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Bose L1 Model II with B1 Bass Module and ToneMatch Reviews

5.0 stars based on 23 customer reviews
Questions about the Bose L1 Model II with B1 Bass Module and ToneMatch?

Questions about the Bose L1 Model II with B1 Bass Module and ToneMatch?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Scott DeMarko

    Without a doubt, if you're looking for serious professional "clean" and "crystal clear" sound, you need the Bose L1 system. Vocals are clear, acoustic guitar sounds amazing, conga drums are punchy, and the overal control of each individual channel having a variety of effect choices from reverb, to delay, to compressor controlled digitally is amazing. The mixer also has phantom power so you can use a condenser mic if needed, which is useful for a variety of miking conditions. Overall, for a small band in clubs where you're looking at 100-250 listeners, the L1 will blow you away in how quick, easy, and customizable it is to setup. The sound is so clear you may find yourself saying exactly what the lead singer of the band I do sound for said the first time we used the Bose L1 system, "this is so crystal I have never heard my voice sound this good before. It's almost shocking".

  • from Phoenixville, PA April 29, 2016Music Background:
    Acoustic rock solo

    Great PA system

    This is awesome, so easy to setup and the sound is great. Nice effects and the Tone Match is very easy to use! No need for monitors or heavy mains. I highly recommend this system.

  • from Austin, Tx July 15, 2015Music Background:
    Musician, Owner of Freetail Productions

    Surpassed expectations

    I bought this rig for wedding dj services, and small musical performances. I was blown away with the quality and power of the L1. For smaller to medium size venues, this thing is what you need and more! The design gives you sound plenty of space, and great balance of frequency. I only use one sub, and for what I use it for, I couldn't imagine needing 2. If you are going for more of a club, dance music vib, I would get the second sub. Overall this thing has already paid for itself in my business, and my customers are blown away by the sound. Also, I only take up the corner of their room without the mess of all the cables! Highly recommend this product.

  • from Terrell, TX October 24, 2014Music Background:
    Full time professional musician

    Bose L1 Model II

    Power base was defective upon arrival but Sweetwater and Bose quickly replaced unit and were very prompt in following up. New unit arrived and I love it. Clear natural sound. Now my bass player and guitar player want to plug in because sound is so acoustically pure and natural. I also use it for small settings with just lower half of tower setup. I have to adjust EQ slightly to compensate but have gotten used to the settings and can do it quickly. It works great. At this point I actually prefer my own mixer over the Tone Match, however I am still learning the various parameters and how to set them up. As I get used to it I am liking it more and more. With the mic stand adapter/holder it is also very convenient to use. The system is a little pricey but since I use it almost every day I consider it one of the tools of my trade and I like the quality. Durability will be my next observation as time goes by.

  • from South Florida February 25, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great Sound System

    Bose has always been known for top notch sound systems and this one is o exception. With Bose equipment and Sweetwater customer service how can you go wrong.

  • from Duck Hill, Mississippi U S A December 24, 2013Music Background:
    Bluegrass Picker ( fiddle & mandolin)

    Bose L1 Model I I single base with tone match

    First, I want to compliment on the service at Sweetwater. All you would expect plus some. Now for the Bose system. The sound is so clear and perfec. We play Bluegrass Music with all acoustic instruments. We use two Shure sm 27 condenser mics for both the vocals and the instruments(fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo and electric bass). It takes all the setup and take-down headaches out of the picture. Ten minutes max.o No monitors, big speakers or boards, everything fits on the back seat. And people just can't believe all that sound is coming out of that little tower. Sum it all up. Great!!! Worth every penny.

  • from Friday Harbor, WA October 10, 2013Music Background:

    Best clarity ever

    I'm a songwriter, not so much a singer. I write lyrically complex material. I use a Roland BK-5 to put across my songs in a solo act in which I sing everything. Lyrics are my best asset; people enjoy my songs for the lyrics. I have never found a PA system that makes my songs so easy to understand as the Bose, even in concert situations. I am continually getting compliments from fans who say they are now hearing the lyrics of songs they have heard many times before but never fully heard everything. The tone match also makes my voice sound much better than it is, and for that alone I'm very grateful.

  • from Gatesville, Tx October 18, 2012Music Background:
    Worship Leader non denom church

    Church Setting

    I would not expect any less from Bose. I've heard very few bad reviews on this paticular product. Mu view is those people just dont like Bose period. I bought just 1 unit. I use it for Sunday morning chirch service. We are currently set up in an old theater. There are 139 seats from the movie screen to the back. I would say it is about 60 feet back and 40 feet wide. You can walk anywhere in this area and the aound does not change. We will be getting another one soon. As for monitors, these are our monitors. I place the one unit behind me and about 4 foot to my left. Its only behind me about 4feet. Awesome!!'

