Public address speakers, also known as PA speakers, are important when addressing live events such as public rallies, concerts, political campaigns, weddings, parties, public lectures and other such public gatherings. Thus, the quality of sound you deliver in public addresses matters a lot.
However, getting consistently high-quality sound in live public addresses can be quite challenging. The ideal solution is investing in the best PA speakers. There’re are many types of PA speakers in today’s market, with each brand or type having its own unique benefits and shortcomings. Thus, choosing the best choice becomes challenging for most people.
Luckily, we have prepared this review and buying guide to assist you with making the best choice. Read on for a detailed review on the top 9 PA speakers you can ever find in the market.
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table for Top 9 PA Speakers 2020
- How We Wrote This Review
- 1. QSC K12.2 Active Overall Best in 2020
- 2. Proreck Party 15
- 3. Yamaha STAGEPAS 600I
- 4. ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77)
- 5. Rockville RPG122K
- 6. Hisonic HS120B
- 7. BEHRINGER EUROPORT MPA40BT-PRO
- 8. Costway Dual
- 9. Alto Professional Trouper
- Things to Consider Before Buying the Best PA Speakers
- FAQs About Powered PA Speakers
- Final Verdict
Comparison Table for Top 9 PA Speakers 2020
|QSC K12.2 Active[Overall best]
|PRORECK PARTY 15
|Yamaha STAGEPAS 600I
|ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77)
|Behringer Europort Mpa40bt-Pro
|Alto Professional Trouper
How We Wrote This Review
Many people often come to us with many questions regarding PA speakers. Most of the queries we receive involve the choice of speakers. Considering the availability of multiple speakers to choose from, most prospective buyers hardly know where they’ll start.
Actually, some people have no idea about the features they should check when buying these speakers. Thus, we started by reviewing the features that PA speakers must have. We used existing research materials to assess the features. We also interviewed real users about the speakers they find best. Experts dealing with PA systems also assisted us with more information about these speakers.
The information we gathered assisted us in coming up with a shortlist of the best PA speakers, which we have reviewed here. Therefore, we wrote this review with the aim of assisting prospective buyers to make informed choices. With this review and guide, you’ll surely get the best speakers you can ever find for PA systems.
1. QSC K12.2 Active Overall Best in 2020
The QSC K12.2 Active is a simple, yet versatile loudspeaker. It is made to deliver an outstanding audio experience for the audience. The loudspeaker stands out for it can be used as a stage monitor or public address. Thus, it’s very versatile, making it reliable for any public event.
Features and Benefits of QSC K12.2
- Digital display- You wouldn’t fail to notice the digital display that comes with this loudspeaker. The multifunction display allows for easier control when using its multiple functions for the best audio effect such as equalizer and delay.
- Amplifier- It’s worth noting that this loudspeaker comes with an amplifier module. The 2000 watt inbuilt amp is able to power the loudspeaker with high quality sound, thereby making the speaker more powerful.
- Savable scenes- A major unique feature in the QSC K12.2 Active is its support for saving scenes which enhances reliability. You can save the most frequently used applications such that you can easily recall them rather than starting all over again.
- Multiple mounting options- Despite being simple, the loudspeaker boasts of supporting multiple mounting options such that you can reliably use it for all kinds of live applications. You can mount it on a wall, place it on a standard speaker pole or truss-mount it among other mounting options.
- Universal power input- Another key feature and benefits of this PA loudspeaker is its universal power input. You can feed it with AC power ranging from 100 to 240 volts, such that you may use it any region without requiring an adapter.
- Correction tuning
- Amplifier module
- Universal power input
- Advanced controls with a digital display
- High price range
- First time users may need more time to get used to the advanced controls
- Side pockets are not large enough
Our Verdict: If you are looking for a high performance and high quality PA loudspeaker, then you will want to consider the QSC K12.2. However, be ready to pay more for its quality. Nevertheless, you’ll surely get great value for your money.
