New Battery Powered Portable PA

Samson came by the shop the other day, showing off a new battery powered speaker.

I never did get a photo of the front of this gadget: it's a plain, black steel grille with the Samson logo on it. It is a 40 watt, 6" two-way that sounds a LOT bigger than its size: I was really quite impressed with the audio, both in SPL and in frequency response. I'm told that with "normal" use (whatever "normal" is), you should get 10 hours of battery life out of this.

There are 4 channels of input:
  • Channel 1 is a combo plug: XLR or TRS. Connect a Shure SM58 here.
  • Channel 2 gives you a 1/4" TRS and a 1/8" (3.5mm) TRS. Connect your laptop or guitar here.
  • Channel 3 has no connector: it's a wireless receiver. The wireless handheld is included! It's a single VHF frequency.
  • Channel 4 is for the iPod connection on the top of the speaker. It's "fully Apple-compliant," which means that this knob controls the output of the iPod, and the jack charges your iPod while it's plugged in.
  • There is a 1/4" jack labeled "Link". I didn't have a second unit to test with, but I'm told that using a TS cable (like a guitar cable), I can connect two units: any input into either unit is now in both boxes. Only two boxes can be connected.
There are "bass" and "treble" tone controls on the box, and they're set at frequencies that are musical: another plus.

If you have several boxes on the same wireless channel, you can transmit to all of them from a single microphone. One guy ran sound for a "walk-a-thon" at a local football field: he put one speaker on a speaker stand at each corner (they come with the socket built in), and transmitted to all four units at the same time.

I was really impressed with this box. When we have a group gathering at the park, I'll be bringing this along, plugging an iPod into the top, and letting it provide background music. When my church goes on missions trips, we'll be taking one or more of these (and we may not bring them back). I may get my wife one: she can plug her iPod into it when she's in the garden.

The price struck me as remarkably reasonable:
The unit as described: street price $399.99.
Without the wireless: street price: $319.99.

While this site is not about selling, if you'd like to buy one of these speakers (or a set) from the Church SoundGuy, send an email to churchsoundgear@gmail.com. The editor of ChurchSoundGuy is connected with CCI Solutions.