This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Bose L1 portable line array system. Debuting in 2003, back when conventional powered loudspeakers were the only options available for small stages, this first-of-its-kind PA raised the bar for portability, tone, and coverage.
The original Bose L1 design team consisted of electrical and acoustic engineers, FOH engineers, musicians and researchers who listened and learned from performers about their problems related to poor, inconsistent sound and usability while playing live in small clubs. The common thread was that musicians wanted better experiences – to make performing more about the music and less about the gear and technology. “Our vision was to remove barriers in the live sound experience and let everyone — audience and artists — hear the same thing,” said Ken Jacob, co-inventor of the L1 system and Bose Chief Brand Officer.
The L1 system was the result of a 10-year research project involving hundreds of musicians around the globe, multiple system prototypes, and live stage experiments. “We learned early on that this problem was both urgent and pervasive for musicians, that setting up and using conventional PA pulled musicians away from the actual creation of live music. The entire team was deeply passionate about making this situation better, for the art of music creation, and it became a labor of love,” explained Kyle Sullivan, original L1 product manager.
Tens of thousands of working musicians and DJs continue to choose and play with Bose L1 systems, including world-famous artists such as Pat Metheny and Foreigner. Since the launch in 2003, Bose has evolved the original L1 into newer designs such as the L1 Model II and L1 Compact systems, further improving sound quality and portability through the years, and will continue to serve musicians and DJs for years to come.