Bose F1 Subwoofer Review – Attractive And Powerful PA Sub

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Ask any performer about what they like least about their job and the most common answer is often the hassle of transport and setup. The Bose F1 system aims to eliminate this headache by providing a portable, powerful and simple system. Have they succeeded? A big resounding yes! 

Bose F1 Subwoofer

Front view of the Bose F1 subwoofer.

Build Quality

4.7/5

Tuning Options

4/5

Connection Options

4.5/5

Sound

4.7/5

Design

5/5

Value

4/5

The Bose F1 subwoofer is the perfect companion to the Bose F1 Model 812. Boasting powerful low-end delivery and easy-to-use functionality. Here are the highlights before we take a closer look at this impressive PA subwoofer.

PROS

CONS

Features

The Bose F1 subwoofer is an impressive PA subwoofer. The integration with the companion F1 Model 812 is sublime. Below we take a deep dive into why this might be one of the best portable PA systems available today.

Sound Quality

If you are already familiar with the Bose sound you’ll know what to expect. The Bose F1 delivers that same clean, rich and detailed sound. The Bose F1 subwoofer offers two 10-inch woofers. At first, I thought that these two smaller-sized subs would not be able to deliver enough thump. I was wrong.

Three quarter view of the Bose F1 subwoofer with exposed woofers.

The dual 10-inch subs deliver plenty of punch.

This subwoofer has plenty of depth to the low-end. Not an excessive amount of rumble but enough to satisfy. The punchiness is the highlight. Kicks are clean with plenty of body. DJs will appreciate the amount of kick on offer. But if you want epic sub-bass a larger woofer might be preferable.

Another highlight is the spread. Even delivery across a large area without the need for several units or satellite systems. This subwoofer can handle medium-sized venues easily. It also performs well outside.

There is something about the signature Bose sound which is instantly satisfying. The F1 subwoofer is no exception.

Build Quality

The Bose F1 subwoofer features a thick wood cabinet with high-impact composite end caps. Unlike the F1 Model 812 that offers a molded plastic cabinet. This adds plenty of heft and durability without a massive increase in weight. This subwoofer instantly inspires confidence.

Bose F1 subwoofer details.

The Bose F1 is a solid and durable subwoofer.

The ultra-dark grey finish is durable and robust. It is also highly scuff resistant. Something that other subwoofers can struggle with. If you are a professional you’ll appreciate that these keep looking great even after multiple gigs.

The tough powder-coated perforated steel grille protects the woofers. But there is still the risk of moisture getting in so be mindful of placement. Beyond the tough exterior, all the components are also high-quality. The knobs and switches feel great and connection points are secure. If I was to nitpick it would have been nice if the panel was recessed further. This would help prevent accidental damage when transporting.

Bose has a reputation for high-quality products and that is exactly what is on offer here.

Specifications

The Bose F1 subwoofer offers 1000W of power. This powers the two 10″ high-excursion drivers. And there is plenty of power here with a max SPL of 130dB. If you do play larger venues you know how quickly sound is absorbed by a crowd. With this level of loudness, you should have no trouble making sure everyone is feeling the music.

Bose F1 subwoofer specifications.

The Bose F1 subwoofer offers plenty of volume to fill larger spaces.

The F1 subwoofer can reach down to 40 Hz at -3dB and 38Hz at -10dB. Plenty of depth to deliver satisfying low-end delivery. Even more impressive is the absolute lack of distortion. Just 0.1% max.

It’s a well-thought-out unit that packs plenty of punch. A must-have for larger gigs. 

Tuning Options

The Bose F1 subwoofer doesn’t offer much in the way of tuning. A basic Line Output EQ switch gives you access to a Thru and HPF option. These are self-explanatory with the Thru sending a signal with EQ and the HPF offering a High Pass Filter. It is basic but for the vast majority of applications, it is enough. If you do prefer more granular control you’ll want to run this via a mixing console.

Bose F1 subwoofer tuning options.

The Bose F1 subwoofer offers basic EQ controls.

Beyond the basic EQ, you’ll also have access to reverse the polarity. A good choice if you find too much overlap in low-frequencies with your tops.

There is nothing groundbreaking here but that also adds to the appeal. It’s simple to use and for most setups exactly what you’ll need. 

Design

If there is one thing people can’t deny is that Bose products look fantastic. Clean and professional design. If you do play corporate gigs the F1 subwoofer blends in perfectly with even the most upscale establishments. When you combine it with the F1 Model 812 it elevates it further.

Back three quarter view of the Bose F1 subwoofer.

The integrated stand for the F1 Model 812 is an excellent inclusion.

