Best Portable PA System For Live Music

Whenever it comes to choosing a musical instrument, a lot of factors need to be put into consideration. This is because the quality of your music is largely decided by whether your arsenal is loaded with the right instruments or not. And speaking of vital instruments, the PA system is just as important as your guitar or your audio processor. Therefore, it is sensible to be decisive in your music needs to avoid throwing money away on the overly-hyped so-called best. And that is why I have provided my PA system recommendations in categories. Right here, you find a line of the systems best for solo performances, another line best for a band setting, and another best for duos and trios. Also, each category has been subcategorized based on price so you can scroll straight for the line within your budget to get the best portable PA systems. Let’s dive in!

Best Portable PA System For Live Music

Under 500 Dollars

For your 500 dollars budget, I have recommended 4 categories of portable PA systems to choose from based on your needs.

  1. Overall Best PA System For Band; Roland Cube Street EX 4-Channel

Roland Cube Street EX 4-channel is a versatile, heavy-duty portable PA system with up to 4 connection channel mixer, as the name suggests. It is the most ideal portable PA system for your live band setting gigs to entertain a large audience. For one, all the 4 connection jacks are in sizes that are compatible with any ¼” mic or guitar input. This ensures a tight connection with 4 instruments and allows for a free movement on stage. At the same time, the angled back design of this PA system makes it usable as a stage monitor but you can equally mount it up on an ST-A95 stand tripod and still get the best audio from it.

 If you have a bassist band behind you, the Roland Cube Street EX speaker system will connect with 4 fender bass and produce consistently crisp pounding on all 4, thanks to an updated tweeter. Likewise, you’ll enjoy the low frequency of the woofer drive for both your acrostic guitar and your jazz. On the flip side, it integrates COSM amps technology for sound modeling so you can process futuristic effects and produce synth-like tones at the same time. You’re also able to make multiple EQ adjustments for bass, treble, and middle. And likewise, there are up to 10 reverb adjustment levels available on the control panel on the rear.

Speak about performance. Roland Cube Street EX 4-channel PA system has enough power to last you through up to 20 hours of play. It uses 8 AA batteries that empower the whole functions and features with a consistent 50watts power for your longer duration performances. As a plus, there is an i-CUBE port built into the PA system to connect with your iPod and iPad for backup music streaming. And for when you want more sound coverage for a larger audience, each Roland Cube Street EX 4-Channel has a unique port to connect two or more speakers and go. Overall, this is a versatile, heavy-duty speaker for gigging built with busking in mind.

Features

  • Power source; 8 AA batteries
  • Performance capacity; 20 hours @ 10 watts, 10 hours @ 25 watts
  • Maximum power; 50watts
  • Woofers size; 2” ✕ 8”
  • Tweeters size; 2” ✕ 2”
  • COSM amps technology
  • 3 EQ and 10 reverb
  • Numbers of connection channels; 4
  • i-CUBE connection

Pros

  • A versatile PA system for band live performance
  • Lightweight and portable for traveling players
  • Mountable and can also be used unmounted
  • Multiple volume options
  • Multiple connection options
  • Dynamic and ideal for all types of mic and guitar
  • More power
  • One of the best portable PA systems for public address
  • Great for sweet chorus effects
  • Two can be used together
  • Connects with iPod and iPad for backing music
  • Quality audio live sound
  • One for the road

 Cons

  • No compressor option
  • Output jacks are volume dependent

 

  1. Best For Hall; Fender Passport Conference Portable PA System

If you’re looking for a mountable speaker system for gigging, church, school, hall, coffeehouse performances, and basically for public address, get in here. Fender Passport conference portable PA system is the all-in-one amplification setup with 2 speakers and a five-channeled power mixer. The complete package is collapsible for easy storage and transportation. This is an especially great help to traveling performers with a demand for maximum amplification power in a simple, portable system. With up to 175watts of power under your belt and up to 9 input jacks, you can rest easy of a standby sound amplification for your extensive performance without running out of power.

