Distributed by: Electric Factory | Expect to pay: $309
The world of audio and musical equipment can be a tricky one to navigate at the best of times. With so many different products, conflicting opinions and confusing reviews, it’s hard to know what’s actually the best product for your needs.
Luckily, the team at Mixdown have put in the legwork for you, sifting through the spec-sheets and putting the products through their paces to bring you Mixdown’s Picks – a new series of expansive, category defining product guides across our digital channels. Anything that has made the cut has rated highly across the board with the Mixdown staff, garnering a unanimous tick of approval from our staunch critics.
As we all know, this upcoming holiday period is sure to be remembered as the summer where portable PA reigned supreme in backgrounds around the country, and it’s with this in mind that we are proud to present Mixdown’s Picks: Portable PA’s, showcasing all the best small scale PA, monitoring and portable sound reinforcement solutions on the market today.
Alto UBER Portable PA
Key Features: The Alto Uber PA is a rugged little 50-Watt portable PA system featuring all-in-one functionality, Mic/lne inputs and bluetooth streamability, making it a prime candidate for outdoor weddings and business meetings, backyard parties, award/graduation ceremonies, singers/small musical ensembles and more.
With 50 watts of power powering a 6.5-inch woofer and 2-inch tweeter (all encased in a compact and sturdy enclosure), it’s a powerful little PA built to stand the test of time. With a serviceable frequency range of 90 Hz – 20 kHz, (right where most speech fundamentals are found) it’s suitable for all but for all but the most bass intensive of undertakings.
Smooth Bluetooth streaming is another of the Uber PA’s strong suits, and with 50w to play with, it definitely has a knack for leaving consumer style portable bluetooth speakers in it’s wake, providing the kind of power and overall SPL that definitely comes from a ‘tools not toys’ tradition of Pro Audio. Needless to say, if volume and portability are of primary concern, the Uber PA scores highly in both. The two prominent top mounted ergonomic handles mean that the 7.7 kg unit is no stress to lug from A to B, and their oversize bracing, doubles to protect the enclosure from the various knocks and bumps one might encounter in the social domain.
Two input channels, each with independent volume controls allow for direct connection to the unit Switchable between line/mic, they both sit on the front of the unit as combination XLR-1/4-inch inputs, which is handy, especially if you are a musician looking for something that will lend itself to home practice, being particularly adept at providing clean amplification for electric keyboards and acoustic guitar. Both inputs have accompanying volume knobs that work in tandem with the master volume, which does allow for some tonal tweaking in terms of gain staging, for the tone lords out there.
The superb longevity of this portable PA should be noted, delivering up to 50 hours of continuous use.. Its built in rechargeable 12V battery ensures it can provide for even the longest events, with battery life indicated in 4 stages by a front mounted display. A convenient USB port also means it can charge other devices like phones and tablets, letting them rest in the top panel storage tray if needed, which is particularly handy.
Mixdown Says: The convenience of the Alto Uber PA really must be highlighted. With its oversized carry handles and lightweight construction it’s an incredibly easy PA to move and set up.
Sound-wise, the impressive throw and solid headroom offered up by both channels equate to a surprisingly loud, surprisingly clean output given its size, something that becomes all the more impressive when you take into account that we are talking about a PA which requires zero setup and can be carried across a cricket pitch or park in one hand (and without giving yourself a hernia.)
With more than enough punch to fill a decent sized room or outdoor event, the Alto Uber PA punches well above its weight and given its convenience and elite portability, is a PA that will find continued use, be it musical or other. The build quality is top The USB charging port can be a lifesaver when a phone or tablet runs out of battery whilst out and about.
The line out is also a nice touch, meaning those drunken wedding speeches can be recorded for both future embarrassment and/or enjoyment. This also allows piggybacking, meaning multiple speakers can be all run off one Bluetooth device.
Simultaneously running both a microphone and instrument into the Uber PA’s two inputs also makes it an intuitive choice for buskers, given the convenience of the channel’s separate volume controls and the ease of which it can be tied to a pannier rack.
Overall: After 20 years on the scene Alto display their experience with yet another piece of excellent sound technology in the Uber PA. Existing on the exact middle ground between Public Address and practice amp, it’s an endlessly handy, convenient option for anyone looking for a portable option that can do both.
Head to Electric Factory to find out more.