2. Proreck Party 15
The Proreck Party 15 is a combo PA set that features a passive and active loudspeaker. The active loudspeaker comes with an inbuilt amp that’s able to power both loudspeakers effortlessly. It’s most ideal for DJs and all kinds of performances and events.
Features and Benefits of Proreck Party 15
- Comes as a combo set- The PRORECK PARTY 15 comes a combo set featuring an active and passive loudspeaker. The passive loudspeaker comes with a woofer for loud bass while the active loudspeaker comes with an inbuilt amp for more power.
- Efficient tweeter- Both speakers come with a single tweeter each. The tweeters are high performance and guarantee full-range audio experience.
- Bluetooth support- If you fancy streaming your mobile music to speakers, then you’ll surely appreciate the Bluetooth capability of this PA loudspeaker. You can connect your Bluetooth capable device such as smartphone, tablet and laptop to stream your favorite tracks wirelessly.
- Integrated stands- The speaker comes with a 3-leg stand for easy and stable mounting just anywhere. You can adjust the stand effortlessly to extend the legs outwards for more stability or adjust the height of the stand pole to your liking.
- A set of wheels- The base of the speakers is fitted with two sturdy wheels. The wheels makes it easier to pull the speakers from one place to another, thereby making mobility easier and effortless.
- Medium price range
- 3-leg mounting stand
- Transport wheels
- Remote control
- Colored LED lights
- Lacks XLR inputs
- LED lights only come on when rocking quite loud
- The remote control doesn’t come with a user manual
Our Verdict: PRORECK PARTY 15 is a full-range combo PA loudspeaker worth your consideration. Anyone looking for a high-performance PA loudspeaker to rock events and parties should surely consider this set. At its price, the full-range features are surely a plus.
3. Yamaha STAGEPAS 600I
The Yamaha STAGEPAS 600I is a great, portable loudspeaker ideal for any live event. It stands out for providing everything you would need in a PA system. Besides being a combo set loudspeaker, it comes with mixing capabilities, thus giving you the best audio effects.
Highlights and Benefits of Yamaha STAGEPAS 600I
- Removable mixer- It’s worth noting that the speaker comes with a detachable music mixer. The mixer allows you to mix audio the way you want and adding the effects you want, thereby giving you more control over sound.
- Compact design- The speaker is designed for portability, yet it features all the crucial functions you would need. It’s compact design and small sizenature makes it effortless to carry anywhere, such that you can move it around the stage or hall by hand.
- Easy to set up- Mounting and setting up the speakerset is simple and effortless. Even a first time user will be able to set up the STAGEPAS 600I with ease.
- IPhone and iPod support- You can connect your iPod or iPhone seamlessly. The mixer that comes with the speaker allows for iPhone and iPod music playback and charging.
- Digital reverb- What more would you ask for than a digital reverb feature in this speaker system? It has a single knob that offers four reverb controls, a feature that is ideal for acoustics and vocals.
- Ten-channel mixer
- Easy to mount and set up
- Compact design and portable
- Digital reverb knob
- Master equalizer
- High price range
- Only connects to iPods and iPhone mobile devices
- May not be powerful enough for large venues
Our Verdict: Anyone looking for a PA loudspeaker system that has everything that a DJ or music mixer needs should surely consider the Yamaha STAGEPAS 600I. However, be ready to pay more for its great features. It’s surely worth it!
4. ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77)
If you’re looking for one of the best PA speakers, then you’ll truly appreciate the ION Tailgater(iPA77). It is unique in that it has a rechargeable battery. This enhances its portability such that you can use it anywhere. Thus, you’ll easily hold conferences in areas without mains power supply such as open fields and isolated venues.
ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77) Key Highlights and Benefits
- Inbuilt battery- What could be greater than investing in a loudspeaker that has an inbuilt battery? The rechargeable battery offers power for many hours continuously, thus you can use it in live events where mains power supply is not available.
