Are Bose L1 Pro16 better than Polk R700 + SVS Sub?

Sawtaytoes

Sawtaytoes

Audiophyte
My friend is really into the Bose L1 Pro16s. He's been using them for many years for shows and swears by them. He's noted how good they sound. I've heard them myself but never outside of his gigs with music or shows I've heard before, so I can't really say. For me at his performances, they just sound loud, so loud that it hurts my ears. No one else seems to care, so I believe I'm in the minority.

I've been looking to grab a couple Polk Reserve R700s and SVS PC2000s; although for the same exact price (when the Polks go on sale again), I could buy two Bose L1 Pro16s and they come with a subwoofer that's potentially equivalent to at 15" sub, but in a more-compact package. I say potentially because I'm going by Bose's marketing, but I also believe a 10x18" woofer can probably produce decent base at lower frequencies.

The Bose speakers are physically much thinner at the top than the Polk R700 towers, but the base is at least 10" wide, so they're about the same. I have no clue about any measurements for these Bose speakers because Bose doesn't play that game. Also, these Bose speakers aren't meant for home theater, and I consider them ugly (they look like PA speakers), but if they're that good, then I'd think the purchase would be beneficial, and I'd compromise on looks.

Since I have no stats on these speakers, the only thing I know is they can get loud. So loud that I know they'll have a lot of headroom for anything I'd throw at them in my small home theater.

Are the Bose L1 Pro16 a good deal? Do they measure well? Do they sound good for home theater? Should I get them instead of a Polk + SVS pairing?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
You've already convinced me the Bose would be a poor choice. Like you said, tho, Bose doesn't like people measuring their gear. Just because a driver has some surface area doesn't necessarily mean it produces deep bass, especially when it comes to Bose, who are not known for even a decent subwoofer. The Polk/SVS set sounds like a decent way to go....good luck!
 
XEagleDriver

XEagleDriver

Audioholic Chief
The Bose L1 Pro is designed for a very different purpose than the R700 & SVS sub. IMHO not a good choice for HT or home music system.

Per Music Critic review (link below) L1 only goes down to 42 Hz, acceptable for music production, not HT movie sound track reproduction.

An array of 16 x 2 inch mid/HF drivers pointed in different directions is for uniform sound production out to about 180 deg. Again, not a feature beneficial for a smaller, enclosed space typical of a home LR or HT.

Don't buy a pickup truck to race Formula 1, nor a F1 race car to haul plywood from Home Depot
Each is fine for its intended purpose.


Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 
Sawtaytoes

Sawtaytoes

Audiophyte
It sounds like these Bose speakers don't fit the use case I have by their design, and they wouldn't sound as good given the requirements of home theater.

Why is that though? Is it because they're wide-desperation stereo speakers meant to fill a room, but then you wouldn't be able to hear the directionality required by home theater mixes?
 
Sawtaytoes

Sawtaytoes

Audiophyte
I didn't think those speakers would work for me, but he's totally into them, and I wanted to give them a fair shot; that's why I posted.

I've researched Bose over the years, but never seen anything making me want to buy from them. I think I'd be dissatisfied with my overpriced purchase. But if these PAs were so good and accurate, I figured maybe they'd be worthwhile to try.

Sounds like they don't fit the application by-design.
 
Sawtaytoes

Sawtaytoes

Audiophyte
He suggested some active monitors as well. I made a separate thread for that topic:

Those at least match the specs of the R700s, but I've never owned active speakers outside of crappy ones that came with my computers in the 90s.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
My friend is really into the Bose L1 Pro16s. He's been using them for many years for shows and swears by them. He's noted how good they sound. I've heard them myself but never outside of his gigs with music or shows I've heard before, so I can't really say. For me at his performances, they just sound loud, so loud that it hurts my ears. No one else seems to care, so I believe I'm in the minority.

I've been looking to grab a couple Polk Reserve R700s and SVS PC2000s; although for the same exact price (when the Polks go on sale again), I could buy two Bose L1 Pro16s and they come with a subwoofer that's potentially equivalent to at 15" sub, but in a more-compact package. I say potentially because I'm going by Bose's marketing, but I also believe a 10x18" woofer can probably produce decent base at lower frequencies.

The Bose speakers are physically much thinner at the top than the Polk R700 towers, but the base is at least 10" wide, so they're about the same. I have no clue about any measurements for these Bose speakers because Bose doesn't play that game. Also, these Bose speakers aren't meant for home theater, and I consider them ugly (they look like PA speakers), but if they're that good, then I'd think the purchase would be beneficial, and I'd compromise on looks.

Since I have no stats on these speakers, the only thing I know is they can get loud. So loud that I know they'll have a lot of headroom for anything I'd throw at them in my small home theater.

