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Bose L1 Compact System Reviews

4.5 stars based on 162 customer reviews
Questions about the Bose L1 Compact System?

Questions about the Bose L1 Compact System?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Matt Fawcett

    As a singer/songwriter and a live sound engineer, the Bose L1 Compact is the perfect portable PA when I play out in coffee houses. My acoustic guitar sounds crisp and clear. Balancing my guitar and vocals is simple since it serves as both the monitor and mains - I can hear exactly what the audience hears! I can concentrate more on making great music and less on how it might sound to everyone else, because I know what everyone is hearing.

  • from Monterey, VA April 29, 2017Music Background:
    vocalist, DJ

    Bose L1

    This is our second L1. My son is a DJ and I often provide music for events such as pageants, back up music at church and funerals. Not only was it on sale, but being able to pay over several months w/no interest makes this doable for almost anyone! This one small, easily portable system can fill up a small gym! With BOSE quality sound, what more could you possibly need? But the absolute best thing about Sweetwater is not a thing at all. It's the people. Always courteous, always helpful, knowledgeable and always make sure you get what you need for your application without paying for extras that you won't use.

    Thanks, Dontae!

  • from MILLSTONE TWP, NJ April 4, 2017Music Background:


    I recently purchased the Bose L1, model II with B2 bass. I can't believe the sound and the power that comes out of this unit. For years, I have been using JBL powered speakers. The Bose does the job of four JBL's....without the lifting.
    The other two members of my group also purchased the same units so we have three Bose systems, but we'll never need all three. One seems to work great. Highly recommend for vocal groups as well as musicians.

  • from Detroit area March 22, 2017

    Awesome Stuff!

    As a long time Bose guy, I was excited to add this to my collection of gear. It is incredibly simple to set up and sounds great. Outstanding service from the Sweetwater crew too!

  • from Backyard at Gruene House Concerts March 22, 2017Music Background:
    Host, supporter and listener

    Perfect for House Concerts

    We host house concerts about 10 times a year. Most of the musicians bring their own gear but some drop by or have an equipment challenge right as we are getting going. This Bose unit has long been a favorite for many of our traveling friends. It is easily moved from inside to outside and is quick to set up. I have listened to several of the compact systems and it renders the best sound without feedback. It is also a great background music machine when traveling to parks and festivals. I thought it was a good value at full price, but the sale made it undeniably the best value.

  • from Superior, Nebraska March 16, 2017Music Background:
    Guitar, Bass and Keys, Acoustic player

    Simply the Best!

    Simply the Best! The combination of Sweetwater and my new Bose L1, its love. Thanks to Kurt Martin my sales rep for all his help over the years. I love the Bose, perfect setup for my small venues. Cant wait till summer so I can set it up and jam away in some smaller settings. It is so easy to use and so versatile. It took a lot of research on which compact system to go with, the price point was of course the deciding factor but the reviews and the brand were my final decision. If you want a system that will project you voice and instrument go with this one, you wont be disappointed. A+++++

  • from Kansas City, MO March 9, 2017

    Wow! Love it!

    I received my L1 compact yesterday, put it through it's paces at home, and then took it to a gig in the afternoon. There were a multitude of people sitting within four to ten feet from the L1 and one lady had her head within two feet of the extension pole. These people seemed unaware that the L1 was a speaker. When I started to play the gig no-one complained about excessive volume levels in spite of the fact they were sitting right in front of the speaker. The sound seemed to be coming from everywhere and filled the entire room with beautiful sound. I heard myself crystal clear and I could tell that the people in the back row could hear clearly too. This Bose L1 has beautiful natural tone and is truly amazing the way it disperses the sound through the entire room! I've already fallen in love with it! Thank you Bose and thank you Sweetwater.

  • from Rochester, NY January 31, 2017Music Background:
    Part time musician

    Great piece of gear !!

    For a person playing solo gigs ... in his 60's - this unit is perfect ! Easy to use, light weight - sounds great. I recently played in a crowded, noisy bar and the Bose compact sounded great. I needed very little space to set up, used my Yamaha mixer, and dialed in a great sound for the room. The trick to these units is to eq your setup before your first gig, to get used to it a bit. But no stands, no monitors, no cables .... so nice for the small venues. And for a larger room - just add another speaker. As always - Sweetwater ships fast and on time.

  • from Egan,Louisiana January 28, 2017Music Background:

    Great Sound

    I bought the Bose L1 Compact because I heard a singer/songwriter play through one and was blown away by the sound so now I have one and couldn't be more pleased.I am planning on getting the Tonematch and another base module which would enhance the sound even more.So glad I bought this now my recording and live shows will sound better.

  • from Stanwood, Washington January 19, 2017Music Background:
    Worship Team for 30+years

    Bose L1 Compact

    The absolute best sound system I have ever heard. It replaced multiple monitors and two giant mains. I will never use anything else. If you are considering buying this system, DO IT. DON'T WAIT ANOTHER SECOND. You will never go back.

  • from December 26, 2016Music Background:

    Bose L1 Compact is CLUTCH!

    I use the L1 Compact to do wedding ceremonies or couple it up for a small venue reception. The sound quality is superb and exceptional. Bose does it again!

  • from Texas November 21, 2016Music Background:

    Bose L1 system

    Perfect for my needs. The sound is great and I love the presets.

  • from Watertown, NY November 10, 2016Music Background:
    Vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, multi-instrumentalist, writer/arranger and producer.

    Bose L1 Compact Stereo System

    I purchased two Bose L1 Compact systems from Sweetwater, and use them in stereo for my solo live performance gigs. I have used them for several years now for smaller gigs, up to audiences of 300. This past week I played a gig in Buffalo, NY, and the room and crowd were HUGE, more than twice the size of my typical audiences. I use a standard small-format eight channel mixer to drive the system and balance my inputs (I only use the Tone Match for much smaller performances). I filled that room with sound (a house technician and engineer were in the house), at slightly more than 50% of output power, and the grand ballroom was massive in size. The ability of the L1 compact to fill a room with SOUND versus decibels is amazing. Every nuance of my performance was heard throughout the venue, and the compliments from audience members and the techs confirmed what I have always known about Bose gear. I actually do have the larger L1 Model 1 system (doubled) for much larger or outdoor gigs, with multiple bass units; but my "go to" system is the Compact L1 in stereo. I also own a lot of PA gear by various manufacturers; all of it is good, but nothing compares to Bose.

  • from October 17, 2016

    Pair of Bose L1 compacts for DJ use

    I've been using two Bose l1 compacts for the last three years for DJ work with a Pioneer DM400 mixer and 2 SDJ500 CD players , plus digital music via algoriddim DJ package on my two Apple i-pads . Easy to set up , light to transport and a quality Hi Fi sound . You do have to get used to adjusting the volume as it really is just as loud at the back of the room as it is standing right next to it . If you position them wide apart you will be amazed with the level of sound they can produce . I performed at a gig for Jet Airways at a large hotel in Kensington south London for 500 people using the Bose compacts when my HK Audio Lucas system blew a channel . I was working with an act that came second in the X Factor final and the Bose performed fantastically . I also used a pair of L1 compacts at a black tie Cuban party for 500 people in a manor house near Bishop Stortford along with a 10 piece salsa band and managed to compliment the sound quality of the band and keep the dance floor buzzing during their breaks . Equally you could use the L1 compact as a hi-fi speaker in your lounge . Currently for most gigs I use two Bose L1 compacts with the new Denon MC6000 Mk 2 mixer , 2 i-pads , 2 LED moonflowers , NJD star cloth , 2 tiny lazers , smoke machine and 4 uplighters and it will fit in the boot of a sports car .

  • from Myrtle Beach, SC October 3, 2016Music Background:

    Revolutionary Piece Of Gear

    I've owned and used professionally many brands of PA systems. The Bose Line Array is superior to them all. My first was a Sure Vocal Master, then there was the Custom which was gold rolled and pleated, then the JBL Eons. All of them worked well but the Bose provides a great coverage in any situation from rooms, halls, and outside venues. I like the L1 Compact because of the weight and portability, plus ease of setup. I have recommended this unit to everyone who asked. I had an issue with one of the volume knobs which was addressed and fixed with the warranty. No shipping charges or repair cost.

  • from Vermont August 31, 2016Music Background:
    Fingerstyle guitarist since the beginning of time


    I bought the L1 Compact for my re-entry into gigging as a singer-guitarist after a long absence, and it was definitely the right choice. My dates vary — clubs with 50-100 people, outdoor bars and restaurants with similar numbers, the odd farmers' market or even church solo. The L1 Compact has never let me down.

    The main thing—absolutely crucial to my use of it and to your understanding of it—is that it's not a super-loud, blow-the-doors-off setup. It simply makes things sound as if you're standing at every table in the joint, playing at a reasonable volume. Cool, understated, crisp. There's nothing like it.

    That said, if you want it to sound its best, you need to get the T1 Tonematch unit to go with it. Amazing.

  • from West Point August 15, 2016Music Background:
    Pastor, Music Leader, Long time player

    More than 2-1/2 years of use and GOING STRONG

    I wrote a review on the L1 Compact back in December 2013. Now, more than 2-1/2 years later, I wanted to give an updated review. A.) This thing is tuff. I had it for a fairly short period of time and dropped it off of my roller cart onto a concrete sidewalk. Put some dings in it, but it still works great. I use it for music ministry in my church and nursing home ministry. It's got several scratches from frequent use and wear-and-tear, but it works fantastic. B.) This thing sounds great. I use it in small rooms and fairly large rooms and it fills every venue with full, clear sound. I used it a little over a week ago for my daughter's wedding reception. It was outside and we hooked her smartphone w/ her song listing loaded on it. There were about 75 people attending. The L1 Compact filled the air with great sound at around half volume. C.) This thing is versatile. At church, I hook my Boss DR-880 Drum Machine, TC Helicon GXT vocal processor, Taylor 314CE, Taylor 355CE, Gibson Les Paul Studio, and James Tyler Variax to it via Lehle 3 to 1 and then into my T1 Tonematch. A ONE MAN BAND. And let me tell you, without a lot of tweeking, it sounds great! It handles the electric stuff as well as the acoustic. That's why a chose it over the acoustic amps / PA's. I am very, very satisfied with the L1 Compact. I am considering another one to daisy chain with the T1 Tonematch or run stereo with a Mackie Pro FX12, for use in my church. IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT THE L1 COMPACT, SET THEM ASIDE: IT'S A WINNER!

  • from Johnstown, PA July 27, 2016Music Background:
    Solo Act singer/songwriter

    What a great piece of gear!

    I recently sold my L1 Model II and picked up this for small shows and to use as my monitor along with two F1 812's for the bigger shows. All I can say is wow. #1 what a versatile piece of equipment to be used in so many ways. All by itself with an acoustic and mic it sound amazing. As a monitor, a great back line fill and even better, not blasting in your face. I would buy another if it ever failed. Way to go Sweetwater and Bose

  • from Superior,WI July 27, 2016

    Bose L1 compact

    Alright . Now. I was a bit skeptical about the size of the compact to the full size L1. The compact is completely amazing. The sound is room filling and incredible crisp and clear with more then adequate bass. My use is for venues of 100 or so folks. Typically taverns and medium to small events. I think I could have actually got away with just one. I actually do use single compact for some events. I don't consider myself a Bose "fanboy". I do have a Bose home theatre and numerous other products yet, I use "uncolored" near field monitors for my music production. Easy to carry and move around, very lightweight.

  • from Houston Texas July 14, 2016Music Background:
    25 years

    After one year.....all is good.

    I am a 91% saxophonist / 9% vocalist. I could have purchased my L1 compact from any of the companies that sell my saxophone reeds, horns, and mouthpieces. They stock Bose and the price is matched, but it was all about the SW service experience. My recording equipment and Bose F1 will also come from SW.

    Pros: Extremely light and easy to set up... With a reverb pedal (from SW), this L1 improved my vocal 120%. It is also strong enough to accommodate my tenor and soprano saxophone voice (soloing or with a nasty band).. All of the accessories plugs and volume adjustments make it extremely easy to find your A-spot. Perfect for my smaller gigs.

    Cons: None. This unit was not designed for my intended use, but does a great job.

  • from Southern California June 17, 2016Music Background:
    Professional solo artist


    To keep it simple. You will never play acoustic guitar and sing out of another amp. Well you might but you won't like them. 1. Portability. 2. Huge quality sound. 3. Its not like speakers on stands that blow you away in front of them and sound good a half mile away. I have played some big rooms and outdoors gigs with it. People can eat dinner and talk in front of you and you can be heard in all corners of the room and 180 degrees outside. It sounds fine with out the cheesy effects. But if you have a reverb pedal and vocal processor of sorts you will be amazing. With the stovepipe fully extended its like a wall of amazing sound. I have used it with just the bottom unit also like a regular amp in small settings.

  • from June 9, 2016

    L1 Compact

    Excellent system!

  • from Colorado Springs, CO May 31, 2016Music Background:
    Performance/Music Education


    Quick setup, instant sound perfection! A fabulous pairing for my Tyros 5 and Kurzweil PC3x in my home studio and for performance! Quality sound from top to bottom! The reproduction of the timbres is rich and full, and that's without any added outboard eq or mixing. Plenty of power for my needs, yes, but more importantly the presence of sound at all levels is amazing! The sound is clear --- and no noise, no hum. Just a pure, delightful sound I have been missing from putting off buying the Bose array. And yes, I bought a pair, which was well worth it for the added dimension you get in sound. I wondered how well this would work both near-field and in performance venues, since my space at home is small with a low ceiling. That was a quandry I had in choosing equipment .... a different set up for each need, or were the reviews, comments and recommendations on the Bose L1 right? Well, I'm hard to please, and for me I couldn't be happier knowing I found THE solution for both. I have no regrets. What a great "sound" investment for my needs! I wish this technology had been available when I was in teaching, both band and choir. For that, the L2's would have been my choice. The setup would have been so much easier than lugging around 18" PA's, monitors, stands, cables, etc., and the sound in the classrooms, stages, and performances out and about would have been so much more adequate, fully heard by everyone in the audience. Sound check and ambient sound would have been problem free, not to mention the entire system would have been so much lighter and simpler to load and carry. If you're in show choirs, lab bands, groups, even sound repo in classrooms, you need to take a serious look at the Bose line. It'll save you a bunch of rehearsal room space and you may find you don't need the monitors anymore.

