Troubleshooting Tips for Portable PA System: FAQs

Nancy B. Alston

1. Power

Does your PA system not power on? The first thing you should check is to see if your system has been turned on. It is amazing the number of people who will not try the power button before attempting to use electronics.

The second question is if it is battery powered, are the batteries in correctly? If the batteries are rechargeable, are they charged up? If it is not battery powered, is the system plugged in? If it is plugged in, does the system have removable rechargeable batteries?

2. Feedback

Does your PA system keep giving you feedback? Many people blame a ‘faulty system’ for feedback, but a proper understanding of how feedback works can help you solve this problem relatively easily.

Feedback happens when the microphone is in front of a speaker and the noise from the speakers travel back through the microphone and then out of the speakers even louder, repeating as fast as the speed of sound until you hear feedback.

Move the mic from in front of the speakers to prevent feedback. Turning down the mic volume also works.

When standing in front of the speakers, the presenter should leave at least 10 feet between herself and the speakers. You can also turn down the microphone volume.

3. Wireless Microphone Doesn’t Work?

Make sure your wireless transmitter is on and plugged in correctly and set to the same frequency as the microphone. Make sure your microphone is on and on the same frequency. Also check to see if the batteries are in correctly and still have juice.

4. Audio Distorted?

If your microphone audio and music don’t sound right and sound tinny or off, then there are a few possible quick-fixes.

Changing the EQ settings is one step and also making sure the cords are plugged in properly is another. It is possible the PA system doesn’t know to play the music or particular microphone, so make sure everything is set up correctly.

5. How can I stop all of this wind noise?

Get a microphone wind screen to damper the wind. You’ll thank yourself you did. For outdoor events it is a great thing to have available in case your event happens on a windy day.

6. The System Doesn’t Cover What the Brochure/Website Said it Would.

This common misconception forgets a couple of factors like loud ambient noise in the environment and room acoustics. The figures most often listed by companies refers to the optimal conditions in which you would use a PA system.

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