  • from Concord, NC December 24, 2011Music Background:
    Bassist, Studio Owner, Live entertainment

    Wished I had bought this sooner

    This system sounds great everywhere I set it up. I'm running a 6 string bass with Digital Performer controlling a Korg Keyboard. I have 2 B1 bass cabs. A beta 87 & 58. Everything sounds great. I do not miss fighting EQ, mud and feedback every time I set up. First time we set this up I realized that I had never really heard myself sing. We had been using Klipsch speakers and a Makie board. Both great pieces but Bose just nailed it with this system.

  • from Bentonville, AR October 4, 2011Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer, Musician


    When I first was told about this product, I was very skeptical. I didn't see how it could produce the quality and quantity of sound that they were saying. I went ahead and purchased it and was totally blown away when I received it. The quality and amount of sound this little tower can push is incredible. It is great for indoor OR outdoor events, and setup takes just a few minutes. I highly recommend this for any one looking for a great portable system.

  • from September 29, 2011Music Background:
    Performing guitarist

    Sweetwater and the Bose L1 Model Ii

    Not only does this unit sound unbelievable clear, it has changed my life! Setup takes 10 minutes, including unloading, the sound is great. The T1 interface including multiple chained effects, and individual EQ, is absolutely user friendly-it is easy.
    And Scott Barefield and then support team are the best...

  • from Everett, WA USA July 21, 2011Music Background:
    Music making son of a Swede.

    What a kick in the pants !

    I purchased the system about a month ago, and finally had a chance to use it in a medium sized venue. The sound quality and area coverage, were definately as advertised. People, from the audience, commented at how clear the sound was and appreciated the fact that the volume level wasn't overpowering.

    I do a show that is truley "Unplugged", so every thing has to be mic'd.
    No problem with feedback what so ever. Couldn't be more pleased.

  • from Delphi,IN June 24, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, Teacher

    Clear Bose Sound

    I've been playing, performing and listening to music my whole life(I'm 50 yrs. old now) and have never experienced anything like the L1 Model II w/ Tonematch. I have a home studio and sing and play all of the instruments and vocalls. Any mic, guitar or drum(both acoustic and electric) that I've run through this system has blown me away. My studio is relativly small but this doesn't seem to know anything about feedback. Nada, zilch. Can't wait to use it live. Was skeptical of what I was getting for my almost $3000. It is all that and more!

  • from Newmarket, Ontario June 14, 2011Music Background:

    You'll love this system

    I got my first L1 Model II back in October 2010 just got my second June 2011. I can't say enough about this system. You'll never hear more crystal clear vocal reproduction. It gets plenty loud enough for most venues. As was pointed out in a previous review for really large venues you will want to add more B1 bass modules. I have 4 total 2 for each system. But you can run up to 4 per system with the packlite amp. That will give you alot more headroom and help the bass frequencies keep up in the larger venues. I love that fact that I can set up in minutes, I don't have to lug heavy speakers around and the sound is better than any other that I have heard from a PA.

  • from Dover, NH May 9, 2011Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician

    Save your ears, save your back!

    The absolute best sound you can buy! Having been through myriad combinations of mixers, amps and speakers, I have to say that this setup tops them all. AND - I can carry it - myself - 2 trips and no strain on my back. I use this mainly with keyboards and wind controller.

  • from Phoenix, AZ February 10, 2011Music Background:
    Full time musician for over 8 years.

    A remarkable system, for MOST people

    This review, like all of the ones I write are usually a mix of what's good and bad with a product. Unlike so many products that I review, the Bose L1 Model II doesn't have much bad to say about it at all. In fact, for 99% of it's users, you'll never find a small compact PA system that can ever match the clarity, and portability.

    Here is what I will say with 100% honesty, and even Bose would back me on this. I played roughly 350 shows with the original Bose L1, and after I purchased the Model II, I played close to 300 shows with that. They both are amazing for what they were made for.

    I'm one of the rare cases that wanted to test this thing to it's limit, and I played a couple very large outdoor shows and auditorium shows up nearly 500+ people. I was blown away by the fact that it was plenty loud enough to be heard by everyone around with no problem. HOWEVER, don't expect the B1 Bass Modules to have any effect in sizes this large. My only complaint I ever had with this system in any type of room was the lack of Bass. When I say Bass, I don't mean clarity in the bass, but I simply love the PUNCH and LOUD bass. This system was not designed for that. It was meant to be clear, portable, eye catching, and it lives up to all of that. Yes, you can buy an external subwoofer, and accomplish all I'm talking about, but I simply think it's silly to have a large subwoofer next to this tiny pole. Just my opinion.