 Speak about versatility. Fender Passport Conference Portable PA system has an international voltage operation of 100V-210V and 220V-240V so you can use it anywhere anytime. What amount of sounding instrument can you amplify at a go? Any 3 instruments with an input size of XLR. Plus, an addition of 5 instruments with an input size of ¼”. On top of that, you can also connect any ⅛” input size instrument and amplify quality sounds on all at once. Unlike any other system, the Fender Passport Conference Portable PA system works with all types of guitars, mike, and processors. All functionalities are easy to adjust to preference. And the ⅛” stereo line output has a volume level control.

For anyone who has invested in a Fender product, a bass guitar, or a processor, it’s sensible to expect quality from this one. The only snag is that this system doesn’t come with a mic, unlike its peers. But if you prioritize quality over quantity, all you’ll need to complete your investment is a 60 bucks microphone. You may even convert it to a home speaker system when not in use for gigging. Just ramp the system down to a lower level.

Features

  •  Power capacity; 175 watts
  • Number of inputs; 9
  • Number of channels; 5
  • 2 full-range speakers
  • Power mixer
  • Voltage; 100-120V/220-240V
  • 2 speaker stands
  • 2 XLR cables
  • ¼” instrument

Pros

  • Dual-speaker system for maximum amplification
  • Best quality for hall performance
  • Easy to set up and transport
  • One of the best portable PA systems for live music and small venues and large venues
  • Great sound quality for all events
  • Extended speaker cables
  • Easy adjustability of sound
  • One of the durable systems with simple operating panel
  • Bang for buck

Cons

  • It may be heavy to carry

 

  1. Best For DJ; Rockville RPG 2✕10 Package PA System

For all DJs out there looking for a worthwhile investment, a wireless mic that pays for itself on the first few uses, this is the best portable PA system with stable Bluetooth connectivity. Rockville 2✕10 wireless mic is a complete system of 10 instruments needed for a simple but yet quality sounding as the name suggests. It has a 4-channels powered mixer with sound effects for the music sound customization needed most by a DJ. All 4 channels have reverb and a digital delay so you can make different levels of echoes, be creative on your gigs, and put your audience on the edge. You may also make wireless connections via Bluetooth to make your phone or iPod a music source or a harmony source. Or just connect any of your devices via USB for the same or just slide in your SD card as another option.

 On the speaker side, you get 2 portable speakers for great sounding and easy handling, with each under 11.81” in height for easy storage and transportation. The long-throw, high-frequency driver 10 woofer offers an awesome acoustic power for your acoustics and incredibly deep bass for the bassist band thanks to a 60oz speaker and 1.5 aluminum voice coil. In the same way, the state-of-the-art horn tweeter just puts tweeting on a whole new level. Finally, each speaker has a strong foldable stand dedicated to it which you can discard if you prefer just having your amplifiers on the floor.

About performance power. Rockville RPG 2✕10 wireless mic provides maximum sounding power and mixing power of 800 watts.  That’s way beyond 40 watts. And while offering 400 watts program power, you get 200 watts RMS from it. 2 rugged RMM-XLR metal mics are also included in every pack for fabulous sounding as an opposite to the cheap plastic mics that most models in the same price category come with. Overall, this is a great set for DJing, bars, karaoke, auditorium, and other heavy-duty soundings. Mic channels and source volumes can be controlled on the powered mixer independently, and all the cables that you need for connection are included so you don’t have to spend extra on anything.

