Get insider access
Preferred speaker store

Bose S1 Pro System Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Dec 17, 2020 at 07:19 am
Bose S1 Pro System Picture
6.7
Music
6.1
Videos/Movies
7.7
Podcasts
2.9
Voice Assistant
6.9
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The Bose S1 Pro System is a portable Bluetooth speaker system. Its unique Auto EQ feature lets you position the speaker horizontally, vertically, or tilted back, and the speaker makes internal adjustments to optimize its performance accordingly. Its neutral, balanced sound profile is well-suited for lots of different music genres, even though it's lacking some low-bass. There are some controls to help you tweak its sound, and there's even a built-in ToneMatch processing feature if you want to make mics and instruments connected to the speaker sound more natural, though we don't test for this.

Our Verdict

6.7 Music

The Bose S1 Pro is adequate for music. It has a pretty neutral sound profile that's suitable for lots of different music genres, and it can get loud without a lot of compression. While it's lacking a bit of low-bass, the extra boom in the high-bass can please fans of bass-heavy music genres. It also has a sound enhancement feature to help make audio from mics and instruments connected to the speaker sound more natural. Unfortunately, it has to downmix stereo content into mono, which doesn't sound very immersive.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Poor soundstage performance.
6.1 Videos/Movies

The Bose S1 Pro is mediocre for videos and movies. It can reproduce dialogue clearly and accurately, but it's lacking a bit of low-bass, so you may not feel deep thumps and rumbles in action-packed scenes. It gets loud, and it has low latency via Android and iOS devices. However, it has to downmix stereo content into mono, which doesn't sound very immersive.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Poor soundstage performance.
7.7 Podcasts

The Bose S1 Pro is good for podcasts. It's Bluetooth-compatible, so you can easily stream podcasts from your phone to the speaker wirelessly, and you can pair it with up to two devices at the same time. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce voices clearly and accurately, too. Also, its portable design is easy to bring with you on-the-go.

Pros
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Poor soundstage performance.
2.9 Voice Assistant

The Bose S1 Pro doesn't support voice assistant technology.

6.9 Outdoors

The Bose S1 Pro is fair for outdoor use. Its over 10-hour battery life is suitable for long days outside, and it can get loud enough to use in a large, open space. While this speaker feels solid and durable, it isn't water-resistant. Also, its soundstage is perceived as a bit narrow, so it doesn't seem very immersive.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Poor soundstage performance.
  • Not water resistant.
  • 6.7 Music
  • 6.1 Videos/Movies
  • 7.7 Podcasts
  • 2.9 Voice Assistant
  • 6.9 Outdoors

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Bose S1 Pro is a mid-sized speaker with an all-black design. It's mostly made of plastic, and there's a steel grille on the front to help protect the drivers. You can position this speaker vertically, tilted back, or horizontally, as the Auto EQ feature uses internal sensors to provide an optimal performance based on how it's positioned. There's also a 35mm pole cup on the bottom of the speaker so you can mount it on a speaker stand.

8.1
Design
Portability
Volume
1,322 inยณ (21,657 cmยณ)
Weight
15.4 lbs (7.0 kg)
Power Source
AC & Battery
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Bose S1 Pro is impressively portable. It's tall and a bit heavy, but there's a top handle to help you carry it with one hand. Also, this speaker has a battery, so it doesn't need to be plugged into an outlet to work. As a result, it's easy to use outdoors.

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 has a passable build quality. It's mostly made of plastic with a steel grille covering the front of the speaker, and these materials feel solid and durable. Unfortunately, it isn't water, dust, or impact-resistant, so you should be careful if you plan on using it outdoors or near water. If you're looking for a speaker with a more water-resistant design, try the JBL PartyBox 310, which has an IPX4 rating, although we don't currently test for this.

4.9
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Good
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 has poor controls. You can't play/pause music or skip tracks, which can be disappointing for some listeners. Instead, there are Channel 1 and 2 inputs for microphones and instruments. The Channel 3 input is designed for Bluetooth connectivity and line-level inputs. For each input, there's a volume knob, a reverb knob, and bass and treble knobs. The ToneMatch switch enables an internal processing feature that can help make microphones and guitars sound more natural. There's also a Bluetooth pairing button and a light above the volume knobs that indicates the signal.

Design
In The Box

  • Bose S1 Pro
  • Power cord
  • Battery guide sticker
  • Manuals

Sound
7.0
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.52
Std. Err.
3.49 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
53.4 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.5 kHz

The Bose S1 Pro has decent frequency response accuracy. Its sound profile is pretty neutral, so it's suitable for listening to lots of different audio content. It's lacking a bit of low-bass though, so you may not feel the deep thumps and rumbles in bass-heavy music genres. However, there's a little extra boom in the high-bass that should please fans of EDM and hip-hop. If you have a mic or an instrument plugged into the speaker, there's a ToneMatch feature that can help make audio sound more natural, though we don't test for this.