- USB charging- With this speaker, you’ll be able to charge your mobile device wherever you go with it. Its inbuilt battery also works as a powerful power bank that can charge any mobile device that charges via USB.
- Clear display- The loudspeaker comes with a clear LED display. It makes it easy and possible to read information about different controls and radio stations.
- Radio tuner- Another great feature and benefit about this PA loudspeaker is its radio tuner. You can tune in to your favorite FM or AM radio station and catch some breaking news or favorite radio shows.
- Strong built- In addition, this loudspeaker has a very strong and sturdy built. The corners and edges are reinforced such that it may not get damaged easily in the event of falling accidentally or during transportation.
- Very affordable
- Inbuilt rechargeable battery
- USB charging
- FM/AM radio
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Lacks wheels
- No inbuilt lighting
- No radio presets
Our Verdict: If portability is what you really need, theAudio Tailgater (iPA77) will truly impress you. A full charge will serve you for many hours, thus you can use this PA speaker anywhere. However, you’ll miss radio presets but reception is amazing.
5. Rockville RPG122K
The Rockville RPG122K is a 12-inch PA loudspeaker that comes as a pair, featuring one active and one passive loudspeaker. The power that the two speakers deliver is ideal for DJ performances and live gigs. It comes with connection cables that are necessary to setup a great PA system, including support for a microphone.
Highlights and Benefits of Rockville RPG122K
- High performance- This PA speakers are high performance, featuring two speakers with a total power output of 1000 Watts. The 12” speakers deliver enough power to address a large gathering.
- Clip indicator- The speakers come with an active feature entailing clip detection. The clip LED allows you to know whenever distortion is setting in such that you can easily control audio without the issue of noise.
- Inbuilt equalizer- Music professionals, especially music mixers and DJs will be amazed by the inbuilt equalizer that comes with this PA combo speakers. The equalizer allows a user to adjust and control audio as per their desired style.
- Woofer and tweeters- Each speaker in this pair comes with a high performance woofer and tweeter. The woofer delivers loud bass while the horn tweeters deliver loud highs, thereby delivering audio with all notes.
- LCD display- The back of one speaker unit has an LCD screen. The display allows you to easily view details about the currently playing MP3 tracks and also allows for easier Bluetooth pairing.
- Speaker stands
- Microphone support
- Remote control
- Medium price range
- Comes as a pair (one active and one passive speaker)
- No mobility wheels
- The microphone is not great for singing, thus you would rather use a separate microphone
- There may be a popping sound when the volume is turned on to the maximum
Our Verdict: Anyone who performs in small gigs or anyone holding small public addresses should add this set of PA speakers in their shortlist. Although it comes with a microphone, singing would require a better microphone. Nevertheless, its features are great for its price.
6. Hisonic HS120B
Hisonic HS120Bis specially designed for professionals who speak to audience regularly and for longer periods such as coaches, tutors, product promoters, and auctioneers among other such professionals. It’s designed to make your voice louder without stress on your voice. Moreover, it’s very affordable despite being a great choice for professionals.
Hisonic HS120B Key Highlights and Benefits
- Replaceable battery- Besides coming with a rechargeable battery, you’ll appreciate that the battery is also replaceable. Thus, you can always replace the battery when its efficiency reduces over time with a similar battery.
- Wireless microphone- This loudspeaker is unique in that it comes with an inbuilt wireless microphone receiver. You can connect a wireless microphone and it also has an extra microphone input to connectany wired microphone.
- Headset microphone- Besides coming with a wireless microphone and support for a wired microphone, the loudspeaker also comes with a headset microphone. This microphone allows you to speak to your audience easily as you can talk while making gestures or doing something else with your hands while speaking.
- Individual controls- The loudspeaker comes with individual controls for microphone volume, AUX volume, tone and echo. This makes it easier to control each and every feature with ease, thereby equalizing the sound with ease.
- AC and DC inputs- It comes with a 12 volts DC input and also an AC input. Thus, you can connect it to either an AC outlet or any DC source including your car battery, allowing you to use the speaker even in isolated areas where AC power is unavailable.