Features

  • Number of speakers; 2
  • Speaker size; 15.35” ✕ 11.81” ✕ 20.28”
  • 10” Woofer
  • 1.75” crystal piezo compression tweeter
  • Frequency range; 65Khz-20Khz
  • 2 speaker cables; 10ft size
  • 2 ¼” input jacks
  • 800 watts peak power
  • 400 watts programmed power
  • 200 watts RMS
  • USB/SD input
  • Bluetooth wireless connection
  • 2 stands
  • Power mixer
  • Reverb and delay effects
  • 2 metal wired speakers; RMM-XLR

Pros

  •  This can be hooked to any DJ system for live performances
  • Great sound quality with plenty of volumes
  • Adds depth to bass and acoustic
  • A lot of power for the money
  • Best durable portable PA system made to last
  • Power mixer can create effects
  • Independent mic channels volume control
  • A complete set of everything that you need
  • Portable PA system with quality line inputs

Cons

  • Stands may not be too great
  • The cables may be too short

 

  1. Best Stage; YAMAHA STAGEPAS 600I Portable PA System

YAMAHA is a music instruments manufacturer that is widely recognized for quality and reliability. So it’s reasonable to expect that they have the most expensive lines. But if you can squeeze in an extra 300 bucks and add it up to your 500 bucks budget, this is a great portable PA system for the money. YAMAHA STAGEPAS 600I is a high-tech PA set with 2 sleek, lightweight speakers engineered for quality sounding and durability. It is an all-new musical invention for sound quality and power reliability (loads of watts of power), thanks to the newly designed high-performance DSP, newly engineered speakers, and an updated set of amplifiers for stage performance.

 What’s new? YAMAHA STAGEPAS 600I is a 10-channel portable PA system that comes with a stable 10-channel mixer and the basic audio effect processing functionalities you’d splash 100s of bucks out for on an additional processor. You can make lots of reverbs from on it, from the hall to stage to outdoor. You also have many sound equalizations on the same power mixer unit, thanks to a builtin EQ functionality. And though there are systems out there with more power, YAMAHA STAGEPAS 600I delivers consistent 680 watts to 400 watts of sounding power so you can worry less about refilling power once charged fully. So, if you are a consistent traveling sound guy looking for a dependable power PA system with all the functionalities you need to outperform on a staging gig, this is a good investment.

The only downside, however, is that you’ll need to buy mounting stands. But you can just use the speakers without mounting and they will stand firm horizontally or vertically onstage. Also, if you’re a mobile DJ, YAMAHA STAGEPAS 600I comes with a USB connection for a tight connection to your laptop or phone. Also, the 20ft connection cable is trice longer compared to that of its competitors, so you can rest easy that you get free movement as a solo vocalist with a guitar or a band. Connect your iPhone and iPod for backing music and harmonies. This portable P A system will help you greatly, allowing the use of one speaker when performing for a smaller audience too and this doesn’t affect the channel mixer in any way.

See the complete features, pros, and cons below.

Features

  • Maximum power output; 680 watts
  • Power mixer type; detachable 10-channel mixer
  • iPod and iPhone connection
  • SPX digital reverb and delay
  • One-knob master EQ
  • 20ft cable
  • 10” speakers
  • Number of speakers; 2
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Acoustic guitar channel
  • Bass guitar channel
  • Subwoofer

Pros

  • A lot of watts of power
  • High-quality extensive sound effects
  • Quality audio sound amplification
  • Great for all guitars and mics
  • Mountable on wall and stand
  • Great reverb quality
  • A responsive channel mixer
  • PA portable system with stable line inputs
  • Smooth wireless connection
  • One of the best portable PA systems with studio-quality audio
  • Portable PA system, easy to set up and use
  • Reputable manufacturer
  • Extensive cable

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with stands
  • No headphone jack

 

Under $300

Do you want a lot of value but you can’t possibly go out of your way to get a 1 grand or a 500 bucks system? In this part of the post, I recommend 3 awesome PA systems that are highly portable and rugged for heavy-duty performances. Let’s dive in s you can choose the best one for your needs.

