Applying Array Technology to Portable Sound, Part 3

January 16, 2017 by Robert Lindquist

In this three-part series, we’re exploring the benefits of line array loudspeaker design—when applied to large arena concert PA systems as well as when it’s scaled down to fit in an average size vehicle or small SUV.

Bose has been at the fore front of developing portable line array systems for DJs and live performers since 2003. As a case study, we focused first on the L1 system, which features multiple small drivers in a tall, vertical column with a separate sub-woofer. In this final installment on line arrays, we’ll look at the Bose F1 systems.

With the F1, Bose has placed a 12” driver behind an eight speaker line array in the same cabinet. The goal being to combine the punchy low-end of the larger driver with the directional flexibility line arrays.

According to Craig Jackson (Product Line Manager, Portable Systems for Bose Professional in Framingham, MA), “Everything within our portable line draws some kind of inspiration—or is a hybrid of—some type of line array. The F1 is a hybrid, with the ability to control the vertical coverage. We basically put a small wave guide on the eight drivers for a tighter horizontal coverage. In essence, it’s a similar concept that is used in big arenas, with the goal of shaping the sound to fit the coverage that is needed. So, you have a lot of the same benefits of the L1 (link to previous) with even more control higher output, and more bass. With F1, the “top box” (model 812) is a stand alone full-range box that plays down to about 50Hz—so that can be used by itself, or with the optional F1 subwoofer for even more bass output and extension down to 40Hz.

Craig says that the development team at Bose also focused on improving vocal clarity setting the F1 crossover around 600- 700Hz, which is lower than most conventional systems—which are crossed over at 1000-2000Hz. The benefit of this lower crossover point is better projection of vocals and mid-range instruments, with tight, punchy bass.

Read the rest of this article and check out the full issue at

Filed Under: 2016, Sound Engineering for Mobile DJs