S1 Pro Reviews

Here's a quick review.

Setting: House Concert

Size of Room: 600 square feet facing into an adjoining space, another 400 square feet

Audience: 30 people

Voices and Instruments all through the house PA (2 x QSC K10 with a board)

  • Three vocals (including mine because they had phantom power)
  • Keyboard
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Cajon (mic'd)
  • Congas (acoustic)

There was another fellow playing electric guitar. He was running through a small guitar combo (not mic'd)

S1 Pro with Boss GT-1 guitar amp mult-fx and amp modeller for my guitar.

The S1 Pro had to hold its own in the context of all these other sound sources (House PA, electric guitar amp, acoustic cajon, amplified congas)

Why I didn't use the S1 Pro for my Vocals

I had packed the Beyerdynamic M88 because it's a dynamic microphone because I intended to use it. But I decided to use my Neumann KMS 105. I'm more familiar with it and vocals are a big feature with this band.

This meant I needed phantom power. Unfortunately, I recently gave away my self-contained, battery-powered phantom power supply because I use my T1 with the KMS 105 microphone. The T1 has phantom power.

That meant I had to put my vocals  through the house system because it had phantom power, The S1 Pro doesn't have phantom power. I had a T1 in the car, but in the heat of the moment I decided to use S1 Pro for electric guitar only.


  • It was super convenient to put the S1 Pro down and set it up without having to think about power outlets. You don't have to be outdoors to appreciate this.
  • The only place I could put it was nestled between the legs of the speaker stand for one of the QSC K10s, in a corner at the back of the stage. I didn't use a stand. (I had decided that if I really needed a stand, I would use an L1 Compact instead)
  • I stood about two feet out from the corner where I had put the S1 Pro. I had it in the tilt back position.
  • The sound was a little bass-heavy. I attribute this to the boundary effect - being too close to the corner. The sound was better out in the room.
  • Lots of compliments - no complaints about volume.
  • From what I could see, everyone could hear the guitar. I verified that with people later.

General Impressions

The S1 Pro was clean and clear and able to keep up with everything else that was on the stage. It was a joy to carry it in and set it up  I'm happy with the sound when using a guitar amp modeller through it.

Most of the people were within the 100-degree horizonal dispersion. They could all hear it fine from what I could see from peoples responses.

I had the volume at 12:00 o'clock. That was plenty for this event.

I could easily have used the L1 Compact for tonight's show but the S1 Pro did fine.



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Purchased an S1 Pro at local Bose store earlier this week.  Battery is on order.  


Guitar sound comparison:

Comparing my acoustic Taylor guitar sound in the S1 Pro to an L1 Compact and to an L1 Model 2,  I like the Model 2 sound best, followed by the S1 Pro.  I will be selling the Compact as soon as the S1 Pro proves out for our smaller gigs.

The Pro is more trebly than the Compact and the Model 2.  I needed to take a bunch of treble off of my guitar built-in controls, and on the Pro channel, to get rid of the sound of my hands moving up and down the strings for different chords. I did not have this artifact in the Compact, nor Model 2.

The Compact, on the other hand, is very bass heavy for my taste, and when I use that I need to dial a lot of bass out of the guitar built-in controls as well as the Compact Eq. 


Upcoming test venue:

I plan on using the S1 Pro with 4 performers (including myself) plugged into it through a T1 at a small family dance this Sunday.   Historically I've used a pair of L1 Model 2's at this dance, for the separation of sound (fiddle and guitar in one L1, 2nd fiddle and flute in the second L1),   It's a small dance - typically 20 to 30 people.   If the S1 Pro works out, I can pick up a second, and take the dance outside when the weather gets nicer.



We historically use the Compact at Farmer Markets, I'm hoping the S1 Pro will work well in place of the Compact for those venues, and open up the possibility of Farmer Markets that lack power.  I'm also hoping we get good fiddle/banjo/mandolin/guitar/vocal sound without needing to use T1s or Mixers.  (again hoping for flexibility in outdoor no-electricity settings). 

For our largest gigs, we use a pair of Model 2s for main speakers, and also use an Allen&Heath QU 16 mixer with ME-1 monitor mixers and monitors. I'm hoping the S1 Pro makes a good monitor for one or two of us in those situations.  


BlueTooth and practice:

I have found so far, that I like the bluetooth playback as well.  Been playing back songs I want to learn on my iPhone through the S1 Pro, and playing along on guitar hrough the S1 Pro, to practice. 

- Jim


OK, just used my new S1 Pro for the PA at a local family dance. It is a small show I do every year right around Valentines Day. Attendance this year was about 50 people with up to 25 people on the dance floor at any given time. 

