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Bose S1 Pro+ Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Sep 08, 2023 at 11:18 am
Latest change: Writing modified Sep 08, 2023 at 11:18 am
Bose S1 Pro+ Picture
6.9
Music
6.0
Videos/Movies
8.2
Podcasts
3.1
Voice Assistant
7.1
Outdoors

The Bose S1 Pro+ is a wireless PA system that's designed to take your music with you wherever you go. This speaker has a built-in handle for easy transport to a backyard, bar, or park and many connectivity options to pair up your microphones, guitars, and other instruments. It's compatible with Bose's Wireless Transmitter technology, so you can connect wireless instruments, too. The integrated three-channel mixer lets you adjust the sound of your instruments accordingly, and there are many features on hand to make the most of your next performance.

Our Verdict

6.9 Music

The Bose S1 Pro Plus is fair for music. This speaker is designed with musicians in mind, offering many connectivity options for microphones, guitars, and more. The three-channel mixer and other features let you adjust the sound of these instruments accordingly, which is a cool touch. If you just want to listen, you can always pair up a smartphone to stream audio wirelessly. With a balanced sound out-of-the-box, voices and lead instruments clearly and accurately reproduce. Its Auto EQ tool ensures you get the best sound no matter how you position the speaker. It can't bring the deep rumble in the low-bass like other premium speakers.

Pros
  • Lots of connectivity options for instruments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
  • Lacks some low-bass.
6.0 Videos/Movies

The Bose S1 Pro Plus isn't designed for watching movies, but if you want to watch a video from a paired smartphone, it can get the job done. There's relatively low latency with iOS and Android devices, so there aren't any lip-synching issues with dialogue-heavy videos. Voices are reproduced with clarity, too, so it's easy to follow along with the conversation. This speaker doesn't bring as much thump and rumble in the low-bass as other models, so you don't get a very cinematic feel with action-packed content.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Auto EQ feature to optimize sound.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
  • Lacks some low-bass.
8.2 Podcasts

The Bose S1 Pro Plus is great for podcasts. You can easily stream audio from your mobile devices to the speaker via Bluetooth or connect your phone over an AUX input. The clear and accurate reproduction of voices in the mix ensures you can follow along with the conversation in your favorite shows. Since it gets loud, too, you can crank up the volume when you listen in larger rooms. Plus, the Auto EQ feature automatically optimizes the speaker's sound based on how you position it in your room, which is a cool touch.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Auto EQ feature to optimize sound.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
3.1 Voice Assistant

This speaker doesn't support voice assistants.

7.1 Outdoors

The Bose S1 Pro Plus is a decent choice to play music outside. While it isn't rated for dust or water resistance, it boasts a solid and sturdy build, with a built-in handle for easy transport. You can position it vertically or horizontally, depending on the needs of your space, and tilt it up or sit it flat to get the best possible sound. The Auto EQ tool automatically optimizes the speaker's output based on how you position it. The speaker gets loud, too, so you can easily fill up your backyard with your favorite tunes.

Pros
  • Lots of connectivity options for instruments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • No rating for dust or water resistance.
  • Some compression at max volume.
  • 6.9 Music
  • 6.0 Videos/Movies
  • 8.2 Podcasts
  • 3.1 Voice Assistant
  • 7.1 Outdoors
  1. Updated Sep 08, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Sep 05, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Aug 28, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Jul 31, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Jul 17, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose S1 Pro Plus is available in Black, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you encounter another version of this speaker, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update the review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Bose S1 Pro Plus is a wireless PA system with a similar design to the Bose S1 Pro System. They're both portable Bluetooth system speakers designed for use with microphones and other instruments. However, the Plus adds monochrome screens to its control panel, making it even easier to see various settings as you adjust them. This version gets louder, too, and it supports Bluetooth version 5.0.

You can also check out our recommendations for the best-sounding Bluetooth speaker, the best speakers for parties, and the best Bluetooth speakers for bass.

Bose S1 Pro System

The Bose S1 Pro+ is better than the Bose S1 Pro System. These speakers are a similar size and offer a similar design. However, the Pro+ has monochrome screens that offer excellent feedback as you adjust various instruments and other settings. It gets louder, too, and it supports Bluetooth version 5.0. Plus, its battery life lasts a bit longer.

