7 Best Portable PA Systems of 2024

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If you want to take your performance with you on the road, you'll need a portable PA system. They're an essential piece of equipment for a touring band, DJ set, or even karaoke night!

In this article, we're going over the top 7 portable PA systems of 2024, covering what exactly earned each of them a spot on our list. I also included a buyer's guide at the end so you know what to keep in mind while you're shopping for your system.

Our #1 pick for the best overall portable PA system of 2024 is the Mackie Showbox due to its reasonable price tag, durable construction, and extremely lightweight design. Keep reading to see if the Showbox is the best system for you or if another one of the portable PAs I cover will fit your style better.

Quick Summary of the Best Portable PA Systems

  1. Mackie Showbox (Best Overall Portable PA System)
  2. JBL IRX ONE (Best PA System for Portability) AS Link
  3. Electro-Voice Evolve 50 (Best Portable Column PA System)
  4. Bose S1 Pro (Best Budget Portable PA System)
  5. Bose L1 Pro16 (Best Premium Portable PA System)
  6. Yamaha STAGEPAS 600BT (Best Portable PA System for Small to Mid-Size Venues)
  7. JBL EON One (Best Portable PA System with Rechargeable Battery)

Best Portable PA Systems

Best Overall

The Mackie Showbox is a well-rounded portable PA system perfect for the expert entertainer and the beginning performer alike. It comes with high-quality sound at a respectable price, another reason to add the Showbox to your arsenal.
Why We Love It
Durable construction
Bluetooth and USB options
12 hours of battery life


  • Weight: 21 lbs.
  • Total Power: 400W
  • Power Source: AC Power, Battery Power

The Mackie Showbox is the perfect PA system for our #1 overall pick. At less than $800 at the time of writing, you're getting an extensive list of features that compete with the premier PA systems for half of the price.

The Showbox is a great all-in-one performance rig. Some of our favorite features relate to the ease of use Mackie made sure to put into their system. I love that all you have to do is plug in the Showbox to your mixer and let the Autogain feature ensure you have proper levels for you.

While many of the best PA speakers on our list today operate in a similar manner, the Showbox stands out from the competition through its intuitive design, numerous effects you can use, and impressive music playback capabilities.

I love the Bluetooth connectivity, another huge feature the Mackie Showbox brings to the table. You can stream music directly from your phone or computer, adding another layer of crisp and clear sound to your performance. At just 21 lbs., this system is also one of the lightest on our list.

If you're looking for a reliable PA system that can just about do it all, look no further than the Mackie Showbox. It comes in at a great price, has a list of features I could go on about for pages, and has some of the best sound quality around. Check out our dedicated Mackie Showbox review to learn more.

What Could Be Improved

  • Not ideal if you're seeking a column setup

Best for Portability

The JBL IRX ONE is easily the most portable PA system on our list today. It comes with an ergonomic design that will let you set it up in just a few moments.
Why We Love It
Efficient setup & teardown
User-friendly interface
Top JBL audio equipment


  • Weight: 34.1 lbs.
  • Total Power: 1300W Peak Power
  • Power Source: AC Cable

The JBL IRX ONE was specifically designed for the road warrior who doesn't want to fight their PA system after every show. While other systems may be frustrating to set up, the IRX ONE isn't. With column spaces and an array cabinet that fit right back into the base unit, tearing down after a show has never been easier.

The IRX ONE is one of the more powerful options on this list with 1300W of peak power. It also comes with handy 5.0 wireless Bluetooth connectivity so you can leave the cables at home and play music right from your phone or computer.

You know I love features, and the JBL IRX ONE is a great portable PA system for just that. It comes with a mixer that can handle up to three channels at once and fixed treble and bass controls so you can tweak your sound system easily.

Other portable PA systems can be difficult or time-consuming to set up. As performers know, one of the few drawbacks to live performances is the set-up and tear-down. With the JBL IRX ONE, however, you should be able to do both in less than a minute, giving you more time to greet your fans and tell them all about one of the best portable PA speakers around.

