the best Portable PA Systems in 2023!

           One of the most difficult choices that you will make as a live performer or DJ is whether to invest in your own PA system. If you decide to go for it, the important question becomes, “Which is the ultimate portable PA system to invest in?”

           This dilemma is especially distressing if you find yourself accountable for the front-of-house sound at various venues. After a few events, you will quickly realize that having your own portable PA system is far more practical than renting one repeatedly.

           A lot of factors need to be considered when looking for a portable PA system. These are your target audience, power requirements, venue, and the weight you are willing to carry around. It can be overwhelming at first, but we have been in your shoes before. We have collected vital insights that we will share with you right now. 

Portable PA systems are essential for mobile DJs. Those who are regularly booked for events and weddings. Once named “mobile DJs”, nowadays, they are often referred to as “party DJs”. When clients reach out to you for an event or party, your portable PA systems distinguish you as the superior choice. 

           You will arrive at the party as someone ready to ignite the fire. You are fully equipped with all the needed tech gear, together with the sound system. Essentially, having your own portable DJ PA system enhances your marketability, which will lead to more bookings.

           The choice between getting a single-box solution or a multi-component system depends on your usual gig locations. The common agreement among mobile DJs and gigging musicians is that “bigger” does not necessarily mean “better”. Especially when choosing PA speakers and systems.

           A massive sound system may appear attractive until you are tasked with towing it to venues. Suddenly, that gigantic choice changes from an asset into a sonic burden. This is neither practical nor dependable. Thankfully, there’s a solution at hand.

           Below, we made use of our extensive DJ network, life-long expertise, and hands-on testing to curate a list of the top portable PA systems currently available on the market. Every option available on the list provides excellent sound coverage while freeing you from the nightmare of transporting a gigantic load or dealing with power shortages.

           If you have been struggling with finding a DJ PA system that matches your requirements without breaking your bank account and your back, continue reading. The ideal solution might be closer than you imagine.

Electro-Voice Evolve 50

Ideal for Regular Gigging

If you want both incredible sound quality and portability, the Electro-Voice Evolve 50 is perfect for you. This close-packed system packs a punch. It houses a 12-inch subwoofer topped by a slender column array. It has a power output of approximately 1,000 watts. This is why it is the best possible choice for intimate gig settings. These can be spin classes, lively karaoke parties, or your neighborhood coffee shop. 

           Although, it is not the most powerful option available. However, if you are looking for a compact system with outstanding sound quality, the Evolve 50 is worthy of your serious consideration.

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What Makes It Stand Out

Streamlined Size: Ideal for those who want compact, lightweight systems.

Convenient Portability: It has a dedicated carrying bag inclusion for trouble-free transportation of all your important components, including the column array and couplers.

Wireless Music Continuity: With its Bluetooth ability, you can continue to play music smoothly even when you step away.

Bose S1 Pro

Best for Easy Setup and Configuration

Permit us to introduce the renowned Bose S1 Pro. It has been a treasure since its release in 2018. Accordingly named “all-in-one”, this Bose system is user-friendly and multifaceted. It can cater to both small live bands and solo DJs alike.

Impressively, the S1 Pro operated on a rechargeable battery. It removes the need for constant access to an outlet. It has a battery life of approximately 11 hours. This can help power your events entirely without worrying about power cords. 

With a mere 15 lbs. of weight, the S1 Pro is exceptionally adaptable and portable. It can smoothly fit into various setups. Moreover, it doubles as a playback device. This guarantees that the party never stops. 

           Additionally, considering its specifications and features, it has a reasonable price. Truly, this system lives up to its “all-in-one” reputation.

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What Makes It Stand Out

Ease of Movement: It is a breeze to set up and transport because of its 15-pound weight.

Simplicity: You are free from the complexities often associated with other PA systems due to its straightforward operation.

Diverse Mounting Possibilities: Your convenience is tailored by the wide scope of flexible placement choices.

Bose F1 Model 812

Best for Expansion and Multiple Configurations

If you found the SI Pro admirable, you will be equally impressed by Bose’s F1 Model 812. This compact powerhouse houses four speakers. It has two subwoofers and two loudspeakers which boast a power of 1000 watts.

Every speaker includes eight vertical drivers with a custom 100-degree waveguide. This guarantees that the coverage is both extensive and consistent. Meanwhile, the subwoofers are furnished with two 10-inch high-excursion drivers. It supplies an intense bass that can make the floor tremble.

Moreover, it is both powerful and uncomplicated to set up. This is because the speakers are positioned on top of their respective subwoofers. It also has a carrying bag inclusion. This makes it convenient as it can be both mobile and potent.

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What Makes It Stand Out

Effortless Installation: Setting it up is trouble-free and easy because it has a simplified speaker arrangement. 

Unmatched Performance: Ideal for medium-sized venues because each of the four speakers boasts an impressive 1000-watt.

Convenient Portability: The addition of a carrying bag makes it practical as it can be a fusion of potency and mobility.

