If you’re planning an event, you’ll need to make sure you have a good sound system. A Public Address (PA) system is essential for any event. It’s the primary means of amplifying sound and making it louder and clearer so that everyone can hear the music and announcements.
PA systems come in many different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to understand the basics of PA systems and how to choose the right one for your event. Today we'll be looking at 5 of the best you can buy right here in New Zealand.
The Best PA Systems
1. Samson Expedition XP300
The Samson Expedition XP300 is a comprehensive sound system that offers the combination of powerful audio quality with easy, no fuss setup.
Consisting of two 2-way speakers with 6" woofers and 1" HF (high frequency) drivers and a 6-channel mixer, the system and all components pack up into a single portable unit weighing less than 11kgs.
The XP300 comes with numerous special features, making it appropriate for a wide variety of environments.
These features include phantom power for condenser microphones, selectable digital effects, sub output to integrate subwoofers and 2-band EQ on input channels.
The device also has a Mic/Line input (XLR and 1/4") for microphones and line level devices, and a stereo channel (1/4" and 1/8") for connecting external devices.
It additionally boasts Bluetooth connectivity, so audio can be wirelessly streamed from MP3 devices.
The device produces 300W of stereo power, at 150W per channel. The frequency response is 20Hz – 20kHz and the maximum volume output level is +22dB.
The Samson Expedition XP300 measures 354 x 395 x 218mm and weighs 10.8kg.
The setup includes two 26cm speaker cables, and the speaker enclosures feature 1 3/8" stand mounts with a tilt back design. The speakers are made of ABS high impact plastic, with perforated steel grilles.
2. iDance Portable Bluetooth PA System
The iDance Portable Bluetooth PA System is both compact and boasts a powerful audio experience, perfect for a wide variety of settings and events.
The interface of the iDance Portable includes a USB port and an aux input. It has Bluetooth connectivity capabilities and TF playback. The unit comes with a wired microphone included.
The system contains a rechargeable battery, with up to four hours playback time.
The device is a black unit with RBG LED party lighting trimming. It weighs 2.45kgs and the boxed package measures 270 x 360 x 185mm
3. Samson Expedition 25i - Portable PA
The Samson Expedition 25i is a portable PA, perfect for on-the-go audio needs. It is a neatly produced, combination setup that includes both a loudspeaker and push-to-talk microphone.
Included with the device are a carry handle, shoulder strap, microphone stand adaptor and internal rechargeable battery, making it perfect for public speaking events.
The Samson Expedition 25i is suitable for a wide range of environments including the classroom, office, sports field and parties anywhere where the user might need to address a large crowd.
The device features a 5" full range loudspeaker, producing clear and crisp audio. The interface includes a 1/8" line in/outputs, 1/4" mic inputs, aux inputs and a built-in iPod dock with easy level audio control.
An iPod can be plugged into the dock to allow for easy public broadcast of pre-recorded messages and audio. The device runs on 25W of RMS power, with an internal rechargeable battery.
The Samson Expedition 25i measures 241.3 x 387.4 x 203.2mm and weighs 3.7kgs. It is black and the compact design is constructed of high quality individual components.
4. Samson Expedition XP800
The Samson Expedition XP800 is a two speaker, all-in-one sound system that combines top quality audio with simple setup. The build features a removable 8-channel powered mixer and two speakers with 8" woofers and 1" HF drivers.
For portability purposes, the entire system can be packed up and transported as one unit, using Samson’s unique speaker-locking design. The system has Bluetooth connectivity and features many additional audio components.
These include selectable digital effects (a music/speech switch for optimising output EQ depending on the type of playback) and 2-band (Bass and Treble) EQ on every input channel.
The Expedition XP800 also includes four microphone preamps, a High-Z input for direct guitar connections, two stereo channels with multiple input options and a footswitch jack for remote FX control.
The Expedition XP800 is an 800W system, with two speakers producing 400W each of stereo power. It has a frequency response of 20Hz–20kHz and a maximum output level of +22dB.
The system weighs 18.8kg and is constructed of ABS high impact plastic with a perforated steel grille.
It includes two speaker cables, and the tilt-back design means that the speakers can be used as stage monitors as well as mounted on a stand.
5. Behringer Europort PPA500BT PA
The Behringer Europort PPA500BT is an ultra-compact portable PA system. It consists of two 8" woofer speakers and a 6-channel mixer, which runs on a Klark Teknik FX processor.
An integrated compartment allows for easy storage and access of microphones, cables and accessories. The system works well for a wide variety of settings including parties, schools, corporate and office situations.
Bluetooth connectivity means that iPod and MP3 devices can be easily connected and the device has additional wireless capabilities, connecting to Behringer’s ULM series of digital microphones without cables.
The 6-channel mixer features two mono and two stereo channels. The PPA500BT has 5-band EQ and the Klark Teknik FX processor comes with 100 installed presets (including reverb, delay and pitch-shifter amongst others).
The Behringer Europort PPA500BT is a 500W device. It has installed Behringer’s FBQ Feedback Detection system to quickly detect and easily remove excess feedback. The frequency response is 50Hz to 22kHz.
The system weighs 20.3kg and measures 672 x 520 x 304mm. It can be packed into a single portable unit, that has the appearance of a bag and when unpacked resembles three separate components (two speakers and mixer).
How to choose the best PA system?
The most important thing to consider when selecting a PA system for your event is the size of the venue and the number of people who will be attending. A smaller venue or a smaller crowd may require a basic PA system, while a larger crowd or venue will require a more advanced system.
Additionally, you’ll want to think about the type of sound you’ll need to produce. If you’re hosting a music event, you’ll need more powerful speakers and amplifiers. Once you’ve determined the size and type of sound you’ll need, you’ll need to select the components of your PA system.
At a minimum, a PA system will usually include a mixing board, amplifiers, speakers, and microphone(s). The mixing board is the main hub of the system and allows you to adjust the sound levels and mix different inputs.
The amplifiers boost the sound from the mixing board and send it to the speakers. The speakers then broadcast the sound to the crowd. Microphones are used to amplify the sound of a voice or instrument. Finally, you’ll need to think about the installation and setup of your PA system.
The setup process can be quite complex, so it’s important to have a qualified technician to assist you. The technician can help you select the right components and ensure that they are properly installed and configured.
When it comes to selecting the right PA system for your event, it’s important to consider the size of the venue, the type of sound you’ll need, the components of the system, and the installation process.
With the right PA system, you can ensure that your event will sound great and that everyone will be able to hear the music and announcements clearly.