    Sweetwater and Kenny Bergle have always delivered only the best products, solutions, and advice since I've known them! I've worked with Kenny and his team for decades since I believe the eighties, in professional performance and in music education (now retired). Never disappointed, expert advice, great great products, superior customer service. Thanks guys for the years of trust and friendship!

  • from May 30, 2016

    Bose Compact....

    I own Two L1 Type IIs....I bought this to fly to some shows....I didn't really think it could do what the L1s do and it doesn't but it comes close. I use this with a Mackie DLM 112 and together it sounds pretty frickin awesome. I get some of the nice low end that is missing from the L1 compact from the Mackie and together it is magic......

    The L1 is an amazing system Dr Bose was a genius....it is not a one size fits all but used correctly this is a miracle system.....

    Moon Dog

  • from Canaan Vermont April 11, 2016Music Background:
    Rock bands, Church, Restaurants, coffee houses, playing for friends. This is a decending order but this system might make me do a 180. Love BOSE always have always will....

    Man of few words

    Wow...I never knew what it would be like to have my stuck head inside of my guitar... until now!!!!. No BS here, BS is just not who I am...

    Footnote: I you don't like how your guitar sounds through this system then buy a better guitar

  • from Binghamton, NY April 5, 2016Music Background:
    Home Recording Musician

    Go for it!

    After much research and very helpful assistance from the Sweetwater Rep, I bought TWO L1 Compacts! I needed both for stereo panning effects. I think about how great they are everytime I turn them on and I'm glad if I spent extra for them because they are so important to me.

    I don't have much experience with PA systems in the field, but I feel Bose PA Systems have a stable look when many other systems look top-heavy and scary. I can imagine many other PA systems falling over in the wind and hitting the ground with incredible force. They look like large boxes (with wires) balanced on thin metal tripods that block your view and need to be on solid level ground or they will sink into any kind of soft surface and you must keep people away.

    But Bose systems look bottom-heavy and if they somehow fall over it probably wouldn't be that bad anyway! Having 2 is much louder than I need right now, which is the way it should be!

    I use them at close quarters without the extensions and they are nearly silent when not in use. The only sound I hear comes from the signal! I have a power filter, so that might help.

    THE ONLY THING I DO NOT LIKE about the Bose L1 Compact is the included power cord. The power cord is made of a very hard plastic that is not very flexible. The cord is probably about 6 feet or so, but it comes tightly wrapped and when you try to straighten it out it looks like this: NNNN. So that makes it seem even shorter. I put them in my dishwasher and the heat may have helped me stretch them out but they need to be longer anyway. So I purchased 25ft power cords for both of them and I hope that doesn't affect the sound in any way.

  • from March 30, 2016

    Bose l1 compact

    I bought the Bose L1 and it puts out amazing sounds from music from my iPod to hooking my guitar and microphone up to it. It is an awesome product!

  • from Pennsylvaina March 26, 2016Music Background:


    I was tired of lugging my big speakers around and finally took the financial plunge (48 month 0%financeing). I had played through one before and loved the sound, my worry was an open mic I host in a huge room full of noisy people. The Bose compact did wonderful and all my musician friends couldn't believe all the sound and volume was coming from a stick. Even the bass guitar sounded awesome and full plugged into a small behringer mixer (no DI box). While someone else played I walked to the other end of the establishment to see how the sound was and it carried very well. No more lugging big speakers!

  • from Huntington, IN January 6, 2016Music Background:
    Piano Teacher and gigging musician.

    Bose L1 Compact

    One of the best musical purchases I have ever made. As a one man band in and out of a lot of nursing homes and retirement communities I was looking for something lighter and easier on my aging back. I have read a lot of reviews and comments on the music forums, pros and cons, and decided to take the plunge. I am glad I did as it has far exceeded my expectations. I have used it in both large and small venues, packed with people, and my arranger keyboard and vocals have never sounded better. It sounds just as good at lower volume as higher volume and I can always hear myself. I usually stand and place it slightly to the right and behind me. I did not purchase the Tone Match, and at first used a small mixer, but after experimenting I decided I do not even need that. Just adjusting the built in eq from my keyboard sounds great. Is it the best system for any type gig? No, and I have a variety of speakers and amps for any type of gig. For my purposes though, I am blown away with the L1 Compact, and I am extremely picky about my sound.

  • from Chesterfield, VA January 6, 2016

    A Pair of Bose L1 Compact Excellent for Stereo Sound System

    Initially bought one of this excellent unit, then I decided one is not enough so I purchased one more plus a subwoofer to complete a stereo sound system. The piano sound of the Yamaha Tyros 5 keyboard ( purchased from Sweetwater of course) sounded better with the stereo setup as they are sampled in stereo. The Acoustic Guitar of the keyboard sound like the real thing. My 6 year old daughter said that I am playing a guitar on a keyboard.
    I tried doing a saxophone Kenny G style masterpiece "Forever In Love" and my oh my! ...my wife said am I playing a CD? We are blown away by the sound system. I admit I have an expensive hobby but Sweetwater made it easy to have your dreams materialized due to their affordable pricing and io

  • from 26105 December 16, 2015

    great unit

    This is one super compact unit. I was worried that a unit so light would sacrifice sound quality, but it's perfect for small venues. It's also unbelievable that I can plug an acoustic and mic at the same time and both sound great.

  • from Eastern Nebraska December 15, 2015Music Background:
    Hobby performer -- a dozen gigs per year.

    Bose L1 Compact

    Still the easiest, lightest, quickest, and effective PA on the market for small gigs (coffee shops, etc). It is a great system to set up and even greater to take down after a long evening. It covers a room of 100 - 125 people with no problem. Amazing how balanced the sound is without blowing away the front row.
    Singer/Songwriter with guitar accompaniment is the usual. Sometimes, we have back-up singers and on those occasions we use the ToneMatch Mixer.

  • from Augusta Maine November 13, 2015


    Jeff Law ! You haven't failed me in over 30 years! Just picked up 2 sets of these (I love a stereo sound ) expectations were not any where where they ended...THESE SOUND INCREDIBLE !!!! running a Mackie PRO x8 with it what head room what tone just wow ! It all the order 5 packages arrived faster than I could hang up well, you know what I mean FASSSSSST! FREEBEE SHIPPING
    Thank you so much !

  • from Cary, NC October 18, 2015Music Background:
    Weekend warrior

    Perfedt for an acoustic act

    I have an acoustic/electric trio, with a female singer and two guitar players (one of them is me). We go through a Tonematch. I play an Taylor T5 and the other player plays a dreadnought through a Fishman DI box. We play mostly in small clubs with around 75-120 noisy people. With the L1 volume about 1/2-way up and our Tonematch channel volumes around 1 o'clock, and its master volume around 1 o'clock, we are plenty loud enough for all to hear without blasting everyone out. The sound is simply amazing - clear and crisp. I always get asked "where's your PA?" and when I point them to the L1 they're simply amazed. It takes me 30mins to setup and tear down, and can carry all our equipment in two trips by myself, or 1 trip with my band members' help.

  • from Atlanta October 6, 2015Music Background:
    30+ years experience

    Game Changer

    When I purchased the Bose L1 Compact, it was principally to replace the 45+ lb PA speaker and pole I was using for my solo gigs. I had every intention of continuing to mic my guitar amp into my mixer and then send it to the L1 just as I had done with my old PA speaker. But then I decided to experiment a bit. Of course the L1 sounded great with my acoustic and archtop (as can be inferred from the Bose ads for the L1), so I decided to give my electric guitars a shot. Running a Strat and PRS (w/ dual humbuckers) through a pedal board (w/ wah, OD, delay, chorus and reverb) into the L1 sounds way better than expected. Will the L1 replace an amp/PA set up if you're playing with a full band? Probably not. But if you're playing solo or in a duo, this thing capably replaces your amp and PA. I was -- and still am -- truly amazed at its capability and don't know why Bose doesn't tout the L1's capability with electric guitars. Granted, if you're playing metal, this won't cut it; but it is great for jazz, blues, rock and country. Another amazing thing about the L1 is its projection capability. Most places I play are small to medium restaurants and bars that hold about 40-100 people -- typically with about 30-70 people in attendance on a typical night. But I used the L1 at one of the larger places I play (this place is truly cavernous and holds well over 100 people) and I spoke with several of the staff there who were amazed at how well the L1 projected and sounded in such a big venue.

  • from Texaqs July 28, 2015Music Background:
    Professional musician

    Best portable PA ever...

    I'm just amazed at the versatility of the Bose L1. I've been a professional musician for nearly 40 years, and have used countless different PA systems, always going under the assumption that bigger is always better. Bose has completely changed my perception about PA systems. I bought this Bose system partially to use for solo performances, and also to add to the Bose system that my working band uses. We now have two small Bose L1 systems, and one larger Bose system with two bass cabs, all of which can be transported and set up in about 10 -15 minutes. There are very few venues in which this system needs to be supplemented - mainly for anything larger than 500 seats we will add two larger mains and use the Bose as monitors and supplementary sound reinforcement. For solo venues it is incomparable - I can carry everything in one trip, and it sounds better than anything else I have every used. Setup is less than 5 minutes, and it is ready to go. If you play professionally you can't go wrong with this system, especially if you are a solo performer. Give one a try - it is worth the extra expense!

  • from Burlington, Ct July 28, 2015Music Background:

    Bose believer

    I was a sceptic to the array idea. I'm not anymore, many compliments on the tone, & especially comfortable volume levels- no more loud in front, indiscernible in back- from the L1C. I'm also set up in less than 5 minutes, it'd be 3 if not for my guitar pedal board (hardly Bose's fault ;) it says 130 watts. But that 130 filled a packed 1000 sq ft room with happy sound Friday night in Litchfield, Ct.

    The sound is slightly scooped & clean. Not forgiving of mistakes, which is positive- it keeps you on your game, no mailing it in with this clear system. Great bass for such little wattage. Very pleased

  • from PORT ST LUCIE, FL July 27, 2015Music Background:





  • from Canada July 21, 2015Music Background:
    Musician - Guitar

    Tremendous Piece of Gear

    I use it for acoustic gigs and for DJ work. For larger venues I add a 200 watt powered subwoofer and the Bose unit splits the signal correctly so the sub handles all of the lower frequencies, while the Bose handles the mids and high frequencies. I can fill a pretty big room with that small PA setup and the sound quality is fantastic. I would highly recommend spending the extra money and buying the Bose mixer to go with the unit ...... it adds a boatload of sound and connectivity options. Like most Bose products it's overpriced, but there's really nothing that compares with it in terms of quality and portability.

  • from Oklahoma June 28, 2015Music Background:

    Blown Away with Bose!

    I have had the Bose L1 for two years now that I bought from Sweetwater and I mainly use it for acoustic gigs. This thing is AMAZING in everyway! I run my acoustic through a small Behringer 1202 FX mixer that is relatively inexpensive and comes with 100 effects on board. I found that the reverb 3 works the best for ALL the vocals, acoustics, fiddles, and anything as far as that goes. The Behringer 1202 fx is absolutely amazing to run everything through it first and it is a 12 channel mixer as well. Just make sure you use a tip ring sleeve chord coming out of your mixer going into your Bose L1 and set it to the Line Level. It will blow you away! I have been wanting to get another one for awhile and I am finally taking the plunge. My salesman Bob Furlong always takes care of me and he found that the Bose had the 10% off and it fell on a week of a 36 month financing. I can't wait to hear what two of these a going to sound like. One is amazing and two should be MIND BLOWING! I mainly needed another one just to cover more area and the option to run stereo if I ever need it. Just wanted to send this post to let you know that you will NOT be disapointed in anyway buying one of these. Better yet, buy two! Sweetwater is amazing and so are the sales people there.

  • from AZ June 26, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Musician for several years

    Great Company to do business with!

    I've purchased other music related products from Sweetwater and as always the price is competitive, in stock, fast delivery, and great follow up by staff members.

  • from June 4, 2015

    bose box

    Dr. Bose has done it again. this unit makes even a beginner like me sound like a pro. set-up is super simple and the unit sounds like you have twice as much gear on the stage than you really do.

  • from Janesville, WI May 14, 2015Music Background:
    Weekend performer

    Buy It

    I am a singer/guitar player and this unit is my best gear purchase ever! I have used it in compact form for house parties of 10- 30 people and it is awesome with natural sound to be heard clearly, but without excessive volume ... you, only louder. I have used it for about an 80 person outdoor church service and did not push it at all ... sounded excellent ... I have used it as the monitor for a small band that was using a rather poor main PA ... made everything sound fantastic! It may not be cheap, but it is well worth it. A second one could be in my future. :@)

  • from April 21, 2015

    Bose L1 Compact Speaker System

    It is exactly what we needed for our small church! Combined with the outstanding service and price from Sweetwater...well it just doesn't get any better. Thank you!!

  • from April 15, 2015

    Now I'm Spoiled

    I could not be happier with my purchase. Picked up the L1 about 8 months ago and have been experimenting with my wife's violin setup using the L1. We happened to get the LR Baggs pickup installed on her acoustic around the time we picked up this amp. So we rushed home to test out the new pickup with our L1 and it was buttery. But what is a string instrument without reverb? So naturally we added a quality pedal to the chain and we were just blow away. Deep, lush, rich, and crisp notes just poured from our favorite new toy, the L1. Can't imagine another setup sounding better than what we are using now. Huge fan! Thanks Bose!