JBL PartyBox 310

The JBL PartyBox 310 is better for music than the Bose S1 Pro+. The JBL has a unique design with customizable RGB lights that may be more suitable for some users. Plus, it can reproduce a more extended low-bass, so you get more thump and rumble in the mix. Its battery life is longer, too. While both speakers let you connect instruments like microphones, the Bose has a few more settings for this use. The Bose is smaller, too.

JBL PartyBox 710

The JBL PartyBox 710 is a better speaker for music than the Bose S1 Pro+. The JBL is a much larger speaker, and it can reproduce a more extended low-bass to bring more thump and rumble to the mix. The more portable Bose may be more suitable for some users. The Bose is geared towards musicians, too, so while both speakers have microphone and guitar inputs, the Bose offers more customization features to make the most of these devices.

JBL PartyBox 300

The Bose S1 Pro+ and the JBL PartyBox 300 both come with microphone and guitar inputs. However, the Bose is better suited for musicians. It comes with more customization tools to make the most of these devices and a companion app for easier control. It's smaller and more portable, too. If you're looking to listen to music, the JBL is still a good choice, though, and it even comes with RGB lights to set the mood.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Bose S1 Pro Plus is an all-black speaker that's a similar size to the Bose S1 Pro. There are four different ways that you can position it: vertically or horizontally, flat or tilted up. You can see how this works in the video here. As you adjust the speaker, you can also rotate the Bose logo counterclockwise accordingly to keep a sleek look. There's also a standard 35 mm pole cup mount in case you want to use it with a speaker stand.

8.1
Design
Portability
Volume
1,384 inยณ (22,674 cmยณ)
Weight
14.9 lbs (6.8 kg)
Power Source
AC & Battery
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Bose S1 Pro Plus is portable. Despite its larger size, you can still carry it in one hand thanks to the built-in handle. It's battery-powered, too, meaning it doesn't need to stay plugged into a power outlet when you use it. It does take up a little bit more room if you tilt it back, though.

6.4
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
No
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
No

The Bose S1 Pro Plus is mostly made of plastic, which feels sturdy and solid. The metal grille in front of the speaker helps to protect the drivers inside, too. The built-in handle is comfortable to hold and large enough for bigger hands. A rubber flap also covers the Wireless Transmitter charging ports to keep out dust, which you can see here. It's not rated for dust or water resistance, so exercise caution when using it outdoors.

5.5
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Excellent
Music Play/Pause
No
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
No
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The Bose S1 Pro Plus's controls are great, and they come with lots of different features to help you adjust its performance. There are three dials next to each channel with a small (0.8in by 0.8in) monochrome display to show you the settings as you adjust them. Channels 1 and 2 are designed for microphones, instruments, and Wireless Transmitters, while Channel 3 is for AUX and Bluetooth, and the controls are designed accordingly. Press down on any dial to control that channel's volume, bass, and treble. On Channel 1 and 2, you can also control reverb. Hold the control dial to get access to additional settings:

Channel 1 and 2:
  • ToneMatch (Off/Microphone/Instrument): Adjusts the EQ of an instrument to preserve its natural sound. The presets are designed for a handheld microphone or acoustic guitar, and you can customize presets in the app for different instruments.
  • Insert (Auto/Off): Controls the effects loop functionality for a channel. When turned on, you can connect your effects units or pedals to the channel input while using a wireless transmitter for your source.
  • Wireless (Auto/Off): Turns on and off the wireless transmitter port for a channel.
  • Expanders (On/Off): Lets the system reduce the volume of low-level background noise for a channel.
Channel 3:
  • Auto-Off (On/off): Activates the auto-off timer, which automatically powers the speaker down after you haven't adjusted any controls for four hours.
  • Livestream (On/Off): Lets you send audio from the speaker to a computer so you can record it or perform live online.
  • Sub EQ (On/Off): Optimizes the system EQ when a subwoofer is connected to the line out port.
  • Expanders (On/Off): Lets the system reduce the volume of low-level background noise for a channel.

