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Portable PA Speakers

Portable PA is the ultimate utilitarian tool for live sound. Equally at home as a main PA, on the front lip of a stage, suspended under a larger system or balcony for fills, or laid on its side for use as a floor monitor, these systems can be used for corporate and hotel AV applications or at a larger facility like a theater or performing arts center for smaller events.

Portable PA Speakers

Jul 11, 2012 11:06 AM,
By Mark Johnson

Portable PA is the ultimate utilitarian tool for live sound. Equally at home as a main PA, on the front lip of a stage, suspended under a larger system or balcony for fills, or laid on its side for use as a floor monitor, these systems can be used for corporate and hotel AV applications or at a larger facility like a theater or performing arts center for smaller events.


While plastic or composite enclosures still make up the bulk of what’s out there, some manufacturers are turning back to wood as the cabinet material of choice. Many offer passive and active systems sometimes as options of the same model as well as companion subwoofers. Almost all include the ubiquitous pole socket or have an optional adapter for pole mounting. And some of these systems include integral rigging for permanent installation. For this showcase, the focus will be on active, self-powered systems.

American Audio DLT15A

The American AudioDLT15A active speaker system with a built-in Class D 500W (Program Power) amplifier has a wood enclosure. It features a 15in. woofer and a 1.3in. high-frequency driver mounted on a rotatable 90×40 horn. The speaker also includes 3-Band EQ, constant velocity fan as well as XLR and 1/4in. inputs and XLR outputs. The DLT15A has 14 fly M10 rigging points and is also stand mountable.

The Liberty Platinum Sound portable sound system from Anchor Audio features AC/DC operation, one or two UHF wireless receivers, an optional MP3 player, and a CD player. It also includes a USB port for accessory charging and two universal microphone input jacks. A 10in. Neodymium woofer driven by a proprietary Class D amplifier provides a maximum SPL of 110dB. The system features user-replaceable batteries, which provide six to eight hours of operation on a single charge. The frequency response is 60Hz to 15 kHz.

Azden’s APS 30U dual-channel powered speaker incorporates a 30W amplifier and a 6.5in. full-range driver. The APS 30 offers a choice of built-in UHF or infrared wireless receivers with bodypack or handheld transmitters. The speaker features auto on/off circuitry that is triggered by audio from any input. The frequency response is 50Hz to 15kHz with a maximum output of 103dB.

The Bag End self-powered PTA2000-R Time-Align features a finished 13-ply birch enclosure with a 35mm stand adapter. The 80-degree x 60-degree horn can be rotated. The driver complement include a 12in. woofer and a 1in. exit compression high-frequency driver mounted to a radial horn that provides a maximum SPL of 127dB and a frequency response of 70Hz to 20kHz.

Behringer EUROLIVE B412DSP

Behringer’s EUROLIVE B412DSP includes a 24-bit digital processor for phase and time correction, plus a dual compressor/limiter for system protection, as well as a digital crossover, noise gate, low-cut filter, two-band EQ, and dynamic contour filter. The onboard mixer comprises two ULN mic/line inputs with individual volume controls and peak LEDs. The driver complement is a 12in. long-excursion woofer and a 1.75in. titanium-diaphragm compression driver mounted to an exponential/conical horn with multi-cell aperture throat. A line output allows for connecting additional systems.

Bose L1

The Bose model L1 column line array comes in a few different iterations; the L1 Compact, L1 Model I, and L1 Model II. The L1 Compact is a different design from the Models I and II, which incorporate 24 2.25in. high-frequency drivers and a bass module with two 5.25in. low-frequency drivers. The I and II offer more SPL over the Compact (115dB vs. 106dB), and all three provide slightly different coverage: 195 degree horizontal x 0 degree vertical, 160 degree horizontal x 0 degree vertical, and 180 degree horizontal x 40 degrees vertical for the Model II, Model I, and Compact, respectively.

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Portable PA Speakers

Jul 11, 2012 11:06 AM,
By Mark Johnson

One of the claims to fame for Califone’s PA419 is an Apple-approved dock for use with iPhones and iPods. It also includes two wireless handheld mics and an XLR input for a third wired mic. RCA and 1/8in. aux inputs and RCA outputs are available on the control panel along with a voice priority switch that decreases the music level when one of the mic inputs is active. What’s more, the system can run on either AC or rechargeable batteries. Califone has also shoehorned a DVD/CD player into the enclosure complete with a remote control.