  • from Rushville Illinois April 6, 2015Music Background:
    Southern Gospel Music

    My Bose - L1

    Have only used about 5 times, I use it to sing at Nursing Homes and it is awesome I use it with my I-pad and Mic. and can carry everything in at one time at the Nursing Homes I don't use the towers. but have used it in Church at one Concert and it can't be beat simply love it Thanks

  • from Fishers,in March 12, 2015

    Just what I wanted

    My wife is starting a new band and we wanted something light, would fit in the car and easy to set-up. The bose compact met those needs and sounds great. We are coming back to buy lighting and to add another compact for our larger venues.

  • from United States February 23, 2015Music Background:

    bose l1 satisfaction

    I am so happy I made this choice! And sweetwater costumers care are simply excelent! With you guys for a long time! thank you !

  • from Atlanta, GA February 22, 2015Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Bose L1 Compact

    This Bose L1 Compact excels in what it is designed for. I play solo acoustic gigs around town every week. Usually restaurants or private parties. Load in/out is hassle free. I depend on the unit as is, without any outboard mixer or effects processor. I'm confident that the engineers at Bose designed the Compact with everything it needs and nothing else! I Always prefer "natural" room reverb when I play. No external toys for me thanks. I use a Taylor GS mini with pickup installed, a Sennheiser E-935 mic (All from Sean at Sweetwater). That's all I need. I received my Bose, played it at home for a few days with both channels volume set at 12 o'clock. Sounded fabulous to me. I got to my first gig, set up and the manager quickly asked me to turn it down a little. After my first set I was asked to play every Friday! And my biggest concern was if this thing had enough volume. No worries! I love this PA and can't wait to play next week. Thanks Sean Geyer at Sweetwater.

  • from Atlanta, GA February 4, 2015Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Guitarist/Engineer/Producer

    A New Bose-O

    My wife recently purchased an L1 Compact for me after seeing me load in and out with my former PA and rack full of effects. I couple it with a Yamaha MG10XU mixer for added inputs and built in effects. It sounds AMAZING! Perfect for my acoustic trio's coffeehouse and wine bar gigs. Load in with one trip, set up in under 15 mins, and enjoy crystal clear sound with no feedback or monitors. Venue owners love it too...not too loud yet covers evenly. Audiences of 100 is about the capacity so know what you're getting. Pricey but worth every penny in positive feedback.

  • from Portland, Oregon January 27, 2015Music Background:
    professional musician 45 yrs experience performing

    The L1 Compact.....

    This system takes all the guesswork out of 'set up', for the musician that doesn't need to mess with sound! I'm completely blown away with this system! I play a solo acoustic /vocal performance and use an 8 channel mixer, just for added effects. Most of the time, I don't need anything else! The tonematch feature blends acoustic guitar and vocal perfectly!!! I easily covered a 300 crowd gig just fine!... Well worth the money!... perfect set up...

  • from Vermont January 8, 2015Music Background:
    Musician & Producer

    Great for smaller spaces

    This is easy to set up and sounds great. I bought it with the T1 to mic vocals for band use in rehearsal space and small venues. It's literally plug & play, couldn't be simpler and the sound is solid. The variable height (2, 1, or 0 extensions) is pretty cool. And the 1/8" line in has been used constantly, both to share demos/material from other devices, and at a New Year's bash, where people DJed stuff from their phones. Great buy and a reasonable price point.

  • from sanford, FL December 15, 2014Music Background:
    Professional singer, saxophone, guitar, piano.

    Super great product

    It's a Bose and I bose about it.
    When I use it in public people always comment how good and clear it sounds.

  • from United States December 10, 2014Music Background:
    Rock band Guitarist, and Home Recording Studio

    Bose L1 Compact

    I am very impressed with The Bose L1 compact in sound Quality and
    Portability.I use it with a Yamaha mixer and this allows me more mics. Its
    great for small venue performances. And for outstanding Karaoke at home. My Martin Acoustic Guitar sounds Fantastic and my neighbors all
    want one.Sweetwater with the 24 month payment plan and the fast delivery, " Can Life get any better".

  • from NJ November 20, 2014Music Background:
    Coffee Shop (someda

    Simply Amaizing

    This System delivers Everything that promise, is simply an outstanding piece of gear, if your gig is in a small venue, this is only wath you need t get the audience going. Very portable, plug and play!

  • from Moultonborough July 22, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, performer, recording studio owner, television producer

    Great Little PA for Acoustic Music

    I do an acoustic single, with a couple of friends backing me up from time to time. A good PA is important to me. I have been using JBL Eons for the past 2 years, and love the way they sound, but my roadie (aka, my wife) has been complaining about how much they weigh.

    Some friends were using the L1 for their duo. Went to hear them and was impressed with the sound, and very impressed with the size and weight. These went on sale last month and decided give it a try.

    First gig was a small coffehouse. With my wife's help we carried everything in effortlessly in one trip. I plugged in an SM-58 and my Martin with a Fishman pickup directly into the Bose. Set up and ready to play on 2 minutes (as opposed to about 20 minutes with the JBLs), The sound was excellent, and, with the 180 degree dispersion there was no need for a monitor.

    Last Sunday I played a bigger venue. Brought along a small Behringer mixer and ran a vocal mic and a guitar mic into the line input on the Bose. This allowed me to add some reverb to the mix and adjust EQ to my tastes. In a word, WOW! Clean, crisp sound, and again, no need for a monitor. I could hear everything perfectly. My guitars, a 91 Martin D-45 and a 61 Gibson B-45-12, miced with an SM-58, sounded great!

    The Bose is very expensive, but it is worth the extra money. The built in EQ for mic and guitar inputs is rather trebley, but not offensive. When used with a mixer through the line in the Bose EQ is bypassed, and it sounds wonderful. The extra high end really keeps the sound clean and easy to hear, and using a mixer allows you to add reverb and adjust the EQ to your taste, features that are sadly lacking in the Bose L1.

    Bottom line... Don't let the size fool you. This is a serious PA system. While it will work well on it's own, you should use it with a small mixer for the best results. It is light weight and easy to carry, It puts out more than enough volume, the sound is full and clean, and it disperses evenly. It even works well in moderate sized outdoor gigs. If you can afford it, buy it!

  • from Dallas, TX USA July 18, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    This little box packs so much sound into a light weight package, I was really impressed with the wide sound coverage. It's perfect for a singer with an instrument, but my act is two guitars and no mic. I used a little Xenyx mixer and a reverb pedal to submix, plugged into the RCA jacks and this rig sounds awesome. Plenty of power. I used it in a club that holds 200 people - no monitors or extra support - and everyone was happy with the sound level. The sound just seems to come from everywhere, so you don't have that directional volume issue that most speakers have. Carrying the PA in one hand is such a luxury! Bonus - this thing is a great poolside boom box when I'm not gigging. Hook up an iPod and it can easily provide full sounding party music to a large or small area with no hassles. The versatile selection of inputs and outputs is useful and convenient. I love it.

  • from Houston, TX July 11, 2014Music Background:

    Bose rocks!

    This is a no-brainer choice. It's portable, elegant and sounds great. It's pricey compared to other products, yes, but it's all about the sound quality. Glad I was able to buy this at 10% discount.

  • from Chas., WV July 3, 2014Music Background:

    Just Incredible

    I have two L1 Compacts and the ToneMatch Mixer. For all practical purposes, if you are a live-performance singer/songwriter, the Bose L1 Compact system is all you will ever need. No other portable sound system comes close.

  • from Keene, NH USA July 2, 2014Music Background:
    Singer/guitarist/Dance instructor 30+ years

    Versatile with great sound

    Bought this for a fitness/dance studio that my wife and I run. Space is 1000 square feet, teach Zumba, Latin, Ballroom, Swing, and other fitness modalities. Inputs for iPod/mp3 work great, sound very even. Usually run device at 3/4 volume and Bose at a 1/2 or less. No wires or speakers mounted anywhere is nice. We can move it if needed, but haven't had to. Use it 6 days/week, have had it just over a month thrilled. Bonus if I want to play out solo singer/songwriter works great with my Shure mic & Taylor gtrs.

  • from Kaneohe , Hawaii June 16, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar ,Ukulele teacher- Musician

    Bose L 1 Compact ROCKS!!!!!

    Best investment for my solo gigs HANDS DOWN!

  • from Rochester, NY June 10, 2014Music Background:
    Disc Jockey

    Best buy I have made in years

    Best buy I made in years, Comments from everyone on the quality and clarity where ever I go and use it. No more speakers or stands to carry amazing

  • from Bisbee, AZ May 27, 2014Music Background:


    My wife and I got this, because a friend of ours told us this was the bomb...(Klyph Black, of the Zen Tricksters). He was correct.

    We play in a sixties cover band, plus just got several gigs doing a two person "coffee house" gig. She plays bass, I play Guitar, and we both sing. We got the Tone Match so we could plug everything in...

    Results = Over the top! Takes some getting used to...it is very clear, and behind you (if you are used to monitors...sell them).

    That said, we are using it for or electric band as well, just as a PA. When we play bars w/o a sound system (and they are small). So far so good. If we need maore volume for those situations, I figure you can just get a couple of powered speakers and run a feed to them...

    Hope this helps...

  • from Austin Texas May 14, 2014Music Background:

    Simply Love It

    It's just fantastic….. For indoor and/or enclosed spaces it's simply perfect. Outdoors it loses it's punch a little - but still isn't bad by any means.

    We use this for an acoustic duo and in most situation pair it with a QSC K12. The two work fantastic together. We are also using the T1 ToneMatch which I must say is a remarkable little piece of technology.

    Now with all of that said, this isn't a Concert PA System. Think of it this way - if a standard 12 - 15 inch powered speaker isn't big enough for the job, this most likely won't be either. What this gives you is a higher quality of sound and a better, more evenly and wider dispersion.

    Small Show + Small Space you'll very likely be fine with just one Bose L1 Compact. Get into a larger space with high head counts you're going to need something to help the L1 Compact… Common sense and some time spent learning this unit - I think you'll love it as well….

  • from Crossville, Tennessee April 21, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician & entertainer.

    Bose L1Compact

    The L1 is typical Bose Quality. Every thing works as stated. The cover and carrying case are a real help. Thank you for that.
    Ed, my sales rep is really a great help, knowledgeable and friendly.
    As always, it is a pleasure to do business with Sweetwater.
    Thanks, and God bless you folks.

  • from Danville, PA USA April 11, 2014Music Background:

    DOn't let the size fool you!

    Took my Bose L1 Compact out of the box and played a gig at a small craft brewery and was amazed by its coverage. I have been a Bose user for years and had the Bose L1 Model II with me just in case but this thing kicks butt so it will be my go to system for all of my smaller venues. I was running a TC Helicon VoiceLive 3 through it and had no problems.

  • from Thousand Oaks, CA. 91360 April 9, 2014Music Background:


    I was concerned about the L1 being able to project in a very large auditorium. Boy was I "blown away". It accomplished what I expected and much,much more. Many people in the audience wanted to know where the music was coming from. They remarked that the music sounded as if they were in a Las Vegas show.

  • from Holden, LA March 19, 2014

    Bose L1 Compacts

    I was looking for a lite portable PA system to replace my old heavy weights and monitors. With my Tyros4 keyboard I'm able to gen both keyboard and mic stereo sound for my "one man band" playing blues and swamp pop with a little country thrown in. Wow, did the L1's fill the bill. I purchased a pair, and the sounds coming from the keyboard are distinct and clear. The horns and vocals are crystal. Sweetwater did a great job to ship timely and had a 30 day return policy if not satisfied.

  • from Fort Wayne, Indiana USA February 4, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Excellent portable PA system

    I haven't incorperated it in the band as of yet . We are still testing with it. to see how we want to set it up for our use. We are tying it in to a 12 channel mixer. We will be looking for another one to string the two together to get the sterio sound and having different sound bouncing from one side to the other. So far we are happy with this technology.

  • from Suisun City, CA February 2, 2014Music Background:

    Best Sounding PA Compact System

    Our band uses this Bose L1 compact system and I have to buy one for my own use. The system is lightweight and easy to use. I have always loved Bose speakers ever since I have known it. Don't waste your time buying other system. Buy the best. BOSE

  • from Brandon Florida USA January 9, 2014Music Background:
    Trumpet player

    Excellent sounds Great

    I have been playing trumpet for the past 3 years after quitting approx. 47 years ago. I have been doing nursing homes gigs. I must say they are a lot of fun and the residents love it, especially when you play Elvis songs. I would love to have the T1 to control Highs and Lows in my background music, but since I am not a pro and not paid for my gigs I will forgo. Great piece of gear, will be easier set up than my old system which was also great.

  • from Shelbyville, KY December 30, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Tune down two and relax.

    I can't say enough good things about the fidelity of the L1 Compact p.a.
    I perform in small room venues with vocal and acoustic electric guitars with the elevated set up. I sing through a Shure SM 58. I play finger style slide on a solid body National Resolectric tuned two steps down to open C and F. I also play finger style on an Ovation Elite tuned normally.
    The light weight transport, quick set up and minimal adjustment allow me to relax before and after the gigs.

  • from United States December 12, 2013Music Background:
    Pastor, worship leader

    Really Enjoy this L1 Compact

    This system is wonderful! It gives great coverage and really natural sound. It sounds like I do, only louder. I know that that sounds peculiar, but that's the best description of its natural reproduction. I pastor a small rural church. Our sanctuary seats about 100 (about 60' x 40'). Using a Line 6 XDV-55 wireless headset system, I was able to walk around the entire room to check sound and coverage. It sounded the same in the farthest corners as it did sitting right next to it. However, don't be fooled by the clarity. It can put out some volume. I had it turned up to about a click or two off of 1/2 volume and my wife complained that it was too loud (she sits towards the back). Its portability is fantastic and its use is simple. I purchased the T1 Tonematch too, so I haven't used it on its own. But so far (about a month or so using it more than 1/2 dozen times) IT IS A WINNER! I waited to get it with the 10% off and used the 24 month interest-free financing.