Overall, the dials are easy to press and offer some resistance to enable fine-tuning various settings. The monochrome displays show the volume level and various settings like LiveStream when you enable them. There's also a Bluetooth button for pairing. You can see a video of the controls here.

Design
In The Box

  • Manuals
  • Bose S1 Pro Plus Speaker
  • AC power cord (199 cm / 6.5ft)

Sound
7.1
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.26
Std. Err.
3.23 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
51.1 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.8 kHz

The Bose S1 Pro Plus has decent frequency response accuracy. It has an Auto EQ setting that's turned on by default, automatically adjusting the speaker's sound based on its orientation. As a result, you get an optimal listening experience for each of the four positions available.

We tested the speaker in a vertical orientation, sitting flat. The overall sound is quite balanced, especially in the mids, where most voices and instruments reproduce. The touch of extra emphasis in the high-bass also adds some warmth to the mix. There isn't a huge difference in the speaker's sound when you set it up in any of the other positions, as you can see from the graph here. Additionally, this graph shows you a comparison of the speaker's performance when it's plugged in or using battery power over both a Bluetooth and an AUX connection. As you can see, there's very little difference in the speaker's performance here. As a result, you can set it up in the most convenient way for you while enjoying a consistent sound.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
5.6
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
4.49 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

The Bose S1 Pro Plus is a mono speaker, so it has to downmix stereo content. However, this isn't a huge deal if you plan to use it with a microphone or guitar since these instruments only require one channel. The speaker's directivity isn't the most impressive, so you don't get a consistent sound when standing behind the speaker. Again, this may not be a huge deal, depending on how you use it.

7.7
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
105.3 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
4.52 dB

The Bose S1 Pro Plus gets very loud. It has no trouble filling larger and more open spaces with sound. There's some compression as you push it to max volume, which impacts the clarity of audio reproduction if you crank up the volume extra loud.

Active Features
7.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
10.8 hrs
Charge Time
5.0 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
AC
Battery Powered
Yes

Our measured battery life of 10.8 hours is pretty consistent with the manufacturer's advertised battery life of eleven hours. You can use the auto-off feature to automatically shut off the device after four hours without playing audio, which helps to conserve its battery life. You can also use it over AC if you don't want to worry about running out of battery.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Speakerphone
No
Siri
No
Voice Assistant
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone

This speaker doesn't support voice assistants.

6.0
Active Features
App
App Name
Bose Music
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Bass/Treble
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No

The Bose Music app is a handy tool that gives you access to many of the same features available through the controls on your phone. You can adjust each channel's bass, treble, and reverb and turn on settings like ToneMatch and SubEQ for a sub that you can purchase separately. Plus, you can create a custom ToneMatch EQ for various instruments, which is a cool touch, and the app also offers a list of different instrument presets and specific manufacturer instrument presets. You can even save custom Scenes to recreate a preset without having to retune your speaker each time. The app also lets you manage connected Bluetooth devices and stereo pair the speaker to compatible devices. You can see a video of the app here.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
Yes
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
Yes

This speaker offers many wired connectivity options designed with musicians in mind.

Channel 1 and 2:
  • 2x Wireless Transmitter Charging port: You can purchase the wireless transmitters from Bose separately if you want to use wireless instruments.
  • 2x 6.35mm TS/TRS and XLR port (Balanced/Unbalanced combined): Allows you to connect instruments over a wired connection.
Channel 3:
  • 6.35 TS/TRS balanced mono line input: Connect a line-level audio source like a mixer or instrument effect.
  • 3.5mm AUX stereo line input: Connect a line-level audio source like a laptop.
Additional Ports:
  • USB-A Charging port (out only): Lets you charge a mobile device using the system battery or AC power.
  • USB-C port: Lets you connect to your computer for Live Stream mode or system updates.
  • Line out XLR: Use an XLR cable to connect a post-mix line-level output to another system.

8.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
127 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
178 ms
Bluetooth Range
328.1 ft (100.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

This Bluetooth-compatible speaker can connect to up to two devices simultaneously, making it easy to switch between a laptop and a smartphone as your audio source. Its latency is relatively low, too, meaning you can stream videos on your paired phone without noticing too much of a delay. Some apps compensate for latency differently, though.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi
No
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

This speaker isn't Wi-Fi compatible.