Public address systems, or PA systems, as we call them, function like regular speakers. Their design boosts sound volume before spreading it over a large area of land.
PA systems help; people give speeches, address an audience, or perform live music, but most people often think they must be bulky or heavy, despite how beneficial PA systems are.
Since PA systems are cumbersome, it will not be a simple task to take them to centers where they are needed. Luckily, manufacturers have taken a bold step in making portable PA systems.
Before you go about investing in a portable PA system, you need to know to find the best that will be suitable for your personal needs. The portable PA system’s essence is to help your vocal cords by improving sounds, and you can speak loudly to your audience without the use of club speakers.
Commonly, you will find an amplifier, speakers, and microphones all in one portable PA system. Some features that might attract you to some brands include; more than a speaker, mixers for toning output, and headphone jacks.
Apart from providing exceptional audio quality, the best portable PA system for live music has a simple setup. Instead of spending money on heavy and bulky public address systems, consider spending on a portable PA system that will have no issues with setting up and ensuring your voice reaches your audience loud and clear.
Even musicians identify the PA system as a core part of their performance, and that is why we have brought you the five live music portable PA system from famous brands. We will be addressing their key features, pros, and cons to help you find the best.
Top 5 Best Portable PA System For Live Music
1. Fender Passport Conference Portable PA Speaker System
Our pa system for live music opens up with the Fender Passport Conference portable pa speaker system that’s packed with a load of features. Delivering reliable and precise sounds is the Fender Passport company’s trademark, and that is what you will get from this PA system.
This pa system is the best for live music, which explains why it sits at the number one spot. Thanks to its four inputs for inline/mic and stereo sounds, users can plug-in instruments, microphones, and other devices.
Adjusting the channel outputs on the Fender Passport pa system gets done using its tones and volumes. It comes with a 20dB pad that uses its level in decreasing very high audio signals.
Compared with other brands on the market, we realized that this pa system from the Fender company offers users a high-quality and crystal clear audio quality band. Its dual speakers houses two tweeters each, and its tweeters are responsible for producing loud and clear sounds during live music.
- Brand – Fender
- Item Weight – 35 Pounds
- Color – Assorted colors
- 175-Watt power rating
- 120-Volt AC input
- 3 XLR Mic inputs
- Overall high-quality
- It is best for songwriters and singers.
- It is the best for electric guitars.
- Produces good sound
- It is expensive
- Its output isn’t good enough.
2. Yamaha STAGEPAS 400I Portable PA System
The Yamaha STAGEPAS 400l portable pa system has helped lots of performers render live music to large-sized crowds. It is because there is a lot of high-quality audio packed inside this portable pa system.
This portable system’s design is compact yet powerful, while its ease of use and versatility also makes it the envy of some low-quality portable pa systems. This all-in-one Yamaha STAGEPAS 400l portable speaker has a lightweight build, making transportation to any venue easy.
Apart from having an attractive look, this portable pa system houses dual speakers, two mixer cables, a detachable speaker, and a power cord. The STAGEPAS 400l has excellent portability, making it the best choice for musicians always on the road.
Do not confuse its compactness and portability for having low quality; this mixer from Yamaha houses 400-watts of power. This high amount of energy provides the necessary sounds while other noticeable features a versatile equalizer, onboard feedback suppressor, SPX digital reverb, Bluetooth connectivity, and eight channels inside its mixer.
- Brand – Yamaha
- Item Weight – 18.89 Kg
- Color – Multi-colored
- It has a 400-watts power rating
- 2 XLR Mic/Inline input
- 100 to 240 Volts AC input
- It has plenty of low ends.
- Used in small-sized and medium-sized venues
- It is compact yet powerful.
- Produces rich sounds
- It has no issues when used with loud equipment.
- Great value pa system
- Easy to use and setup
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3. BEHRINGER, Black (EPS500MP3)
The Behringer EP500MP3 mini pa system features the combination of producing crisp sounds, excellent articulation, and easy setup. Delivering resonant and clear audio sounds is what this pa system does, making sure your audience listens to your voice.