  • from New Britain, CT October 4, 2013Music Background:
    Worship Music Ministry singer songwriter

    Best ever PA System!

    Best ever PA System. The sound is clear and clean and perfect! Not only is the sound beautiful but setting up is a big plus. I used mine at a concert I gave last week and I just so loved this new PA System. The Bose L1 Compact from SweetWater's is for me, and the only way to go! Thank you Bose!!! Thank you Sweetwater!!!

  • from Connersville, IN USA September 23, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    I purchased the L1 Compact for shows as a solo jazz guitarist and singer. I am also the worship leader at my church and have used it twice during service. We are running our drums, bass, piano, keyboard, guitars, and all vocalists through a mixing board and into the L1 compact with no other speaker configurations or monitors. It is nothing short of astounding. It sounds better than our large speaker configurations and works much better than floor monitors. The worship band and congregation have raved about how much better everything sounds.

  • from TX, USA September 3, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, 4,000+ professional gigs


    A few months ago, I was contacted by a good friend to play for his wedding. He told me it would be a small event (about 100 people) and quite low-key. He wanted me to play for cocktails and dinner, and was hiring a DJ for the rest of the evening.

    I showed up at the civic center with my equipment on the date of the wedding, and realized that he had rented a 12,000 square foot ballroom, with a 2300 square foot stage. The wedding attendance was going to be 200 people. As I was finishing my setup, the DJ (with four large helpers) started setting up a huge system with enormous speakers and subs.

    My system? Keyboard, mic and two L1 Compact systems.

    The attendance was predominently Hispanic, and unknown to me, the Groom had asked the DJ to alternate some Latin favorites along with the songlist he had provided me for cocktails.

    For one hour of cocktails, I alternated my system with the huge DJ system. The Bose, despite looking like toothpicks compared to the behemoth DJ system, not only held its own, but (to me at least) sounded cleaner and fuller.

    I have a large system with subs and speakers and stands that I would have used had I known the event was going to be as large as it was. All that stuff will be sold on Craig's List. I simply don't need it!

    I will keep my small subwoofer, for a little extra bottom punch, but the Bose are now permanently my go-to speakers.

    One is good, two are great! I've had nothing but compliments on these, and their performance is also reflected in consistently higher tips at my regular venues. They are worth every penny!

  • from United States July 22, 2013Music Background:
    Pro musician, vocalist, guitar, drums, recording engineer.


    I used this out for the first time yesterday. In a church fellowship hall setting. Very large room, high ceiling. This was at a banquet. I took my Digitech Vocalist along , along with a 12 channel Behringer mixer ,wound up not using either, only the third time I'd even set it up. Not really knowing what to expect. I thought would try it just straight, no effects, just my Shure Beta 58. It took about four minutes to get used to hearing what I was singing . Like singing in the shower. You can hear every nuance of your voice, even better than any wedges or even in ear monitors I have ever used. Just pure clean sound. Same goes for my Takamine, just plug and play. Great sound , quickest set up I've ever had.. I guess you can imagine that I like it. And not just me. When I got through singing I had a throng of people saying that everything sounded wonderful. My wife walked to back of the room , probably at least 80 foot away and said the volume was the same wherever she went , not much difference from right in front, to the sides , to the back, this system does everything it says it will do and more.

  • from Ogden, Ut. USA July 12, 2013Music Background:
    Semi Pro Musician, Western Swing Fiddle, 5 strg Mandolin & Lead Guitar.

    Bose L1 Compact Incredible

    For a 75 year old guy who has been packing around huge amps & PA
    Systems since I was 14, the Bose L1 Compact is absolutely incredible.
    It is an answer prayers. I am not only thrilled with it's light wt. and ease
    of handling, but the output for such small speakers is unbelievable.
    Thank you for making such a great PA for both vocal and instrument.
    Your Bose friend forever, Gary E. Huckaby

  • from ann arbor mi July 4, 2013Music Background:
    professional performer - composer - music teacher

    No thinking - buying!

    I am often exited to get new gear and often I get something what is in the end not so exiting like expected. And a few times in my 25 years of professional music making I get something what is a life changer. this is the best thing I have ever used to amplify my classical guitar / acoustic steelstring or electric. .... I have used high quality acoustic amps in different variations and especially the classic guitar was always a big challange to get it right for a gig. These days are over. How the other guys here are saying. There is not one performence where the people are not telling me how good this sound. But more important is, that I have this nice sound for myself brings my playing to a new level.... I enjoy playing so much and I play differently now, because every dynamic change get reflected so nicely that I keep trying different nuances to enhance my outcome. I have only one l1 compact yet and I am looking forward to get a second one so that I can play stereo out. I think this will push it again to another level and experience.
    Conclusion after 2 month using it! I can't stop praying to people how good this is and I would be a great sell person because I am really exited.

  • from Lakeland, FL USA June 5, 2013

    Bose L1 Compact and T1 ToneMatch Solution

    For small gigs, this setup is completely amazing. I used for a beach wedding of 60 including the reception after three days after I received it, and I was blown away by the simplicity of transport and setup combined with the superior sound quality. This is particularly great for musicians that are not good audio engineers.

  • from Crofton, MD May 14, 2013Music Background:

    Love it

    Tired of not hearing what the audience hears? Get a Bose PA! Want your voice to sound more like it does in your head? Get a Bose! Incredibly easy to set up, light weight, and you can't beat the sound. If you get the T1 ToneMatch to go with the L1 Compact, you also need to buy the "optional" power chord. The L1 Model I and Model II provide power for the T1 without needing the chord, but you can't use the T1 with the L1 Compact without adding the T1 power chord.

  • from Northern MI May 7, 2013Music Background:
    Live sound. Pro Am musician. Home recordist.

    Just got one (5/13)

    Crystal clear and excellent sound. Just right for an acoustic guitar and vocal. You hear what the audience hears. You have complete control of your sound.

    I have run sound for the bands I have played in for years. This is the best, simplest, coolest rig I have ever used. Quick setup. Quick tear down. Easy transport.

    I am ordering a Bose Tonematch to use as a mixer for our trio. URB, guitar and mandolin/banjo with vocals. And, to be able to mic my guitar when I play alone.

    I really like it. Well worth the money. And, you get Sweetwater. What a deal! If you get one you will love it if you care about quality sound.

  • from Alabama March 27, 2013Music Background:
    hobbyist, musician

    Two years and still amazing

    I've had my L1 compact two years now and still, each and every time I either perform through it or play my Ipad music through it the fidelity, sound projection, room coverage and ease of use amazes me and everyone who sees/hears it. I would also advice those who are fed up with complicated home sound systems to get one, stick it in a corner of a room, hook up your sound output source and be done with it. No need for 100 settings..it is set right, out the box.

  • from March 25, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Semi-pro musician, music teacher

    The absolutely best PA I've used

    My first encounter with the Bose array systems was a couple of years ago when a collegue at my daytime job bought a LII system for playing his digital drumset in his living-room (?!!). A few days later I borrowed his gear to play a gig in a quite large venue with very high ceiling, actually the lobby of a large conference-center. What do I play? I perform instrumental guitar-pop of the 60's, The Shadows, The Spotnicks, The Ventures and more. I make my own backings which I store on a laptop.
    Normally I use a conventional PA-setup (amp 2*250W, mixer and two heavy speaker cabinets on tripods + my VOX amp). On this occasion I left the guitar amp at home so I could easily transport the whole setup; Bose system, guitar, and gigbag with mixer and fxpedal, from the car to the stage in one turn.

    Setting up took just a couple of minutes as opposed to 45 minutes with my normal system.

    Sound checking was a breeze as the sound I got while on stage turned out to be exactly what I heard when I placed myself in different parts of the venue using wireless from the guitar. No need to do that any more, only the overall volume may have to be altered depending on the size of the audience (in this case it turned out to be between 3 and 4 hundred)

    As it turned out the power of the L1 was much more than adequate, and as I normally gig for 50-150 people in smaller venues, I decided to opt for the L1 compact which proved a good decision. Even lighter to carry and power to spare for my needs.

    My current setup is as follows: Guitar into echo-unit into ipad garage band (where I have set up appropriate amp simulation for each number) and into L1.

    I initially was worried about not having stereo as my backings are created in stereo, but have found that that does not matter at all, nevertheless I do think about expand with another L1 for just that purpose.

  • from North Augusta SC March 22, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Light weight Large Sound very small foot print

    To be honest I took a chance. I knew if I wasn't satisfied Dustin at Sweetwater would to what he had to to ensure I was satisfied. I was tired of carrying heavy equipment in and out of gigs. I purchased 2 as some of the places are 200+ people and I wanted to get that true chorus swirel from my Taylor. I was able to TOTALLY ELIMINATE MONITORS!!. It is true what they say, "There isn't a bad seat in the house with the Bose sound". I did not go with the T1. For the T1 price I was able to go with the ZED 10FX which offered more inputs, effects and the ability to studio record directly through USB.

  • from Atlanta, GA March 20, 2013Music Background:
    Worship Leader, Videographer

    Bose L1 - Excellent for small/medium keyboard/vocal gigs

    If you don't want to take the word of people you don't know, find some way to go hear the L1 line. You might think the Compact isn't enough for you, but you will be impressed. Some people don't like the Bose line, but it's a subjective taste. I get positive comments on how well the audience can hear without being blown away in the front row. I'm loving this system!

  • from North Augusta, SC February 28, 2013Music Background:
    Local Venues, Lounges, Restaurants, Church

    Who woulda thunk it???

    IMPRESSIVE. That's the only words I have. The group played through the Zed to the 2 Bose compacts last night. Words just don't describe it. No One...No I mean NO ONE believed it was only 14 little speakers. You could hear the sound anywhere in the place and NO need for monitors which is what original started this quest. Was it a lot of money. Well of course but with the 18 month interest free and the ability to beat ANYONE ELSES PRICES I made the right choice. With the help of Dustin and the assistance of his wing man Tim while he was out, the anxiety was at a minimum as I was described every detail of what to expect from the response of the equipment I was going to get to the expected delivery to the door. Why I didn't leave Musicians friend years ago with this kind of personal attention to detail is beyond me. From the equipment that I received in my previous purchase that just didn't work out, the prompt return and refund, to the equipment that is me in a nut shell. Sweetwater wins hands down.

  • from Silverdale, WA February 11, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, voice teacher

    Simply the best

    I purchased this sound system after a very long run with a Fender Passport 250. Used that till it literally died. Made the decision to upgrade and could not be happier with the Bose. It is every bit as wonderful as the reviews indicate. Absolutely silent and every sound is crisp and accurate. I use this at home with our regular music nights with my grand piano and have used it for music and speaking in large venues and it's worked flawlessly indoors and out. The ease of setup too is wonderful. I would recommend, however, investing in the ToneMatch system right away if you want any type of reverb on your vocals. I found the unit presets to be a bit flat, so the ToneMatch gets me extra places for mics and a great reverb. I bought the refurb unit on the ToneMatch and it was good as new. Forget everything else and get the Bose, you will never look back! Customer service from Sweetwater is the best there is!

  • from Pennsylvania January 26, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist, semipro musician


    This product is quality all the way. Fantastic sound. This system is so convenient and portable, it is just amazing. The only thing to be aware is that there are no built in effects, so you either need to play without effects, purchase the Tone Match, or do what I do; use a floor pedal such as Digitech vocalist 5 as a floor mixer/processor for sound effects. I've also used the Boss DS 20 as a vocal processor, and it's vocal effects are even more pristine to my ear (but it lacks guitar effects), but either unit works super well when combined with L1. Buy this Bose product without hesitation. Yes, it is pricey, but quality product is worth it as it really projects super sound.

  • from Guilderland, NY January 23, 2013Music Background:
    Performer, Songwriter

    A Perfect Fit

    The Bose L1 Compact system is light-weight and easy to transport. The "you can set this up in a minute" is an exaggeration ... it only takes 45 seconds! Since 2Late is a duo (two guitars and two vocals), we have to front the system with a mixer. For small gigs, we've used a Zoom R16 recorder to add reverb. For larger gigs, we use our pedal boards running through a Mackie 12-track mixer. In both cases, the system sounds great. We don't need a monitor; we get the same sound the audience does. The detail and warmth of the system beat the Yamaha PA/JBL speaker combo we've used for nine years hands down.

  • from Divide, CO USA November 18, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician, recording engineer, session player

    Incredible Sound from Bose

    The L1 came in last week and I used it for the first time at a bar gig. The room was about 900 sq. feet with tables and chairs, and seperated from the bar area by a French door that was open. I was singing through an SM58 and playing a 1970 Guild D25 with a Fishman Matrix pickup. This is the very first time in decades of playing that people came up to me and commented on how good the sound was; full, rich, crisp, and loud, but not so loud that they couldn't talk to each other. It could be heard equally good in all parts of the bar. I had the vocal channel EQ at 12:00 and both channels turned up half-way. This unit is amazing, and if your sound is important to you run, don't walk, to Sweetwater to get one. The service was great and so is the product.

  • from Western NY State September 18, 2012Music Background:
    Karaoke and DJ

    All I can say is WOW!

    I am completely impressed by what this can do. It is the perfect system for karaoke as it hardly feeds back at all, even when standing in front of it. The sound is perfect and clear, but also fills the room and has good bass. It also works very well for DJ gigs in a 40' by 40' room or smaller. (unless you like very high volumes) I have replaced 2 speakers, two speaker stands, a monitor speaker and an amplifier. This is so much easier to carry in to a gig than all that....and everyone thinks it sounds better. Kudos to Bose for such a great product. It's worth all of the asking price.