 

  1. Best For Party; PROWRECK Party 12 Portable 12” 1000watts 2-way PA

If you want a PA/DJ system with up to 1000 watts stable and consistent power and that doesn’t disappoint in any way, this is for your audio amplification. PROWRECK party is a complete set of a portable PA system with everything you need. It comes with two strong mounting stands as a great help, with each dedicated to the 2 12” speakers. Each speaker has all the sounding effects and sounding functionalities and they are both built to be sturdy with ergonomic transport handle for lifting comfort. Inside your package, you also get 3 connection cables, though each is quite short they help greatly and do the job of tight connection perfectly. 

 Once the easy setup is done, you can control your processes over a distance with the dedicated responsive remote control. On the same remote, you can control the master volume, mic volume, bass volume, and acoustic volume separately. The tremble volume and the line volume as well. And as you tweak through configurations, everything is brightly displayed on an LCD display screen for 100% control over the distance. As a DJ, you can make either a USB connection with your DJ software on your laptop or simply set up the Bluetooth connection to escape the cons of dangling cables (these cables are short anyways).

Each of the speakers has an RCA line input and an RCA line output. You can set them up with your mic since this system is XLR and ¼” adaptable. Moving the portable PA systems is even easier thanks to the smooth wheels under both speakers. Overall, this is a versatile PA/DJ set that is just 9 bucks above 200 bucks. The plus is that you have access to an FM radio functionality to go old school. Or you could just insert your memory card and let the house party begin.

See the complete features, pros, and cons below.

Features

  • Power; 1000 watts peak
  • Minimum power; 150 watts RMS
  • XLR input for balanced mic
  • ¼” input for unbalanced mic
  • Voltage; 115V/230V
  • Woofer size; 12”
  • Effects; EQ and reverb
  • 30ft Speakon cable
  • 2 stands
  • USB connection
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Weight; 60lbs

Pros

  • Easy transportation thanks to wheels
  • Comfortable lifting handles
  • More sound effect options
  • Separate volume controls
  • Versatile system
  • A bright display of setting
  • Over-the-distance control
  • One of the best portable PA systems for traveling performers
  • Easy setup and storage
  • Great for an indoor wedding with up to 160 people
  • Loud and clear audio sound quality
  • Easy connection
  • Stable line inputs
  • Multiple connections
  • Highly-portable and lightweight
  • Durable and sturdy PA systems made to last
  • Portable and responsive mic included

Cons

  • Mic needs an upgrade

 

  1. Best For Small Audience; ROCKVILLE RPG15BT 15” Powered 1000 Watts DJ/PA Speaker

If you have a small audience of 60-80 people and want a single speaker DJ/PA system for live shows, this is for you. ROCKVILLE RPG15BT is one of Rockville’s systems inspired by capabilities and low-price. It is more like buying a signal processor together with a state-of-the-art 1.75” pure-titanium diaphragm speaker. All signal processing functionalities are included and you can align your digital reverb effects and tweak echo delay and tailor signal to your venue. The control panel is sophisticated with a lot of effects processing control so you can have more processing capabilities as a DJ and have all your settings displayed clearly on the bright LCD display screen. 

 Enter Rockville RPG15BT with an extreme linear class AB and SPL amplifier technology for a high-power, sonic performance. You get a distortion-free sounding on the 15” woofer system and a superior transient response thanks to a switch-mode power supply. Also, you get to cut frequencies or perform frequency boosting for clarity and sound quality thanks to the 5-band graphic equalizer. The only downside is, however, that this is only one speaker that limits the size of the audience you can serve with this. But the 1000 watts amplification power is a lot for a long duration DJing for an audience of 60-80. Right? Besides, you can always link one more speaker for a larger audience through the TWC (true wireless connection) on this system.

Overall, you’ll get everything you need as a DJ from this set. Bluetooth and Wifi wireless connectivity are both available for mobile device connection or laptop connection. All functions are accessible for adjustment on the handy remote control, and those include volume and other MP3 functions. Another downside is, however, that this set falls on the heavy-weight category with 100lbs in weight.

