Pros: Amazing sound, portability, light weight, easy to use.
I have had this system for about 4 months now and absolutely love it!
I had always been looking for a better sound system. Every time I went into a Bose store, they would either refer me to their surround sound system (Lifestyle) or to the smaller Wave system. Neither really fitted my needs. I went to a different store one day, explained what I wanted, which was...I love great sound, but I'm not that into movies to justify the Lifestyle system. We have a huge open floor plan and we love to entertain. Sometimes we have our party outdoors, as I'm on 2 acres. The rep asked if I have seen the Wave system. I commented yes, it's nice, and portable, but how will sound travel outdoors?
She commented that the Wave is not for outdoors, as it's made more for the acoustics inside a house. She then asked about how many people at one of our parties? I said maybe from 50-80. She then knew exactly what we needed. She asked if I have ever seen the L1 Compact.
After the demo, I was sold. She mentioned that there is a L1, but of course more expensive, but I would get a deeper bass out of the unit, but she said for my venue, I probably would not even notice the difference, unless we start doubling our crowd.
So, first out of the box, so easy to set up. There is barely anything to do. Remove the power cord from the pouch on the cover for the base unit, plug it in, hook up your audio source, (mine was my ipod) and you are good to go. Phenomenal sound!
Inside the Bose store, you're always a little on the reserved side on how loud you can go. Inside my own house, I blasted it! Standing across the room, I had to shout to get my wife to hear me, standing right next to me. Super clear sound as well. No distortion.
Next I hooked up the extensions, and took it outside. I turned the volume to about 80%. I walked roughly 350ft away, and could hear it great. Didn't get the "feel" of the bass, but you could still definitely hear it. I then walked another 350 ft. out into our open field behind our house. I could still hear music and the words. So I'm roughly 230 yards out, 2 full football fields, and it sounds fine. I was very impressed.
My first chance of using it publicly. We had a friend with a housewarming party. She had a big patio in her back. We enclosed it with plastic (for warmth) for the party, and that is where everybody ate. It was roughly 20x60. Not huge, but big. I told her I would provide the music.
I took my computer, because it has my music program on it. Very easily, hooked up to the Bose L1 compact. I was in the very corner, and the base unit was on the floor, out of sight. All anybody could see was the very thin extentions, and the small speaker on top.
Nobody could believed the sound coming out of that bad boy. I never went past 60%. People were asking where is the other speakers at? Where is you bass unit? They could not believe their ears. It truly was sound you could taste.
I've noticed playing directly from my ipod, the unit clips sound on the bass, usually around 60%, depending on the song being used. If you are able to plug in a mixer, you can adjust the different levels, and get even more sound out of the L1 Compact. Just using my ipod, I've set the equalizer to Bass Reducer, it sounds better at higher levels. But when I'm working around the house, I keep the bass at normal, and can really feel the beat.
My wife has some of her business meetings, in which we put together a slide show set to some music. They would just plug in some small speakers to the laptop, and play the slide show. As people filtered in, it would overpower the little speakers. Last month, we took the Bose L1 Compact. Again, I was able to put the base unit right behind the table with a skirt, use the extensions, and it is so unobtrusive. The sound filled the meeting room. (Like a ballroom at a hotel) Then, the hotel was having problems with their PA system. They were plugging the mic in different ports, different mic, they couldn't get it to work. (Probably just a new guy who didn't know what switch to hit.) After 10 minutes of everybody going back and forth, I offered the Bose L1 Compact to be used.
Microphone plugged right in, I moved the unit to the back, still with the extentions on, and it sounded great. I got some feedback and first becaue the mic was pointed in the direction of the L1 Compact. After that problem was fixed, it sounded nice and clear. My wife stated, who usually goes to these meetings, that it sounded better and more clear than the hotels PA in house system.
I don't have any dislikes on this item. It's light, weighing in at only 29lbs. Set up is very simple. The sound is amazingly clear, even at high volumes. Bose has their Spatial Dispersion technology, which is they use 6 line drivers in the speaker, all positioned at slightly different angles which gives you great sound no matter where you are in relation to the system.
From trunk of car to playing music can be done in under 2 minutes, assuming you didn't park far away.
Bose offers their Tonematch, if you play an instrument, you can plug in and have a mic going and it automatically balanced for you.
Bottom line... You can't beat Bose. They know what they are doing, and they continue to prove it again and again. Price tag is hefty, but you get what you pay for.
The unit is perfect for what I use it for. I am not a performing artist, and probably never will be. But I do enjoy my music, and entertaining people and dancing. This unit is excellent for that need.