  • from East Valley, AZ July 28, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Fantastic System for my Trio

    As the majority of the other reviews state, this is one fantastic sounding and reliable system. I have had my L1 Compact for over three years now and used it for many many gigs. It has never failed me. I have a Shure Mic connedted to the MIC Input which the two guys playing trumpet and sax use, and I have my Korg PA3X connected to the two RCA Inputs. I use no mixer as all the EQing and level contols are in the arranger. My gigs usually have anywhere from 50 to 200 people and this little wonder has performed flawlessly. Folks in the audience can't believe such clear powerful sounds are possible from such a small system.

  • from South Florida July 24, 2012Music Background:
    Amateur Musician, Recording Hobbyist

    Bose L1

    Great product with great sound. Lightweight and convenient to use. I wish it had phantom power for condenser mic but otherwise it is exactly what I needed. Got rid of my two heavy EV speakers that took up a lot of space. This L1 is a great bargain.

  • from Warren, Michigan July 20, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, Vocalist, & DJ

    Clear Powerful Sound

    This is the sound I have waited for. It is clear, perfectly loud and not overly loud. I purchased the Tone Match also as that adds a wonderful sound shaping and reverb. You cannot express how good this sounds for the venues I play. Nothing but remarks on clarity coverage and just pure musicality. I know it is not inexpensive but it will be a solution to smaller venues and restaurants. Thank you Bose and Sweetwater. Bose has answered all questions promptly and are technically attuned to the needs of a musician.

  • from Harrisville Mi July 11, 2012Music Background:
    Professional DJ/KJ

    Awesome Piece of Sound Engineering

    I own a BOSE L1 system (2 Model 1's) and now 2 compacts. I have had the gammit of other systems, (most all the major PA speakers). I have found over the years that this system is proably "the best" system I have had. The compact is a great little unit for the DJ! I would suggest you use 2 of these and augment with a micro sub for a little more "kick". Very clear and lightweight with set up in under a min. This unit has enough power for me and very portable. I can use it with an inverter powerpac for remote location and plug in a MP3 player...Instant entertainment!! I am inpressed!!! People ask me where are my speakers or where is the sound coming from? I point to the L1's and they are amazed of the sound coming out of something that small. Very happy with the unit!

  • from North Carolina usa July 6, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    L1 compact

    I am a retired eng. playing full time now. I have tried everything from jbl, qsc, peavy etc. and for what I do 3 piece jazz and americana with some vocals and ease of setup this is it. What is truly amazing my hearing, after 55 yrs of playing are road weary to say the least however, thru this system I can again hear the music thru every range, what a blessing.

  • from Asheville, NC June 27, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist: Singer-songwriter, producer, performer

    Versatile Performer

    After a couple of years of researching and saving, I finally took the plunge and bought the L1 Compact. I have no regrets except "why did I wait?!" Let me provide a run down of what I needed/wanted, how I've used it so far, and what I've learned over a whirlwind week...

    My needs: easier to set-up/transport than my current PA with two powered Samson speakers, stands, and cords; able to handle crowds/rooms of 30-100; for use in a solo-performer setting as well as with a small cover band; and deliver a well-balanced sound without a lot of tweaking.

    How I used it over the last week and the results:
    1. At band practice with drums (unmic-ed), a bass, electric guitar, keys, going into the unit through a Mackie mixer and vocal going into the ToneMatch channel. We play covers from classical soul, blues, and rock to a few newer tunes. Everyone was impressed by the clarity and the volume. The Bose had no problem blending with the drums and the bass sounded fine (not earth shaking). For performing out, we all agreed that our bass player should bring the bass amp to give a boost, but for the size crowds we play (house parties, small events) the Bose can handle and sounds clearer than my other PA.
    2) Playing solo acoustic guitar at a wedding in a church. Taylor guitar with their expression system direct in to the ToneMatch input = BEAUTIFUL!!! The sound was great and so natural. I didn't have to tweak much EQ for good tone unlike my other PA that I've never been happy with when going direct from my acoustic. WOW!
    3) As the main PA for the wedding reception in a old, large, wood floored, high-ceilinged venue that could probably seat about 300. For the event, tables were set up for 100 guests and the Bose was placed center on the elevated stage. From cocktail hour background music, to toasts, to the dance party DJ'd off an iPhone the Bose filled the room. People were amazed (including me). Again, no earth shaking bass but that wasn't required for this crowd. The L1 Compact provided room covering, clear and balanced sound with no dead spots and no noticeable volume drop-off from front to back or side to side.

    Take away lessons:
    1) Set up and weight don't get any better. The promo material is true - set up in under a minute and super easy to transport. Thank you Bose!!!
    2) Surprising versatility - from solo to band to PA for wedding. The sound quality surpassed my two-speaker set-up and the coverage held its own in rooms big and bigger.
    3) Some situations may need extra bass. If DJ-ing is your main gig, add a sub. Likewise, don't have your bass player sell their amp just yet. However, the bass response is much better than I expected and for my needs provides enough.
    4) The built in mixer works great and adding an external mixer is easy when you need more inputs.
    5) Owning this product makes me smarter, better looking, and keeps my breath minty-fresh! Ok, not really, but it does look very classy on stage and hopefully that classiness rubs off on me. LOL

    Hope this review was useful.

  • from Knoxville, TN June 16, 2012


    I am absolutely blown away by these speakers. I purchased two of them. They are used in conjunction with the Behringer Eurolive B1800D-PRO, for private dance parties. I needed something that sounded like good quality home stereo equipment, but with the ruggedness of professional gear. Sweetwater was able to guaranty delivery of this equipment within a couple days, and they helped me select a better means to get them hooked up. The communications from Sweetwater was outstanding. Sweetwater called and emailed numerous times regarding shipping status, etc. Kudos Guys! The sound is unbelievably powerful with vocal clarity that is crisp and very pleasing to the ears, unlike typical horn-loaded professional gear. Again, these sound like powerful home stereo speakers. The coverage is great, although I recommend purchasing two of them. I also recommend a subwoofer, if you are going to use these for music, although they do sound acceptable without one. Another very nice feature is the ability to use them individually or in pairs, without having to erect the stands. Consequently, you can carry a single speaker to the pool, etc. and plug in an IPOD. These come with a nice canvas-type cover that has a pouch, so you can store the power cords, etc. The L1 Compact achieves exactly what Bose is known for—big, crisp sound in a very small package. You will not be disappointed.

  • from Adirondack Mountains, NY May 8, 2012Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Can't get enough of it!

    The Bose L1 Compact simply sounds amazing. I use it for my one-man-band acoustic trop-rock act. The sound is so amazingly clear - I can hear myself again. I recently bought a second Compact to DJ. Two is better for more complete coverage (based on advice forums from the Bose site). I have yet to perform live with these but I am anxious to turn it up as another DJ wedding season approaches.

    For my solo act, I put my guitar with effects in the 1/4" switched to guitar setting, my JamMan Looper to Volume pedal to the RCA stereo input and my headset (wired) mic to the XLR mic input. The sound is nothing short of astounding. i have been playing for three decades and wish this had come along sooner. Buy it - you won't regret it. If you need more power, get ther L1 Model 2 (on my wish list). Pricy but cheaper than buying a PA and Monitor system together.

    Advice to buyers: if you buy this to play prerecorded DJ music do not use the XLR input. You must use the 1/4" input and switch it from guitar to line. The XLR is matched to a Shure 58 type mic and the tonematch modeler cannot be turned off. Initially, I thought mine was defective but found out from the Bose people how to set it up properly. The difference is mindblowing. I still have to boost the lows a bit but the sound is perfect for my-sized wedding events (100-200 people).

    The price is for Bose sound, light weight and NO MONITORS NEEDED. Awesome product.

  • from Houston, TX April 9, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Instructor

    An Awesome First Gig with this Bose!!

    I had a once in a lifetime chance to host a backup Andy Mckee and Antoine Dufour concert in Houston a few weeks ago and decided to get (2) Bose L1 Compacts to use for the show. We ran all the instruments through a mixer and then to the Bose. The sound was incredible, as was the music. I will use these in my shows in the future, I love the clean, clear sound...

  • from LOS ANGELES. CA February 16, 2012Music Background:


    I GOT BUY 2/11/2012 ( sat )
    listern to classic music everyday

    sound is good & clear
    i like it bose L1 SPEAKER

  • from New Hampshire January 21, 2012Music Background:

    The Best in Sound

    We have been using Bose equipment for performing for a while now.We have several Bose systems L1 w/ the T1 as well as the L1 compact. After taking a little time getting to know the system we have changed to totally using the Bose systems. Our fans always make a comment on the way we sound as performers and the way the amps sound as a system.
    A Thank you to the Bose people

  • from Martinsville In. January 14, 2012Music Background:

    Great !

    From the first time I set it up (effortlessly) I was really impressed with this system. Using it with a duo, and playing small venues, it really is just what we needed. Thanks to my rep Bob Mondok for directing me toward the Bose. It sounds absolutely great!!

  • from STexas January 12, 2012Music Background:
    lifelong professional musician

    Best PA Ever!

    I am primarily a single act, keyboard and vocals, but also put together duos, trios and quartets for larger venues. I used the Bose 302 system for over 20 years with great satisfaction and success. In 2006 I switched to the EV ZX-1 and was very pleased with it. Last year, I ordered a pair of L-1 Compact systems, and I can say without reservation that it is the best system I've ever used.


    - Throw out your monitors, hotspots, monitor amps, and all associated cabling, you won't need them. Speaker stands are no longer needed. Setup time is reduced by 30%.

    - Mixing of various instruments is much simplified, everyone hears the overall mix, as it is spread out by the two systems. Arguments about someone playing too loud go away, everyone clearly hears their individaul part. Feedback rarely is an issue.

    - No more heavy lifting. System is light, compact and easy to set up. Used just one in a hall with about 200 people, and it was adequate for a monoral DJ setup.

    - The sound is very clear and precise. I believe it takes my live performances to a new level.


    - Few, price being pehaps the biggest one.

    - Low end response. With one system, it is adequate for most venues, with two it is much improved. If you want a bass that will give you a punch in the gut, and additional sub is recommended, especially for loud metal or hard rock.

    - Shape: Why can't this be a rectangular box that can be stacked, or placed on its side? It would be easy to put a rim along the top rear edge that would protect the controls while making the system stackable during transport. The egg shape in the horizontal plane allows the system to shift around in transit, and it requires it's own unique space in my van. Bose has brilliant engineers, they could address this issue without adding much additional weight.

  • from Fort Wayne, IN USA December 6, 2011Music Background:
    Recording and small gig hobbyist

    This is the sound I was looking for!

    I tried two less expensive (500.00 range) PA systems before getting the L1 Compact. The first two less expensive (Yamaha stage pass and a Samson XP308) systems just sounded muddy. They just sounded cheap to tell you the truth. No matter what we did the sound was just not clear at all. We play two acoustic guitars and two vocals - sometimes with backing tacks.

    When we switched over to the Bose System - the difference was amazing! The sound was crystal clears. Every little strum and breath was right up front. It was just incredible how much better it sounded. This unit is worth every penny!

    Big shout out to Carson McClain (our sales engineer) for helping us get the sound that we have been looking for!

  • from Marietta, OH USA November 15, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Amazing sound and portability!

    Excellent! Well worth the price. The sound quality is amazing! Love the portability! The purchasing experience with Sweetwater was excellent as well!

  • from Coeur d'Alene, ID September 22, 2011Music Background:
    pro singer

    Crisp clear sound may need special mic

    I had to find the right mic to reduce the tinny sound in mid to upper range vocals. Because my voice is trained and bright, I could not take the treble out enough until Bose suggested I use a mic with minimal dB increase in the upper frequencies. I now have the Audio-Technica ATM410 mic and am ecstatic with the true, smooth, clear sound of the total system.

  • from North Carolina July 27, 2011Music Background:
    Gigging keyboardist

    Fantastic Sound System

    This is actually the second Bose L1 Compact I own. The first is about two years old and works perfectly, but I wanted a spare just in case something happened to the first or if I really needed to fill an extremely large space. So far, my single Bose L1 Compact has filled any and all spaces where I've needed it including several outdoor gigs. It's powerful and SO quick and easy to set up. I very highly recommend it to anyone who is tired of lugging around two heavy speakers, a mixer, speaker stands, extra cables, etc.

  • from Portland July 21, 2011

    Great Product for Zumba!

    Purchased the Bose compact for my wife to use with her Zumba classes. While it sounded great in the guitar room I was skeptical about it's ability to fill the room at one of her venues which is a gymnasium!
    Just wanted to testify, the Bose Compact does the job! Fills the room with clear sound and plenty of room to spare on the volume control. No db loss in the far corners as we had with the old 500 watt system and standard speakers. The low end thump this little unit pumps out in this big room is also amazing.
    One of her venues is outdoors, and the Bose preforms awesome there as well!

    Another deciding factor for our purchase was the portability, and the Bose Compact is great in that regard as well (now if I don't want to go with her to a 'gig', I won't feel guilty for not lugging the "system" in for her)! Think of that, she can take in her entire PA system, in one trip, and still has a free hand to open the door!

    Great product! I know there are a lot of Zumba instructors out there who would benefit from this product!

  • from South Texas June 19, 2011Music Background:
    Working musician since age 15, full-time since 1997

    Astonishing Sound

    I've owned Bose systems since 1984. I am a very busy musician, averaging over 225 gigs per year for the last 15 years. I do a wide range of keyboard and vocal performances with a working repertoire of about 1200 songs, from the 40s through the 80s.

    I've used the Bose 802s until I recently switched to the EV ZX-1s in 2006. I have two pairs of these and two different subwoofers that I can configure for wide variety of venues. I was very pleased with the ZX-1s, but was curious about the new Bose L1 Compact.

