Portable PA Audio System Buyers Guide

Today's portable PA (sometimes known as Public Address) audio systems make it easy to get the right sound system for your needs. Although you can spend a great deal of time and effort deciding on mixers, amplifiers, speakers, wiring, microphones, crossovers, and other equipment for a sound system, there is now a huge selection of perfectly matched sound systems that contain everything you need to get excellent sound with all the power you need. No need to worry about blowing speakers from and incorrectly matched power amplifier and speakers, with today's portable PA systems the matching of all components is already done for you.

Portable PA audio systems are extremely versatile – they are typically used to provide sound for DJs, sound reinforcement for bands, sound for your backyard barbeque, bar, or coffee house; sound for your indoor or outdoor rally or meeting; amplification for classrooms; sound for presentations at convention center booths, in boardrooms, and in training departments; as keyboard amplifiers; for exercise classes in the gym, and anywhere else you need to project voices or music to a large group.

Choosing the Right Portable PA System

The first thing to consider when choosing a portable PA audio system is how and where you will use it. There are complete portable PA systems for nearly every application. Click the links below to find the right system for the following uses:

For uses where electric power is hard to find or not an option, such as a backyard barbeque, a performance in the park, a mall kiosk, or a small convention center booth or leading a marching band, a charity walk, or a demonstration
For small clubs, coffee houses, exercise or dance studios, or meeting halls
For school gymnasiums, auditoriums, or at large wedding reception halls

Another consideration is the number of channels you need from your portable PA audio system. This is determined by the number of devices (microphones, keyboards, etc.) that you will need to plug in and control. If all you need is one microphone and some background music recorded on an iPod or CD player, almost any portable PA will accommodate your needs. However, if you will need accommodate more than that, make sure to count the number of microphones and instruments and get a sufficient number of channels for each. It is not advisable to plug more than one item into a channel.

Finally, consider how you will be placing the speakers for your portable PA audio system. While most of the systems will allow you to place the speakers on the ground or on a table, you will get better results and more coverage if you mount them on speaker stands. Fortunately, most of the systems today include mounting sockets for speaker stands.