But that’s just all about it. See more on the features below.

Features

  • Number of speakers; 1
  • Number of stands; 1
  • Maximum power; 1000 watts
  • Voltage; 115V/230V
  • Power meter LCD display
  • RCA line output
  • XLR line output
  • ¼” balanced and unbalanced jack
  • Reverb and delay
  • 5-band graphic equalizer
  • 15” woofer
  • TW (true wireless connection)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 35Khz to 20Khz frequency response
  • Weight; 100lbs

Pros

  • No cable connection needed
  • A lot of audio sound amplification power
  • More signal processing options
  • Clarity and pureness of sound
  • A lot of functions for the money
  • An expensive PA system at a steal price
  • Compact design made to last
  • Portable PA system with stable line inputs
  • High-end diaphragm
  • Low power usage

Cons

  • Just one speaker with no mic included

 

  1. Best Active; ROCKVILLE RPG15” 2000 Watts

The RPG15 of Rockville is another DJ/PA system under 300 dollars with a 15” woofer but this time, you get more power and more sound. Unlike its predecessor reviewed above, this one comes with 2 solid speakers and that makes you 1 15” woofer richer. And likewise, this has twice the power of its predecessor at 2000 watts power of signal processing and frequency adjustment. Another superiority is that this comes with a 3-band compressor, unlike its compressor that comes with a 2-band processor. But, as expected, this is a lot of bucks far above our old guy above.

 Everything in the package includes 2 heavy-duty speakers for heavy-duty operation. 2 input and output cables for a mic, a guitar, and other instrument connection. 2 adjustable stands for speaker staging. 2 microphones for a quality sound preamp in a band setting. And a multiple channel power mixer. Meanwhile, a durable wide bag is also included to easily put all parts in and carry for a traveling DJ or vocalist. The mics are, however, on the ultra-low sound category and may not be all too great for gigging during a large audience show. So you might just have to spend an extra few bucks on better microphones.

Finally, you can hook up a sub or other sounding systems to the power mixer and it adapts. The power mixer is also headphone adaptable and wireless connection is also available without compromising on sound.

See the complete features below.

Features

  • Maximum power; 2000 watts peak
  • Number of speakers; 2
  • Woofer size; 15”
  • Number of microphones; 2
  • Number of cables; 2
  • Number of stands; 2
  • Frequency response; 35Khz to 20Khz
  • Power voltage; 110V/220V
  • 1.35” titanium diaphragm
  • RCA and XLR line input
  • Amplifier clip
  • LCD display
  • Internal switch-mode power supply
  • ¼” stereo jack
  • Volume control
  • EQ and reverb effects

Pros

  • Maximized power for long-duration DJing
  • More woofer capability
  • Separate input gain adjustment
  • High-frequency audio production
  • Superior transient response
  • Lightweight speakers
  • Stand mounting is adjustable
  • Versatile PA/DJ system
  • Comes with the traveling bag o make it easy to carry

Cons

  • Low-end mics

 

Under 200 Dollars 

Low budget? No problem. Being low on cash doesn’t essentially translate to making claims to all the low-quality things that life has to offer. That is exactly why I have reviewed 2 good PA systems that beat their prices below.

  1. Best For ASmall Party; ION Audio Tailgator

This is yet another heavy-duty speaker for your 100 bucks budget. ION Audio Tailgator is a high-technology model built for superiority, easy operation, durability, and sound quality. It is a sleek design box with all 4 corners reinforced to withstand knocks and bumps on the way or in your truck. And for the fact that it comes with a free powerful microphone and cable, this will help you save your money for other things. And unlike many other band speakers, you will get a whopping 50 hours of serious sound amplification with this one. This means that ION audio Tailgator performs 2 days in a roll after a complete charge of the replaceable battery.

