Whether you're the type of person who often hosts gatherings and gets involved in various social events, or whether you're like me, and you just get asked to provide the sound system for all of these social events, it's always important to have a reliable PA speaker good and ready for any occasion. The main challenge was choosing between power or portability. It's really been one or the other.
This one just happens to have both.
|DAK's All-in-One Portable PA Speaker has so many uses that I've dubbed it my "Swiss Army Knife of Portable PA Systems." It can handle anything from an outdoor picnic to small assemblies and presentations. I use it to play the music for my holiday parties, and can turn it into a karaoke machine (if we're feeling adventurous).
PA Speakers generally don't need an introduction. If you need to speak to an audience, or if you need to play some music at a family reunion, a PA Speaker is the standard go to solution. You know when you need one.
The only problem that we have is deciding what kind of PA do we need? Do we need one with serious power for an auditorium, or do we really need it to be portable so we can walk around with it? It's not an easy decision, because not all social gatherings are the same.
I had always thought that the PA you need to deliver a speech or make an announcement is not the same as the PA you need to
play music at a backyard barbecue.
I was completely wrong.
And I couldn't be more pleased.
Finding the Happy Medium:
DAK's Portable PA Speaker
Discovering a Portable PA Speaker that can still pack a punch seems like something of a paradox. Between an 8" woofer, an amplifier, and even a wooden cabinet frame- all that weight adds up.
Now try adding a rechargeable battery powerful enough to keep the music playing for up to 10 hours. Sure, the PA has the power, but we're looking at around 30lbs now! That's really solid equipment, but not exactly portable. Well, not without some tweaks, anyway.
|Heavy Duty Stuff: I opened up the back of DAK's Portable PA Speaker just to inspect how everything was put together. Besides for all of that circuitry,
Arrow 1 points to an 8" woofer drilled into place.
Arrow 2 points to the built in rechargeable battery secured into one corner of the wooden cabinet by metal bands.
These two components give this PA the bulk of its weight.
Don't try this at home...
How do you make a 30 pound speaker box portable?
Just add wheels.
DAK's Portable PA Speaker stays super transportable by acting like a small suitcase- in the sense that you can just wheel it around anywhere. It is designed with a pop up telescopic handle and trolley wheels, so it's ready to roll wherever you need to go. Coupled with the 10 hour long lasting battery, we get a great balance between power and portability- really giving us the best of both worlds.
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What It Actually Does:
DAK's Portable PA Speaker is so loaded with features that it's difficult to know where to begin. We've established that it's got a super strong rechargeable battery built in and that you can wheel it around just like a small suitcase. Let's move on to the inputs - it's got seven of them.
|These numbers correspond to the numbered list of inputs to the left. Inputs 1, 2 and 3 can all be in use simultaneously with any one of inputs 4, 5, 6 or 7. Think of all the possibilities- there are just so many ways that this portable PA can be put to use.
Here's the list:
1) Mic Input 1
2) Mic Input 2
3) Guitar Input
4) iPod Dock (30 pin connector)
5) Line/Aux Input (on the back of the unit)
6) USB Flash Drive Input (will discuss later)
7) SD Card Input (will discuss later, too)
What's extremely useful is that the first
3 inputs can be in use simultaneously with any one of inputs 4, 5, 6 or 7.
That means that you can play your favorite Rock, Pop or Folk
tune using the iPod dock, or the Line Input, and two people can sing along to it AND someone else can even play electric guitar with it. All at the same time.
Note: As one DAKonian pointed out to me, and correctly so, using multiple inputs simultaneously may cause the overall volume to be reduced. So ideally, you'd be using one input at a time to get the maximum volume from your Portable PA Speaker.
What's more is that the Mic Inputs and the Guitar Input both have their own volume control knob, independent of the main volume control (both Mic Inputs are controlled by the same knob).
There's more to this PA speaker than a bunch of inputs, so let's move on to the next feature:
The Onboard Seven Band EQ
|No, the EQ sliders don't actually move by themselves. But, they do give you 24dB levels of control for each of the seven different frequency bands. That's 12dB in each direction per band.