The subwoofer offers a built-in speaker stand for the Model 812. It is simple to clip this out and insert it into the stand slots at the top of the woofer. The Model 812 then sits on top to give you a complete all-in-one system. I love how simple this is. Setup and takedown take a couple of minutes without having to worry about tripod stands.

Due to this design, it also slims up the form factor. Plus it also features a chasm within the stand to feed your cabling. This makes your setup look clean and smart. And with the resistance to scuffs, the full unit will also continue to look great even after plenty of use.

If you want an attractive PA system the F1 subwoofer and F1 Model 812 combination is a great choice. Professional from head to toe while offering a simple and convenient setup flow.

Dimensions

I’ve already mentioned the more slim-line design but it’s worth repeating. There are often times where a stage or venue doesn’t offer you as much space as you’d like. This is where the F1 shines, especially when paired with the 812. Slim and compact without tripod stands and messy cabling.

Bose F1 subwoofer dimensions.

The Bose F1 subwoofer is compact and portable.

The only real issue is when paired with the 812 the total unit sits a little lower than some may like. If you set up on a stage you won’t have issues. But at ground level, some may prefer the system to sit a little higher to get above the front row.

The other feature worth mentioning is how light the F1 is. At 55 lbs. (25kg) you can carry this by yourself without a cart. The carry handles make it easy to move around and set up. With a small form factor the F1 subwoofer also comfortably fits into a car.

Inputs

The Bose F1 subwoofer keeps the connections options simple. A pair of balanced combo jacks allow you to connect sources via XLR or ¼” TRS. Complementing this is a pair of balanced XLR Line Outputs for sending the signal to your PA speakers or another subwoofer.

Bose F1 subwoofer connection options.

Both XLR and 1/4-inch TRS options are available.

Once again nothing groundbreaking but as with the tuning option for most situations this is all you’ll need. I often point this out but it is worth repeating that you should invest in high-quality cables. It doesn’t matter how good your system is if you have poor cables you’ll experience problems.

Value

I’m not going to lie. Bose products are not cheap. There are cheaper alternatives out there. Some also provide sound that is just as good as what the F1 subwoofer offers. But they often don’t look as nice. Plus they usually don’t offer the seamless integration that the F1 range offers. The F1 subwoofer looks fantastic and offers high build quality. Despite the higher price point, it is worth every dollar.

Customer Reviews

People love the F1 subwoofer. Plenty of 5-star reviews. Plus there is lots of praise for how loud the subwoofer is while maintaining good clarity. There are also plenty of reviews showcasing how well the unit works with the F1 Model 812 PA speaker.

Appearances Matter

Whether we like to admit it or not, appearances matter. Especially when it comes to securing gigs. If you are a DJ or performer how you present yourself is just as important as your talent level. I’ve seen amazing DJs not pick up more work due to a lack of attention to this often-overlooked detail.

DJ playing at a wedding with dancing couples of the dancefloor.

Proper presentation is important if you want to get more gigs.

High-quality professional-looking gear makes a difference. To a lot of people, they won’t appreciate the nuances that come from well-constructed sound design and placement. All they will see is the gear and overall presentation. This is especially important if you don’t already have an established reputation.

It’s also worth making sure to dress appropriately for the gig and when meeting potential clients. Playing a formal wedding reception? Don’t show up in shorts and a singlet. Likewise don’t dress in a suit for an easy-going party. Take care of your gear and make conscious decisions on how you present yourself. All these little things add up and can lead to further bookings and recommendations to other potential clients and gigs.

The F1 System

The F1 subwoofer will work with other tops but it is clear that the F1 Model 812 is the perfect companion. Thoughtful design, easy integration, and excellent combined sound.

Read our full Bose F1 review for more detailed information.

If you are looking at picking up a portable PA system the F1 system is among the best options available. One of these systems will be enough for you to comfortable play medium-sized venues and even some larger spaces. Plus if you do buy a package deal you can save yourself some money.

Bose F1 System

Bose F1 Model 812 with Bose F1 Subwoofer

4.7/5

Should You Buy?

There is plenty to like about the Bose F1 subwoofer. It’s loud with plenty of punch in the low end. But you could say that about many other subwoofers. What sets the Bose F1 apart is the focus on excellent sound quality while keeping the system portable. When you also factor in how attractive and professional the unit looks there is little to fault. Combine this with a Model 812 and you are set for the vast majority of gig types. If you want a versatile and portable PA system the F1 is a great choice.

Front view of the Bose F1 subwoofer.

Bose F1 Subwoofer

4.6/5

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Patryk Biernacki

Patryk Biernacki

For over 20 years I've been involved in the world of DJing. Now I want to share my experience so that DJing is more accessible for anyone with a passion for music.
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