Although today’s portable PA systems can include almost everything you need to get your sound system up and running, there is always the need to customize or upgrade to suit your individual needs. This guide outlines some of the most effective ways to accessorize your new audio system.

Choosing the Right Accessories

Microphones:For PA system use, your microphone should be a unidirectional microphone with a tight pickup patter to reject feedback. Feedback is the howling noise that results from the microphone picking up sounds coming from the speakers and sending them in an endless loop through the system. You can avoid that by choosing a good microphone designed to reject extraneous sound and correctly placing it away from the speakers. To get the best sound from your portable PA audio system, always use the best quality microphones you can afford.

Excellent vocal microphone choices for PA, include the Shure SM58, the Electro Voice ND767a, the Samson Q8, and the Audix OM2. If price is an issue, other good choices include the Shure PG58, the Electro-Voice PL44, the Samson CQ6. For miking instruments popular choices include the Shure SM57 and the Samson Q4.

Wireless Microphones: Wireless microphones must be considered if you plan to pass mics around to an audience or if your performers are moving around the stage. Although the subject of wireless microphones is too large for this article, you can be sure that all wireless microphones will be suitable for your PA system. With wireless mics, you need to consider whether you want a handheld microphone, which is easy to pass from performer to performer, or a clip-on lavalier microphone which leaves the speaker’s or performer’s hands free.

Speaker Stands and Microphone Stands: We recommend that you mount your speakers on speaker stands for the best sound and dispersion in a large area. This may not be necessary in a boardroom, classroom, or kiosk location where you are not trying to cover a large space. If using handheld microphones, you will also need to consider microphone stands. In performance, a straight stand will usually do for vocalists, but for drummers and acoustic guitar players, consider a boom stand to enable you to position the mics properly. There are also tabletop stands for conference tables and dais locations.

Cables: All portable PA systems come with the necessary cables for the speakers. You will need to purchase microphone cables and instrument cables for each of those items.