[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat’s New: The Alto iPA is a two-way, 400 watt loudspeaker with a unique feature: a fully integrated Universal Dock for the Apple iPad. The iPA is self-powered and features XLR, RCA, and ¼” inputs controlled by a volume knob as well as the 30-pin iPad connector with its own dedicated volume control. Included with the iPA is an Alto ADM10 dynamic microphone and 10 foot XLR cable. A contour switch provides a bass and treble boost for better clarity and bass power and the XLR output is able to send either a left, right, or summed mono signal to an optional external speaker.
Features: An iPad connects seamlessly to the iPA. When I plugged in my iPad to the back of the speaker, it worked right away without any setup or calibration and even charged the iPad! All the input channels sound terrific and the built-in mixer provides a nice touch to control volumes of individual devices. The RCA inputs are especially nice for connecting a laptop computer, CD player or iPod. The inputs and output let the iPA function completely like a standard PA speaker and it even sports a 35 mm socket for speaker mounts. Possibly my favorite feature of the iPA is that it is unbelievably light! A handle on the side makes it easy to transport and anyone can easily lift and move the speaker.
Sound: If the features alone weren’t enough, the sound of the iPA is amazing! I’ve used several different models of self-powered loudspeaker and the iPA holds its own against any of the leading loudspeakers in its class. I was blown away at how much clarity and sparkle the iPA has in its top end as well as powerful, deep bass response. The contour switch acts as a built-in EQ to boost bass and treble frequencies, providing more definition to the sound. The iPA sounds great even when both channels (iPad and microphone) are used simultaneously, making it perfect for karaoke or sing-along tracks.
Value: At just $299, the iPA is a great value. The iPA offers iPad, CD player, instrument, and mic connectivity, great sound quality, plenty of power, and its own mixer. This is the perfect speaker for churches that need a lightweight portable speaker option. Users can run their entire audio system from the iPad connection and microphone and the built-in mixer eliminates the need for powered mixers and messy cables. The iPA is the perfect system for children’s ministries utilizing sing-along tracks or choirs rehearsing without live musicians. The iPA is also a perfect utility speaker to place around the campus to provide music such as a wedding chapel, outdoor greeting area, or gymnasium.