    I use an older Clavinova as a MIDI platform for a Motif ES rack, but use rhythms and bass tones from the Clav. I also use volume control pedals to layer in a palette of secondary voices, from stings to organs and brass. I have two channels of secondary voices with each primary voice. I also have a Casio PX-320 that work very well as a stand-alone instrument, and I use the same layering technique with it. Needless to say, there is a lot going on in my performances, although everything is done live except the drum tracks, which are controlled by a footswitch.

    Last night was my first performance with my new pair of L1 Compacts. I tested them out in my practice area and was very impressed with the decent bass and very clear highs. After just a few tests, I realized that I could flatten the EQ on almost everything and still get a very full sound, most particularly the vocals. I took a lot of high and low EQ off and most of the reverb , but still had a very natural-sounding voice.

    I went to my venue and removed the EVs and a small sub that I used with them. I was very impressed at how clean the setup is once I removed my monitors and the speaks and stands.

    When I ran the system up, the impression that I got was that I was in a room that was perfectly acoustic and that there was nothing between me and the audio that was being created. That night, I had a couple of regulars come by to give the L1s a critical listen. They all commented on how they heard individual voicings in a way they never had before. The commented on the clean and transparent sound. From my perspective, the setup gave me a tremendous amount of confidence in what I was doing because I could hear everything in its final mix state and could make corrections on the fly to make it just like I wanted it to sound.

    I think my vocals were significantly better than with any previous setup, because I usually spread the mains out and rely on my monitors to "hear myself", which isn't always a completely accurate way of knowing what the mains actually sound like.

    Bottom line, this system is an absolute masterpiece of engineering, convenience, and sonic clarity. Perhaps the best testimonial was that in the afternoon when I was setting up and doing snippets of some of my songs, I had a couple of stragglers from the lunch hour come by and leave me some nice tips!

    I think this system will take my live performances to a new level. It was refreshing that there were no complaints about the volume level and many compliments about the sound. Thank you, Bose, for a great piece of equipment.

    My recommendation: Buy one! No, beter yet...buy two!

  • from Chicago, IL USA June 16, 2011Music Background:
    A truly dedicated hobbyist who knows his stuff.

    Outstanding Piece

    I have produced/composed/programmed since 1999 and purchased a wide variety of studio equipment over the years. Buying the compact was one of the best buying decisions I ever made.

    Renting the PA equipment to play music for my own wedding would have cost me over $250, and I didn't see the point in blowing that money on something I had to return. So, I figured I would get my own PA system. After looking at several cabs, I read many reviews on this unit and became convinced.

    It has sufficient headroom and has a clear sound. This will not give you stereo (buy two, then you have both L and R), but dispersion is wide enough to make you feel like you aren't listening to just one speaker (about 6 or 7 drivers are installed in the top array). I use a 1/4" to 1/4" cable going from my Allen and Heath board that sends a mono sum to the 1/4" input on the L1 and it sounds great. The cable is balanced TRS and going into an unbalanced input on the L1, but I like overkill. =) If you need extra bass, add a little in your mixer and you are good to go. You won't quad with this unit, but you will have good, clear bass. Clear sound all around, and it gets loud, too. It takes quite a bit for this unit to clip and distort. Don't underestimate its capabilities... I thought it might sound like some glorified computer speaker, but man was I wrong. Being from Chicago, the design actually reminds me of the Sears Tower.

    Excellent value. Strongly recommended. And thanks for the candy, Sweetwater.

  • from Southeast USA April 15, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician & Singer

    Versatile unit, gorgeous sound

    Outstanding sound and portability. It's really designed primarily for a solo singer/guitarist with or without tracks, but a lot of us are using it as a PA and it's great. So portable! I use it (in collapsed mode)as a 23-lb kybd amp for my laptop Reason/Selig B3 and it delivers the organ bass like you wouldn't believe.

    If you're a singer and want the best sound you can get, place two of these behind you on either side of the band, crank it, feed the main PA if you have to, and the band will love your vocals and you will HEAR your vocals like never before. Not designed for metal or high-volume gigs, though. It is what it is.

    If you sing jazz or acoustic music, look no further. Perfect for small to medium venues. The silhouette is so slim it practically disappears against a dark background. Perfect for female singers - carry it in with one hand and show up with outstanding sound without being at the mercy of whatever PA is at the gig. Sounds studio-like in quality, especially when used in conjunction with a small mixer and a nice condensor mic. I use a condensor and have no feedback problems at all standing three feet to the side, two feet in front of it!

    Cons: while the bass response is pretty good for an 8" woofer, it is not chest-thumping. I have a JBL EON 18" sub I use with the two Compacts and it is unreal good. Others use Yorkville, K-sub and get good results. Does not have phantom power, but you'll probably end up using a smal mixer with it anyway. Preamping the signal before going into the Bose makes a lot of difference. Proper gainstaging really pays off with this unit. I do not like the sound of my Strat through a Rat into this. Sounds fizzy. Maybe the small speakers just aren't cutting it for me. Acoustic is awesome, though. Backing trax and pre-recorded music sounds excellent.

  • from Princeton NJ June 30, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Pro Musician

    Bose L1 Compact is True and Unbelievable Sound

    UnbelievableI have used other Bose L! systems and found that they were not what I needed for larger performances. How ever I was in GC and tried my Godin Grand Concert SA guitar, and was blown away with how the sound filled the room. Im a Flamenco/Classical/Rock and Jazz guy who is crazy about tone and clarity, This system has it all. Im glad that Mark Magdich recommend it and thought it would work for what I needed. I wanted a small system that was easy to transport for smaller venues. I pulled the L1 out of the box, set it up in less that 1 min, Plugged in the power cord and that was it. The Godin, and all the synths sound great. I will be using it this weekend and think this will make my life much easier. For me the fact that there are no speakers in the middle of the column are great theres noting hitting the guitar and I think this helps keep the bass separate from the treble freq. I am really happy and will be keeping my Bose L1. And you cant beet the 3 payment option to get one of these. Thanks Mark and Sweetwater.


  • from Tennessee March 21, 2010Music Background:


    Just used this for the first time Friday night. I can't believe how good this unit sounds. I played a little cafe that has their own cheap PA; however, I elected to bring this to try out. It blowed away there setup. It sounds like whatever you plug into it. I used an EV wireless mic and my gibson J45. After the show, everyone was coming up to take a look at the Bose L1. Some people actually thought I daisy chain the cafe's rear speaker into the unit..that's how good it was.

  • from Allegan, Michigan October 7, 2009Music Background:
    Mobile/broadcast DJ, professional MC

    L1 Compact exceeded my expectations...

    I took delivery of my L1 Compact about a month ago...I have basically been using it in my home and have taken it to various locations to test it out. I even took it to work (I am a paramedic full time) and amazed my co-workers with the sound quality. They found it unbelievable that a unit that size could produce such amazingly clear and crisp sound. Our ambulance station is fairly large and I had the gain control turned less than a quarter of the way up...the sound filled the room, in fact was a bit overwhelming so I had to make adjustments using the volume control on my laptop.
    Now for the real test. I did my first gig with the L1 Compact this past weekend. I was a bit apprehensive and was almost tempted to bring a back up system along just in case the L1 didn't put out enough power to handle the room. The gig was an open house event at a local fire station. The room was a very large "barn type structure" used to house fire trucks. The fire apparatus had been pulled out and the room was outfitted with picnic tables, kids games, small carnival rides etc. My DJ rig was set up in the corner of the room..I positioned the L1 Compact in front of my table. I got to the event an hour early and after set-up there were only about 15 - 20 people there. I was a bit nervous when I did my sound check, afterall this wasn't a room with optimum acoustics. My system utilizes a single space rack mounted Rolls mic/source mixer which allows me to mix in 3 mics and several audio sources. I powered everything up and turned the volume on the L1 Compact up to half volume. I cued up a song, started the player on Traktor software and began raising the volume on the mixer. To my surprise, I filled the room with awesome "Bose quality" music and barely turned the mixer knob up to 1/4 volume. I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew then that my L1 was going to be more than enough PA for this event. As guests started to arrive, the ambient noise with all of the kids games, rides, etc was pretty high. I just kept tweaking the music volume to stay above the noise. There were no less than 200 people in the room throughout most of the event I did a walk around the room and was very pleased to find that the music coverage was very consistent. I had many positive comments about the sound and when I pointed to the L1 unit people generally took a double-take and say, "you mean all of that sound is coming from that?". I would just laugh and say, "Yeah, amazing isn't it".
    The L1 Compact completely exceeded my expectations. The Bose company rates this product for venues of up to 100 people...I am here to tell you it will do way beyond that. I plan to purchase a second unit in a couple of months. This should be all of the shound reinforcment that I should ever need. I am just waiting to see how it will perform at an outdoor show. I am a very happy Bose customer.

  • from Northern MI August 27, 2009Music Background:
    Playing for 25 years. Gigging for 15 years. Acoustic fingerstyle and jazz

    Perfect!!! (for me)

    I have been playing/gigging with the Bose L1 (original Model 1 with v2 tonematch settings) and 2 subs for the past 3 years and absolutely loved the sound. We used it in a three piece setting where each of us had our own. As the lead singer and guitarist, I would use a Taylor 814ce and T5, Beta 58A, and Boss ME70. I rarely had to go pass half volume in rooms of 300-500 people.
    When I first got a glimpse of the compact, I immediately wrote it off as being underpowered for my needs. Then my neighbors each got one and it knocked me off of my feet - not so much the power, but the fidelity was completely absurd (in a good way). The portability was also a bonus, so... I'm now in the process of selling my original L1 with subs and my Roland AC60 which now has been replaced by the compact without the extensions. I've actually made money on the deal!
    By the way, get the T1 with the compact - you'll understand once you start playing out with it. Bose designed this thing so that the T1 is a necessity if you want a master volume or if you use a condenser mic.

  • from January 18, 2017

    Perfect for our patient parties

    This compact sound system is nearly perfect for our events. It is for a small children's hospital, and we mainly use it for donor events and patient parties. It gives us just what we need: clear sound that everyone in attendance can hear, whether from a microphone or music source.

    We replaced a Fender passport with the Bose L1.

    First, the size is great. We can get the system to the site easily. We keep it on a cart, but if we had to, someone could carry it. We could never do that before.

    Second, the sound is superb, and doesn't degrade at high volume.

    Third, it is simple to set up and operate. We basically just plug it in and attach a music source using a 3.5mm cable (not supplied).

  • from North Tonawanda, NY January 2, 2017Music Background:
    Weekend Warrior


    I've wanted one of these Bose systems for a long time and Sweetwater made it possible! The Sweetwater financing made it a great gift for myself. My friend and I use the L1 for our acoustic shows and it's perfect for the small venues we play. It's so easy to set up and it sounds great! What's nice is that we can hear what the audience hears, so there isn't a lot of fooling around with levels. Not being 20 years old any more weight and simplicity are a consideration when we buy gear. The L1 scores in that area too! We have a small mixing board we plug into it and we're up and running in 10 minutes. It takes us longer to tune our guitars. I would have given the L1 a 5 rating, but nothing is perfect, so this is as close as it gets. Thanks to Sweetwater and Bose for making my life simpler!

  • from Arizona November 17, 2016


    I love the Bose system. I plugged it in at my place and loved the sound quality. But later that week used it for my first gig. The room's natural acoustics just made the Bose sound even great. I was happily stunned. by how good it sounded. This unit works perfect for the gigs I plan to play.

  • from Hickman County Tennessee July 23, 2016Music Background:
    Solo singer /guitar player

    Bose L1 compact

    Hey, the Bose L1 compact and it is awesome,absolute amazing. I preform solo at a senior citizens care facility and believe me you they are a true critic they will let you know quickly if you are too loud and yell "Turn it down". My experience with this Bose loudspeaker system is it is light weight very easy and quick to set up and mostly important it gives equal sound no matter if people are close to you or are far back, were they are sitting or standing the quality of the sound is the same. I really enjoy that extra bass sound that the Bose L1 gives my guitar when I play certain chords. The Bose system is also a monitor so I am reassured that I can hear what my audience is hearing. When I set the system up I place it slightly not directly behind me on my right side and no more than six feet away. And the show is ready to start from there. I must let you also know that the Bose T1 tone match is a great compliment to the Bose L1 when you connect the two together the sound is absolutely astounding. I also have the voice live 3 and let me tell you this foot switch pedal when connect to the Bose L1 your performance is better than astounding, it's as Tony tiger would say, "IT'S GRRREAT"!!!! This is my review and I'm sticking with it. All jokes aside the Bose L1 is a great loud speaker were you are speaking to a group or preforming it sounds great with vocals, guitar electric or acoustic or key boards what ever your choice in instrument you want regret using the Bose L1 compact loudspeaker.

  • from West Michigan January 16, 2016Music Background:
    43 years and counting (still learning).

    Big Sound in a small package

    I have to say that I love this thing. Easy to carry (really) and assembles in a heartbeat. The sound fills a pretty good sized hall with volume a little past 50 percent. Setting up with the tower behind the performer really does negate the need for monitors. The half-star hit reflects a tiny bit of white noise with both knobs at zero which you almost have to get your ear close to the speakers to hear. I also wish that Bose would have added another XLR as this easily handles a mixer. My setup includes 2 vocals, Guitar, Beat Buddy and backing tracks from an iPad via an Yamaha mixer. The mixer allows me to adjust at the board rather than on individual devices.

  • from December 24, 2015

    Does the Job Well

    Had to do a keyboards + electric drums performance in a warehouse-sized space for ~100 people, knowing that their existing PA system tended to be very flakey. Decided to try using my own Bose L1 Compact instead. Entire kit (Jupiter-80, stand, Alesis DM10 studio drums, Bose L1, etc.) fit in a single car load and was setup on my own in under an hour. Best part was that when the audience was in and the music began to play, it was clear and loud from every seat! I was really impressed at a single L1 Compact was able to fill the room so effectively - Bose definitely earned its money on this gig. (All the other poor folks who used the existing PA system suffered glitches, pops and noise that I was able to avoid.)