- Very affordable and portable
- Headset and handheld microphones
- Rechargeable and replaceable battery
- Both AC and DC inputs
- AUX input
- Not loud enough for large venues
- Carrier case doesn’t have interior padding
- Not ideal for music performances
Our Verdict: Professionals who’re looking for a portable yet fully functional loudspeaker should add Hisonic HS120B in their shortlist. Instructors, coaches, tutors and other such professionals would find it reliable. However, it’s not ideal for live music performances especially in large venues.
7. BEHRINGER EUROPORT MPA40BT-PRO
This loudspeaker is specially designed for portability. That’s why it comes with an inbuilt rechargeable battery to keep your event going even in areas without AC power outlets. Moreover, it’s compact and lightweight, with a great handle for carrying by hand. The 40 watts speaker is powerful enough to offer sound in parties and presentations.
BEHRINGER EUROPORT MPA40BT-PRO Key Features and Benefits
- Retractable handle- The handle is designed for convenience whenever you want to carry the loudspeaker. It’s retractable such that you can push it inwards when performing and retract it outwards whenever you want to carry or pull the loudspeaker by hand.
- Multiple mounting options- You can mount the loudspeaker on stands or even set it on the floor or any table. This makes it ideal for mounting regardless of the kind of a stage set for your event or performance.
- Two-channel mixer and equalizer- If you love mixing music by setting audio effects to your preference, then you’ll appreciate the two-channel mixer and equalizer that comes with this loudspeaker. The mixer and equalizer comes with all necessary controls for the best sound effects.
- Support for iOS devices- You can easily connect your iOS device via Bluetooth. It’s seamless to connect iOS devices such as iPods and iPhones, and this will make it seamless to stream your mobile music wirelessly.
- Small size- This PA loudspeaker is small in size and compact in design. Its small size allows for enhanced portability and comes with two wheels for easy pulling.
- Small size, transportation wheels and portable
- Inbuilt mixer and amplifier
- Bluetooth ready
- Inbuilt, rechargeable battery
- Not ideal for larger venues
- The pulling handle is a bit short
- The USB port only works with wireless BEHRINGER microphones
Our Verdict: Overall, this PA loudspeaker is designed for portability. It’s compact and small size, yet it delivers quality sound. It is ideal for small/medium live events such as parties, seminars, and presentations. However, it’s not powerful enough for larger events.
8. Costway Dual
The Costway Dual boasts of featuring two speakers with a total power of 250 watts RMS and 2000 watts peak power. Each set features a 12’’ woofer and a 1’’ tweeter which are powered from the inbuilt amplifier. This makes it very powerful for any event, be it a small or large live performance or presentation.
Highlights and Benefits of Costway Dual
- Speaker and power cables- The dual set comes with a speaker and a power cable. You’ll not need to purchase separate cables for connecting the speakers or mains power.
- Tripod stands- The set comes with two tripod stands, each stand for each speaker. The stands are rugged and sturdy enough to support the speakers securely even when playing loud music.
- Aluminum voice coils- The woofers are designed with high performance aluminum voice coils. They allow for loud bass without any distortion even when the volume is set high.
- Two-way speakers- Costway Dual comes as a set of two-way loudspeakers, each having a woofer and horn tweeter. The two-way loudspeakers are powerful enough for any live event and offer full range sound.
- High speed USB input- Costway Dual loudspeaker set boasts of having a high speed USB port for connecting USB drive devices. You can connect your flash disk or SD card reader for music playback.
- Powerful loudspeakers with up to 2000 watts power
- Remote control
- USB input
- Rugged tripod stands
- Bluetooth support
- Lacks AUX inputs
- No wireless microphone
- Only works under AC power and doesn’t have an inbuilt battery
Our Verdict: Costway Dual is ideal for live events in large venues. The two powerful speakers are able to offer loud and full range audio. However, it doesn’t come with a wireless microphone, but its great features are worth its friendly pricing.
