only replacement in the product line in a situation like that would have to be a Model II with T1®.
I still have my Classics. I don't use them as often as I use my Model IIs but to my mind, they aren't obsolete until it is more cost to replace them than to use them. I don't see that happening any time soon.
The B2 is an interesting introduction to the product line. It is I think, testament to what Bose can fit into a relatively small package. The B2 is smaller than a single Hi-Fi speaker I would have had in my living room as half of my home stereo system. But optical dismay aside, I think that run 'flat' (the normal position switch). The (-) minus position is supposed to sound like a single B1, but I don't know that I'd use that much.
Looking at the firmware update and EQ update that we have to do to get the Model II Power Stand to support the B2 I think what those do is:
Let's the Model II detect the position of the switch on the B2.
Gives the Model II another low end EQ curve to highly emphasize the bass frequencies.
As owners of Classic/Model I - Mike, you and I can switch presets and use the R1 Remote to change the EQ of our Power Stands. We won't have the fine-grained tuning that Bose built-into the new EQ curve to support the B2, but I don't think that we are out in the cold on this one either.
With two B1s we could crank up the low end with Presets and the Remote, but ultimately we hit the limitations of two B1s. I think that the B2 releases us from the physical limitation of two B1s.
What do you think?
Originally posted by Mike in Texas:
Dumb Question Department...
So... the new L1-S... is better than, sounds better than, is more powerful than, projects better than... the L1 Compact?
and NOT better etc than the L1 Model II?
What about compared to the Classic?
Also - you DO need a T1, or some front-end, to be relatively effective, correct? I mean, plugging a mic and instrument directly into the L1-S, with multiple presets available is NOT an option?
And the B2 - appears to be fabulous, BUT... with the Classic, "only" same as, or slightly better than - TWO B1's?
I'm just an observer here, happy with my 2xB1 Classics, not buying anything, but DO want to understand, and confirm my observations.