Bose Sub2 Review – Powerful And Portable PA Subwoofer

If you are looking to handle larger events your standard PA will likely not be up to the task. This is where a high-quality PA subwoofer comes into play. In this review, we check out the Bose Sub2. A powerful PA subwoofer that delivers that deep low-end you’ll need for larger venues.

Bose Sub 2

Front view of the Bose Sub2.

Sound Quality

4.5/5

Build Quality

5/5

Connection Options

4.5/5

Design

5/5

Value

4/5

The Bose Sub2 is a compact and portable PA subwoofer from a well-respected brand. But beyond brand recognition is the Sub2 up to the challenges of modern performing? Check out the highlights before we dive into the details.

PROS

CONS

Features

The Bose Sub2 offers performers a powerful yet portable system. It’s capable and offers intelligent design. Below we take a deeper dive into this impressive PA subwoofer.

Sound Quality

There are plenty of PA subwoofers out there that offer plenty of power and loud delivery. But many of these systems fall short when it comes to the quality of that delivery. Loud is great but it also needs to be clear and detailed. This is one area where the Bose Sub2 excels. Not only is it a powerful unit it delivers excellent sound quality.

Bose Sub2 Cardioid Illustration.

The Bose Sub2 also features Cardioid mode to help deliver powerful front-facing bass.

The low-end response offers plenty of punch without introducing distortion. The bass extension is rich and warm without excessive boominess. I love bass, but I despise muddy bass. It turns great tracks into a garbled mess of noise. With the Bose Sub2, there are no issues. It has a precise and rich low-end response that is ultra-satisfying.

Build Quality

Bose doesn’t make cheap gear and the Sub2 is no different. As with all Bose products, there is plenty of attention to detail. High-quality components and thoughtful design are at the forefront.

Bose Sub2 Details.

The Sub2 showcases Bose’s high level of build quality.

The high-impact polypropylene and birch plywood cabinet is clean, slim, and rock solid. Exactly what you need if you transport your gear regularly. The tough powder-coated perforated steel grille adds plenty of protection for the woofer. The carry handle is also reliable. Not bolted on but a part of the cabinet itself. All connection points are also secure and top-notch.

I’ve come to expect high quality from Bose and I’m happy to see that the Sub2 lives up to expectations.

Specifications

There is plenty of meat behind the Bose branding. The Class D 1000W amp delivers serious power with a continuous SPL of around 124dB. This is more than enough to fill larger spaces with deep bass. This level of power also allows the unit to reach as low as 37Hz. Plenty of rumble, plenty of punch, and excellent clarity.

Bose Sub2. Specifications.

The Bose Sub2 features a large Racetrack driver.

The low-frequency driver is also a departure from other PA subwoofers. Bose has opted for a 10-inch by 18-inch neodymium Racetrack driver. This elongated shape isn’t common among PA subwoofers. But the execution here is precise. It also adds to the portability of the unit. 

Tuning Options

The Bose Sub2 comes with a range of tuning options to optimize performance. These are simple to use via the onboard buttons.

You’ll have access to Line Output EQ with the option for full bandwidth or a multi-purpose HPF.

The Line Input EQ contains a preset for the L1 Pro series. This leads to a simple and convenient setup if you stay within the Bose ecosystem.

Bose Sub2 Tuning Options.

Simple to use tuning features.

A Phase/Pattern button is also available for switching polarity. If you find yourself having to place the Sub2 against a wall switching the polarity can give you better sound performance.

The Phase/Pattern button also allows you to activate the Cardioid mode. This changes the omnidirectional focus of the woofer to a more forward position. Excellent for reducing feedback.

If you are a performer there are times you don’t want excessive low-frequencies in your performance area. It’s a nice touch to an already highly functional PA subwoofer.

That is one of the things I’ve always appreciated about Bose products. Everything is simple, easy to use, and implemented with purpose. But some people may want more granular control over settings.

Design

Bose is a master of clean and professional-looking design. Their products look fantastic and the Sub2 is no exception. I’ve seen some ugly subwoofers in my days. Don’t get me wrong, performance always trumps appearance. But it’s nice when a PA subwoofer is both attractive and performs well.

Three quarter view of a pair of Bose Sub2 subwoofers.

The Bose Sub2 is attractive and functional.

The decision to go with the Racetrack driver also gives the Bose Sub2 a slimline profile. I’ve lugged around plenty of subwoofers in my days and the awkward large square shape is always a challenge. Unless you go for rollers there is no way to transport square subwoofers without some level of inconvenience. With the Sub2 you can comfortably carry it with one hand leaving your other hand free for other components of your setup.