9. Alto Professional Trouper
This PA loudspeaker is designed to have all you would want in a PA speaker, with all components set in one unit. It’s unique in that it comes with three woofers and a single tweeter. Its multiple features makes it a full-featured PA loudspeaker, making it suitable for all kinds of small/medium gigs.
Key Highlights and Benefits of Alto Professional Trouper
- Superior built- The level of engineering behind the built of this PA loudspeaker is very impressive. The enclosure is designed to reduce internal resonance for cleaner sound.
- Rear handle- The inbuilt handle at the rear is strong and sturdy. You can carry the speaker safely and easily when setting up for your gig.
- Three powerful woofers- The Alto Pro is specially designed with three woofers all in one unit. The woofers are powerful and allow for loud bass and the horn tweeter outputs loud highs.
- XLR and RCA inputs- Another great feature that comes with the Alto Pro is its XLR and RCA inputs. You can connect most audio devices and musical instruments into the inbuilt mixer through the XLR and RCA inputs.
- Thermal/overload protection- The PA loudspeaker has thermal and power overload protection capability. It protects itself against overheating and overloading, thereby minimizing chances of blown components.
- Bluetooth support
- Inbuilt amplifier and mixer
- Superior built
- Thermal and overload protection
- XLR and RCA inputs
- Lacks USB port
- No radio tuner
- No remote control
Our Verdict: Alto Pro Trouper is ideal for solo performance and small-medium audience. With this PA speaker, you won’t have to worry about overload and overheating since it has protection against such issues.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best PA Speakers
Considering the wide variety of PA speakers available in today’s market, you can get confused about the choice to make. Moreover, the speakers reviewed here all have their benefits and some shortcomings.
To choose the best, you need to go for the speaker that has all the crucial controls and features you need. This will mainly depend on the intended use. For instance, a speaker used by a tutor would not be ideal for a live music performer and the vice versa.
To make it easier for you, we have prepared a detailed buying guide. Read on through this guide for the things you should consider when buying a PA loudspeaker.
1. Active Speaker (Inbuilt Amplifier) vs Passive Speaker (No inbuilt amplifier)
Public address loudspeakers are usually designed as either active or passive. Active speakers are powered. They have an inbuilt amplifier to enhance sound. Thus, you will not have to invest in a separate amplifier. Active loudspeakers just require a sound input, be it from your voice via a microphone or from music instruments. It’s easier to setup active speakers. However, they are not ideal for complex audio systems especially in larger venues.
On the other hand, passive loudspeakers do not have an inbuilt amplifier. They require input from a standalone amplifier. In some speaker systems, passive speakers are powered by active speakers. Passive speakers are ideal for large venue setup and complex PA systems. Complex sound set ups demand a lot of power and keeping amps separated from speakers prevents the speakers from being overheated by the amp. This also makes maintenance easier. Controlling the system is also easier since you can mount the speaker on a high surface while the amp and equalizer are set on an easy to reach surface.
2. Equalizer and Mixer
Some PA speakers come with an onboard equalizer and mixer while others don’t have one. Depending on your needs, you may require a speaker that comes with a full-range equalizer and mixer or one with simple controls.
For instance, if you are a DJ or a live music performer in a gig, you would want a speaker that comes with an onboard equalizer and mixer.
On the other hand, professionals such as tutors and coaches would not really require features such as mixers and equalizers. They would be okay with simple controls such as volume and tone. Thus, make your choice depending on the intended use before buying the speaker.
3. Support for Microphone Input
It’s obvious that you need a loudspeaker to project your voice louder. Thus, you’ll need a microphone to input your voice into the speaker. Thus, it’s important for the speaker to have an input for a microphone. Luckily, most of the PA systems we have reviewed here come with a microphone input.
However, ensure the input is not restricted to a specific brand microphone. This is essential to consider since you may want to use a more powerful or efficient microphone.
