Best Powered PA Speakers for the Money Reviewed
PA Speakers or Public Address Speakers is one of the most essential pieces of hardware in a live performance, but we are going to list the best ones available on the market, we considered the portability, functionality, and added features of each speaker listed here.
Powered or active PA Speakers are easier to use than the unpowered or passive counterparts since the powered speakers offer the added convenience of not needing external amplifiers and mixers because it already has it inside, basically these are plug and play for anyone.
The QSC K8 is a compact Active PA Speaker offering numerous useful features starting with the various built-in filters, the Low-Frequency Filter or LF switch in this device offers three levels of adjustment, NORM which is the normal setting, DEEP for added bass boost, and EXT SUB which allows the QSC K8 to use an external subwoofer.
The High-frequency filter or the HF switch offers the FLAT setting which makes accurate reproduction possible, and the VOCAL BOOST setting that offers extra mid-frequency presence, effectively giving voice emphasis.
With Input there are 2 available XLR/TRS combo inputs and a stereo RCA input. With outputs there are 2 XLR direct outputs and 1 XLR line output which is enough for an instrument, a microphone, and even a CD player or a laptop playing your backtracks through the RCA input.
The power output of this speaker is a 1000 watts, which is more than enough to use for a small to medium size events. And the QSC K8 won’t have any problems in terms of heat dissipation since it has an integrated fan near the power supply, the QSC K8 also won’t have any problems with portability, with a durable rugged build quality, a weight of 27 pounds, and dimensions of 11 x 11 x18 inches, you won’t have much trouble bringing this to an event
For some extra features the QSC K8 has a switch on the back that controls if the front LED will indicate power, indicate limit, and turns on when the output is clipping, and you can simply shut it off.
The extensive DSP features makes sure that it will provide matched HF and LF coverage to prevent dead spots across the entire listening area. That makes the QSC K8 is the best powered PA speaker for the money if you are a solo musician.
- Clear and Crisp Sound quality
- Option to boost Low and High frequencies effectively expanding its dynamic range
- Extended reach
- Light and small body
- QSC K8 has a boxy shape which means that it cannot be used as a floor monitor which requires a wedge shape
- The QSC K8 is now displaced by a new model by QSC
The Bose F1 812 has a 1000-watt amplifier integrated inside, it also has 1 subwoofer and 8 speakers arranged in a line array setting, the 8 speakers up in the front is also flexible, giving control to how well the audio can project to the audience.
F1 can be paired with an external sub made to run with this speaker, and that is the Bose F1, a subwoofer offering additional presence on stage extending range and effectivity to more numbers of audience.
In terms of input, the Bose F1 812 has 1 XLR/TRS combo input and 1 quarter-inch jack/ RCA jack, the signal input on the input 1 can be configured to be a mic or a line-level signal coming from an external mixer.
Extra features include customizations for the front LED to indicate power, limit, or just turned off, same with the QSC K8 Front LED customizations. The Bose f1 812 also has an EQ button on the rear to configure if it will work full range with the sub-woofer and line array, or whether it will be working with an external sub. The Bose F1 812 also offers a Line output.
The best feature that the Bose F1 812 offers is the flexible line array, giving you the versatility to use this speaker in front of a standing audience, lowered audience, elevated audience, and even in a situation where you need the speakers to point up and down, the flexible line array allows you to achieve the proper dispersion pattern giving the audience full sound quality.
That makes the Bose F1 812 the best powered PA speaker for the money if you are looking for versatility.
- Flexible line array speaker configuration
- Full range sound quality achieved by a subwoofer and 8 smaller speakers
- The 1000-watt amplifier has a bi-amplified design allowing to separately power the Line array and the subwoofer
- Lightweight and portable considering the power and quality it delivers
- The Line array system automatically adjusts the EQ when you adjust the dispersion pattern.
- Limited connectivity forcing you to use an external line mixer to fully utilize the speaker’s full potential
- There’s no cooling fan
The Yamaha DXR15 is a speaker rated at 1100 watts, the largest wattage rating on this list. The Yamaha DXR15 uses a class D power amplifier like every speaker on this list. The Yamaha DXR15 uses its onboard DSP features to produce clear and crisp sounds that can reach 133 dB SPL.
DXR15 uses a 15-inch subwoofer which delivers the bass tones well, and the 1.4” compression drivers for accurate midrange reproduction for frequencies up to 20kHz.
The Yama DXR15 has a good and durable ABS enclosures that are designed to minimize internal resonation and vibration that directly translates to a distortion-free experience.
The enclosure is also designed to be used in different ways, you can use it as a floor monitor with a wedged side profile it can do the job easily, you can also slide a pole stand in on one of the two available mount sockets so you have the option of having the speaker slightly angled down to reduce unwanted echo and reverb.
This speaker also has an onboard 3 channel mixer, which can be enough if you are a solo artist. Yamaha also added HF control with a 100Hz or a 120Hz option.
We have to admit that this speaker is engineered well and that makes this PA speaker the best powered PA speaker for the money if you are planning to use it to perform live music whether you are a solo artist or in a band.
- Well-engineered ABS enclosure
- Loud Crisp sound
- Good Sound reproduction
- You need to use an external line mixer to utilize this speaker’s full potential
- It doesn’t quite hit the 1100 watts as advertised
- With a weight of 59.5 pounds and dimensions of 20.75 x 18.19 x 3.31, this takes away some of the portability
To Sum it up
When it comes to picking the best powered PA speakers for the money, it is important to keep in mind what you are going to use this product for, and that determines the power, features, DSP specifications that you need in a powered PA speakers that’ll work for you and your music.
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