  • from January 29, 2015Music Background:
    Music teacher and musician

    Bose compact

    I play keys for a variety of venues, events and services. The compact is the perfect little sound reinforcement I need. Everything sounds full, uncompromising and it is an even, uniform sound from every angle.

  • from Chas., WV June 9, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Perfect PA for Basic Acoustic Solo Singer/Songwriter Work

    Add the T1 Mixer and the Bose L1 Compact gets Five Stars. I bought one L1 Compact, and a week later I bought another for larger venues and/or to serve as a back-up. For all practical purposes, the Bose Systems are a truly unique revolution in PA/Monitoring technology; there is simply nothing that compares. A little pricey; but you get what you pay for.

  • from Malvern, AR April 11, 2014Music Background:
    Occasional performer; 50 years of guitar playing

    the perfect gig machine

    I saw this L1 amp used in a church setting and was intrigued, not only because of its sound but also because it only weighs 35 lbs total and it comes in a protective cover and carrying case. Yes, it's a little on the expensive side but worth every dollar. I highly recommend this gear.

  • from Columbus, GA October 18, 2013Music Background:
    30 years playing/performing

    BOSE L1 Compact more than delivers

    The BOSE L1 Compact is the perfect "easy set up" small event pa system. BOSE has somehow mastered the art of filling a room with a true pure uncompromising sound. You can hear the instruments and voices just as they were meant to sound. The TrueMatch technology is absolutely amazing. I put my SHURE SM58 with my Taylor 718e and I have never heard anything like it in my life. Sweetwater's professional advice, service and affordability made the entire purchase a dream come true.

  • from Knoxville, Tn July 16, 2013Music Background:
    Profesional Musician

    Bose L1 Compact Contentment

    This small portable sound system is probably the most valuable sound reinforcement equipment ever invented for the working musician. I have cut set up and load time in half along with NO BACK PAIN!. The system is ready in less than 10 minutes and from there I only use one control to finish setup - the Volume control! For audiences of 100 or less this system cannot be beat! I have been in venues both inside and outside and the Bose performs at a quality level unsurpassed of any other system I have owned in 30 years of playing! I just wish the top array was extended into the second tier to give a bit more spread, but as is this system has everything in a surprisingly small package!

  • from pine island fl March 26, 2013Music Background:
    pro musician

    bose l1 compact

    works great light weight easy set up plenty of punch whats not to like

  • from United States January 15, 2013Music Background:
    former rock god, trying to play when the kids are asleep

    Clean sound

    Very true sound. I have not tried it out at a gig so I'm reserving the 5.0 grade level. Keyboards sound fantastic, vocals are very true and have a touch of reverb to give them a nice round effect.

  • from Lake Orion, MI August 26, 2012Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Yes, it's as good as everyone says!

    I have to admit, when these "tower" PA systems first came out, I was a skeptic. I thought "that can't possibly sound as good as real PA." But as I saw (and heard) people use them more and more, it became convinced that I had to give it a shot. I bought the L1 Compact since I do mainly solo acoustic shows in small bars/restaurants. This system is perfect for that! It really does set up in minutes and fills the room with balanced sound. I have easily cut my load in/set up time in half. I used to bring 2, 15inch main speakers that I would put up on stands, a wedge monitor, and a 6 channel mixer to do a solo show. Now I just bring this! The sound is everything they say it is. Now I hear exactly what the audience hears. I put it to the side of me and slightly behind. My only grip is not have more control over the EQ. The high end on the vocal channel can get a bit piercing when I sing in my upper range. Seriously, if you are a solo performer, do yourself a favor and get a Bose system! You will not be disappointed and you will wonder why you didn't buy one sooner!

  • from N.tonawanda ny (USA) July 22, 2012Music Background:
    Musician (vocals)

    Good investment

    I must say,when I first fired it up I was impressed.
    Has good volume and you can hear your vocals crystal clear.
    Problem I seemed to be having is clipping and backing tracks through my iPad seem a bit distorted.ill have to do more research to make sure I am making proper settings.just one more thing,wish I had two of these.

  • from United States May 28, 2012Music Background:
    Experienced Acoustic Soloist

    Wonderful for This Old Pickin' Crooner

    I am old school acoustic guitar player and singer playing requests all over the genre map. In my day size mattered and broke my back hauling around large equipment for moderate venues.
    While I was never one in search of the optimal sound, I wanted my acoustic guitar to sound like an acoustic and my voice to be my voice. Constantly playing with effects, DI's,...I failed miserablely and felt I was paid to haul equipment and played for free.
    The Bose L1 Compact has delivered what it promised in the last few venues and an outdoor wedding. I play a 20 yr old Guild with original Fishman electronics and sing through a Sennheiser e835 mic. I'm not even going to try and get that 'perfect sound' with added effects cuz it is closer now as a plug and play then ever before...I leave that to the anal.
    So...if you want to get out of the roady business and play with more than significant quality...then this unit will exceed your expectations.

  • from New Jersey, USA November 7, 2011Music Background:
    Guitar/vocalist live performer

    BOSE L1 Compact

    This audio system is pure top of the line engineering from design to sound quality. I would recommend this audio system to any performing musician out there. It will make your presentation be exceptional, even for thoses places where they don't want you to be loud. I have it for 3 weeks so far and I am extremely happy with it. I have mainly used it for indoors presentation and it has performed very well. Don't know yet how good it will be for outdoors, but I expect it to be not much of a difference. I don't know why did I wait so long to buy it. If it is within your budget, you should definately get it.

  • from Washington, DC area September 17, 2009Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    I have the Model I and Model II systems as well, and just purchased the new compact model. The compact model has more high end and less bottom than the other two systems. However, the sound works great with my Motif XS as well as with an iPod. I haven't performed in a medium-large venue to test the sound fall off that apparently occur with the compact. However, I just love these Bose systems.

  • from Nevada April 14, 2017

    Compact in name and size only!

    Picked this unit up for a jam space I'm putting together. The goal is to be a quiet jam space (headphones) but I wanted to provide a speaker in case the occasion calls for making a little noise... The room is 30+ feet long, and from 7.5 feet to 15 feet wide, so I didn't want to get a super beamy little powered box. The Bose systems are known for their even coverage, which is one of the main reasons I went this way, the look and feel of the room is that of a single guy with some disposable income (It is a green room for a theater that will also be used for jamming) and wanted something sleek.

    I plugged this thing into the mixer and I have to either have it turned down to '9 Oclock' or have the mixer main output really low! It is THAT loud. The response is very even with full lows and crisp highs. I plugged in an mp3 player and walked onto the stage of the theater (garage door separates the two and the green room is right behind the stage) and was able to clearly hear and feel the music on the opposite side of the stage - which is 50 feet across at the front!

    I am tempted to take it on a spin for acoustic solo shows, because what I've heard so far has been sooooo good! don't delay, you can carry the base unit in one hand with the extensions over your shoulder and carry your guitar in the other hand and walk into a gig!

  • from NJ March 16, 2017Music Background:
    Playing out over 20 years

    Simple and Convenient

    I picked this unit up for the super small rooms I play as a solo. I have an L1s B1 with T1 as well. At home i went direct into the compact and felt the sound was solid and good enough. But I don't like that there is not an overall master volume that controls both channels. So I dedided to use the T1 mixer with it at my gig last week and I feel it made a world of difference. With the T1 you are really able to dial in a great sound as compared to a very good sound with out it. Again there is no space in the rooms to stand the suggested 6 feet or so in front. I am litterally standing right next to the compact and I have the unit slighlty in front of me (less than a foot) and have had no feedback problems. Looking forward to many more gigs with the compact as it is the easiest load in I have ever done. It would be great if Bose made the column to have the ability to attach the T1 mixer like the Model 1s. So instead I attach the T1 to my Mic stand with the adapter.

  • from Gulf Coast January 11, 2017Music Background:
    Professional musician 25+ years

    Bose L1

    I bought the L1 Compact as a back-up for my L1 Model 2. I wanted something smaller for the club gigs and house concerts that I could haul in with one trip. I have yet to play a gig with this unit, however, it has performed well during my rehearsals at home. I bought the adaptor so that I can use my ToneMatch with the compact.

    I'll follow up my review after I have used it for several gigs..

  • from January 3, 2017

    A Long-Winded Real-World Review

    This L1 system is funny. The on-line reviews are glowing. But you have to factor in some degree of bias - if you spend $ you're going to want to like your purchase.

    The reviews in pro audio forums are typically harsh regarding all things Bose and there's a tendency to focus on Bose's marketing budget (for some inexplicable reason, as if they're the only company that has a marketing department).

    Here's my long-winded rambling but hopefully relevant review.

    First a real-world application story. I've been looking at the L1 and the competition for over a year. I intended to buy it on my own time frame. But then an 11th hour New Year's Eve gig presented itself. We cobbled together a PA using keyboard amps in the past and I just couldn't do it again.

    So, against all prudence and judgment, I bought the L1 two hours before the gig. First time playing out with a new partner, first time in an unseen venue, first time with the new PA, first time using a SDC on mandolin. A recipe for absolute disaster.

    I literally took the L1 out of the box in the parking lot of the venue, went inside, set it up without reading instructions, plugged in the mixer, leveled everything, and played the show. It was a restaurant, we were stuck in a corner, almost on top of the L1 (had a SDC 3 feet away from the tower that was at 1/2 height).

    Can you imagine the problems right now with a traditional PA? Actually, there would have been no problem because there was simply no room. We would've been acoustic.

    I should add that this restaurant/bar is really like 5 rectangle boxes cobbled together. A real nightmare. In fact, I would never think to have live music in a place like this. And we were shoved into an 8x10 area (that's being generous) that included an upright bass.

    Then we had patrons at tables maybe 6-8 feet away who wanted to enjoy their dinner and talk - not listen to use blasting them at 95dB.

    So how did it go? Unusually well. So well in fact that we dodged all the aforementioned bullets. The L1, in this application, was perfect. The couple at the table could talk without yelling (we asked them directly). The biggest compliment you can pay to any tool is that it integrates so seamlessly that you stop noticing it. And that's what happened.

    The L1 handled the upright bass better than expected. It reinforced the sound just enough (I was rolling off at 80hz). The SDC worked okay. I couldn't turn it up much and had to roll off the EQ to mitigate the ringing. But if you point a SDC at a speaker from 3 feet away you deserve a ton of problems and I only had a few.

    The mics (Blue enCore, Shure SM-something) did fine. No feedback in spite of being practically on-top of the L1 and the L1 being at 1/2 height.

    Next test - I brought it home and plugged it into the TV. I've read that the L1 needs the tone match mixer to sound good. I respectfully disagree. In fact, my wife said (without prompting), "I don't even notice it." Meaning that it just works, it's balanced, nothing "sticks out" per se. So I think people suggest the Tone Match if you're not getting a good mix to begin with.

    All that said, I was surprised I couldn't get my digital piano to sound good. This baffled me so I played a demo song of a much newer and better Yamaha CP4 through the L1 and it sounded great. I realized the L1 was highlighting the limitations of my 15 year old Roland. So part of the crummy sound from an L1 might be the L1 spotlighting crummy gear.

    That's my initial take. Take it with a grain of salt. The price of admission is steep but you get very nice build quality, balanced sound (the "no highs, no lows" criticism has always baffled me), generous 2 year warranty, and carrying cases. When people complain about the price this is seldom mentioned. Buy a cheaper unit, add cases and a warranty and see how the price shapes up.

    Here's a hack I never saw mentioned - you can use all the inputs at once. The L1 will combine them. 1/4 mono, headphone, RCA L/R, and XLR. So, technically, you could have 5 inputs going into this without using a mixer (provided you can control levels from the source). If you split the headphone into L/R you could run 6 inputs into this. It's an ugly hack but possible.

    One final anecdotal observation. We recorded the performance straight off the board and our vocal harmonies were really tight in formerly problematic sections. We don't rehearse much (kids, jobs, families, etc.) so I attribute some of this to luck and some of it to being able to hear ourselves so well.

    I haven't owned this long enough to hand out a 5 star. If, after 2 years, if continues to impress I'll update the rating. But my initial impression is it absolutely lived up to the hype in every way.

  • from December 28, 2015

    Feather weight Powerhouse

    As an old guy musician I was starting to feel the weight of my trusty Ol Makie 808S powered mixer and the 1 15 I run it through when doing my acoustic single gigs so I had been looking for a lighter alternative I love the way the LI classics sound but as light as they are they still require several trips .A friend of mine had been using One of these units for about 6 months or so with out problems and I liked the way it sounded so I picked one up . So far I have no complaints , Its much louder than you think and I can carry it and my guitar into the gig in one trip . I think my one complaint would be this .. for the price it would have been nice if there was some basic effects included simple even just an simple adjustable reverb other than that I'm digging it .

  • from December 16, 2015


    Been looking to down size moving so much equipment all the time and this is just what the Doctor ordered! We are a 6 piece group that play in are local retirement community's we normally use 4 floor wedges and a 8 channel mixer for 5 vocals, 2 guitars and a Bass Fidel the L1 with the mixer gave us all the sound we need with warm clear voice in a smaller space with no feedback! Great system well worth the price

  • from Los Angeles November 1, 2015Music Background:

    Works Just the Way I wanted

    I was looking for a PA system that I could cart in and out of nursing and retirement homes where I sing frequently. So I needed good sound and light weight. I need to get everything in and out in one go. I put the base on my small roller cart, fasten with bungee cords, put my boombox on top of that - throw the extension section and my mic and cords bag over my shoulders and haul the mic stand in one hand and pull the cart in the other. Inside it takes me about 7-10 minutes to locate the room - find the wall plugs and set up. I am 72 years old and 5 feet tall and I can handle this easily.