If you're like me and you love your music, then you appreciate the value of an equalizer. It really infuses your music with richness, depth and clarity because it allows us to fine tune our music based on our environment (like the room with our stereo system). Many of us have even equalized our MP3 files to our personal preferences using the DAK Equalizer software (my apologies to you Mac users, we'll get something for you eventually).
So having an onboard seven band EQ built right in to DAK's Portable PA Speaker is a handy, useful and valuable feature that gives you control over how your audio, or even your voice, will sound through the speaker.
In addition to the seven band equalizer, there are two independent knobs to adjust the Bass and the Treble, giving you an extra measure of control over your sound and speech.
Some Additional Features:
The Mic Inputs have an echo control knob. Turn it up, and you can hear your voice repeat itself over and over. It's fun to play around with it, and it's a cool effect to have, but I'm not so sure how useful it is.
Either way, need it or not, it's there.
The more useful feature regarding the Mic Inputs is the Mic Priority button.
Turn it on, the volume of the music is automatically lowered while you speak. When you stop speaking, the volume reverts to where it was. That's a very useful feature for making an announcement over music, without interrupting the flow or pressing pause.
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The FM Radio, The USB/SD Inputs
And The Factory Goof
This is where the story gets really interesting.
Supposedly, DAK's Portable PA Speaker has a built in FM Radio (you may have noticed the antenna in some of the pictures).
|Oops: The Prev and Next Buttons, which control the USB/SD Card MP3 Player, are reversed. Push Prev to go to the next track, and Next will take you to the Previous track.
These buttons also toggle between the FM Radio stations. I just haven't figured out how to actually tune in to the station of my choice!
I say supposedly, because I haven't firgured out how to use it yet.
And I've tried.
So far, it seems like there are about 12 preset stations that I can switch between. Some of them are stations in my area, others are just white noise because no nearby station is using that frequency. For the stations that work, it's really cool. I can even use the Mic and Guitar inputs while listening to the radio.
I just have no idea how to change the station!
Not a clue.
Whoever can figure it out wins the cigar .
One of you DAKonians DID figure it out. See his letter all the way at the bottom of this page (or click here to skip to it)
DAK's Portable PA Speaker also has a built in MP3 reader, so when you plug in a USB Flash Drive or SD card the PA will directly play through your playlist in order. The controls available to you are:
- a Play/Pause Button
- a Skip to Previous Track Button
- a Skip to Next Track Button
As it turns out,
the Previous button and Next button have been reversed.
Push Next, and replay the previous song.
Push Previous and skip to the next track.
It isn't really a big deal. It's really just something to be aware of.
To be frank, these goofs actually worked in our favor. All it really did was help us get an even better price on a product that's already well worth its salt.
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But How Loud Is It, Really?
Most people think of loudness in terms of wattage.
In reality, this is an incomplete picture. There's more to loudness than wattage.
Wattage has more to do with amplifier efficiency than actual volume. We need to know the wattage to know how loud our amplifiers and speakers will go, but that's just one of the factors used to measure it. We also need to know the speaker sensitivity, which is expressed in decibel levels (dB).
The thing to know about dB levels is that the human ear can only detect differences of about +/-3 dB. Even though for every 3 dB the sound is mathematically twice as loud, the human ear doesn't perceive sound that way. For us, a change in 3dB is about the minimum amount for us to notice any change at all. We actually need an increase of about 10dB for us to perceive that sound to be twice as loud.
Check out this chart on the right before continuing, just so you have a point of reference for the relationship between dB levels and relative loudness.
|This chart gives you a rough idea of how loud dB levels are. This is based on information I came across from multiple sources, and not all the information was completely consistent. So this is not authoritative, but just a point of reference.
DAK's Portable PA System uses a 45 Watt amplifier and has a Speaker Sensitivity of 88 dB.
Not taking environmental factors into account, it means that you would hear over 105 dB
of audio if you were standing 3 feet away from the speaker (please be careful, as extended exposure will damage your hearing). Of course, the further you get from the speaker, the more dB is lost from dispersion.
So, if you were listening to DAK's Portable PA Speaker at 55 feet away, you would hear about 80 db of audio.
If you were listening at 500 feet away, you would hear about 60 dB of audio.
In reality, there are other factors affecting that final number, among them environmental acoustics and noise pollution, but this should give you a good idea of what you can expect. You can also check out the Loudness Calculator to input your own numbers. Click the link in the above yellow box to open the MS Excel file.