Are the Bose L1 Pro16 a good deal? Do they measure well? Do they sound good for home theater? Should I get them instead of a Polk + SVS pairing?
I think generally one swears at Bose products rather than by them!
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I've researched Bose over the years, but never seen anything making me want to buy from them. I think I'd be dissatisfied with my overpriced purchase. But if these PAs were so good and accurate, I figured maybe they'd be worthwhile to try.

Sounds like they don't fit the application by-design.
There is no reason to think those speakers are accurate. I wouldn't assume any speaker is accurate, even studio monitors, until proven to be so by a third party. Most PA speaker systems aren't accurate, they are more designed to produce lots of SPL for a long time without failing.
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
When it comes to any Bose speaker I think this song says it all


Run to the hills bro

Run for your life

Straight into the loving arms of those R700 and the SVS combo :D
 
K

kini

Full Audioholic
My friend is really into the Bose L1 Pro16s. He's been using them for many years for shows and swears by them. He's noted how good they sound. I've heard them myself but never outside of his gigs with music or shows I've heard before, so I can't really say. For me at his performances, they just sound loud, so loud that it hurts my ears. No one else seems to care, so I believe I'm in the minority.

I've been looking to grab a couple Polk Reserve R700s and SVS PC2000s; although for the same exact price (when the Polks go on sale again), I could buy two Bose L1 Pro16s and they come with a subwoofer that's potentially equivalent to at 15" sub, but in a more-compact package. I say potentially because I'm going by Bose's marketing, but I also believe a 10x18" woofer can probably produce decent base at lower frequencies.

The Bose speakers are physically much thinner at the top than the Polk R700 towers, but the base is at least 10" wide, so they're about the same. I have no clue about any measurements for these Bose speakers because Bose doesn't play that game. Also, these Bose speakers aren't meant for home theater, and I consider them ugly (they look like PA speakers), but if they're that good, then I'd think the purchase would be beneficial, and I'd compromise on looks.

Since I have no stats on these speakers, the only thing I know is they can get loud. So loud that I know they'll have a lot of headroom for anything I'd throw at them in my small home theater.

Are the Bose L1 Pro16 a good deal? Do they measure well? Do they sound good for home theater? Should I get them instead of a Polk + SVS pairing?
I've heard that speaker on several occasions. All were in restaurants and bars where the noise level is high. They are designed for background listening of live music in public venues. Not for HT or critical listening.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Samurai
I had a friend back in the late 70s who had an awesome system at that time. GAS amp and preamp, Fons TT with a Mc cart and a high end Tanberg reel. All feeding in to some very large Magnepans. When I asked him about Bose 901 speakers, he referred them as "birdcages" and told me to buy some Advents. I did and saved a lot of $$. I never owned any 901s but was happy with the Advents. At least for a while :)
 
Sawtaytoes

Sawtaytoes

Audiophyte
There is no reason to think those speakers are accurate. I wouldn't assume any speaker is accurate, even studio monitors, until proven to be so by a third party. Most PA speaker systems aren't accurate, they are more designed to produce lots of SPL for a long time without failing.
I see what you mean. Even if the Bose are extremely good, until I can verify that, going with them is risky. I'm still leaning toward the Polks, but trying to get as much info as possible.

I haven't seen anything specific to why these wouldn't be good though. Seems like it's because they most likely wouldn't work since they're PA speakers (not designed for home theater), and that they have drivers facing 2 directions for a 180 degree sound stage which could cause problems. The Polk Legend L800s have a similar design though. I don't know how SDA plays into it, but it's possible these Bose have a similar effect when using two of them (although I doubt it).

I saw some home theater tours on Youthman tonight where they showed this array of drivers being a really good option. It allows conversations next to the speaker even at reference levels because your ears are only hearing one speaker at a time. It also allows the sound to go forward, but not reflect toward the ceiling and floor.

My friend was telling me about this very thing specifically with these particular Bose speakers. Doesn't tell me how they measure, but it's interesting that having many same-drivers could potentially be an advantage when done right.
 
K

kevintomb

Audioholic Intern
I have heard the Bose system you mention....

Just not made for home music and theatre use. It does somewhat sound good for what it is, and it is amazing how loud it gets for the size for sure, but its basically an odd ball Pa speaker with decent sound.

My church has 2 of these for outside events. Just a whole different use than what you need.

I was amazed first time I heard them. I could not believe all that sound from that tiny thin column.
But after more scrutiny I tried them indoors and they are lacking in some way. As if they have bass and mids and treble, but lacking midbass or something. Just not totally natural sounding overall.
 
newsletter

  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top