JBL EON One Compact

Best for Bluetooth Connectivity and Compact Size

The embodiment of “compact” in the world of portable PA systems is none other than the JBL EON One Compact. It can sit comfortably in your car’s passenger seat. This truly proves that it is a microarray system.

It provides a well-balanced sound perfect for small-to-mid-sized audiences and venues. This is because of its eight-inch woofer and one-inch tweeter. The system includes a 3.5 mm aux input, a hi-Z input, two XLR inputs with phantom power, a four-channel mixer, and a reverb level control. 

The modest design of the JBL will make sure that all eyes remain on you, whether you are a DJ or a singer/songwriter. It is furnished with a built-in handle can rechargeable batteries. As a result, it can maintain over 12 hours of performance on a single charge.

At an attractive point, the JBL EON One Compact is a remarkable choice for party DJs. This is because it is big on performance despite its compact size.

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What Makes It Stand Out

Wireless Music Playback: Its built-in Bluetooth feature will allow you to prolong your music enjoyment even if you are not in the vicinity.

Compact Yet Mighty: It has an eight-inch subwoofer that can provide over 112dB of sound output. 

Tailored for Mobility: If you are a solo musician who is always on the move, this can be your perfect partner because it is exceptionally portable.

Roland BA-330

Best for Built-In FX and Simple Setup

If you are looking for a space-saving and robust system, the Roland BA-330 is worth investing in. It has two stereo-channel inputs as well as a four-channel configuration that offers line and mic inputs. 

Furthermore, its flexibility in power sources sets it apart from other systems. This is because it can switch between eight AA batteries and AC power. This is particularly beneficial for solo performers as it is very easy to use. 

The BA-330 also houses built-in effects like delay, onboard EQ, and reverb. This will permit you to tailor your performance to match your venue and audience preferences effortlessly.

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What Makes It Stand Out

Versatile Power Choices: It can transition between battery operation and AC power effortlessly, depending on your needs. 

One-Unit Functionality: It makes your experience straightforward as it is user-friendly and crafted with solo performers in mind.

Incorporated Onboard Effects: You can create a unique and captivating show because you can personalize your performance with EQ, delay features, and reverb.

QSC K12.2

Best for Build Quality and Heavy-Duty Performance

     The QSC K12.2 deserves to be on this list as it delivers a complete package. It is not just a simple portable PA system. It also has cables, covers, stands, two speakers, and a subwoofer as inclusions. 

     Every speaker houses a 2000-watt peak power output. Meanwhile, the subwoofer produces approximately 3,600 watts of power. This setup guarantees that any user can dominate large venues without breaking a sweat. However, there’s more to this option than it seems. It stands out both in its quick setup and hassle-free portability, as well as its comprehensive offering.

     Moreover, the speakers come furnished with pre-loaded EQ options. This is to make sure that your music genre will align along with adjustable parameters such as crossovers and delays. So, if you are looking for a remarkable setup for your next DJ performance, the QSC K12.2 is the one to go. 

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What Makes It Stand Out

Powerhouse Performance: It is a true powerhouse due to its two 2,000-watt speakers and 3,600-watt subwoofer.

Complete Package: It guarantees to produce an outstanding sound because it houses a speaker stand, a subwoofer, two speakers, a tote bag, and a speaker cover.

Smooth Sound Coverage: Dread areas and hot spots are left in the past because of its directivity-matched transition. It makes sure that the auditory experience is smooth.

Bose L1

Perfect for Superior Sound Quality and Sleek Design

     If you are a singer, songwriter, or lecturer, the Bose L1 is the ultimate choice. It is part of this list because certain DJs require this accurate configuration. This is particularly beneficial for more laid-back events. Abbreviated as Bose L1 Compact, this PA system provides a PA and monitoring system of 200 watts. It exceeds many similarly-sized systems in sound coverage and quality.

     Its compact size guarantees easy transport and a subtle presence at events. Most people will not even notice that it is there. Is speaker array is mounted on top and the system’s subwoofers form its base.

     Each one of the six mounted drivers provides 180-degree coverage. This results in a highly effective sound manipulation. It makes sure that everyone in the audience can hear the sound regardless of their position.

     The L1 can easily be the top choice from this list if you are performing specifically at less raucous events or as a soloist.

Bose L1 Pro8

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Bose L1 Pro16

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What Makes It Stand Out

Incredible Sound Coverage: It ensures an outstanding sound in all areas because it has six mounted drivers that deliver true 180-degree coverage.

Tone match Channels: It is furnished with preset playback options for both acoustic guitars and handheld microphones.

One-Person Operation: It is often unnoticed as a PA system as the S1 systems can be operated by a single person. This proves that it is one of the most portable options on this list.

