What are powered speakers?
Also commonly known as active speakers or self-powered speakers, these are loudspeakers with built-in amplifiers and are used in various settings, including music concerts, by DJs at events, home, and many others.
They are preferred by many because of their compactness and simplicity.
Benefits of powered DJ speakers
Powered DJ speakers have several advantages including;
- They are compact, lightweight and highly portable
- They are simple to set up and control
- They give high-quality sounds as most of them have presets that are meant to help you make the most out of them to provide the best performance.
- You can easily daisy chain them together for a wide area coverage, especially for car shows, parade routes, and air shows.
Features to consider when buying a powered speaker for DJ
Here are some of the features you must consider to choose the best powered speaker for DJ.
Most powered speakers range between 8 to 15 inches. The bigger cones produce greater bass than small ones.
However, the small ones will give higher frequencies at a good volume as much as they lack bass. You should choose a suitable size according to your needs.
Speakers are usually rated in watts, and the 2 measurements used are Peak and RMS. Peak is the maximum volume the speaker can run on, while RMS is the volume the speaker is capable of outputting on average.
If you want to play loud music in large venues with large crowds, then you better go for a speaker with higher wattage. Be sure to check other aspects that make up a high-quality speaker as more wattage does not always translate to louder and better.
Max. rated SPL
This will determine how far the sound from your speaker will go and if it will be evenly distributed. If you’re playing for large venues, go for a higher SPL like that of the QSC K12.2 Active Loudspeaker reviewed above.
Be sure to choose a speaker with a good frequency range. This is the range within which a speaker can play. If a song you want to play sends a frequency outside the range of the speaker, then it will not play. It also determines the frequency response, which is how loud your speaker can play at tones you can hear. A good frequency response ranges from 20Hz to 20kHz.
If you intend to do live sounds often, you will need a subwoofer for a richer and more vibrant sound with extra bass and treble. The subwoofer will focus on the low-end frequencies as your speaker takes care of the high frequencies. If you only need it for speeches, you can do without a subwoofer.
Sound quality and efficiency
Loudness is not always quality. Ensure you check a speaker’s Total Harmonic Distortion before buying. It determines how well your speaker can produce quality sound and read your Music without any distortion.
As for efficiency, look out for the best amplifier. The class D amplifier is usually the ultimate amp as it allows a 90 to 95% efficiency rate.
You have to pay close attention to the quality or class of an amplifier when choosing a speaker. Its primary purpose is to produce an output that can handle the signal but is also big enough to supply the requirements of the speaker.
There are 4 classes of amplifiers: Class A, Class B, Class AB, and Class D, as mentioned above. Class D amplifiers are usually the best as they offer a higher efficiency rate.
Raw vs. DSP
The Digital Signal Processor mathematically manipulates digitized audio. Thus, a speaker that has one is more precise and will always sound and perform better than a speaker with Raw or unprocessed audio.
The lighter the speaker, the better, especially if you intend to move from one venue to another often. It means it will be easy to set up and carry for one place to another. The Behringer EUROLIVE B112D Active PA Speaker System reviewed above is a good example of an ultra-lightweight powered speaker.
You should go for a speaker that has high compatibility with other speakers in case you want to connect it to a subwoofer for enhanced sounds. Also, speakers with built-in Bluetooth have higher compatibility for other devices and speakers.
Some speakers come in a convenient package with extra accessories like tripod stands and microphones like the Pair Rockville RPG15 1Active DJ PA Speakers mentioned above. They offer great value for their price.