 But here’s more. ION audio Tailgator has a wireless functionality for wireless connection to your mobile devices so you can stream backing music from 100 feet away. Once connected, all functionalities can be accessed directly on your phone with the ION audio Tailgator app installed on your mobile devices. This allows for easy control, smooth navigation, and a pain-free sound amplification/processing. It also has a built-in power bank to charge your music-streaming devices and phones so you never run out of power. And there’s an exclusive radio option with receptive antennas to go old school, especially for house parties.

Overall, this is also the ideal speaker with a rechargeable battery that packs watts of power for karaoke and performances in small parties. Though no depressor included, for a high-tech PA system below 100 dollars, you can’t beat this. The quality audio sound from the wide dispersion tweeter coupled with the crispy low end of the woofer is enough for the money. Finally, Tailgator is not too heavy and you can comfortably move it with the ergonomic transportation handles that come along with it.

See the complete specifications below. Needless to say, you also get an EQ from this speaker.

Features

  • Power source; rechargeable battery
  • Power capacity; 50 hours
  • AM/FM Radio with LCD display
  • AM/FM radion receptive antenna
  • Wireless Bluetooth connection
  • USB power bank
  • Master volume
  • Tune and track control
  • Microphone with ⅛” cable
  • Woofer and Tweeter
  • CD player connection
  • ¼” instrument input
  • ⅛” instrument input

Pros

  • A great PA system for small parties
  • Ideal for karaoke
  • It offers an extended playtime (more than 40 watt power provided)
  • Ergonomic telescoping handle for movement comfort
  • Body protection from damages
  • A low price portable system with more functions
  • Smooth audio live sound
  • Easy to carry and operate for the layman

Cons

  • No synth

 

  1. Second Best For Small Parties; PYLE PPHP849KT

Finally on my list is a small 2-way active and passive speaker PA system from PYLE. Though quite on the low-end you’ll get enough of sounding action from this 700 watts sounding set. PYLE PPHP8495K features 8” woofer speaker and 1” tweeter speaker in each speaker set for high-performance compression. You can easily make EQ configurations on it but no delay functionality is included. You can play your favorite tracks in a small party with this either from your laptop with a USB connection or a wireless connection with your mobile phone. It also reads SD cards so you can just insert your card with all your tracks inside and you get to control how it plays through the tracks yourself on the remote control or the control panel on the mixer.

 Just roll up the stand mountings and adjust to a suitable height to mount the two speakers. These speakers are super-lightweight, tough, rugged, and will withstand every knock you throw at them during transportation.

See the complete features below.

Features

  • 8 ohms speak-on ¼” output
  • XLR microphone output
  • 700 watts peak power
  • Power voltage; 100/240V
  • Frequency response; 64Khz to 18Khz
  • Class D amplifier
  • 8” passive speaker
  • 8” active speaker
  • Remote control
  • Wired microphone
  • Aux input jack
  • 1” tweeter
  • 35mm speaker stand; 2 pieces
  • 32 GB memory card support
  • Wireless connectivity
  • USB connectivity
  • Titanium diaphragm with compression driver
  • Mic volume control
  • Bass volume control
  • Trebble volume control

Pros

  • Built-in digital audio amplifier
  • Featherweight speakers
  • Low power usage
  • Reliable and rugged portable PA system
  • Great for studio audio production and stage performance
  • Wireless streaming doesn’t break
  • Digital LCD display
  • Ergonomic lifting handles integrated with each speaker
  • Can be used on stage without stand mounting
  • Great value at a steal price
  • Impressive bass response

Cons

  • Speaker volume limitation

 

Conclusion

Having everything that you need for a gig or for an indoor party makes everything easier. With a portable PA system that is lightweight, you can eliminate the heavy lifting and easily move your sounding arsenal from locations. But you want to be careful not to run into a Chinese knock-off when buying your PA system. That is why I have gone through the trouble to make the best recommendation so you spend your money right. Which of my recommendation do you think is the best?