    Now the most important part: the SOUND. It sounds great. No feedback either even when right in front of the unit. The sound fills up the room. Sound is clear and not fuzzy. I use it with both a Senheiser mic and a Shure and both sound fine - just different sound. The only reason I did not give this a 5 is that it is a little bass heavy for my recorded sound (CD's with the boombox). I would have to add a small mixer to my pile to modify that I presume and I just don't want another piece of equipment for these gigs. If I use it for another type venue I will probably add that in.

  • from August 13, 2015

    Love it!

    It does everything I need it to and sounds great!!

  • from Virginia January 5, 2015Music Background:

    Likeable Unit

    A basic PA for practice or play... Some EQ settings would have got a 5 star rating..a nice unit nonetheless!

  • from Statesboro, GA April 6, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Super Easy Setup

    Can't beat the convenience of setup. Did a superb job for a wedding ceremony with an Audio Technica wireless lapel, which will be one of my primary uses. Other will be restaurant/coffee shop/retirement center gigs. Very confident it will be great for those applications.

  • from Texas March 14, 2014Music Background:
    Professional speaker/musician

    All I had hoped for

    Can't say enough good things about this light, extremely well engineered piece of equipment. It's a marvel.

  • from Baltimore, MD December 9, 2013Music Background:
    Vocalist/Guitarist, play 10+ gigs/month

    Versatile PA

    I own a full PA rig with 12" powered speakers and 18" subs, but I was looking for a small PA to accommodate my solo acoustic shows. Many times I just play smaller bars for around 50 people. The Bose has been great for this purpose. It packs plenty of punch and sets up in just moments. I can use just one or both of the extension poles depending on the logistics of the room. I've also used it as a monitor for my full band shows. The onboard mixer options may be a bit limiting, but I'm willing to accept it for the overall simplicity.

  • from San Jose, CA USA September 26, 2013Music Background:

    I'm satisfied :)

    That sounds great. It's convenient to carry. I like that!

  • from July 28, 2013

    L1 compact

    I bought this unit probably with too much expectations since I read so many people reviewing good about this unit. I like it with no regret but less than I expected. I think it is probably because without ToneMatch. I realized that the price of ToneMatch is half of this unit price and plus you have to buy chord separately. To me, this is somewhat rediculose.
    I don't know whether I may change my rating to 5.0 if I try with ToneMatch which I do not have.

  • from Mansfield, Oh. June 7, 2013Music Background:
    Gigging Musician

    Needs bass unit...

    If you get this unit...do not hesitate to buy a Bose subwoofer unit as well to go along with this. It really needs it.

  • from January 14, 2013Music Background:
    hobby -beginner/intermediate

    Bose L1 Compact

    So far so good. Sounds great. Easy to set up. Is light enough to move easily. Still learning how to use it to get the best sound with mixer attached.

  • from Mohawk Valley, NY September 3, 2012Music Background:

    Bose L1 Compact

    I extensively compared this with the Fishman SA 220 and finally ended up with the Bose, not an easy or clear choice. What kicked it over the goalpost was that I felt it just sounded better, warmer and more inviting. But not clearer. Its bass response is outstanding and surpasses my needs. I do use a baritone guitar, but not a bass, and a big thump would not be appropriate for my music. Easy to move around and extremely light and compact, which were two things I was definitely looking for. I can set it up or break it down in far less than a minute.

    Comparing it to the Bose hype, I find it definitely quieter (but still adequate for smaller spaces) and not as useful as a monitor (but still can be used in quieter situations). The sound spread is better than my Mackie 450s, but not a huge amount more (the Mackies sound a bit better too - but then, with their stands, they are nearly three times the weight). The Bose sounds far better when extended - maybe at a distance this difference would not be so noticeable.

    I like the 2/5 year warranty. Warranties, to me, are an indication of the confidence the manufacturer feels in their product. And Bose was quite responsive when I called with questions. (Fishman was even better, tops in my mind.) I really dislike that there is only one XLR input as I have had to add an external pre-amp in order to play solo (I always use two mikes), which defeats to a certain extent the portability of the unit. With a small mixer substituted, I use the Bose with my duo (4 mikes now) and I don't see that the sound suffers as a result.

    But the bottom line is that I have something easy to schlep around that sounds really good and will do the job at small gigs. The Fishman is the better buy, but there were enough things about the Bose that I preferred to push me to purchase it instead.

  • from Mineola, Tx USA July 18, 2012Music Background:
    Touring singer songwriter - www.brownrandy.com

    Nice rig

    Bought the system for a driving tour where I would be playing a lot of small venues. The system is easy to set up and sounds great. My only beef is no eq on the guitar side and the recording output is too hot for. Y recorder. All in all a great value and well with the money.

  • from Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia April 23, 2012Music Background:
    Throwback folk singer. Pro.

    Paid for itself

    I bought the Bose L1 in January of 2012 and it has already paid for itself. I get more gigs than ever, partly because of the versatility and great sound of this system. I can play small cafes and bars, without blowing the audience out the doors. I've even played large convention rooms without turning up too far past the midline. The sound is amazing. The only changes I would like would be to have more versatility without shelling out $499 for the ToneMatch. When I play with a standup bass player I have to use a mixer and run the line out into the guitar side of the L1. It's not that big a deal, though, and the sound is still great. If you are a working musician this system is like having a soundman and a roadie in the trunk of your car, without the personnel problems.

  • from Pensacola, Florida August 8, 2011Music Background:

    Greater Unit weith the Tone match

    Boise has the best speakers around. I think we all know that by now. I bought the L1 compact with the Tone Match mixer and although it seemed alright with just the L2 compact I wasn't blown away until I hooked up the Tone Match unit with it. It totally transform the sound to a rich full sound. Although I tried to download the other presets into the Tone Match unit and it would only keep two of the guitar schemes. haven't researched it yet but it is probably something wrong. I would strongly suggest spending the extra $499 for the Tone Match.

  • from Hollywood, Florida July 20, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Really impressed

    I tried the L1 Compact for the first time last weekend at a Community Center in front of an audience of more than 200 people. I played solo. My tracks totally filled up the room. There were quite a few speeches. The speakers could clearly be heard all accross and in the back of the room. I'm really impressed the system. I'm planning to buy another one as soon as possible for even bigger sound. Can't wait to play my next gig.

  • from Iowa January 14, 2015Music Background:
    Some Sound training


    A weird look that turns heads. Good overall sound and lots of power. We have a quartet with background music and four singers and in a sanctuary that seats about 200, we run it at a 2 of total 10 power on the speaker. Bass sound is a little drawback, not a clear, sometime just muddled. Might be my inexperience with settings but don't think so.
    Carrying case and case for tower are really nice for traveling!

  • from Houston, TX January 4, 2017

    Bose L1 Compact System

    The Good:

    Unlike most Bose products, this small PA platform produces excellent highs and lows. Sound is clear and precise. It's an excellent PA for a singer/songwriter that plays small to medium venues. Functionally, it's an innovative and well made product. The directional speakers provide a full span of sound coverage. It surpasses anything else on the market

    The Bad:

    I would rate the product a "5" were it not for the fact that this Bose PA, already expensive, has very basic, marginal sound controls (volume, bass, treble, etc.) across two inputs - one customized for a mic and the other for a guitar. The PA offers no EQ, reverb, or additional mic/instrument inputs. If you want basic effects or additional inputs, it requires the Bose "Tone Match Engine" for additional $. Tone Match offers a variety of effects, customization for specific mics, and 4 additional inputs.

    The Alternative:

    It rankles me when a manufacturer markets a product (this was a gift) with engineered additional expense that could/should have been part of the basic package cost. Had I considered purchasing the L1 Compact myself, I would have walked away when I discovered the minimal controls and features. No reverb or EQ? Really? Even $100 beginner guitar amps have these as standard features!.

    I purchased a small Yamaha mixer for approximately $100 instead of forking out $ for the Bose Tone Match engine. The Yamaha gives me 6 inputs, reverb, echo, EQ, and a mixing balance that should have been engineered into the Bose system in the first place. It's plain, but effective.

    Is the Bose Tone Match better and does it offer more functionality than an aftermarket mixer? I test drove one and was blown away! It opens up an entire realm of possibilities! I would like to eventually have one. But at this point, it's an issue of principle. I'd prefer a higher retail price for the L1 rather than what feels like a car dealer "bait and switch" to get the options I need.

    At the very least the product description should mention an additional purchase is necessary to get nominal stage presence out of the system - rather than their "it's everything in one package that a performer could ever need" song and dance.

    Excellent product - IF you can afford to purchase the add-on mixer.

  • from April 27, 2017

    Less than thrilled

    First off, I have owned the FULL-SIZED L1 system for many years, and despite having to send it off for repairs every couple years, I have been very happy with it. A former bandmate won a free compact Bose system many years ago, and I could have sworn it was smaller and different than this one. I wanted something more compact for solo gigs, and Sweetwater had a great financing deal, so I went for it and got the L1 compact system. I play with loud foot percussion, and unfortunately this system isn't quite loud enough to compete without distorting. The actual speaker is only 15" tall and comes with two 31" extensions that take it up to a height of about 77". When I was looking at this thing before I bought it, I was under the impression that you could use one or both of them for different options. I was quite disappointed to learn that you have to use both of them if you use one of them. Using both of them gets the sound up and over the crowd I suppose, but having the half height option would serve so much better as a monitor. I have no idea why they did it that way; it doesn't seem like such a difficult thing to do. So all in all I would say this system is ok for quiet acoustic acts, but you would definitely want to use a mixer with it. I already owned the Tonematch which worked well with it, for what it is. It is definitely compact and easy to carry around, but the sound is extremely pale in comparison to the full sized L1. I considered sending it back, but with 4 years of financing at 18 bucks a month I decided to keep it. I really wish they would make an adapter or something that would allow using only one extension; a seemingly small issue but incredibly short sighted in my opinion.

  • from Cheltenham, PA March 14, 2016Music Background:
    professional musician

    Bose L1 Compact, great idea but overpriced

    As a solo acoustic guitarist/singer this system was a perfect match for me. It is small, lightweight, sounds very good and easy to set up. That's the good news. Now for the bad news. The major problem I have with this system is the price. Also, the tower is kind of thin and flimsy. Drunk people at bars often mistake it for a pole and tend to lean on it. I am worried that it will break. I also blew out the XLR channel while playing an i phone through it. I was told that if I play the i phone at full volume it can blow out the channel on The Bose. Well, for $1,000 one would think that this shouldn't happen. Now I have to use a mixer and run it through the 1/4" input. It kind of defeats the purpose of having an all in one system. From what I've been told by several salespeople, many L1 Compact owners are selling them and purchasing The New Turbosound Inspire Line array systems. They are supposedly sturdier, louder, have more bottom and cost a lot less than The Bose models. I will probably keep my L1 but I certainly won't be buying another.

  • from Florida Colorado FOH Sound Engineer March 3, 2017


    Was not that impressed. The JBL had better definition

  • from May 20, 2015Music Background:
    blues, rock, folk, blah, blah, blah

    Largely Disappointed

    I play acoustic guitar, and sing.

    I did a lot of research before purchasing this product. Tons of video reviews, comparisons, and shoot-outs. In most of them, the Bose L1 Compact was at or near the top of the list among portable PA systems in the comparable output range. But it's hard to get a real feel for what it sounds like, until you plug it in a try it for yourself.

    Now that I have, I find that it is grossly overrated.

    I bought this system as a lightweight alternative to my 10-channel power mixer/PA system (Behringer PMX20000, with two heavy Klipsch 10" wedge speaker cabs), which I paid about $500.00 for. And as you may or may not know, Behringer isn't exactly known for being all that great in terms of audio quality. Unfortunately, I will probably still end up lugging around my old system, because of how much better it sounds that the Bose.

    My first impression was that the guitar sounded "thin", and it had too much bite when you played. I messed around with the bass and treble (on the instrument, since there are no adjustments for the guitar channel on the Bose system), and I finally managed to get a "decent" sound out of it.

    Side note: The "tone match" feature on this, (at least when my Taylor is plugged in), is a waste. It only makes it sound more "tinny" and shrill. So I just leave that turned off.

    But what really struck me, was how hollow and plastic the vocals sounded when I plugged in my mic, (a classic SM58). The vocals sound terrible in my opinion.

    Once I heard how bad it sounded, I even went out and purchased a 500-watt powered subwoofer, in an effort to "build up" the thin signal. But it just wasn't enough. It still sounds chinsy.

    Every advertisement I've seen for this product, brags about the full, rich sound you get out of your instrument and your vocals. I have found that that is simply untrue. To me, this sounds cheap and hollow. Also, there is no built in reverb. The ads I read/watched claimed that you will not miss the reverb at all. . . I do. I think reverb may actually help to "round out" and enrich the sound a little bit, but since I don't have an external reverb device, I will just have to wait and see about that.

    Overall, this system is fine if your using it to give a presentation, to a small crowd. I may even go as far as to say that it is serviceable for playing guitar, (when a full rich sound isn't a top priority). The intelligent design, and portability of the unit is very nice. But beyond that, the sound quality just isn't there.

    I give it a resounding, "meh".

  • from 93101 September 26, 2014Music Background:

    Not for keyboard

    It may be great for guitars, but I plugged my Kurzweil keyboard into 2 different L1 systems at the Bose Store and it was noisy and hissy. Anytime I turned the volume past 50% it would make a terrible hiss. It only did this when it was plugged into the keyboard. I tried different chords and 2 different L1 systems to no avail. I'm bummed because I really wanted to buy this light-weight system for my keyboard and SM58 mic. I've been using 2 heavy keyboard amps that sound fine but the hauling of them is getting old.

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