Top 9 Best Powered PA Speakers Review With Pros and Cons

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.

Comparison Table for Top 9 PA Speakers 2020

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

  • 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.

Pros

  • Correction tuning
  • Amplifier module
  • Portable
  • Universal power input
  • Advanced controls with a digital display

Cons

  • 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

3.​ Yamaha STAGEPAS 600I

Pros

  • Ten-channel mixer
  • Easy to mount and set up
  • Compact design and portable
  • Digital reverb knob
  • Master equalizer

Cons

  • 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)

5. Rockville RPG122K

  • Speaker stands
  • Microphone support
  • Remote control
  • Medium price range
  • Comes as a pair (one active and one passive speaker)

Cons

  • 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

Pros

  • Very affordable and portable
  • Headset and handheld microphones
  • Rechargeable and replaceable battery
  • Both AC and DC inputs
  • AUX input

Cons

  • 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

8. Costway Dual

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.

Pros

  • Bluetooth support
  • Inbuilt amplifier and mixer
  • Superior built
  • Thermal and overload protection
  • XLR and RCA inputs

Cons

  • 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.

Final Verdict

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

David M Foster
 

David M Foster is an award-winning sound engineer with over 13 years in the sound industry. He now works as a freelance sound engineer. He uses his insider knowledge and vast experience of the industry to shed more light on sound systems. He is a family man and the head content at Speakerchampion. Learn more about us.

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