Whether you are auctioning cattle, tearing up a local live music venue, or presenting at your local school or church, having one of the best portable PA systems is a must for those of you tired of wearing out your vocal chords. As always, when searching for a new electronic gadget, selecting just one device can feel like a roll of the dice. Where to begin?
There are many things to consider when searching for the best portable PA systems. You must take into account your price range, applications, and frequency of use. It is also worth considering the technical specifications and available accessories such as amplifiers, mixers, and microphones.
Things to Consider for the Best Portable PA Systems
- Price. Know your budget. The best portable PA systems can range in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars or more.
- Power. There are a wide range of output strengths readily available. Think about the size of the space that you want to fill with sound and what kind of sound you want to fill it with. Will you be playing music? Performing a cappella? Or, simply giving a speech? Some amplifiers and speakers will also be better suited to outdoor venues than others. Also it is important to consider battery power versus plug in wall current requirements.
- Accessories. While some of the best portable PA systems include accessories as part of the package, some also do not. Be sure to take into account what you need in addition to a basic speaker system.
- Portability/Versatility. If you are looking for something that fits nicely in a closet or similar tight space there are many options available to you. If, however, you are looking for something lightweight and easy to travel with there may be some sacrifices to be made. Personal preference and your intended use should definitely play a factor when deciding on the best portable PA systems.
Top 10 Best Portable PA Systems Comparison Guide
Top 3 Best Portable PA Systems Reviews
The Alto Professional iPA Music System comes in at number one on our list as one of the most popular, well liked, and overall best portable PA systems. The Alto is a powerful yet lightweight option that will rock the crowd without over-burdening the wallet. Compact and powerful, this system boasts 200 watts of continuous power (400W peak) while utilizing a fully integrated mixer and high-efficiency amplifier. Room filling sound with clean bass and clear vocals pulses from a twenty-three pound parcel. RCA inputs and XLR outputs for the addition of extra speakers complete the package along with a dynamic microphone, holder, and ten foot cable. Also worth noting, the Alto Professional System fully assimilates iPod technology with a 30-pin dock that will simultaneously play from and charge your device.
Designed and constructed in a “boombox” style, the EMB PA system falls in at number two on our list. Extremely portable and versatile the EMB weighs a mere seven pounds while still possessing a serviceable thirty watts of power and a very manageable price tag. Fully outfitted for all your needs, this all-in-one package integrates Bluetooth, SD/MMC and USB compatibility, as well as the standard ¼ inch inputs. This truly portable device also features a wireless microphone, remote control, and a rechargeable battery. The EMB Professional is definitely a solid choice for those seeking to fill a smaller venue with high quality sound.
The BOSE L1 Compact Portable Line Array really needs no explanation if you are familiar with top of the line audio systems. Running twenty seven pounds light, it’s not surprising that this makes the top five on our list. Perhaps the reason that the BOSE Compact Array comes in at number three is the price point. This best portable PA system is not for the faint of heart. If you are in search of a truly professional system BOSE has you covered with one of the best portable PA systems available. Pushing two-hundred watts of power and employing spatial dispersion technology, BOSE delivers room filling, rich, and warm sound from a small package. This is a decidedly simple setup. It makes good use of only two channels, one channel for a microphone, and one for a guitar. BOSE offers solid competition with their L1 Array for those professionals who are working with a larger budget.
The Nady WA-120LT Portable Wireless Public Address System holds a solid fourth place despite its small size. Tipping the scales at just over seven pounds, this is truly a portable piece of equipment. The WA-120LT features a practical built-in wireless microphone receiver alongside a twenty watt amplifier to fill a mid-to-large sized room with clean sound. The included microphone is decidedly sensitive and transmits a clear signal to the speaker. This little beast toots its own horn using your choice of 8xD size batteries or it can be driven with ordinary AC power. Tagged with a reasonable price, this is a great choice for those in search of a compact and very portable device.
Powerwerks falls in at number five with their PW150TFX. Great for practice gatherings and performing at small venues this high-to-mid frequency range setup offers a lower bass response than one would expect. Perfect for solo acoustic performances or even a duo, Powerwerks tenders the option to link more than one unit together as the size of your group or the size of the venue grows. Integrated digital effects present the opportunity for diverse sound including room reverb, hall reverb, chorus, and delay. All this without having to break the bank. Portable and powerful at twelve pounds and pushing one-hundred and fifty watts, the PW150TFX will deliver in many situations with comfort and ease.
Remember, wireless devices are subject to the rules of the FCC… For more information, call the FCC at 1-888- CALL-FCC (TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC) or visit the FCC’s wireless microphone website at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones.