Product Spotlight: The Game-Changing Bose F1 Speaker System

posted by Michael Raia

Bose has been changing the game of live sound for several years now. Considered by many as the start of this recent development was the introduction of the groundbreaking L1 portable line array system in 2003. Since experiencing great success in continued development and sales of the several models that make up the L1 line, Bose also began introducing products in the professional install world. The new F1 system sits right in between. More robust than the highly portable (and still somewhat personal) L1, and more affordable and flexible than the professional install line, the new F1 system is a game-changer.

“More robust than the highly portable (and still somewhat personal) L1, and more affordable and flexible than the professional install line, the new F1 system is a game-changer.”

The last decade has seen an explosion of extremely high-quality powered portable speakers on the market, ranging in price from the few hundreds to well over a thousand. The F1 system's two products, the Model 812 speaker and the F1 Subwoofer, sit towards the higher side of this spectrum, but not without good reason. Bose has put a line array (and an adjustable one at that!) into a portable powered 1,000-watt speaker cabinet. With four different room configurations with unique coverage patterns achieved by sliding the top and/or bottom of its three line array speaker sections accordingly, the possibilities for high quality sound from the Model 812 speaker are endless.

Manually adjusting the line array speaker sections allows the F1 to serve four different audience configurations. 

Manually adjusting the line array speaker sections allows the F1 to serve four different audience configurations. 

Otherwise, the features are fairly comparable to those on its competitors from QSC, EV, JBL, Yamaha, and the like. The matching 1,000-watt subwoofer, however, has a few nifty tricks of its own, mostly in the form the cabinet's physical design. An H-frame speaker support is built into the back of the sub that makes setup a breeze, and incorporates concealed cable management. No more wobbly speakers on sticks with messy cords wrapped around! 

“Every school gym begs to have one of these. Imagine what every small church and youth room could do with one.”

The uses for this speaker system abound, particularly for organizations needing flexibility and portability. The option of using the same setup with outstanding results in a flat floor, arena, or theater setting is really a value. For new buildings or renovations waiting for the funds to do that big, nice installed system that will blow the roof off, this is the next best thing. Every school gym begs to have one of these. Imagine what every small church and youth room could do with one. Touring bands and DJs, rejoice! 

Going price is $1,199 for each speaker and each sub. A good approach would be buying a pair of the 812 model speakers first, then adding the subs. Otherwise, for about $5,000, you could add a basic mixer and put together a very nice system. View product demo/review here.