I originally had plans to only use the S1 for a monitor when running sound, but since I had this little show the same day I got it... I figured I would give it a whirl. I had a L1 Compact there as a back up as well as a F1 Sub. I figured if the S1 couldn't do it I would get other members of the family to help out!

I started with lounge music during the social hour. I ran my mixer into the F1 sub and then to the S1 Pro. I figured if I would need anything it would be more bass. Put on some music and instantly was impressed. I had to make sure the sub was off! Wow it sounded great! Keep in mind I was only using a single S1 Pro.  Music was loud enough to entertain with out being too loud. 

More later... here's a few pics!DSC_3504DSC_3511DSC_3523DSC_3526DSC_3529DSC_3533DSC_3547DSC_3549 I thought it would be fun to show the S1 Pro next to an F1 sub... the smallest member the family next to the largest... great tools! Thanks Bose!!



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My S1 Pro arrived Friday and I got my first chance to try it Saturday morning. Wow, what a sound. Even my wife remarked how clear it was. It totally filled my house with sound. I’ve been using a Play Acoustic into my Compact or M2 but I made a call to go to the evening gig with just a Harmony Singer pedal into the S1 and then feeding the Compact.

It's a big gig, on an island, usually several hundred outdoors and I've used both Compact and M2 in the past connected together. However a storm arrived and under threat of cancelling altogether they moved it indoors so I only sent the Compact up. A good crowd of 200+ braved the weather and the room was packed.

It was a loud gig, right on the limit for the Compact even, so I couldn’t hear the S1 as a monitor but the sound coming out of the Compact was amazing. I used the Harmony Singer reverb as I can turn it on and off easier to talk between songs. The guitar was just straight into the S1 using it's reverb. iPad was bluetoothed. The gig went off, the sound was the best I’ve ever had.

I can’t wait for my battery pack to arrive. The Harmony Singer pedal can run on batteries so I’ll be able to play anywhere. I’ve bought a Ditto 2 looper just for giggles that can also run on batteries but I don’t use it live.

If only the the S1 had a 9v output 🙂. But even straight up the S1 is a fantastic unit and all you’d need to play houses, streets, parks, boats........

I think there's a strong case for having all three, or is that 3+ as can alternate between the B1 and B2 base units for the M2. The S1 will be the conduit at every gig.

And here's another after gig report -- Small family dance - maybe 25 combined parents and kids,  Caller/leader in his own Kustom speaker on a pole.  Bass guitar in his own small non-Bose system, electric piano in his own small non-Bose system,  and then my new S1 Pro on a pole behind us at the back of the stage, fed from a T1 in channel 1 shared by two performers ( Flute/oboe, fiddle, banjo and djembe),  and a second T1 in channel 2 shared with me on guitar and a second fiddler.  

S1 Pro EQs, and volume, were set flat (middle setting notch), S1 Pro tonematch setting off.   T1s at our normal EQ settings that we would use with our model 2's and T1 volumes about 1/4.  (All mics - SM58's, Taylor guitar direct into T1).

The S1 Pro performed well, and sounded good.

For us, the T1's are still a great convenience, since we can make channel and volume, and mute adjustments from our performance positions.

Only complaint from my wife was all the sound squished together in one speaker.

She approved of the sound from the floor during our sound check, fiddles and whistles were clear, guitar needed some bass pulled off.  The low end carried better than I anticipated.

The S1 Pro will easily handle our smaller gigs. I'm guessing a quarter to a third of our gigs will be fine leaving the L1's and B1's home. I like the lighter weight and less space taken in the car.    I sense a 2nd S1 Pro in our near future.



- Jim


As I gain more experience with the S1 Pro I will add new parts to my review of the product.

Review Part 2

The Sound:

Overall the S1 Pro has a great sound for it's size and weight. I actually prefer the sound over the Compact. To me it has a more smooth sound especially in the mids and bass sounds a bit more punchy as well. More about the bass in a bit. I feel the Compact is great for PA use and background music, but if you turn it up a "dance volume" it gets pretty shrill. The S1 Pro is not quite as loud as the Compact but to me sounds more balanced when turned up to "dance volume".  


So for I have used it for a light duty PA with crowds up to 50 people in which it performed very well. In the past for my "small dance" shows  I have tried using the Compacts, but was never happy with the sound for reason mentioned above... so for the last couple of years I have been using a Model II for these shows... of coarse I had to really had to watch the volume so it didn't get too loud. The S1 Pro is a perfect fit having the sound I want and plenty of volume for these little shows. I have also used it at home for karaoke where it where I was quite impressed with the clarity! That being said I found it very important to get the right amount of low end out of my voice using eq to achieve a the sound I desired. On a side note when my wife was singing using the same mic I had to bring the same bass back up so that her voice sounded good... when singing the same tracks on the Model II this seems less important... meaning I can pretty much use the the same settings as my wife achieving a good sound. 