    My #1 suggestion is make sure you think about what you're going to use this for, and decided if the $3,000 you'll spend on this system is the best money you can spend. FOR MOST, I'd say it truly is, but for others I wouldn't.

    Great for:
    Private Parties
    Small-Medium Sized Bars
    Coffee Houses

    NOT GREAT for:
    Large Bars with Wood Floors
    Anyone looking for a POWERFUL bass.

  • from March 13, 2010Music Background:
    Singer/songwriter and lifelong gigging musician.

    Lives up to the hype

    Okay, so I just unpacked my new Bose L1 Model II with T1 Tonematch module a few hours ago, but I can already tell that this unit is living up to the hype. I've been playing and singing for 20 years, and this is by far the best vocal reproduction I've ever experienced in any venue - and this venue happened to be my house!

    I trusted the great Sweetwater advice from Bob Mondok and ordered my Bose L1 yesterday, and to my delight, it arrived today (Saturday)! The crisp, realistic reproduction of my vocals and guitar were unbelievable. My wife, who was sick in bed while I took it for a test drive, told me with exuberance about how incredibly good I sounded from another room in the house. Typically she begs me to turn my music down - this time she praised me. I was absolutely blown away, and I can't wait to gig with the L1 next week.

    Thank you, Bose! Set-up took about ten minutes, which included unpacking everything from the shipping boxes. Unbelievable.

  • from Touring November 20, 2009Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Fantastic for any audience less than 300

    We have been touring with this for 2 years and will never go back to the old way of doing sound. In venues where our audience is larger than 300, we simply provide a line out from the T1, and the house suplements the sound. We hear what the audience hears and everyone benefits!

    It works best when there are no more than 2 performers per stick, but in a pinch we have had three to a stick. You will hear some people knock this system, but 9 times out of 10 they haven't actually played out with it or even heard it used well. There are some 'musicians' who can't play in an ensemble...they just bang out their part and hope it sounds good. The beauty of this system is wasted on them.

    ...so glad Sweetwater carries them now, as I have been a customer for a long time and had to buy ours elsewhere.

  • from United States May 30, 2009Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    The Amplification answer

    I love the Bose L1 Model II system. I had the original Model I system and then purchased the Model II version. I use two of them with the must have ToneMatch. I use one system for a singer and horns (sometimes just 1 sax or with 2 saxes or 1 sax, 1 trombone and 1 trumpet), and I use the other for me to sing and play an electric guitar and a keyboard. During intermission, I have an iPod connnected to both systems. It's great to only carry these two systems, and no longer have to carry two amps, two PA speakers, two monitors and a mixer. There are SKB cases designed for both models, which have wheels to roll them. The pieces are heavier with the cases, but they're better protected if they fall. We play top 40, oldies, jazz, line dance music, etc. A power issue at a venue caused both Model II systems to go out. However, Bose backs its products, so they repaired them and extended the warranty. This is a great product for clubs, large banquet rooms, and small to medium auditoriums.

  • from Nevada April 6, 2015Music Background:
    Professional entertainer

    Best sound ever!

    The sound of the Bose L1 model II with B1 bass +ToneMatch is incredible! I am very pleased with the sound and the many effects. The only reason I gave this system 4.5 stars instead of 5 stars is due to the mounting mechanism for the ToneMatch. I have to secure the Tonematch to the support arm with a bungee cord to keep it from falling on the floor. The mount for this $500 piece of equipment should be more secure. As a suggestion, I would like to see the ToneMatch fasten to the arm with a thumb screw from underneath. Instead it just sits on a very small post and with several cords (microphones and instruments) hanging out of the back, there is just not enough support for this unit. Other than that I am very happy with the Bose!

  • from colorado August 22, 2014Music Background:
    guitarist, soloist, instrumentalist, songwriter, session musician, bassist...

    great piece of gear...

    this is a solo artist's dream piece of gear- it's pricey, but it makes up for it in portability, power, and sound quality...the tonematch module is a must have for this unit, and has a wide variety of processing tools (eq, settings for different guitars, compression/limiting, scene creation for separate instruments, reverbs (the cavern reverb is really nice), and delays)...the upgrades to the L1 series in this version are stellar- especially the power base (a great improvement over the massive circular base they used to have...)...i cannot believe how discreet and powerful this piece of gear is, and the sound coverage is massive...comes with nice carrying bags-just wish the base module cover had padding...high marks, otherwise...

  • from Northwest Arkansas June 27, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist with 16 years of formal music lessons.

    Bose L1 Model II Single Bass is Great

    I have connected this up to my Korg keyboard and the sound is very impressive. The tone match engine provides a variety of settings to tailor the sound to what you want. It picks up the high tones and the bass rocks!
    In addition it is very easy to setup and take down if you need it to be mobile. It includes very nice quality padded bags for moving the equipment.