This pa’s system complete kit includes; a detachable mixer, dual loudspeakers, and wireless mic connectivity. Its dual speakers provide clear audio sounds, and thanks to its 500-watt power capacity, performers can play their songs loud and clear.
Delivering professional sounds can be achieved using this pa system. Such professional sounds are produced through a digital reverb processor, while its wireless technology allows a performer to roam freely around the stage without tripping over cable wires.
Another notable feature that catches the eye is the ULM connectivity, and the ULM connectivity is responsible for providing high-quality audio sounds. Furthermore, a performer enjoys clean input and less distorted signals when using this pa system.
All of these features listed here make this pa system one of the best choice pa systems any performer or musician can get.
- Brand – Behringer
- Item Weight – 41.4 Pounds
- Color – Black
- It has a 500-watts power rating
- 4 XLR balanced inputs
- 6 1/4 TRS balanced input
- 100 to 120, and 220 to 240 Volts AC Input
- This pa system has a solid construction.
- It delivers a pleasant sound performance.
- It is perfect for use in small venues.
- It has fantastic quality.
- It isn’t as portable as described.
- It comes with no headphone jack.
4. Mackie FreePlay LIVE
The MACKIE company is introducing to the public its FreePlay Live PA system. It is the best choice for live music performers as it boasts of having a 15-hour battery life, clear audio sound, high-power capacity, and more.
Users achieve natural audio and crystal clear sound thanks to its powerful amp and ultrasonic sounds, and this helps in thrilling the crowd to an outstanding live performance. One thing we find interesting about this pa system from MACKIE is its TRS and XLR inputs. These inputs allow connecting with instruments, microphones, and other kinds of devices.
The Mackie FreePlay Live portable pa system also boasts of having auxiliary inputs where headphones are connected. While we were going through past user reviews, we found out many of the past users expressed satisfaction over this pa system’s ability to adjust mixes.
You can change your mix using its innovative DSP technology, and guess what; its in-built mic stand adapter makes it easy to mount microphones during a live music performance. One more thing you need to do after purchasing this pa system is downloading the FreePlay control app. With this app, you can control this pa system entirely and also make necessary changes.
Lastly, other mouthwatering features you will find in the Mackie FreePlay Live pa system includes; live modes, music modes, reverb effect, and three-band equalizer.
- Brand – Mackie
- Item Weight – 8.8 Pounds
- Color – Black
- It has a 150-watt power rating
- 2 Combo TRS/XLR inputs
- DC power and rechargeable battery
- It offers straightforward and good sounds.
- It has exceptional weight and size.
- It has a fast-charging time.
- Its sound quality doesn’t change when the battery goes low.
- Top-notch app functionality
- Its battery life is poor.
5. ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77) Portable Bluetooth PA Speaker
The ION Audio brand finally makes it to our review, and I’m sure many readers will be looking forward to a product from the ION Audio brand. There are great expectations regarding the brand’s product because its motto has always provided the market with exceptional audio quality products.
You can find their outstanding audio quality trademark in the ION Audio Tailgater iPA77 portable pa speaker system, and this pa system is affordable and easy to use. You can enjoy your music by playing with NFC or a Bluetooth player, but guess what; its connectivity range goes as far as one hundred feet away.
You can say hello to some good old memories as this pa system comes with an auxiliary port where you can connect your old CD player. Moving away from connectivity, this pa system from ION Audio offers a microphone and cable, making it one of the best live music performance choices.
Another exciting aspect of this pa system is it provides up to fifty hours of entertainment when fully charged. Its long hours of use is something you don’t find in every pa system on the market.
Furthermore, it possesses a USB port that allows connecting microphones and other devices. Apart from these exciting features, we have mentioned, the ION Audio iPA77 public address system’s build is durable, as its corners feature a reinforced handle to deal with humps and bumps.
- Brand – ION Audio
- Item Weight – 16.98 Pounds
- Color – Black
- It offers 50-watts of power.
- Bluetooth sharing and NFC pairing
- USB port connection
- Users will find it easy to operate.
