READ ONLINE NOW
Online
Issue 94
0

Review: Bose Professional S1 Pro+

Clever and practical, the update to the S1 Pro is a step up.

By

25 March 2024

Dr Amar Bose would be proud of the S1 Pro+ portable speaker and pleased that 10 or so years after his passing his drive to create products that are innovative and different lives on at Bose Professional. The new S1 Pro+ portable PA system is highly functional and filled with surprising and delightful features that range from practical to clever.

MODERN PROFILE

S1 Pro+ is an update to the popular Bose S1 Pro. It’s a small enclosure with a handle on top, and looks modern with the array of 3 x 2.25-inch HF drivers visible through the front grille and the prominent mixer panel down the side. The polypropylene cabinet is reinforced internally with aluminium, so while it only weighs 6.6kg it feels quite strong. Inside the cabinet is a 150W amp that powers the HF drivers and the six-inch long-throw woofer.

A three-channel mixer balances a variety of inputs with an OLED screen for each channel and an attendant multi-function knob. Channels 1 and 2 have combi XLR/jack inputs, EQ and reverb. Channel 3 can be a Bluetooth 5.0 receiver and/or a line input – they both work at the same time (the volume knob turns them both up but they can be balanced from the devices so it sort of makes it a four-channel mixer).

MULTI FORMAT

The S1 Pro+ can be pole-mounted or put on a table. The cabinet is shaped such that it can also be placed on its side like a foldback wedge for personal monitoring or rehearsing, or placed on the ground and angled up towards the audience. The S1 Pro+ senses these different orientations and automatically changes the internal EQ settings to suit. What’s more, the channel displays adjust themselves according to the speaker’s orientation so they’re legible without turning your head 90 degrees in the monitor position. Even the Bose badge on the front can be manually rotated, for those with OCD.

SOUND PLUS

The sound is surprisingly punchy and it makes a great little indoor/outdoor party speaker that will fill a room or cover the crowd around a swimming pool. The base model has a universal power supply with an IEC input. For outdoor or portable use the optional battery offers an 11-hour life before re-charging (five hours recharge) so it will last the whole party.

It moves from music playback to live performance with the other optional extras. Built into the cabinet are two slots used to house either a wireless microphone transmitter or a 1/4-inch guitar jack transmitter (order the combination you need). The receivers are built in and the transmitters’ batteries get recharged in their slots. It couldn’t be any more convenient.

The wireless capability transform the S1 Pro+ from a capable party speaker into a wireless multi-channel PA, with reverb. Performers can have a vocal channel and a guitar channel plus either a line in (keyboard, mixer etc) or stream music/tracks from their phone via Bluetooth. All wirelessly.

NEED TO KNOW

Bose Professional S1 Pro+
Portable Loudspeaker
  • PRICE

    A$995

  • CONTACT

    Bose Professional: pro.bose.com

  • PROS

    • 2 wireless channels
    • Tonematch presets
    • Battery powered
    • Versatile

  • CONS

    • ‘Hyped’ sound not for everyone

  • SUMMARY

    A versatile and clever unit that’ll find a million and one uses, from high quality busking to $2 shop spruiking to backyard party machine. A pro product with pro performance that anyone can use and get the most out of.

The microphone transmitter plugs into any dynamic mic: turn it on and it it’s ready to go, add EQ and reverb to taste. Same for the 1/4-inch guitar input. During my time with the unit, I walked around Newstead Live (folkies) with the S1 Pro+ and an SM58 approaching random street performers and giving them a go. Faces lit up when they heard the sound and saw how easy is was to use. A banjo player I always see at these events (I call him Banjo Joe) already owned a Bose S1 Pro he loves but wanted to trade it in when he saw the wireless transmitters in the Plus model. He also approved of the changes to Channel 3 – the old model was Bluetooth or 3.5mm socket only, the Plus gets an additional Line In and EQ/reverb.

SPEAKER AS ICEBREAKER

I had the S1 Pro+ at home and showed it to some visiting young people – my kids’ friends. They took to it like the proverbial duck to water, streaming the music and reading the lyrics from their phones, singing along to mostly inappropriate tracks at high volume, having a fine old time. Instant kitchen party.

Part of the appeal is the friendly sound quality – these aren’t intended to be audiophile/reference speakers, they just sound good. The exaggerated bass is comfortable and the sizzly high frequencies give it definition. Sizzly can turn to tizzy with the compressed/streamed files that pass for audio these days and vocal sibilance sounds edgy but it doesn’t matter, the kids like them and it suits their music.

The S1 Pro+ does its best work with full sounds, and live performance generally benefits from the recessed but powerful response. The proximity effect common to dynamic vocal mics gets a further emphasis from the speaker’s response, so live vocals need some LF reduction. The Tonematch presets help. The reverb is good for a touch of space or cranked for the full karaoke vibe.

The S1 Pro+ turns on and works quickly and easily but there’s depth to the functionality once you get to know it. Simple user adjustments (Bass and Treble EQ, Reverb) are made with a multi-function knob beside an OLED screen for each channel. Pushing-in the Channel 1 or Channel 2 knob for a few seconds brings up additional controls to enable/disable the Tonematch, Insert, Auto-Wireless and Expander functions. The expander is an auto-noisegate on each channel. Channel 3 is different: as well as a battery level indicator it enables/disables Live Stream Mode and Sub EQ.

Dual Wireless Streaming mode lets you stream Bluetooth audio to two compatible Bose systems at the same time in either dual mono or stereo. In the ‘clever’ category is the Insert function. If a wireless transmitter is being used the 1/4-inch TRS socket for that channel becomes an FX send/return.

The balanced Line Out XLR socket can be used to connect the S1 Pro+ output to another speaker, mixer or sub speaker.  A USB-A socket can charge your mobile device. Livestream mode turns the S1 Pro+ into an interface that connects directly to a computer and outputs the mix of the three channels. A monitor control volume (that doesn’t affect the computer recording level) is available on Channel 3. They’ve thought of everything.

As well as the wireless transmitters, optional accessories also include a backpack for wandering musicians and a play-through protective cover that will help keep it looking new – worthwhile as the polypropylene cabinet scratches up quite easily in use, especially if it’s out ’n’ about busking.

The Bose Music app can be used to control the S1 Pro+ and access the Bose Tonematch library and its set of EQ presets for a range of common microphones and instruments. The S1 Pro+ can be used with the Bose T4S and T8S Tonematch mixers by connecting them before the S1 Pro+. This gives you more channels, a range of effects, and dynamic processing. Sub EQ is a crossover function if the Line Out is going to a sub.

A-PLUS

Bose Professional already enjoys success with the larger Bose L1 line-array system and the relatively compact F1 812 flexible array portable speakers. Both of these fill bigger spaces but if the audience is less than 100 people or you’re performing on the street, the Bose S1 Pro+ is more portable and convenient.

The Bose S1 Pro+ can be used professionally for entertaining, busking, rehearsing, live performance, stage monitoring, speeches or presentations, to name a few applications. Domestically it would make an ideal Christmas present for a teenager or performing friend.

Partystarter.

RESPONSES

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More for you

Filter by
Post Page
Reviews Korg Issue 94 IK Multimedia Steinberg Dynamic Microphones Audix Issue 93 Drum Microphones Issue 92 Digital Console Yamaha Issue 91 Audio interface Zoom 500 Series SSL Wireless Microphone Systems RØDE Issue 90
Sort by
READ ONLINE NOW
Online
Issue 94