As the live music industry attempts to navigate the current landscape of limitations and restrictions, we’ve all been forced to think outside of the box to find new ways to host events safely, and effectively.
This has naturally led to a massive growth in popularity of portable PA systems. Built to suit audiences of anywhere between 20 and 200, and small enough to fit in the back seat of a Citi Golf, portable PA systems are perfect for house events, garden parties, small venues, and plenty more.
As with all types of gear, there are plenty of options to choose from – price, specification, size, and weight are all factors worth considering.
We’re going to run through some of our top picks for different use cases to help you choose the right portable PA for you!
Battery On a Budget
The Hybrid PA15B
It doesn’t get much more portable than battery powered. And having a single 15” speaker with 75W RMS power in a small, easy to transport plastic housing, as well as an included wireless microphone doesn’t hurt either.
Of course, there are some shortfalls at this price-point – the power rating is not particularly well suited to high volumes, there is only one external XLR microphone input, and of course, and no stereo operation due to there only being one speaker.
The Hybrid PA15B represents serious bang for the buck! If you’re looking for a basic solution for very small crowds, and you only require a small number of inputs, the Hybrid PA15B is a fantastic solution.
The Cort MIX5
With a more traditional “amp-like” form factor, the Cort MIX5 packs a serious amount of versatility in a single box. With 150W of power feeding a single custom-designed 12″ speaker, 5-channels (including two with XLR inputs) the MIX5 could comfortably run up to a full band at relatively high volumes with little effort.
Add to that features like built in reverb on each channel, and a global EQ; and the Cort MIX5 stands out as another fantastic option if you’re looking for something you can easily throw the whole band into and get rocking right away.
The Fender Passport Series 2 Range
Latching together comfortably into one portable system, the Passport Series from Fender is a fully-fledged PA system with 2 full-range speakers, and a full powered mixing unit.
With options ranging from 175W to 600W, and 5-channel to 10-channel respectively, Fender have ensured that they have something for almost everyone just within their own range.
With features like up to 4 XLR inputs, Bluetooth operation, and a solid molded plastic construction, if you’re looking for a slightly more premium offering and full stereo operation, the Fender Passport Series 2 range is worth a serious look!