Portable PA System 101: A Holiday Buying Guide

Portable PA System 101: A Holiday Buying Guide from Full Compass

A PA, or Public Address system, amplifies sound so more people can hear something. Most performers use some type of PA system, whether they are in a church basement or headlining Coachella. But what should you do if you want to be more mobile, and enjoy greater control over your sound? That’s where portable PA systems come in. Here are a few factors that you should consider when shopping for a portable PA:

  • What will you use it for, and how loud will it need to be?
  • Where will you be using it? A small indoor room, or a large hall?
  • What type of sound quality are you looking for?
  • What is your budget?
  • Will you need phantom power? Without it, you won’t be able to use condenser microphones with your PA system.
  • Will you (or your staff) need help moving, setting up and operating it?
  • Will you want additional tools like the ability to record audio, monitor speakers, effects devices or graphic equalizers? Will they be compatible with the system you choose?

Now that you have your list of required features, you can easily evaluate the many options you have to choose from. Here are three of our top portable PA brands, and why we like them.


Samson Expedition Series

Samson’s expedition line consists of affordable, easy-to-use single speakers that can run on AC power or rechargeable batteries. Samson offers three systems to choose from:

  • Samson Expedition Escape is an all-in-one portable, rechargeable speaker system with Bluetooth® connectivity, plus inputs that can be used with dynamic microphones or MP3 players.
  • Samson Expedition XP106 is a portable rechargeable PA system with Bluetooth® connectivity that includes a wired, handheld dynamic microphone
  • Samson Expedition XP106w is a portable rechargeable PA system with Bluetooth® connectivity that includes a wireless, handheld dynamic microphone.


Fender Passport Series

While Fender is obviously known for musical instruments, their portable PA products also provide great sound in a package that is ready to hit the road. The Passport Series PA systems are made up of of two speakers and a powered mixer unit. All three pieces snap together into one compact unit for easy transport. The Fender Passport Series offers three choices:

  • The Fender Passport CONFERENCE is perfect for the layperson that needs quality with simple functionality. This portable PA is ideal for an array of applications, including education, sporting and worship events; meetings, seminars and presentations; and gigs at parties, small clubs and coffeehouses.
  • With versatile controls and connectivity, the Fender Passport Event portable audio system is perfect for amplifying your voice, instrument and background music anytime and anywhere. It’s ideal for gigs at parties, small clubs and coffeehouses; education, sporting and worship events; meetings, seminars, presentations and more. The Passport Event also features Bluetooth® connectivity for streaming wireless audio from mobile devices.
  • The Fender Passport VENUE is a self-contained portable audio system that includes everything you need for great sound anywhere you go. Passport VENUE is great for band and DJ gigs; education, sporting and worship events; meetings, seminars and presentations. It also features a convenient USB record/playback system.



Yamaha’s STAGEPAS portable PA series is one of our best sellers, due to the amazing sound quality and wide range of features. What the STAGEPAS series lacks in convenient portability, it more than compensates for with its quality audio.

Yamaha’s STAGEPAS features two sleek, lightweight speakers and a detachable powered mixer, along with one pair of speaker cables and a power cord, giving you a complete, extremely portable sound solution that can be set up quickly and easily in a variety of configurations and environments.

For all of these options, and much more, visit fullcompass.com.

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