Bose L1 Pro8 Review: The Ultimate Portable PA System

Table of Contents

Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Muisc Pro Editorial Team

Nothing is more crucial to a successful performance than a reliable sound system. The original Bose L1 system revolutionized the music scene for solo performers and small groups by offering an affordable, easy-to-set-up, grab-and-go portable line array speaker. It not only made transporting and setting up a PA system feasible but also delivered exceptional sound quality. The Bose L1 Pro8 portable, the latest in this innovative line, continues this tradition by being even more compact and user-friendly, without sacrificing sound quality.

A Closer Look at the L1 Pro8

The Bose L1 Pro8 portable has been redesigned to be slimmer and light weight, a feat achieved partly through the inclusion of a built in mixer and 7″ x 13″ oval RaceTrack subwoofer. This model enhances the user experience with the addition of integrated Bluetooth, allowing for wireless control through the L1 Mix app and wireless mixing, saving presets, and accessing Bose’s ToneMatch library of EQ presets. These presets are not only effective but also significantly improve sound quality, making the Pro8 a valuable tool for any performer.

Understanding Line Array vs. Point and Shoot Systems

Before diving into the specifics of the L1 Pro8, it’s essential to understand the difference between line array and point and shoot PA systems. Unlike point and shoot models that project sound directly and vary in quality based on the listener’s position, line array systems like the L1 Pro8 use multiple small speakers to evenly distribute sound throughout a space. The Pro8 achieves this with eight articulated 2″ neodymium drivers, ensuring balanced sound and crisp highs everywhere in the room.

Key Features of Bose L1 Pro8

Unmatched Portability

The L1 Pro8 redefines convenience with its lightweight design and a shoulder strap for easy transport. Weighing just 16 kilograms (35 pounds), it disassembles into three manageable pieces, making it ideal for live music performances and small gigs. With the line array components neatly packed in the included travel bag and the base equipped with an integrated handle, you can easily carry the entire system and your instrument in one trip. This design not only simplifies transportation but also ensures setup and listening experiences are as effortless as possible.

Innovative Sound with the Integrated RaceTrack Subwoofer

Bose has reimagined bass response with the L1 Pro8’s integrated RaceTrack subwoofer, providing great sound that sounded great in various settings without the bad batch issues.This subwoofer features a unique 7″ × 13″ RaceTrack driver, engineered to offer the power and performance of a traditional 12″ woofer without the bulk. The result is a slim, portable, and incredibly powerful subwoofer that fits perfectly on stage, enhancing your sound without occupying unnecessary space.


Exceptional Sound Coverage

The L1 Pro8’s C-shaped line array, equipped with eight articulated 2” neodymium drivers, provides legendary 180-degree horizontal sound coverage, ensuring that every member of your audience enjoys great sound, whether it’s for vocal recording, acoustic instruments, or electronic music. The speaker’s design ensures there are no feedback issues, even when there’s only one microphone with phantom power connected, regardless of their position in small to medium venues, enjoys clear sound. The vertical dispersion of its C-shaped array also allows for wide vertical sound coverage, making sure that both seated and standing audience members receive generous and consistent sound quality.

Enhanced Control with the Bose L1 Mix App


The L1 Mix app introduces a new level of control and connectivity to your performances. This app allows you to adjust mixer settings from your phone instantly, enabling you to fine-tune your sound from anywhere in the room. Real-time synchronization between the mixer and app ensures that volume and tone adjustments are reflected immediately, with the LED encoder on the L1 Pro8 moving to match your changes. Additionally, the app provides access to Bose’s entire ToneMatch library of custom EQ presets, offering intuitive and instant control over your performance sound.

Easy Setup and Impressive Sound Quality

The L1 Pro8’s design simplifies setup, breaking down into three parts for easy transport and assembly. Utilizing the L1 Mix app further enhances this process, allowing users to control EQ, reverb, and volume remotely and access preset scenes and the ToneMatch library. The Pro8’s sound output is surprisingly loud for its size, delivering excellent fidelity even at high volumes. This combination of ease of use and sound quality sets the Pro8 apart in the portable PA market.

The ToneMatch Advantage

One of the standout features of the L1 Pro8 is the ToneMatch function, a collection of EQ presets tailored to match and enhance the sound of common instruments. This function simplifies finding the perfect sound for a specific instrument, as demonstrated in tests with a Taylor 912ce acoustic guitar. The ToneMatch presets not only make the instrument sound more alive but also allow for customization and easy saving and sharing of settings, underscoring the Pro8’s versatility and user-friendliness.

Interviews with Audio Engineers, Music Producers, and Tech Experts

In the realm of live sound reinforcement, the Bose L1 Pro8 system has garnered attention from audio engineers, music producers, and tech experts for its innovative design and performance. Professionals in the industry have praised its portability and sound quality, making it a favored choice for various events and venues.

Audio engineers have particularly noted the L1 Pro8’s RaceTrack subwoofer for its slim profile and powerful output, which challenges the traditional bulky subwoofers. The ability to deliver low frequencies with such clarity and depth without taking up significant stage space is seen as a major advancement. Music producers appreciate the system’s 180-degree horizontal sound coverage, highlighting its effectiveness in creating a consistent listening experience throughout the venue, ensuring that every audience member enjoys the same sound quality, regardless of their location.

Tech experts commend the Bose L1 Mix app for its intuitive design and real-time control over the system. The app’s connectivity and the seamless integration with the L1 Pro8 allows for adjustments on the fly, a feature highly valued during live performances where the sound environment can change rapidly. The access to Bose’s ToneMatch library is another point of praise, offering presets that are finely tuned to enhance the sound of specific instruments or voices.

One audio engineer shared an experience where the L1 Pro8 system was used in a small, acoustically challenging venue. The system’s line-array configuration helped overcome the venue’s sound issues, providing clear, well-balanced audio across the entire room. This example underscores the L1 Pro8’s adaptability and effectiveness in a variety of settings, from quiet cafes to bustling event halls.

Case Studies

The practical applications of the Bose L1 Pro8 system extend across a wide range of scenarios, showcasing its versatility and performance.

One notable case study involves a mobile DJ who regularly performs at weddings and corporate events. The DJ switched to the L1 Pro8 for its ease of transport and quick setup. The system’s comprehensive coverage and exceptional sound quality allowed the DJ to deliver an immersive audio experience, receiving positive feedback from clients and guests alike.

Another case study highlights a solo acoustic guitarist and vocalist who performs in coffee shops and small venues. The artist found the L1 Pro8’s compact design ideal for the limited stage space often encountered in such venues. The system’s ToneMatch feature was particularly beneficial, allowing the artist to quickly find and apply the perfect EQ settings for both the guitar and vocals, resulting in a more polished and professional sound.

A music festival organizer also shared their experience with the L1 Pro8, using multiple units to create a distributed sound system for an outdoor event. The organizers were impressed with the system’s ability to provide clear, consistent sound across a large area, ensuring that every attendee had a great listening experience. This case study demonstrates the L1 Pro8’s scalability and effectiveness in larger, more complex sound reinforcement situations.


The Bose L1 Pro8 system is a game-changer for performers who value portability without compromising on sound quality. Its lightweight design, innovative RaceTrack subwoofer, and extensive sound coverage make it an ideal choice for a variety of venues and events. Coupled with the L1 Mix app for effortless sound control, the L1 Pro8 sets a new standard for portable PA systems, offering a seamless blend of convenience and performance.


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