RAY'S BLIND REVIEW
Bose S1 Pro Speaker
In this day and age the key is portability in our electronic devices. We want something small yet with good sound and very functional. There are countless excellent Bluetooth speakers that sound great. These devices are great when streaming our favorite music from phones or tablets. What if you want more functions out of a portable device? We may be a professional musician or DJ that wants to either play music from an instrument or stream music from a phone, tablet or CD player. The average Bluetooth speaker can stream and have things plugged into it; however, it won’t handle the strain of a musical instrument and can’t push a large room. There are times when we need a mic plugged in to announce titles of songs etc. In many situations, you need a device that is small, but rugged enough to handle a very demanding job. Most of the systems like this are solely for professionals and are rather bulky to say the least. What if there was a system out there that could satisfy the rigors of the road in professional use, but still could be consumer friendly for the everyday person? Today in Ray‘s Blind Review, I will discuss such a device.
I am indeed privileged to be able to talk to you about the Bose S1 Pro. This is a PA system, instrument amplifier and Bluetooth speaker all rolled into one small package. It is built to be used by professionals as well as the average consumer. The S1 Pro can be used in the home as well as a fairly large public venue. We are all excited at Stereo Advantage to have this model by Bose as it is a great solution for the working DJ or musician who wants a small system to just carry with them and set up easily. The S1 Pro is also expandable as will be noted later in this review.
Now let’s get to some of the features of this incredible system. First of all, the cabinet is made of high impact plastic. It is like the plastic used in very large professional PA systems that commercial bands and DJ’s use. This can truly stand the rigors of the road as it is virtually indestructible. There is a convenient carrying handle which makes it easy to transport. The S1 Pro has a multitude of inputs. There are three channels. The first two have a 2-band equalizer and adjustable reverb. These channels have XLR inputs for either a microphone or external unpowered mixer which can be used for voice or music. The third channel has a miniature 3.5mm jack for input of a guitar, keyboard or music player. This channel also has Bluetooth capability, so streaming from your favorite device is a breeze. One touch pairing makes it a snap to connect your device via Bluetooth. There is a TRS 1/4 inch jack for connecting another S1 Pro to expand the system for larger venues. This is what I mean about expandability. You can virtually expand this system to suit any occasion. Very soon, there will be a Bose Connect App which will allow you to connect two S1 Pro’s together wirelessly without even using the TRS output jack. This is one feature of the app which is called party mode.
The S1 Pro can disperse sound in a large area. The dispersion pattern is 120 Degrees horizontally and 50 Degrees vertically. This is great for a unit of this size. Frequency response of the S1 Pro is 62HZ to 17 KHZ with plus or minus 3 DB. If you really want more bass, you can always add a sub-woofer. For most applications this isn’t even needed. The Sound Pressure Level or SPl is fantastic for this model. Sound Pressure Level is measured in DB’s one meter away from the speaker. The maximum SPL of the S1 Pro is 103 DB at one meter and 109 DB peak.
The amplifier is equally amazing as well. This unit is biamped. By this we mean that the woofer and tweeter or horn is amplified totally separately. Each boasts an 80 watt RMS amplifier. This gives the S1 Pro a total wattage of 160 Wats RMS. Remember, the term RMS is absolute true wattage. I must admit that the idea of having equal amounts of wattage going to the bass/mid and high end is a very cool idea indeed. Most PA’s have a lower amount of wattage going to the horn or tweeter, while Bose disperses it equally. The amplifiers used in the S1 Pro are class D. This means they run much cooler than conventional amplifiers and can be run for a long period of time. Class D amps use a type of switched mode power supply. When the unit is on, the power supply either switches to full power when a signal is going through it or powers down during rest cycles. This conserves energy and prevents the amplifier from getting too hot. Naturally, this system won’t push an auditorium, or outdoor stadium, but it can handle most other areas.
There are some unique features that set the Bose S1 Pro apart from any other PA system on the market today. The Bose S1 Pro has a built in Lithium Ion battery that gives you up to 11 hours of portable use. Think of the advantages of this. You can have outdoor parties or events without even needing AC power. The S1 Pro can be used anywhere any time.
Another fantastic feature is the auto EQ. As I explained earlier, the S1 Pro has a 2-band Equalizer on two of the channels. Not only can you manually adjust the Equalizer, but there are automatic equalizer functions that will further enhance the manual EQ. What sets this unit apart is the ability of it to perform an auto EQ function. This means that you can have the S1 Pro in any position, whether it is on the floor, on a table, speaker stand or on its side. The auto EQ adjusts the tone perfectly without you having to do anything. It is like having a sound engineer right there with you as Bose puts it. No more complicated adjustments using a mixing board, the auto EQ will do the work for you. Even if you are using a mixer plugged into the xlr input, the Auto EQ still comes in really handy. Many powered PA cabinets when turned on their side or on a standard speaker stand change their tonal quality. This is not so with the S1 Pro. The Auto EQ is always monitoring the situation, and with its advanced sensors keeps the speaker sounding perfect. The Auto EQ has many multiple aiming positions, so even if you are not a professional, you won’t have to worry about not getting great sound all the time. You can literally be an experienced DJ without any schooling in sound engineering. Just grab the system and go. The censors are constantly monitoring the area around you, thus always making adjustments to balance the sound to perfection.
The last unique feature I would like to discuss is a characteristic Bose calls ToneMatch. This works incredibly well when plugging an instrument or microphone into the S1 Pro. It makes instruments and vocals sound natural instead of artificial as many PA systems do. ToneMatch is like an amp modeler so to speak. You have many different systems in one with this feature. The system will sound totally different with a guitar and different with a keyboard or vocal. ToneMatch coupled with the auto EQ function always assure that you have the perfect system. No other system on the market has a ToneMatch feature built in like the Bose S1 Pro does. Many guitar players have to incorporate a separate device to make their guitar sound natural when plugging into a sound system. This is not so with the S1 Pro. It is all built in for you.
The Bose S1 Pro is the perfect system. It is fantastic for the musician, DJ or just anyone who wants a great Bluetooth speaker, instrument amplifier or public address system. It is a joy to transport as it only weighs 14.3 pounds without the battery and 15.5 pounds with the battery. The ergonomic design of the carrying handle makes it easy to grab and go. You don’t have to be a weight lifter to move this model. When I was playing professionally, I would love to have had this system for my keyboards. I would still like to get this system someday as putting my keyboards through it would sound great. I have used many PA systems as a musician, but nothing compares to the Bose S1 Pro with all of its magnificent features. Come in and experience the Bose S1 Pro for yourself. It is the answer that musicians, DJ’s and consumers have been waiting for. The S1 Pro will stand out in audio history as one of Bose’s finest breakthroughs in the world of sound. I am indeed lucky to have the opportunity to review this wonderful compact and powerful system.