- Powerful enough to produce rich sounds
- Setup is easy
- The best for a small audience
- Its speaker is loud and versatile.
- Users complained about this pa system not lasting long.
Despite bringing you our list of portable PA systems, we have chosen one that stands undefeated among the rest. People looking forward to working with a dependable and reliable PA system will be looking for power, ease of use, and affordability.
These excellent features are what the ION Audio Tailgater iPA77 portable PA system offers. From house parties to live music, this speaker will meet up with user expectations.
Portable PA Systems For Outdoor Events Buyer’s Guide
There are a couple of things you need to consider before spending money on any portable PA system. The first thing you need to consider is if the audience can hear you. Unlike public address systems used for big concerts, you don’t have to amplify every voice or instrument on stage, but what you need is a PA system with enough inputs that will allow connecting microphones, tools, and all other necessary devices. You should pay attention to a PA’s number of XLR inputs and see if it will accommodate all you need.
Another consideration you need to make is “how powerful should the PA system be?”. When performing live music to an audience, how many people will you like your voice to reach? You should consider the venue’s size where you perform and evaluate the PA system’s power rating. 50-watts power might be enough for busking, but it might not be enough if you want your voice to go higher than a drum kit.
For solo artists or buskers, portability is another factor that you should consider. It would be best to have a lightweight PA system and compact to carrying around in your decent-sized car or a mini-van.
A PA system should not take up too much space anywhere, and if there is power where you will be playing, you are good to go. However, if you will be playing your live music is an open ground, or somewhere on the streets, you need to pay attention to battery life.
You should take a look at several other features before spending money on a portable PA system. Does the PA system offer adequate control over its equalizer? Is there a feature like a reverb? If you take all of these into consideration, you will have no problem finding a portable PA system that will be best suited for you.
Portability Vs. Control
One question you will always battle with is, “how portable should my PA system be?”. The traditional PA systems comprise of separate pieces of equipment, with each kit having its function. This equipment includes; outboard signal processor, standalone mixer, monitor speaker cabinets, and dedicated power amps.
The traditional PA system’s problem is it requires a fair amount of space for onstage setup, transportation, and storage. If you need to transport your PA system to venues frequently, only a compact and portable PA speaker will meet your needs. The good thing is you can find a PA system today that has every piece of equipment we have listed in one single enclosure.
If you are dealing with a crowded performance place; and have modest amplification needs, you need to go for a portable PA system. For solo performers or small groups with amplification needs and who play in small venues, you will find an all-in-one portable PA system with adequate power.
For example, the Yamaha STAGEPAS 400l portable PA system we earlier discussed in our review will handle any task thrown at it, yet it comes packaged in a way that it will fit into your car trunk. That said, compact PA systems also have limitations of their own.
They do not offer sheer sound output, customization, and control compared to the traditional PA system. Portable PA systems cannot generate high-performance sounds in large venues; neither do they provide adequate inputs for larger crowds.
Reverb And Delay
An effect on a portable PA system that enriches sound is the reverb. Reverb improves sounds by adding dimension and depth, so the voice sounds better when it sings. A reverb unit has adjustable parameters allowing users to control reflections to soother various sound environments.
Delays are echoes that have distinct space between the original sound and its reflection. Delay is what you experience after shouting into huge canyons; you hear your voice but in diminishing waves.
Should I Add A Subwoofer To A PA System?
Loudspeakers that handle lower frequencies are the subwoofers. Due to the intense vibrations they produce, subwoofers don’t get integrated into an enclosure, so they do not damage their components.
Adding a subwoofer to a portable PA system makes the PA system less portable. Unless you go for a powered subwoofer, you will need a power amp with the ability to supply adequate power required by most subs.
Whatever device or equipment you want to shop for will be a bit complicated since the market gets flooded with so many products. The same goes for the best portable PA system for live music, and the search becomes more challenging when you have to consider things like venues, high-quality sound, and power needs. Luckily for you, we have rounded up the best PA systems packed with all of the features you need.
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My name is Johnson Lewis and I am a music coach, producer and Blogger. I enjoy writing about music, instruments, music equipments and I love helping people become better singers.