As any true musician knows your sound set-up is a critical component of any musical gathering, whether it be a party, gig, or large stage event.
After all, the most impressive guitar solo or “beat drop” will miss its mark if the people in the back of the room can’t hear it.
So, when it comes time to choose the “right” equipment, the pressure is on.
In this article, we’re going to help you by identifying the most important specs to consider and providing you with our top picks for the best powered PA speakers of this year.
Let’s get started!
How to Choose the Best Powered PA Speakers
If you’re not already familiar….
A powered speaker (also known as active speakers) has a built in amplifier, unlike unpowered speakers.
Overall, they offer an easy and versatile speaker solution, applicable in various types of music settings and with almost no extra work or knowledge needed to get them setup correctly.
When it comes to powered speakers – You’ll want to pay close attention to the following items in product descriptions;
Size & Portability:
Let’s start off with the most basic consideration to make –
What size speakers are right for you?
What this actually comes down to is – What will the speakers be used for.
Will you need these speakers for your band, who’s always on the road?
A solid set of speakers to for your local gigs?
Or just the perfect finish to your home surround system
Whatever you may need them for, speakers come in all sizes and their height and weight specs can easily be found in the product description.
If you’re not already aware,
Wattage is defined as the power of electrical power, expressed in watts.
In other words…
The wattage of your speaker is the maximum power output it is capable of.
Keep in mind though – power does not equal volume! Volume is a separate control for your speakers.
Number of Amplifiers:
As we covered earlier, powered speaker have built in amplifiers
Did you know they can actually have several amplifiers?
These speakers are known as either bi-amplifiers or tri-amplifiers.
It’s generally agreed that the more amplifiers a speaker has, the more accurate the sound will be.
With one amplifier, sound at all frequencies is being pushed through the same space. While with bi and tri-amp speakers, sounds at high, mid, and low frequencies all get their separate pathway.
Consider how accurate you need your sound to be. In large music venues, it’s more about the volume and the vibe, while in a studio setting, accurate sound is everything.
Now, let’s get into the good stuff – Our top 4 picks for the best Powered PA speakers.
Best powered PA speakers at a glance
Bose F1: Model 812
|Mackie SRM550||Rockville RSG12||Yamaha HS5|
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In the musical community, Bose is known for quality and dependability.
These speakers are no different.
(Fun Fact! Audi features Bose speakers in their vehicles!)
The most notable aspect of the Bose F1 Model 812’s is its ability to allow users to control what’s called its vertical coverage pattern, using 4 different settings.
This ensures that wherever your speakers are, regardless of the shape of the room or venue, you’ll have the exact level of coverage you need.
As an added bonus, these speakers come with a travel for the perfect protection in between shows.
These are the top of the line speakers with a serious ability to make an impression!
- Flexibility in speaker shape allows for sound coverage that is optimized for the space
- High sound fidelity and clarity across frequencies for clean sound at both high and low frequencies.
- 100 watts of power which lets your sound fill the room
- Includes a travel bag
If you are searching for a reliable performer, here is the SRM550 that was made with flexibility in mind.
This Mackie speakers boast a clean sound with onboard feedback correction.
(Can you say, “Cool!”)
Even at its modest size, this speaker packs a serious 1600 watt punch.
For musicians on the move these speakers are the ideal solution.
Self proclaimed, “roadworthy” and “Built Like a Tank”, the magic of these speakers is contained in an all wood cabinet with internal braces to keep it safe and steady.
Powered speakers are known for their simplicity.
As a result, customization of sound is usually limited.
Of all that the Mackie SRM550 SRM’s have to offer –
The most striking feature is their sound-optimization options – bringing you the level of control typical of unpowered speakers, with the same ease of use powered speakers are known for.
- Rugged and durable build quality to last you a career
- Feedback reduction feature to keep the sound as clear as possible
- 4 settings for application specifications (PA, DJ, Monitor, and Soloist) to make set up a breeze
This isn’t the first time we’ve featured the Rockville RSG12’s on one of our lists.
And for good reason.
The size and quality that you in these speakers get is ridiculous for the price.
According to Rockville, these speakers were created especially with DJs in mind, that are –
“Double as good as the competition but cost half as much.”
Sounds good to us!
Don’t be fooled by the price.
Peak power for these speakers is 1000 watts, they are pole mountable, durable, and with rubber insulators on the bottom to protect your modest investment.
These ain’t ya mama’s speakers.
- 3 way amp signals- 60 Oz magnets
- 1000 watt peak.
- Pole mountable
- Multiple inputs
For decades, Yamaha has consistently delivered high quality musical technology.
Even for our readers with the most basic music knowledge…
It shouldn’t be a surprise at all that Yamaha has made our short list.
The Yamaha HS5 speakers make for the ideal studio monitor.
While other monitors depend on cheap tricks, like added frequencies (either treble or bass), Yamaha has instead decided to provide a platform which delivers precise and accurate sound.
While in performance environments, a single aspect of the music (a strong bass, high volume, etc) may take precedence at any given time…
In the studio, all that matters is an accurate sound.
Thankfully, Yamaha understands perfectly.
These are studio monitors made for studio engineers, by studio engineers.
- 2 amp system for greater accuracy of sound
- 5” cone woofer and 1” dome tweeter for a more precise sound
- 70 watts which provide more than enough power to get the job done