Volume Knobs:

I have found that compared to the other family members of the Bose portable PA systems you do need to pay more attention to the volume knobs. When making announcements singing live into it I have found that if you send the signal lights in to the red often it will actually sound distorted... this can be avoided by simply backing off a little on the volume... that being said the other family members of the Bose portable PA systems that I own (L1 Compacts, L1 Model II, F1 Systems) handle hot signals much better with out distortion. Just something I noticed. 

The Bass:

For the size of the speaker the bass is nice and punchy, but can be made to sound distorted quite easily. It seems that for some reason Bose did not implement a high pass filter like the other family members of the Bose portable PA systems have. For instance if you play prerecorded music or a movie with lots of low end through the Compact at a certain frequency below what the driver can reproduce the bass just disappears. If you play the same thing through the S1 Pro it will try to play those frequencies and distort badly. This happens before the signal lights turn red. I have figured out that if I use channel one and two in stereo and then dial back the bass a bit these low frequencies don't cause any distortion. I do see this as an issue though since there is no way of doing this when using channel three with Bluetooth or the 1/8” jack. Perhaps a firmware update could help dial in a better high pass filter as to not allow these offending frequencies in at full strength. 

Anyone else experience this? 



Here's a quickie.  I did an impromptu set at a restaurant tonight. The room was about 45 x 30 feet with seating for 50.  The small stage faced diagonally into a space about 40 x 30 feet. It was elevated about 8 inches.

There was a small PA, a QSC K10 and a Soundcraft board.   The K10 was on a speaker stand about 10 feet from the stage, and the cables were taped down to the floor. I had the S1 Pro in the car, and I welcomed the chance to try it in this room. But I didn't want to I didn't want to pull up the cables that were taped down or dismantle the way the PA was set up. Besides all that, I didn't like the sound coming from 10 feet away from the stage. It seemed odd, but that's because I prefer to hear the sound coming from the stage

I put the S1 Pro in the upright position on a stool beside me. I performed standing. The top of the S1 Pro was a little below elbow height. That was good because I didn't want to risk bumping into it and knocking it over.  I could glance over and see the controls.

I use cables with switches on them so there were no pops or bangs as I connected things to the S1 Pro.

Pro Co 20' MasterMIKE Microphone Cable - 20' with Switch

I used very little reverb. Just a touch for the people who were sitting within 15 feet. 

I had an Audix OM3xb in my emergency car kit. 

It's very similar to an OM5. I connected that and a Composite Acoustics Cargo to the S1 Pro. I set the ToneMatch switches, checked the levels, and was ready to go in under 4 minutes.   It helped that I didn't have to find AC power.

The Cargo guitar is hot and a little bass heavy.

Composite Acoustics Cargo

I set the tone controls flat and the volume at 12:00 o'clock. 

For the microphone, I set the tone controls on the S1 Pro flat, and the volume at 2:00 o'clock. I could hear myself well enough to perform, but since I was playing solo, being able to hear myself well wasn't all that critical. 

As I started my banter and sound check, my dinner companion at a table in the opposite corner - probably 50 feet away gave me the thumbs up for the levels.

I had a fun set. It was clear that I was using my own PA sitting on the stool beside me.  I got compliments about the sound and the usual questions like, "Is all that sound coming from that little box?" 

It was good to learn that the S1 Pro works well in this setting. It was an attentive audience. If the room had been full or the audience more self-involved, I would have used the L1® Compact that I keep in the car for emergencies. But for this occasion, the S1 Pro was just right.



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Great info ST.Sometimes,just getting above a crowded bars ' noise level makes singing a lot more comfortable,not having to strain my voice on low key songs to get above crowds noise level.I play bars' from time to time acoustically,no amplification,and the S1 Pro will help in these venues.Setting the battery powered S1 on a table will be perfect.Now,I need to figure out how to clamp a boom microphone stand onto to the table I set the S1 on,it will keep the setting in these environments more natural.

Ok, here's my review after testing the S1 Pro in my living room and comparing to my modified Cube Street EX.


Firstly, it has a perfect small size to fit anywhere, and is a breeze to carry around. The controls are simple and straight forward, which can be good or bad if one likes more ins and out.

For me, I wish the 3rd input was a 1/4" jack, or better a combo input because I have little use of a 3.5mm jack input... Guess I'll need an adapter.

And I wish the output was a combo too, it's nice to have the option to go XLR out...


Now, about sound :


Playing music via Bluetooth was great, sound is deep and clear, lots of bass and fills the room well. I agree with others that the sound is best on a pole.