D.A.S. Audio Action 12A

Danley Sound Labs offers a powered version of its SH-95 synergy horn. The system provides a 95-degree x 55-degree coverage pattern and a frequency response of 55Hz to 24kHz. The maximum SPL is 126dB, program. The driver complement includes two 8in. low-frequency drivers and one 1in. high-frequency unit. In addition to functioning as part of a compact main PA system, the loudspeaker is suited for downfill, frontfill, and delay applications.

dB Technologies Cromo 15+

The D.A.S. AudioAction 12A’s Class D biamplifiers provides 131dB peak and a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz. The coverage is 80 degrees x 50 degrees. The birch ply multi-angle enclosure can be used as a monitor and also includes a pole-mount socket and rigging points. Lows are handled by a Mi-12A D.A.S 12in. driver and a M-34 1in. exit compression driver for the highs.


The Cromo 15+ from dB Technologies has a frequency response of 45Hz to 20,000Hz and a maximum SPL of 128dB. The system comprises a 1in. high-frequency driver mounted to a 90/70-degree x 60-degree asymmetrical CD horn and a 15in. low-frequency driver powered by a Class D convention-cooled amp. The polypropylene enclosure angles up 43 degrees for use as a floor monitor.

EAW’s two-way self-powered JF26NT provides 60×45 degrees of coverage and an operating frequency range of 55Hz to 20kHz. The biamplified system incorporates DSP signal processing with EAW Focusing with a peak SPL of 130dB. EAW Pilot and U-Net are included for networking, communications, and control. Optional adjustable legs are available for use as a stage monitor.

Electro-Voice ZxA1-90

The Electro-VoiceZxA1-90 features a 90-degree x 50-degree rotatable waveguide mounted to a DH-2005 1in. exit compression driver for two coverage patterns and Class D amplification for a maximum measured SPL of 126dB and a frequency range of 48Hz to 20kHz. The EV8L 8in. woofer provides low frequencies. The ABS enclosure includes a pole mount and 45-degree angle for floor monitor applications as well as four suspension points for permanent installation.

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Portable PA Speakers

Jul 11, 2012 11:06 AM,
By Mark Johnson

The FBTMitus 115A is a two-way, bi-amplified, bass-reflex design comprising a 15in. B&C neodymium woofer with 3in. voice coil and a 1in. exit B&C neodymium HF driver with 1.7in. voice coil mounted to an 80-degree horizontal x 50-degree vertical rotatable horn. The loudspeaker is powered by Class D built-in amplifiers and provides a frequency response of 46Hz to 20KHz. Digital signal processing provides eight EQ presets. The 5/8in. birch plywood enclosure includes eight M10 fly points and a 35mm speaker stand socket.

The FishmanSA220 Solo Performance System features a column array of six low/mid drivers and a soft dome tweeter. The enhanced low frequency response eliminated the need for an accessory subwoofer. The integrated two input mixer features three-band EQ,phantom power, independent reverb level with four digital reverb effects, and an effect loop. The system weighs 25lbs. without the stand.

Galaxy Audio pretty much created the small personal monitor market with their original Hot Spot. Its PA6SR includes a wireless receiver and a mic stand insert on the bottom of the unit, a molded-in yoke bracket points, with optional yoke bracket assembly mounting mounted to a wall or ceiling surface, or attached to a mic stand and angled in any direction. The speaker features a built-in compressor/limiter, -20dB pad switches on both XLR inputs, and a three-band EQ. The two-way system comprises a 6.5in. neodymium woofer and 1.5in. Neolite tweeter driven by a 170W Class D amplifier.

Billed as the “world’s fastest PA,” the mid/high section of the Soundcaddy One from HK Audio stores in the “caddy” for transport and uses pneumatics to lift the unit out. The caddy also houses the onboard subwoofer. The system also includes an integrated 4-channel mixer and 600W of Class D amplification. The frequency response is 42Hz to 18kHz, and the maximum SPL is 125dB. Coverage is 70-degrees horizontal by 15-degrees vertical, and the system weighs 63.9lbs.

JBL Professional PRX612M

The PRX612M from JBL Professional provides a maximum SPL of 134dB peak and features nine M10 points for rigging, EQ optimization for main or monitor applications, 2-channel Class D Crown amplification, DSP for crossover, dynamic limiting, component optimization, and system EQ. The poplar plywood enclosures feature a dual pole socket for tilt down or straight mounting. Nominal coverage is 90 degrees x 50 degrees, and the frequency range is 50Hz to 19.5kHz.

The KB1 from K-Array features the ability to store presets through PC control via an onboard four-input digital mixer and processor. The processing provides control of input levels, EQ, multi-effects, compressors, and output levels. In addition to the mixer the system comprises a 12in. subwoofer and the mid/high section incorporating eight 3.15in. drivers configured as a line source. The KB1 also provides variable vertical coverage.