I'm keeping one of these Portable PA Speakers for myself. It just has so many uses, and it's just so easy to use.
Even as I write this, I'm using it with DAK's Bluetooth Upgrade plugged into the Line Input and streaming wireless Bluetooth audio from my PC (currently playing The Rolling Stones- Ain't Too Proud To Beg). I'm really impressed by the clarity of the music, the control I have using the EQ, and the overall power of the unit. Best of all, it isn't even plugged into the wall!
I'm having a blast with this, and I think you will too.
And, if you aren't 100% thrilled with the sound quality, the ease of use or the battery life,
simply return the system within 30 days for a courteous merchandise
refund to the credit card you used when you ordered. And with DAK's All-in-One Portable PA Speaker, you get a full year warranty against manufacturer defects.
*Read on at the bottom of the page for a note about Peak Power Wattage vs. RMS.
Portable PA Speaker
(with Built in Rechargeable Battery)
|No longer do you need to search for an electrical source to play your music, or to be heard loud and clear.
Our Portable PA Speaker allows you to use 2 Microphones, 1 Guitar, and any other line input of choice all at the same time. However, you may experience a volume reduction that way. For maximum volume, it is best practice to use one input at a time.
Whether you need to judge a cookoff, host a backyard bash or speak to a small assembly, you'll find yourself choosing DAK's Portable PA Speaker as
your weapon of choice.
Not to mention if you ever wanted to try your hand at busking...
Factory Goof Price- $199.95
BONUS UPGRADE PRICE- $159.95
In Your Cart Now: 0
If you don't love it, you don't keep it.
Just email cs@DAK.com and say Refund within 30
for a full cost of merchandise refund.
DAK's Portable PA Speaker comes with a full one year warranty.
A Word About RMS and Peak Power
Oh, and We're Including An RCA to 3.5mm Cable. For Free.
This cable is pretty self explanatory. Use it to connect any standard MP3 Player into the Line Input of DAK's Portable PA Speaker. It's yours. Free with your purchase.
Free with your order today!
Even beyond what I wrote above, there is another distinction to make when measuring amplifier/speaker power.
RMS is what our equipment can handle- how much power it can sustain for an extended period of time. That's the volume that we'll be hearing.
Peak Power denotes occasional short bursts of power that the equipment can handle. It isn't anything that we hear, and I find it annoying when people advertise peak power levels. It has little to do with the actual volume that we hear.
That being said, you may have noticed in these pictures that our Portable PA Speaker has "1000 Watts" written on it. According to the factory, it's peak power.
According to me, ignore it for the most part. It's really irrelevant to us. The RMS power of the amplifier is 45 Watts, as I explained above.
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The Cigar Story
Bob Kiernan of Martinez, GA, figured out how to use the radio.
I've made the relevant part of the letter boldfaced.
Just a note to let you guys know how pleased I am with the Customer Support Division.
I purchased the All-in-One Portable PA Speaker for use at my American Legion Post. But true to my normal luck, I was not able to get it to work properly once I received it. I sent an email message to Customer Support about my problem and very quickly received a response that “the engineer thinks it may be a defective fuse and we are sending a replacement fuse out to you.”
Well shortly after that the mailman delivered me not one but two fuses! We are now up and running with the PA. And by the way, the radio tuner does not have any presets. It is a scan for channel type tuner. That is to say, you press the button and it scans until it finds the next radio station (or white noise peak!). If you push it enough times you will find every station in your listening area.
Thanks again for the responsive Customer Service Division. They were a big help.
After reading this, I had to go back to the testing lab and find out why I missed something so obvious.
Here at the DAK office, we just finished rennovating a new equipment testing room.
It's so well insulated that it is essentially soundproof.
What I didn't realize is that FM radio waves couldn't make their way through the walls.
I was only getting weak signal on a few stations, so I had just assumed that the radio just wouldn't tune properly.
As soon as I wheeled the PA out of that room, the tuner worked perfectly finel.
Now, I'm not a smoker, but my word is my word-
I told Bob that the cigar is his- just choose the brand he liked best.
He replied, "You can keep the cigars. I gave up smoking as a bad habit 25 years ago."
I suppose that's for the best.
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