  • from Greenville, SC February 15, 2012Music Background:
    MWADJ - musician with a day job

    Perfect for Sax and Keys

    I've done three gigs since getting the L1 last month, all solo playing sax and Rhodes over sequenced tunes on a Motif. Keyboard sounds are awesome, sax never sounded better and best of all I can hear very well without a monitor. I've placed the speaker just beside and slightly behind me, which works great as a monitor. I've used it in a cozy little venue, 40 people, and in a large room, 300+, with concrete floors and high, open rafter ceilings, glass wall, (i.e. bright), and it sounded great in both sites. Bought a second sub but still a bit shy if you need oomf for a dance.

  • from Ft Lauderdale, FL February 3, 2012Music Background:
    Musician and engineer

    Bose L1 Model II Delivers the goods

    I recently became aware of the Bose L1 series of PA systems. They are an innovative approach to what has become a "heavy metal" pursuit of good quality sound reinforcement. The usual approaches require hundreds of pounds of amplified speakers, subwoofers, monitors, rack gear and mixing boards, which become daunting for a one to four piece band playing less than auditorium crowds. A noted jazz guitarist friend of mine went to see Pat Metheny, whose stage act was powered solely by five of these sticks, and raved about the sound. I had to try it. When the package arrived, I was able to set it up in about the time it took me to unpack the boxes. The four pieces clicked together flawlessly and very quickly I had sound. The first attempt was using my Taylor acoustic, and two microphones. Interestingly enough, I was able to find specific presets for the Taylor and the two individual mikes. After twiddling with effects (on board compression, reverb, modulation and eq selectable per channel) I got what is possibly the best acoustic sound image I have ever heard......This was followed by a Les Paul, a Fender Jazz bass, an Alesis keyboard- all of which had specific and very useful presets to get started. The positives with this system is that you could probably power a medium volume four piece band ( electric, acoustic, bass and microphone) and get both monitors and mains out of this simple system. Granted the guitar settings dont sound as good as a boutique tube amp, and the bass setting is not quite as good as my Eden rig, but in a pinch, it sounds pretty dm good. the only questions to me are the ultimate volume achieved without feedback in order to get both monitor and main. I settled on running three mics through a mixing board and then the mono output of the board into one tone match input. This worked very well. I am debating as to whether I want an additional sub module, and whether the end state for me is two of these systems. One quick note is that this is a monaural system, and stereo imaging will be impossible with a single one but doable with two. The real remarkable property is the true dispersion of the system.......almost a full 180 degrees with no audible degradation of presence or sound quality. In summary I strongly recommend this system for someone who wants optimum sound quality and a simplified approach to live sound and is willing to live with the very few limitations. However if you are a techy gear head be warned that Bose is very cryptic about specifications and details on the approaches......sort of like the Apple of the PA world.....use it, dont try to reverse engineer it. It isnt cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for....


  • Jon Schafer

    Playing live music is full of equipment challenges. And though it seems counterintuitive, playing in a small room is often more complicated than filling a stadium with sound. My folk/Americana trio, the Gimcrack Slackers, recently faced the small-room/live-sound challenge, playing a small club here in town. But thankfully, our friends at Bose were nice enough to loan us an L1 Model II with ToneMatch for the gig - and it performed admirably!

    We had no trouble assembling the L1 Model II, although the low ceiling did make for a little excitement. Once we had the unit put together and positioned where we wanted it in the room, it was time to start plugging in and choosing ToneMatch presets for our particular setup. Our instrumentation consisted of two acoustic guitars, a banjo, an electric bass, and two vocalists. The vocal mics went into channels 1 and 2, with the banjo mic in channel 3. Channel 4/5 (a stereo pair of 1/4" jacks) accommodated the two acoustic-electric guitars running direct into the module. The electric bass was amplified using an external bass amp.

    The ToneMatch has presets that let you shape the sound for what you have running through the L1 Model II. For mics, all the usual suspects are included, along with voicings for various guitar pickups, basses, and much more. The menus are easy to navigate, and the presets sound great. After just a few minutes of selecting presets and dialing back the brightness of the acoustic guitars just a touch, we were ready to take the stage.

    Now, for how it sounded. In a word: amazing! The room was filled but not overpowered by the sound system. The L1 Model II offered up very natural-sounding reproductions of all the instruments (even the banjo!), and we received several compliments on the sound after the show. When you couple the L1's painless setup with its superb sound, it's easy to see that Bose has a real winner here. We really didn't want to send it back!

Questions about the Bose L1 Model II with B1 Bass Module and ToneMatch?

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