If you do any kind of mobile presenting or performing you can benefit from a rechargeable portable PA. The portability offered from not having to rely on power supplies and cords is paramount. One major key advantage is the ability to play pop up concerts or street presentation almost anywhere, whether it is a coffee shop or on a street corner. Some things to consider if you are looking into purchasing a portable PA are as follows:
- How many channels are you looking to amplify?
- How big are the venues you perform or present in?
In our round-up today we’ll take a look at 4 models at different price points to help you determine which portable PA is the best fit for you.
An inexpensive option is the Samson Expedition Escape which comes in at just $99. Weighing in at 8.5 pounds, it includes a simple feature set. Featuring a ¼” input with volume control for microphones, line level sources. There is also a 1/8” input for portable music devices or even a keyboard. Additionally included is Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming. According to Samson, the Expedition Escape provides up to 20 hours of continuous play from a full charge. The battery life and price point on this portable PA really sets it apart from the competition.
The Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge comes in at $499 and weighs just over 21 pounds. It includes 2 channels – a dedicated instrument channel, as well as a dedicated mic channel. Also included is a 1/8th inch auxiliary in jack as well as Bluetooth streaming which is great for backing tracks. The Instrument channel offers 3 band EQ, and the mic channel has 2 band EQ. Each channel has independent reverb control (ambience). The Instrument channel offers a single knob chorus effect. As an added bonus there is an XLR DI output for times you want to run into a larger system or powered speakers. Thus making this portable PA perfect for large or small venues.
The Bose S1 Pro comes in at $599 plus $99 for rechargeable lithium ion battery which gives 6 hours plus of play time. The Powered speaker weighs just 15 lbs and has a built-in 3 channel mixer. There are 2 mic/line channels with combo XLR/1/4” jacks, and an Aux channel with 1/8” trs jack for stereo sources. Additionally included is Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming. The Mic/Line channels feature Reverb, and a 2 band EQ with Bose ToneMatch processing for optimizing the sounds from acoustic guitars and microphones. With the ¼” line out you can easily incorporate another S1 Pro. Additionally one cool feature is that the cabinet is designed to sit in multiple positions. It can sit flat, tilt back, on its side as a monitor or on a speaker stand. The built in Accelerometer recognizes the position and automatically switches the EQ curve to maintain optimum sound.
Ideal for bigger events and more sound sources the JBL Eon One Pro comes in at $1499. Weighing in at 37.5 lbs and offering up to 6 hours of play time thanks to a lithium ion battery. This thing is a breeze to use and it sets up in seconds. The Eon One Pro has an 8” sub-woofer with a linear speaker array for full, clear sound with a wide coverage. Additionally included is the built in 7 channel Mixer that offers 2 mic/line inputs with phantom power, 2 mic/line/hi-Z inputs for plugging in electric guitar or bass, a stereo pair of RCA ins, and an 1/8th inch TRS input. The mic/line channels feature a 2 band Treble and Bass EQ and reverb. Of course there is Bluetooth streaming capability included. Finally there is an RCA monitor out with level control, and a Pass through connection for connecting a second unit. This portable PA give you the most bang for your buck.
Four different models from four different brands all at four different price points. So whether you are a solo player and you want to mic your vocals and an instrument, or if your band needs a new portable PA and you want something that is not only easy to move but allows for more spur of the moment impromptu concerts. Regardless the size of your group, portable PA systems are making it easier for musicians to get out there and play. I hope this article has given you something to think about when choosing a rechargeable portable PA.