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Portable PA Speakers

Jul 11, 2012 11:06 AM,
By Mark Johnson

M-Audio GSR10

The M-AudioGSR10 two-way 250W active sound reinforcement speaker comprises a 1in. high-frequency Titanium compression driver and 10in. low-frequency driver with 2.5in. voice coil driven by Class D amplification. Four EQ presets are provided for normal, hi-fi, DJ, and voice applications. Interlocking fixtures allow for the stacking of two speakers on top of each other, and the angled cabinet provides for use as a floor monitor. The cabinet includes integrated M10 fly points and a 1.4in. pole mount.

Mackie HD1221

Mackie incorporates driver technology from EAW and horn technology from Martin Audio for the HD1221 high-definition powered loudspeaker. The 15mm birch ply cabinet includes 12 integrated M10 points for rigging, is pole mountable, and features a 60-degree angle for floor monitor applications. A three-position voicing mode switch provides EQ options. Frequency response is 55Hz to 20kHz, and the coverage is 90 degrees x 50 degrees. Maximum calculated SPL is 133dB.

The Meyer SoundUPJ-1P Compact VariO loudspeaker features a rotatable 80-degree x 50-degree horn and a 10in. low-frequency cone driver in a birch enclosure. A 2-channel Class AB/Bridged amplifier provides a maximum SPL of 128dB. Aluminum end plates with integral M-8 threaded points allow for rigging or attachment of third-party and Meyer Quick-Fly rigging options.

The MA-303 miniature portable wireless system from MiPro accepts up to two wireless receivers that are compatible with all MiPro handheld and bodypack transmitters. The system can operate via AC or rechargeable lithium battery with a four LED battery strength indicator. A 3.5mm line-in provides for use with external sources such as MP3, iPod of CD players. Also available is an optional USB music player and recorder.

Peavey Electronics PVXp 15

The PVXp 15 from Peavey Electronics incorporates a 15in. low-frequency driver mounted in a molded polypropylene enclosure that includes integrated pole mount, fly points, and an angled side. A module bay allows for the use of expansion modules for additional functionality. LEDs indicate signal presence, DDT compression, and speaker protection active.

QSC Audio KW152

QSC Audio’s KW152 features a 15in. low-frequency cone transducer and a 1.75in. diaphragm compression high driver. Coverage is 60 degrees axisymmetric, and maximum peak SPL is 133dB. Additional features include Tilt-Direct pole cup mounting system that provides a 7.5-degree downward tilt, and DSP for excursion limiting and extended low-frequency response.

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Portable PA Speakers

Jul 11, 2012 11:06 AM,
By Mark Johnson

Renkus-Heinz PN121M

From Renkus-Heinz comes the PN121M complex conic loudspeaker that features a 120-degree x 60-degree horn that can be rotated 90 degrees. Class A/B amplification enables a peak maximum SPL of 128dB. The Renkus-Heinz Audio Operations Network (RHAON) allows digital audio distribution, loudspeaker-specific DSP, and remote control and monitoring over standard Ethernet hardware and cabling.

Samson Technologies Live! L615

The Samson TechnologiesLive! L615 features balanced line and mic level inputs with phantom power available on the mic input and independent level control. An output switch selects mix or thru for the balanced line out connector. The frequency response is 52Hz to 19kHz from the custom designed 15in. bass transducer and the 1.4in. titanium compression high-frequency driver.

Tannoy VXP 15Q

The VXP 15Q from Tannoy features a 15in. PowerDual full-range driver that features a Q-Centric Waveguide for a true point source. An integrated Lab.gruppen IDEEA module provides Class D amplification. The frequency range is 47Hz to 30kHz, and the rated maximum SPL is 131 peak.

Turbosound Milan Mi0

The TurbosoundMilan Mi0 features an injection-molded polypropylene enclosure housing a 10in. low-frequency driver and a 1in. compression high-frequency driver. Also featured is an integral dual-angle pole-mount socket. The frequency response is 55Hz to 22kHz with a maximum SPL of 125dB peak. Coverage is 90 degrees horizontal and 60 degrees vertical. I/O includes mic, line, and mix out.

Wharfdale Pro’s Titan 15D features Class D amplification for low frequencies and Class A/B for high frequencies. Inputs include combo 1/4in.-XLR and summed dual RCA jacks. The output is switchable loop or mix. The electronics feature Qubit 28/56-bit 192kHz DSP and BRO adaptive Bass Response Optimizer.

Yamaha DXR series

The YamahaDXR10 is a bi-amped system featuring a frequency response of 56Hz to 20kHz and a maximum output of 131db SPL. D-Contour DSP assisted EQ provides presets for FOH/main or monitor applications. The symmetrical ABS enclosures allow for mirror-mode floor monitor placement. The dual-angle pole-mount socket provides two positions for aiming the speakers toward the audience and M-8 rigging points for installation. The constant directivity horn provides 90-degree horizontal by 60-degree vertical coverage. The DXR10 also features an integral three-channel mixer. (Read a review of the DXR series.)

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