Our dedicated review of the JBL IRX ONE highlights even more of the PA system's benefits and capabilities. Give it a read if you think the IRX ONE could be the PA speaker for you. It may turn out one of the best JBL speakers if you're looking for a portable, easy-to-set-up PA system.

What Could Be Improved

  • Could be lighter

Best Portable Column

The Electro Voice Evolve 50 provides excellent sound quality through its three-component system and 1,000W of peak power. It also gives you excellent coverage no matter the environment you play in.
Why We Love It
Wide frequency response
Sturdy build quality
Many connectivity options


  • Weight: 57.75 lbs.
  • Total Power: 1,000W
  • Power Source: AC Cable

The Electro Voice Evolve 50 is a powerhouse of a portable PA system that still gives you a clear sound no matter the environment you put it in. With three component speakers and eight column-arrayed 3.5" neodymium drivers, the Evolve 50 is one of the best PA systems out there.

While some may be intimidated by setting up this behemoth of a speaker, you don't have to be. Electro Voice made it a breeze with its streamlined single-knob interface. I love that you can also remote control the Evolve 50 with your mobile device to stream audio straight from your phone or tablet.

The Electro Voice Evolve 50 comes with a powerful onboard processing engine that can assist you and your DJ set with its four presets. It is also Bluetooth enabled, comes with phantom power, and has its own three-band EQ for further control.

The Evolve 50 from Electro Voice is a great option for anyone who wants to connect as many performers to one system at once. The Mackie Showbox may get outshined by the Evolve 50 in this category as the 50 comes with 8 mic inputs and can be connected to another Evolve speaker for even more stereo RCA inputs.

If you're in the market for the Goliath of portable PA systems, the Electro Voice Evolve 50 may be the PA system for you. It's one of the best portable PA systems around thanks to its easy setup, remote control capability, and impressive waveguides to ensure everyone in the room can hear.

What Could Be Improved

  • At nearly 60 lbs., this portable PA speaker system could be much lighter

Best Budget

This incredibly lightweight portable PA system features an impressive battery life, a wide frequency response, and plenty of connection options.
Why We Love It
Incredibly lightweight
Very affordable
Solo artists, small venues


  • Weight: 15.7 lbs.
  • Total Power: 150W
  • Power Source: Rechargeable battery or AC cable

Bose is one of the most well-known names in the audio equipment world and when you use products like their S1 Pro, you can see why. This portable PA speaker comes with enough features to compete with the big guys, and at less than $500, can do it at an unthinkable price point.

Most other systems are three times as expensive as the S1 Pro, so how does Bose fit so much quality into such an affordable piece of equipment? They use a factory-installed Li-ion battery to equip them with a whopping 11 hours of battery power on the road. The system also comes with an AC cable if you can plug it in as well.

Bose wants everyone to know that their S1 Pro isn't just for live music, it can also be used for playback like practicing music at home or playing music at a party. At just 15.7 lbs., you can take this system anywhere with ease. From your next DJ set to your next live performance, the S1 Pro makes it easy.

Compared to other portable PA systems on our list, The S1 Pro is almost in a league of its own. While the Mackie Showbox still comes with enough features to take our top spot, the S1 Pro's lightweight portability, powerful sound quality, and Bose music app compatibility give it good competition.

The Bose S1 Pro is one of our favorite portable systems on this list and that's before you look at the insanely affordable price tag. It comes with enough features to get a beginner started or to take an expert performer to the next level.

If you're interested in learning even more about the impressive S1 Pro from Bose, check out our extensive S1 Pro review article dedicated to this portable PA system.