For instance, may be you are a singer but the microphone that comes with the speaker is only ideal for speeches and presentations. Thus, if you’re restricted to only one brand, you’ll be unable to add your preferred microphone. Thus, the microphone input should be universal/standard. Also, support for wireless microphones would be a plus.
4. Size and Portability
Different PA speakers come in different sizes and designs. The intended purpose for the speaker should determine portability and size. For instance, if you perform in large gigs and venues, you will surely need a very powerful and huge speaker. Here, portability should not be your consideration since more powerful speakers weigh more, are large and hence less portable.
However, if you only do small presentations like lectures and coaching, then portability should be a major concern. You will want a speaker you can carry effortlessly by hand or dragging it along its wheels. Thus, you’ll want a lightweight, compact speaker for such purposes.
5. Power Source
Some PA speakers are restricted to AC power while others support both mains power and DC input. Some have inbuilt, rechargeable batteries while others don’t have. Here, make your consideration depending on the intended use. For instance, live performances and presentations in huge venues or large audience require powerful loudspeakers.
The most powerful speakers are usually powered by AC while less powerful ones can be powered by DC and inbuilt batteries. In case you’re a tutor, coach, product promoter and such other professions, you would need a PA speaker with an inbuilt, rechargeable battery for reliability regardless of the location.
FAQs About Powered PA Speakers
Do powered PA speakers have good bass?
Yes. Powered speakers actually come with their own amplifier to deliver powerful bass for all audio needs. Most of the best options actually come with an inbuilt low pass filter for enhanced bass reproduction and a knob to adjust bass to your liking.
Are powered PA speakers good for music?
Powered PA speakers are specially designed for sound reproduction where loudness is a necessity. They’re actually good for music, especially live music performances in large venues. With a powered PA speaker, all you’ll need is a sound input and you’re set to enjoy your music.
How many watts do I need for powered PA speakers?
The amount of watts you need for a powered PA speaker would depend on what you’re using it for and the size of the venue. Here’re some wattage requirements depending on the application and venue size:
- Rock band in a medium club- At least 1500 watts.
- Rock music in a small outdoor event- 1000 to 3000 watts.
- Heavy metal or rock in an amphitheater, arena or stadium- at least 4000 to 15000 watts.
- Jazz or pop band in a medium club- Between 250 to 750 watts.
- Jazz or pop in a concert hall- 400 to 1200 watts.
- Folk music in a coffee shop- 25 to 250 watts.
- Simple folk music- At least 60 watts.
- General rule of thumb in outdoor performances- Use 10 watts per person as the general rule of thumb. For example, if the venue has 200 people, then you’d need 2000 watts total on average.
What is the difference between powered PA speakers and home speakers?
PA speakers are speakers use to reproduce sound from instruments, voices and other such sources and are mainly used for large audiences such as clubs, amphitheaters, stadiums, concerts, and any live performances. On the other hand, home speakers are specially designed for sound reproduction from home audio equipment such as TVs, DVD players, home theatre receiver and other such home stereo units.
The main differences include:
- PA speakers are used for large, live performances and home speakers are used in a small room such as a living room or bedroom.
- PA speakers are more expensive than home speakers.
- PA speakers are more powerful and louder than home speakers.
- Home speakers are smaller in size than PA speakers.
Performing live in concerts, doing presentations in lecture halls, promoting products and even auctions require loudness. You’ll need to get your voice heard by your audience. This is only possible with high quality and powerful PA speakers.
These speakers are specially designed to enhance sound, making your voice louder across a wide area. Thus, you’ll want to invest in the best PA speakers to get project the best sound. With quality, audible sound, your audience will hear everything you’re saying or the music being played.
However, a major challenge comes when choosing the best speaker for public address. Luckily, with this review and guide, we’ve covered everything you should know about the features of PA speakers and the things you need to consider before purchasing a PA speaker. Thus, with this review and guide, you’ll be assured of investing in a PA speaker that’ll serve your needs efficiently and reliably