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Author Topic: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker  (Read 2207 times)

Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2019, 08:52:23 pm »

The Bose L1 compact is a terrible Fisher Price kids toy dressed up as a pro audio speaker. Jerry are you a Bose fan or did you just see this unit as a potential solution to your problem? Don't fall the marketing BS on the website that claims this thing can do all sorts of magic, it's just not possible with a 6" line of tiny drivers The thing I really despise about Bose is the value quotient.. you really do not get good value for your money with a $1k retail price. This box in particular is pretty bad IMO, it's really flimsy and not very powerful with no more output than half of the average $300 home theater in a box. I get that you want something small and light and realistically for the small retirement home gigs you hardly need a PA but that is all the L1 compact would be good for.. it would be totally overwhelmed in front of a larger crowd. If you want some good value for your money I'd suggest you pick up a single EV ZXa1 and an aluminum stand, these sound really sweet.. are light at 19lbs and while they don't get as loud as a larger PA speaker a single box will easily outclass an L1c and you will have saved $300 or more.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2019, 09:29:50 pm »

The Bose L1 compact is a terrible Fisher Price kids toy dressed up as a pro audio speaker. Jerry are you a Bose fan or did you just see this unit as a potential solution to your problem? Don't fall the marketing BS on the website that claims this thing can do all sorts of magic, it's just not possible with a 6" line of tiny drivers The thing I really despise about Bose is the value quotient.. you really do not get good value for your money with a $1k retail price. This box in particular is pretty bad IMO, it's really flimsy and not very powerful with no more output than half of the average $300 home theater in a box. I get that you want something small and light and realistically for the small retirement home gigs you hardly need a PA but that is all the L1 compact would be good for.. it would be totally overwhelmed in front of a larger crowd. If you want some good value for your money I'd suggest you pick up a single EV ZXa1 and an aluminum stand, these sound really sweet.. are light at 19lbs and while they don't get as loud as a larger PA speaker a single box will easily outclass an L1c and you will have saved $300 or more.

What I don't get is the emotional attachment.  To have a frank and logical discussion with owners of Bose products is impossible.  They break the laws of physics and sound "amazing".

Just two weeks ago I was doing a benefit for a good friend who's cancer has not spread to his pancreas.  He is a beloved vocalist for 30+ years and a warm and genuine human being.  It was a long and emotional day.  Some of the bands that played were not used to production and quick turns so my little team had worked our asses off.  We were getting up to the headliners and a popular act around town, who play other peoples songs of course, was setting up on stage.  We have done weddings and privates for them before, they know we are moving away from the bar scene so we don't get calls from them for bar gigs.  I had KW153's over two KW181's on the 10" stage provided along with DXR10's for sidefills, 5 HPR112's for monitors and a drum sub.  It was the right rig for the room and had tons of headroom.  The monitor rig was way more than needed.  Anyway this guy walks up to me and says he bought a Bose F1 system (that's the goofy rig with the telescoping polls and line array styled tops) blows this rig out of the water (the F1 sub is 60lbs and two 10"'s!!!).  I said, I really doubt that but politely added if it is working for you I am happy.   He then proceeds to tell me that they just played a popular outside venue that they always hired us to cover.  It's 250' feet to the back, outside, very noisy as it is a busy marina.  The aforementioned KW rig is barely enough rig for this venue and we always bring a pair of KW112 to use as delays about halfway back.  Bands that care at this venue pay for a bigger system such as 2 JBL STX828's a side with three Muse210's on top (dual 10" line array modules) or my new favorite system an HK projector rig (it's only new to me!).  The HK is a twelve box horn loaded monster.  It sounds wayyyyy better than the the improperly deployed line array modules that folks seem to fawn over.

Anyway, they he goes on to say they are going to use these at a 1400 cap soft seating theater with at least a 40' proscenium I became irritated and one of the guys separated us. 

Seems anyone dumb enough to buy these Bose systems also gets a dose of hubris too.  I really don't get it. 

That's OK one of my techs uses a pair of Mackie Thumps for his jam band and says they sound "awesome".  That brings his entire judgment into question, lol. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Doug Jane

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2019, 11:25:05 pm »

What I don't get is the emotional attachment.  To have a frank and logical discussion with owners of Bose products is impossible.  They break the laws of physics and sound "amazing".
I agree completely. Amazing how something that breaks the laws of physics can be so feted. But then, theres gold plated a.c cables etc.....
You cant do much about stupid.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2019, 01:01:37 am »

I've not seen or heard the Compact.  I've mixed on a system comprised of a pair of L1MII - with the little subs - a number of times.

Is setup quick and simple? Yes.

Can it sound good? Yes, but not without just as much fiddling as a good standard box (some of which sound MUCH better).

Does the sound level change less with distance than "normal" speakers? No.

Is it better than a similarly priced "normal" system? It's not as good, let alone better. Especially if the musical genre "requires" a lot of kick.

At the price, I can't think of any reason to recommend it for any application.
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Jerry Dycus

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2019, 07:47:14 am »

I've not seen or heard the Compact.  I've mixed on a system comprised of a pair of L1MII - with the little subs - a number of times.

Is setup quick and simple? Yes.

Can it sound good? Yes, but not without just as much fiddling as a good standard box (some of which sound MUCH better).