What Could Be Improved

  • Some might need more total power

Best Premium

If you liked the Bose S1 Pro, you'll love the Bose L1 Pro16. Bose took everything we enjoyed about their budget model and turned it up to 11 for their premier option.
Why We Love It
16 2" neodymium drivers
Use w/ Bose L1 Mix app
With integrated subwoofer


  • Weight: 54.8 lbs.
  • Total Power: 1,250W combined
  • Power Source: AC Cable

The Bose L1 Pro16 expands on everything we love about the S1 Pro in an amazing way. It also comes with remote control capabilities, an easy setup process, and another helpful three-channel mixer. The L1 Pro16 also comes in two separate pieces which further adds to its portability.

This system could be great for a solo singer-songwriter looking to fill a relatively smaller venue with high-quality audio. It comes with some of the best sound coverage of any system on our list thanks to its 180-degree horizontal coverage.

The speaker array mounted on the system is one of the most intricate as well, with 16 articulated 16" neodymium drivers. Each driver uses an elongated cone to get more out of the speaker and make sure everyone in the room hears a superb sound no matter where they are.

The Bose L1 Pro16 is a professional-level portable system, perfect for a singer with an acoustic guitar and a dream. It's also great for presentations, larger musical performances, and DJs on the road. Check out this premier option if you want the best portable PA system I can find for you.

The L1 Pro16 stands out from other options on this list due to the high range of its capabilities. It comes packed with some of the best technology you can find in a speaker, including Racetrack drivers not normally found in a speaker system of this size. If you like the L1 Pro16 from Bose, you should check out the rest of their legendary L1 line of speakers.

What Could Be Improved

  • Could be lighter for added portability

Best for Small to Mid-Size

Yamaha's STAGEPAS 600BT is another exceptional choice for an artist who wants great sound for a smaller to medium-sized venue.
Why We Love It
Reliable Bluetooth conn.
Detachable for portability
Yamaha Master EQ audio


  • Weight: 56.43 lbs.
  • Total Power: 680W
  • Power Source: AC Cable

Yamaha is yet another name world-renowned for their quality audio equipment and the STAGEPAS 600BT furthers their fame. It comes with a litany of Yamaha's masterful EQ options as well as a bounty of other software that will feel like the system is doing your job for you.

Bluetooth streaming is a breeze with this non-battery-operated machine. Simply connect your phone or computer and wirelessly play tunes in a snap. With 680 watts of power, you'll be heard loud throughout the venue you play, especially if they're small or medium-sized.

While the other speakers on our list, bar the L1 Pro16, may be geared to smaller or more intimate venues, Yamaha's STAGEPAS 600BT is designed for a bigger venue. It's a great outdoor PA system for a wedding, dance, or any other larger outdoor celebration.

Yamaha included intelligent feedback suppression with their STAGEPAS 600BT so that problem frequencies get targeted well before they become audible. They even made sure that the mixer would fit right into the speaker enclosures, making for easy transport.

As we stated in our Yamaha STAGEPAS 600BTreview, it may be the best option in terms of small to medium-sized venues due to its flexible connections, incredible sound distribution, and a plethora of built-in options. At just over $1,000, you're paying for quality with the STAGEPAS 600BT. Add $200 and you can get the popular Yamaha STAGEPAS 1K Portable PA.

What Could Be Improved

  • It's definitely on the pricier side

Best Rechargeable Battery

I love that the JBL EON One comes with both a built-in rechargeable battery option and an AC cable connection.
Why We Love It
JBL App compatible
Lightweight and portable
Headphone jack monitoring


  • Weight: 17.63 lbs.
  • Total Power: 150W
  • Power Source: AC Cable, Rechargeable Battery

If you're worried about having a long-lasting battery life for your monitoring system, the JBL EON ONE could be the PA system for you. It comes with a reliable 12-hour rechargeable battery so you can use it for multiple gigs without having to charge it.

This system is great for live music as well, with 48V of phantom power for a wired microphone. The EON One also weighs an impressive 17.6 lbs., making it one of the lightest and most portable options on our list today.

The EON ONE is one of the most popular portable PA speakers around for a reason. Well, for several reasons as it can compete with almost every speaker on this list at a fraction of the price. It even has more channels than some of our other systems, giving it an edge in more category than one.

