Christy personally tested many sound systems such as the Blockrocker, Front Row, Mipro, Alto, Nady and more against our sound systems to find the best for portability, durability and affordability for teachers, coaches, students and presenters.
ION Blockrocker – Poor on clarity (EQ) of bass and treble (no dials) compared to the Rechargeable Small Sound Systems. I like the radio feature which is good for background music, but it sounds terrible when you plug in an iPod. There is not a great handle for picking up and moving places. It does have a “luggage” type handle with roller, but not very durable. You can plug in a wireless mic, but the range is not as far as our systems. It will be interesting to see how long this system lasts as it seems more for home use than school or commercial use. According to two PE teachers I know, durability is the big problem along with poor customer service.
Front Row to Go – Just not enough power especially for the price. Not impressed with the microphone at all which you usually have to buy with it.
Nady PTS515 – Check out the reviews on this system. Once I read them, I didn’t even bother to buy it to check out the system. The reviews are stating that the durability is terrible and it is hard to get anyone to repair it or exchange it. Look for warranties on all sound systems. Usually they are one to three years (especially if you use it a lot).
MIPRO – Just not enough power (again, especially for the price). Whatever you do, please do not buy a CD player that is installed in these units. The laser on CD players cannot handle the roughness of portabililty and almost always are the first things to go out. It’s nice to have the CD player in an all-in-one unit, but I learned that the CD player always goes out first, and then you have to take the entire unit in for repair. You are better off plugging a CD player into any unit and keeping it separate so you can enjoy your unit for an extended period of time. There is not much range on the Bluetooth capability. But the power and quality of sound has to match the price and this is overpriced.
Fender Passport – This unit actually sounds pretty good, it’s just not easy to haul around. They should have made it square for easy transport. After years of using sound systems, you appreciate the portable systems that are easy to set up and take down.
Bose – Always a good product, but the price is just so high. There are so many different product lines and the ones that are the less expensive just do not have the durability for uses at schools, churches, gyms, etc. Also, many different Bose systems do not allow you to plug a microphone in.
Powered Speakers – The problem with powered speakers is that they do not have a mixer attached so you cannot work the music volume and vocal volume separately which is very important if you teach or speak with music. Also, you need the mixer so you can attach your iPod, iPhone, iPad, laptop, projector, whiteboard, etc. Most powered speakers are very heavy.
I would love to hear from you. If you have found a system you are interested in, please contact me at Christy@christylane.com and I will personally check it out for you. Also, if you have other questions or concerns, please contact me as I would like to start posting questions that everyone is asking to make their job of purchasing a new sound system an easy and successful project.