Does The Bose L1 Have a Subwoofer?

Does The Bose L1 Have a Subwoofer?

Does The Bose L1 Have a Subwoofer?

Yes, all the L1 Pro systems have a subwoofer, but they’re each set up a little differently.

The L1 Pro8 and L1 Pro16 each have a racetrack subwoofer built into the base unit.

The L1 Pro32 does not have a sub built in, instead relying on the Sub1 or Sub2 active subwoofers to be connected.  When you purchase the L1 Pro32, you buy with either the Sub1 or Sub2 option.

The Sub1 is a 7” x 13” racetrack driver playing as low as 40Hz, effectively a 15” subwoofer speaker stretched into an oval racetrack shape.

The Sub2 is larger, comparable to an 18” subwoofer, but stretched into a 10” x 18” racetrack speaker.  This one plays down to 37Hz, even lower than the larger Bose F1 subwoofer.

You can stack a pair of Sub1, a pair of Sub2, or run a Sub1 with a Sub2 together.  Alternatively, you can add a Sub1 or Sub2 to either the Pro8 or Pro16.

Bose L1 Pro subwoofer

Is the Bose L1 worth it?

Is the Bose L1 worth it?

Is the Bose L1 worth it?

Such a common question, one that is asked all the time in various Facebook groups for Bose users, musicians and DJs.

Whether the Bose L1 is worth it depends on your needs and budget. It is a high-quality portable PA system that offers excellent sound quality and is relatively easy to set up. However, it is also quite expensive.

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Bose L1 to help you decide if it is the right system for you:


  • Excellent sound quality
  • Amazing throw of sound
  • Small footprint, low profile, and isn’t an eye-sore in any room.
  • Wide coverage
  • One size doesn’t fit all, so there are a number of Bose Professional portable options, be it for a DJ, solo musician, live band, dance school, and more.
  • Portable and easy to set up
  • Reliable warranty and local, personal support
  • Variety of input options


  • It’s not cheap.  Nothing good in life is cheap.
  • Takes some getting used to compared to “traditional speaker on a stand” options.

If you are looking for a high-quality portable PA system that offers excellent sound quality and is relatively easy to set up, then the Bose L1 is a good option. However, if you are on a budget or need a system that can handle larger venues, then there are other options that may be a better fit.

Ultimately, the best way to decide if the Bose L1 is worth it is to try it out and see if it meets your needs. If you’re in the upper North Island of NZ, let’s chat about how you can try a system out for yourself.  Seeing it in a retail store doesn’t cut it, it simply doesn’t compare to giving it a go at a real event on stage, or in your usual practice room or studio.

Does the L1 Pro8 have reverb?

Does the L1 Pro8 have reverb?

Yes, the Bose L1 Pro8 has reverb.

It has a built-in multi-channel mixer that offers adjustable EQ and reverb. 

Note that while the Pro8 has 3 channels built in, reverb is only available on ch1 and 2.

You can also adjust the reverb via the Bose Music app.

  1. Open the Bose Music app.
  2. Select the L1 Pro8 from the list of devices.
  3. Tap on the “Mixer” tab.
  4. Under the “Effects” section, tap on the “Reverb” button.
  5. Use the slider to adjust the amount of reverb.

Download the Bose Music app for iOS or Android here.

And of course, if you’re using the T4s or T8s Tonematch mixer (or older original T1 mixer), you have full audio control including reverb, EQ and instrument, microphone, and DJ presets.

Adjust the volume, EQ, and reverb controls.

Each channel has individual volume, bass, and treble controls. Channels 1 and 2 have a reverb control also. To adjust the controls:

  1. Press the channel control knob to select a setting: VOLUMETREBLEBASS or REVERB
  2. Rotate the channel control knob to turn up (clockwise) or down (counterclockwise) the setting:
    • When adjusting volume, the signal indicator below the knob indicates if the signal is too loud or quiet: Green means the signal is present; red means the signal is clipping; off means no or low signal present
    • When adjusting bass and treble, the middle/center position is the neutral setting

Volume comparisons in Bose L1 Pro range

Volume comparisons in Bose L1 Pro range

Audio volume comparisons in Bose L1 Pro range

One of the most common questions asked about the latest Bose L1 Pro systems how loud is each one compared to the others.

It’s sort of logical that the L1 Pro32 is louder than the smaller L1 Pro16, which is louder than the smaller L1 Pro8.

But how much louder?  And what about that famous “throw” – how far does each L1 pro throw the sound?

Bose has kindly produced this graphic to show each model, measurable dB level over a distance (straight line).  One of the most important elements of the figures is the “intelligibility”, meaning can you actually hear WHAT is coming from the speaker at a distance, vs just hearing that it’s making noise, ANY noise.  In terms that mean anything to you at a wedding or in a venue, can you hear what the presenter is saying?  Can you recognise the song playing at a distance?

With intelligibility being what I would consider the most relevant measurement, you can see the Pro8 starts to be unrecognisable at approximately 10 to 12 metres, the Pro16 falls off somewhere close to 40 metres, and the Pro32 seems good at over 32 metres.

Bose L1 Pro volume comparison

(image source: Bose Portable PA forums)

It’s probably obvious to anyone familiar with the Bose L1 systems or have sued the older L1 Model 1 or 2 systems in the past.  But the L1 can seem overly complex to the uninitiated.

In short, the bigger the L1 Pro, the bigger the sound, the longer the throw, the higher the spl, and of course the higher the price.

The L1 Pro32 is a power house of sound capable of standing up against the F1 812 in that it has similar SPL, lower bass frequency, but longer throw than the F1 (hear it from further across a venue).  The smallest unit being the Pro8, which is portable, costs considerably less, yet has same effect as the bigger Pro16 or Pro32, just in much smaller rooms.

And of course if you go and add the Sub1 or Sub2 to either unit (or double up on the Pro32) then it changes things again.  Keep in mind that bass will drop off at approximately 1dB per metre, so harder to measure against the main audio from the array.

Got questions?  Want to test it out yourself at your own venue or regular, familiar event space?

If you’re in Auckland, contact me to arrange a demo of the Bose L1 Pro8, L1 Pro16 or Pro32.

Nick Logan | Rich Audio