The Bose Sub2 also features an M20 threaded insert if you want to mount the subwoofer.

Dimensions

By far one of the most appealing elements of the Bose Sub2 is the slim profile. Great for transporting to and from gigs. It is also small enough to fit comfortably in small cars.

Bose Sub2 Dimensions.

The Bose Sub2 is ultra-portable.

At 51.7 lbs. (23.5kg) it’s also very lightweight for a subwoofer this size. This makes it a great choice for solo performers that dread the thought of transporting heavy equipment.

Inputs

The Bose Sub2 offers a refined selection of inputs and outputs. Combo XLR and ¼” TRS cover the Line In options for both Line 1 and 2. Two further XLR options are also present for Line Out 1 and 2.

Bose Sub2 Connection Options

The Bose Sub2 offers the standard connection types you need.

Beyond this, there is also a Submatch connection point. This is great for connecting to an L1 Pro system. But keep in mind you’ll need to pick up the Bose cable for this.

There are no other options available. And to be honest you don’t need anything else. Nor is it that common for PA subwoofers to come with extra connection options beyond these standard offerings.

Value

This is probably the area that the Bose range is always weakest in. The Bose name does come with a higher price point. But you get what you pay for.

Bose offers excellent products with good warranty support. The Sub2 might be more expensive than other options but it’s also very reliable. Plus the distinctive and professional design catches the eye. If you want a quality subwoofer from a reputable brand the Sub2 is a good choice despite the higher price.

Customer Reviews

Bose always attracts plenty of positive reviews and the Sub2 is no different. Plenty of 5-star reviews. It highlights that even with the higher price point people are very happy with the product. Lots of compliments for the sound quality and the lightweight profile.

Go Big

When it comes to performing in larger spaces you can never have enough coverage. This is why it is best to get the largest PA subwoofer you can afford. You will always be happier if you have to turn down your gear as opposed to pushing it to its limits. This not only places less strain on your gear it also gives you plenty of headroom.

Dj playing in a nightclub with people on the dancefloor.

If you play larger venues you’ll need a powerful PA subwoofer.

This is even the case if you primarily play smaller venues or intimate gigs. You’ll always know you can deliver a satisfying performance when it comes to volume levels. If you are a DJ a larger subwoofer is almost essential.

Playing any type of bass-heavy music like EDM demands a good subwoofer. Without it, the rumble and kick won’t have that satisfying fullness and punch.

Going bigger also future proofs your setup. It allows you to avoid having to sell your current gear to buy bigger gear to handle different events. While you can rent gear for your gig you’ll end up saving more money (and have more profit) if you invest in your own from the outset.

But if you do go bigger keep an eye out for portability and functionality. At the end of the day, you still want to be able to easily transport and set up your gear.

System Options

The Bose Sub2 is ideal for integration with the Bose L1 Pro lineup of portable PA systems. But it plays nice with other systems as well. For example, you can connect it to an L1 Compact setup. This will give you more low-end thump than the base unit can provide.

Read our full Bose L1 Compact review for more detailed information.

But if you’d like to stick to the L1 Pro lineup there are some good packages worth exploring. These all-on-one options give you everything you need to smash out quality sound. They are simple to set up and very portable. Plus a package deal often works out much cheaper than buying individual components.

Bose L1 Pro32 Plus Sub2

This is an excellent package that can handle medium to larger venues. It combines the power of the Bose Sub2 with the excellent L1 Pro32. The L1 Pro32 includes a 3 channel mixer, wide coverage, and wireless control.

Bose Sub 2 Package 1

Bose L1 Pro32 with Bose Sub2

4.7/5

Bose L1 Pro32 Plus 2 x Sub2

This package is for serious thump. The combination of two Sub2 units gives you ultimate coverage. If you play in larger venues or outdoors this setup is great. Especially useful for DJs that want lots of low-end rumble.

Bose Sub2 Package 2

Bose L1 Pro32 with Dual Bose Sub2

4.7/5

Should You Buy?

There are plenty of potential PA speaker and subwoofer combinations out there. Some are better than others. But few can match the simplicity that Bose offers. It’s a straightforward unit that packs plenty of punch. Clean and refined design coupled with excellent build quality. If you are looking for a lightweight yet effective PA subwoofer the Sub2 is a solid choice.

Front view of the Bose Sub2.

Bose Sub2

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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