Does the sound level change less with distance than "normal" speakers? No.

Is it better than a similarly priced "normal" system? It's not as good, let alone better. Especially if the musical genre "requires" a lot of kick.

At the price, I can't think of any reason to recommend it for any application.

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to listen to the "experts" and follow your own gut. I bought the L1 Compact a week ago, used it 2 days ago in a health facility. The audience was thrilled, my 4 singers were totally happy, and needless to say my back was a happy camper. From over 100 lbs. with three speakers to one at 26 lbs., far fewer cable strung across the floor, and setup time cut in half,  and as good if not better sound.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2019, 09:01:59 am »

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to listen to the "experts" and follow your own gut. I bought the L1 Compact a week ago, used it 2 days ago in a health facility. The audience was thrilled, my 4 singers were totally happy, and needless to say my back was a happy camper. From over 100 lbs. with three speakers to one at 26 lbs., far fewer cable strung across the floor, and setup time cut in half,  and as good if not better sound.
Then why did you ask?

You posted your question in the "big dog" forum, where folks routinely provide production for many hundreds or thousands of audience.  Sure, we do stuff for small head counts, too, and I recall that advice was given for very small crowds (you don't need PA) that would mean ZERO weight.  If you were seeking confirmation for a Bose purchase you generally won't find it among these users due to Bose "better sound through litigation" or "better sound through marketing (take you pick).

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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2019, 06:13:16 pm »

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to listen to the "experts" and follow your own gut. I bought the L1 Compact a week ago, used it 2 days ago in a health facility. The audience was thrilled, my 4 singers were totally happy, and needless to say my back was a happy camper. From over 100 lbs. with three speakers to one at 26 lbs., far fewer cable strung across the floor, and setup time cut in half,  and as good if not better sound.

I think you were just deluded because you spent too much money.  The fact you put experts in quotation marks clearly indicates you don't have an appreciation for the level of advice you get here.

You could have saved yourself $1000 if you had listened but you just had to prove us wrong.   Nobody cares but your wallet is can feel it. 



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2019, 06:48:15 pm »

Jerry its good that you are happy with your purchase, and I actually hope it will work well for you.  In my opinion, its a shame you didn't do a little more research.  There are a lot of competing similar type systems for the same or less money that are far superior to the LT1.  It's not that its "bad" for its intended purpose (as Bose states it is a personal performing/monitoring system), but it probably has the lowest performance and highest cost for any system of this type.  Cost/performance ratio is important in the pro audio world.  I can understand it isn't a factor you.  Again, it is not inherently "bad", it just isn't a good value in my opinion. 

I think the reason the LT1 (and other speakers of this type) are so disliked by the pro community is that we see them misused more often that we see them used as intended (Bose says as a personal performing/monitoring system in small venues). As a main system for most events (and especially outdoor events of almost any size) they are horribly inadequate.  Jerry, I'm not saying that you are misusing your system and that it won't work for your application, but I don't think you receive much performance for what you paid.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2019, 07:00:34 pm »

I have often read comments on the Bose L1 here-but never seen/heard one in the wild.  A few weeks ago a visiting musical family  was at our church-brought their own sound and had it set up when I got there-the Bose. I cringed, but my curiosity was up and it's their sound so none of my responsibility at that point so I listened.  At first, I was unimpressed-very dull/muddy sounding-but then my FOH position is poor-it is off to the side and up above most of the congregation(though our house system covers the room fairly evenly so it works for us as the best compromise). My pastor was standing at the back-and he usually is picky about sound-he didn't seemed too concerned, so I went to the back center of the auditorium.  Night and day!  It sounded decent and workable-and for a family traveling with tight space to a lot of churches with substandard sound-maybe not a terrible choice, though there could certainly be fair debate what would be the best cost vs benefit.

The take away to me?  I moved about 35 feet and there was a drastic difference in sound.  Far more than with our house system (an unfair comparison to be sure)-but also much worse than a similar setup using k12's as a pair of SOS in the same room a few weeks earlier. From my observation, the Bose would maybe cover half?? of our auditorium with a consistent sound-the QSC's easily covered all of it.
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Steve Swaffer

Brian Jojade

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2019, 09:18:06 pm »

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to listen to the "experts" and follow your own gut. I bought the L1 Compact a week ago, used it 2 days ago in a health facility. The audience was thrilled, my 4 singers were totally happy, and needless to say my back was a happy camper. From over 100 lbs. with three speakers to one at 26 lbs., far fewer cable strung across the floor, and setup time cut in half,  and as good if not better sound.

Not a great way to gain support on forums here.

Yes, the Bose system makes sound.  In your usage scenario, it's probably just the ticket.  There were only a couple posts that said it was junk, and those clarified that it's junk based on what you're paying for.  You could get something that outperforms that speaker in just about every aspect for a fraction of the price.  But if you've got the funds, and the speaker works for you, then awesome!

To be honest, providing sound for such a small audience is more difficult than filling a large venue in many cases, as keeping things more compact adds to the challenge.  It's a totally different game to play.  When you do get into larger venues, don't expect the world out of that box.  Yeah, it'll make noise, and if that's all you need, then it'll be fine.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Bose L1 Compact As FOH Speaker
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2019, 09:18:06 pm »


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