The JBL EON One comes equipped to handle the JBL App, allowing you to customize your listening experience from your phone. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can stream music from your favorite apps directly through your speaker.

We love that the JBL EON One has a rechargeable, 12-hour battery, deep bass, and a carrying handle. This battery-powered beast can turn your next coffee shop performance into a full-blown concert no barista would want to miss.

What Could Be Improved

  • Not super powerful

Best Portable PA System Buyer's Guide

Before you buy a portable PA system, there are a couple of key features you need to pay attention to. When it comes to getting the right portable PA system, you'll want to look at the system's weight, total power output, battery life, connectivity options, and any additional features that'll help you get the most out of your performance.


One of the first things you should look at when buying a piece of equipment you plan on moving all the time is the weight. PA systems aren't going to be too light, given the amount of power they require and produce, but they don't have to be too heavy either.

Check out a PA system's weight before you buy to make sure you get good sound quality without the workout.

Total Power Output

The total power a portable PA system can put out is another important factor when looking into buying portable systems. The power determines how loud the speaker can get and how large of a space it can fill with noise. Make sure the power output matches the venues you're planning on playing at.

Battery Life

Because the PA system you're looking at is portable, battery life is one of the most important features. Check the battery power before you buy. Some PA systems have rechargeable battery power, making portability even easier as you won't have to worry about missing a performance due to a dead battery.

Connectivity Options

Without the right connectivity options, you may not be able to use your PA system at all. Make sure your current setup can be used with the PA system you're looking at. Common connection options include Bluetooth, auxiliary inputs, microphone inputs, and even instrument inputs if you plan to use them for music performances. If aux inputs are a must- have feature for you, read our detailed best portable speakers with aux input reviews.

Additional Features

There are a host of additional features that can make your portable PA system even better for you. Features like handles, wheels, and carrying straps can make portability even easier. There are also more technical features you can look for, including built-in effects, EQ controls, and microphone priority settings.

Consider what you're using the portable PA system for before you make your purchase. Once you know what you'll be using it for, you can find the perfect features to complement your use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much power output do I need for my portable PA system?

The power output you need depends on the size of the venues you'll be using the system in and the volume levels you're looking for. As a general rule of thumb, consider at least 100 watts for smaller indoor settings and 500 watts or more for larger outdoor venues.

There are plenty of speakers made within the 200-400 watt range as well, giving you plenty of options no matter where you'll be playing.

What's the difference between active and passive portable PA systems?

Active PA systems have built-in amplifiers, making them easier to set up and more self-contained. Passive PA systems require external amplifiers to power the speakers and offer more flexibility in terms of amplifier choice but may require additional setup time and equipment.

If you already have an external amplifier ready to go, we'd recommend a Passive PA system. If you're just getting started and don't have an amp yet, it might be a good option to bundle your amp and PA system together with an Active system.

Are there any weatherproof options available for outdoor use?

Yes, some portable PA systems are specifically designed to be weatherproof for outdoor use. Look for models with features like water-resistant enclosures, durable construction materials, and protective covers to withstand outdoor conditions.

Can I upgrade my portable PA system in the future?

Some portable PA systems offer modular designs or expansion options that allow you to add additional speakers, subwoofers, or other components to upgrade and expand your system as needed. Check the compatibility and availability of expansion options before making your purchase.

What accessories do I need to purchase separately for my portable PA speaker?

It depends on how you intend to use the portable system, but you may need a variety of accessories including microphones, mic stands, cables, speaker stands, and more. Again, check to see which accessories you need in accordance with the performance at hand.


Get your own portable PA system and never worry about relying on a venue's ever again. Oh, the bar you're scheduled to play at has a PA system from the late 1900's? No worries! The Mackie Showbox, our #1 best overall PA system, can give you the power, sound quality, and Bluetooth connectivity you need to rock out a show at a moment's notice.

If you're on a budget and want to find one of the best Portable PA systems without breaking the bank, check out the Bose S1 Pro.

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