Thanks to its Auto EQ feature, you can position this speaker vertically, tilted backward, or horizontally. The internal sensors in the speaker detect the orientation to provide optimal performance. We tested this speaker in a vertical position sitting flat on the ground, and not tilted backward.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
5.2
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
5.18 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

This speaker has a disappointing soundstage. Its soundstage is perceived as narrow and directional, so it doesn't always seem like you're getting a clear sound from all angles. Also, it has to downmix stereo content to mono, so the soundstage isn't very wide or immersive.

8.6
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
98.6 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.26 dB

The Bose S1 Pro has an amazing dynamics performance. It gets loud, so it's suitable for use at parties or in large rooms. Also, there isn't a lot of compression when you play it at max volume.

Active Features
7.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
10.3 hrs
Charge Time
4.5 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
AC

This speaker has good battery performance. It lasts over ten hours off a single charge, which is excellent. The manufacturer says that there's a Quick Charge feature that lets you charge the speaker in just 2.5 hours with the power switch turned to the Quick Charge logo. However, when we tested this feature, the speaker took 4.5 hours to charge. Also, it goes into standby mode after an hour without any audio playback, which helps conserve its battery life. The battery also enters 'Sleep Mode' if it isn't used for 30 consecutive days, and you need to plug the speaker into an AC adapter and turn it on to activate it again.

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

This speaker doesn't support voice assistant technology.

6.6
Active Features
App
App Name
Bose Connect
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

The Bose Connect app is okay. You can use the Party Mode to pair your speaker with other Bose S1 Pro speakers so your audio can cover a large, crowded room. You can also pair it with another Bose S1 Pro speaker to create a stereo pair, and you can turn the auto-off timer on and off. However, there isn't an EQ to help you customize the speaker's sound profile.

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

This speaker has several wired connectivity options. There's a 3.5mm AUX port so you can connect your mobile devices to the speaker. There are also two channel inputs, and you can use these analog inputs to connect a microphone using an XLR cable or an instrument using a TS unbalanced cable. You can use a 1/4" TRS cable to connect to the line-level output. There's also a micro-USB port, but it's only for servicing the speaker.

8.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Bluetooth iOS Latency
105 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
147 ms
Bluetooth Range
234.6 ft (71.5 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Bose S1 Pro has great Bluetooth connectivity. You can pair it with up to two devices at the same time, which is ideal for listeners who like to swap their audio sources frequently. It has outstanding range, so it can receive a signal from your phone or tablet even if you aren't close to the speaker. Also, its low latency with iOS and Android devices is suitable for watching videos. Some apps compensate for latency, so your experience can vary.

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

This speaker doesn't support Wi-Fi connectivity.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose S1 Pro comes in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another variant of this speaker, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Bose S1 Pro is a mid-sized Bluetooth speaker. It has a neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for lots of different music genres, though it's lacking a bit of low-bass. It comes with inputs for microphones and instruments, and its Auto EQ feature uses internal sensors to adjust the speaker's performance based on how it's positioned.

JBL PartyBox 300

The JBL PartyBox 300 is better for music than the Bose S1 Pro System. The JBL has a better soundstage performance, and it can get louder. Also, it has longer battery life. However, the Bose is a smaller, less heavy speaker, so it's much more portable.

JBL PartyBox 310

The JBL PartyBox 310 is a better speaker for music than the Bose S1 Pro System. The JBL can reproduce more low-bass, it can play stereo content, and it can get louder. It also has longer-lasting battery life and is rated IPX4 for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. However, the Bose is more portable.

JBL PartyBox 100

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a better speaker than the Bose S1 Pro System. The JBL has a more balanced sound profile and a better soundstage performance. Also, it can get louder than the Bose, though it does have some compression artifacts present at max volume. However, the Bose is more portable.

Apple HomePod

The Apple HomePod is a better speaker for music, videos, and voice assistant support than the Bose S1 Pro System. The Apple has a better soundstage performance, and it comes with built-in Siri capabilities, unlike the Bose. However, the Bose can get louder, and it can be used with a battery, so it's more portable and better suited for outdoor use than the Apple.

Google Nest Audio

The Bose S1 Pro System is a better speaker for most uses than the Google Nest Audio. It can get louder, and it has a more balanced default sound profile. Also, it has lower latency over a Bluetooth connection, and since it can be used with a battery, it's better suited for outdoor use. However, the Google has built-in Google Assistant capabilities, so it's a better choice for voice assistant support.

+ Show more

Discussions