I tested it with my Gibson Acoustic fitted with K&K mini pickup. The sound without Tonematch on was OK, a little bassy but better out of the box than through the Roland (which is a unit firstly dedicated to electric guitars). Then I engaged the Tonematch setting for Guitars and... WOW what a sound ! Clear and natural, without the hyped mids that you can get elsewhere. It actually sounded like my guitar, and I had the feeling when playing that the sound was actually coming out from my guitar !

I used to pair my K&K with some high-quality devices to get a better sound : Sarno's Black Box (a tube buffer/impedance matcher) and sometimes a Orchid Electronics DI with a "To Amp" output. Those devices used to get me waaaay better guitar tones when going straight to the board or going into amps. But in this case, the natural tone I could get straight into the S1 with Tonematch on was the best I could get from any combination. It's a bit sad considering the price of the Black Box but it's good news for me, less gear to carry around.


Then I tested the S1 for my vocals with 2 mics : a Shure Super 55 Deluxe, and a MBHO MBD 219 SC.

The sound without the Tonematch on was Nothing crazy : a bit bassy and lacking high-end.

With Tonematch on, it was noticeably better. I didn't get that "wow" like on the guitar though. I found the preset to be trebly and lacking bass. Especially on my MBHO mic which is flatter and more natural with less proximity effect than the Super 55, there were way too much highs, and not enough bass. I could dial in more bass with the Eq, but couldn't get rid of some harshness in the highs.

In the end, I liked the results with the Super 55 more, although the MBHO is a better mic, that's a bit sad. But I guess the preset was made with SM58 style mics in head, not higher-end microphones.

I also feel like if you want a lot of vocal volume out of the S1 you'd better get an external preamp or a high output mic. 


A last world on what's annoying me the most on this unit : the REVERB ! I have to say that's a **** of a bad reverb in there, unless you like caves. It really sounds like a metallic cave, and the "first reflection" sound is waaaay too high in volume, a bit delay-like but in a bad way. Actually I can't see any use at all for this reverb, a little is already too much. And the control ain't precise because when it is too much I only used like a 1/10th of a knob turn. The 9/10th rest is useless knob space for me.

I hope Bose didn't put this reverb on the S1 just to keep the need for an external mixer if you want a good reverb... The Cube Street EX actually have a muuuuuch better reverb that I used to dial in a lot and get a big nice sound.

I would be great to be able to update the firmware and change that reverb preset, but I don't think that's the idea behind the S1.


Overall it is a great unit, that could be better with some user controls over the Tonematch and Reverb settings. Today this could be easily done via Bluetooth from a computer or phone. But it could negate the need for a T1/T4.

Had a great time with the S1 Pro at this little place. I took this picture 30 minutes before the early evening show started.

You can't tell from this picture but there are tables to the left and right. There were over thirty people there by the time things got rolling.

I turned off the house system (a pair of popular 10 x 2 speakers on stands). They sound ringy and hollow in this room. Next time I'm back in there, I'll try turning off one of the speakers. I think that will help.

I  put the S1 Pro on a high table (40") slightly behind and two feet to the side of me. The volume seemed a little low, but people at the back assured me, they could hear me fine. I was eating the mic (Audix OM3xb) and had the volume at about 2:00 pm. I was playing my Composite Acoustics Cargo. I had it set at 12:00 o'clock.  I did not use any reverb. This room all reflective surfaces and the last thing it needs is reverb.

The audience was quiet and attentive. The S1 Pro was perfect for this gig. I was singing mostly quiet, jazz-oriented ballads. 

I had the L1® Compact in the car in case the S1 Pro wasn't enough for the room. I didn't need it. 

Had a great time.



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S1 Pro for electric guitar with a band

I stopped in at a friend's gig and sat in for a few R&B, Blues and Trip-Hop/Alt-Rock songs. I used the S1 Pro for electric guitar with a Boss GT-1 to get some chunky rhythm and singing leads. It was in a small club with seating for eighty-ish. This was an experiment - The band included a bass amp and full trap kit.

I sang through the PA because I didn't want to push my luck.  I worked vocals and guitar back and forth with a fantastic female vocalist on a few songs. She needed to hear the guitar well to do this, and she could. 

I put the S1 Pro behind me on the floor between the Bassist and the Drummer so they could hear what I was doing.  To their credit, both the Drummer and Bassist were working hard to listen and support what I was doing.  I was going to put the S1 Pro on a bar stool, but in this place, the stools are padded. I pictured the S1 Pro taking a dive and hitting the floor, so I decided not to risk it.

People thirty-five feet from the stage said they could hear the guitar and that it sat well in the mix.  I was concerned that I might not get enough gain-before-feedback for the mic on this noisy stage. That's why I sang through the house PA (a couple  of twelve-inch  plus horn boxes on stands.)

From what I heard tonight, I'd be comfortable using the S1 Pro as a stage monitor with a live drum kit and bass guitar amp on stage. 


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