Mackie FreePlay LIVE

Best for Lightweight Design and Easy-to-Use App

     The Mackie FreePlay LIVE provides an exceptionally lightweight and Bluetooth-enabled PA option. It can produce over 150 watts of power despite being so lightweight. It can even rest on a tabletop comfortably while giving out a remarkable power supply. The FreePlay LIVE houses up to 15 hours of battery life. It proves that it can keep up with modern technological features. Moreover, it delivers impressive sound to those in its vicinity.

     The FreePlay LIVE boasts two channels and two XLR combo inputs that can accommodate microphones, line-level sources, and instruments. This makes it an ideal choice for DJs and gig performers. Additionally, it houses an onboard EQ for accurate sound optimization. This guarantees that your performances will always shine.

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What Makes It Stand Out

Feather-Light Build: With just approximately 9 lbs. of weight, it is exceptionally light making it easy to transport.

Bluetooth Connectivity: Utilization of a wireless microphone through and streaming music wirelessly can be achieved because of this feature. 

FreePlay Companion App: This app allows you to fine-tune and modify different effects, muting functions, and settings effortlessly. This app enhances the system’s modernity.

Behringer Europort PPA500BT

Best for overall value with built-in FX

     This Behringer Europort PPA500BT is a very lightweight PA system but it certainly holds a load of quality and strength. It comes with an amplifier that has 40W and a two-way premium speaker system. This ensures that a powerful sound will be pushed out. The batteries are rechargeable and can withstand 12 hours of continuous playing on a full charge.

     Furthermore, it has a high-quality dynamic microphone inclusion. This even connects with the built-in Bluetooth smoothly. It also can stream audio from your tablet or smartphone. Additionally, it has a two-band-equalizer and a built-in two-channel mixer. Despite all these features, it is extremely lightweight at only 9kg. It truly proves that it is an amazing all-rounder.

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What Makes It Stand Out:

Featherweight Design: It is merely 9kg on the scale which makes it very convenient for transportation.

Effortless Bluetooth Connectivity: Your setup will be simplified because it can easily link up instruments. These are wireless microphones or streaming devices through Bluetooth connection.

Top-Notch Klark Teknik FX Processor: This processor houses 100 presets, flanger, and chorus, encompassing reverb, pitch, shifting, and various multi-effects. This proves that it really can deliver an exceptional quality.

Peavey Escort 6000 Bundle

Ideal for All-in-One Setup and Portability

     The Peavey Escort 6000 speaker system provides an easy setup combined with incredible portability and mobility. This PA system is your perfect companion whenever you have small or medium-sized gigs. It has a nine-channel mixer, stand, several cables, and two speakers as inclusions. Additionally, it has a pair of 300-watt speakers. Each one features a tweeter and a 10-inch woofer to ensure that the sounds produced are crystal clear.

     The Escort 6000 highlights a nine-channel mixer. It comes with seven XLR combo and stereo RCA inputs. Each of them is furnished with a three-band EQ per channel. Moreover, it houses digital effects, a seven-band master EQ, and a Feedback Locating system for complete sound quality control.

What Makes It Stand Out

Comprehensive Equalization Options: The Escort 6000 has a seven-band master EQ that gives you full authority over your sound.

Remarkable Amplification: It has two speakers and each of them supplies 300 watts of power. Impressive audio capabilities are ensured as the total output exceeds 600 watts.

Incorporated Accessories and Portable Case: It has an inclusion of speaker stands, cables, and a protective case. This is very convenient and caters to users who prioritize mobility.

Yamaha StagePas 600BT

Best for Advanced Audio Processing and Innovative Design

     If you are looking for a PA system that is suited for smaller and midsize venues, the Yamaha StagePas 600BT is the ultimate choice. It has two speakers and each of them features a 1.4-inch high-frequency driver and a 10-inch low-frequency driver. Moreover, it has a 10-channel powered mixer and a built-in stand mount inclusion. It can also provide a 680-watt power supply for all these features.

     A phantom power is featured in its two XLR inputs. As well as stereo line inputs and hi-Z. Additionally, a three-band EQ per input on each channel is included. It also allows its users to customize their waveguides and effectively enhance sound distribution.

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What Makes It Stand Out

Perfect for Bands and DJs: It can accommodate instruments and microphones with ease which is why it suits moderately-sized groups.

Smart Feedback Suppression: Disturbances can be averted before they manifest because they can quickly remove troublesome frequencies.

Wireless Bluetooth Connectivity: It exhibits wireless connections with intermission music, instruments, or wireless microphones through its “nine” and  “ten” channels.

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7 months ago

Works best also for a home studio as it reduces cable management which to some like me is a big deal 😀

7 months ago

Nice list! Most of these I have seen on many other recommended pages. I do venue DJ work, a lot of weddings and some other social gatherings. Looking to make things easier to set up and move around. I am basically looking to downsize everything without sparing sound quality. This was helpful!

Vince D.
Vince D.
7 months ago

The Yamaha Portable PA System is such a good deal for what you get and right in my budget range being under $1,000. I think this is the one I am going to go with. I have compared several but I want the range and versatility without sacrificing sound and this seems to fit the bill!