If you engage in discussion with a seasoned DJ, you will learn that getting high-quality speakers is non-negotiable. You can't really start a party or expect people to get into the party mood without a speaker producing an excellent sound.
Of course, the importance of this equipment makes it understandable that you will find different speakers from various brands on the market. This makes it pretty easy to get a low-quality speaker especially if you ignorantly make a choice. Fortunately, we have put together this guide to help you make a more educated decision when choosing a DJ speaker.
As always, you need to take price into consideration when shopping for a good set of speakers. You can get a decent budget DJ speaker for about $500 and below, and you can easily get a premium model for close to $1000 and above.
What features should I consider in a budget DJ speaker?
The woofer cone size on your speaker is a good indicator of its ability to handle bass. And what is a DJ speaker without quality bass, right? You should target a woofer cone of at least 8-inches, although you can go higher depending on your budget and the intended use of the speaker.
Another important feature to always consider is the material used for constructing the speaker. The cabinet material can also impact the quality of the sound. Particle board or soft plastic are the most common. These materials can dampen vibrations, but have a higher emanation. A speaker made from a high-quality material will be able to last you for a longer period of time without affecting the sound quality.
Obviously, the ease of moving your speaker is very crucial as a DJ because you are going to be transporting your equipment to and from various gigs. Ensure you get a speaker that isn’t too heavy and has a handle for easy maneuvering.
What are the more advanced features that I should consider in a high-end DJ speakers?
Power is a very important feature to consider when going for a speaker because the power rating (in watt) is a good indicator of the sound quality. It's generally advisable to go for a speaker with a higher power rating, although if you have a limited budget, you can go for one that delivers the power you need. If you need a speaker for a small room or space, then you may not need to spend the extra bucks on getting a speaker with so much power.
A DJ speaker should have a full frequency range, so you will be able to reproduce all the sounds in a track. The wider the frequency range, the more accurately the speaker will be able to play all types of music. You will requirea speaker with low-range woofer for low frequencies, as well as tweeters for high frequencies.
Mixers are essential features of any DJ speaker. Although some DJs nowadays mix on software-based controllers, many still prefer the traditional mixing process. You should consider the number of channels and number of effects offered by the speaker you want to get.
The amount of power (in watts) you need from a DJ speaker depends largely on where you are going to be using the speaker and the number of people you will be playing for. If you plan on spinning in a studio or your home, then a speaker around 400 watts is recommended. However, if you are planning to perform at larger venues, then you should consider power going around 1000 watts.
You may need to buy amplifiers depending on the type of speaker you choose. If you choose to get passive speakers, then you will need to get one amplifier for each pair of speakers. However, if you are using an active speaker, you won’t need to get an amplifier.
There are wireless speakers available on the market, but bear in mind that most wireless speakers will produce a lower sound quality than their wired counterparts.
The power consumption of your speaker is the amount of electrical power it uses for operation. Fortunately, most speakers don’t use enough power to cause any significant concern.
Behringer is one of the biggest sound equipment manufacturing companies with many high-class products to their name. The Behringer Eurolive B210D is a budget-friendly DJ speaker that is an excellent choice for beginner DJs. It features an active 200-watt 2-way PA speaker system, and its sleek and lightweight design makes transportation pretty straightforward. The 1.35-inch aluminum-diaphragm compression driver gives it an impressive high-frequency reproduction. The 10-inch subwoofer is quite impressive especially considering its very competitive price.
One of the major selling points of the Behringer Eurolive B210D DJ speaker is the class-D amplifier it uses that gives a power-to-weight ratio that rivals that of speakers that are more expensive. Also, the 10-inch subwoofer gives the speaker a bass quality you would not expect from a speaker in its price range. The speaker boasts a trapezoidal design that allows you to lay the speaker on its side for use as a floor monitor.
The speaker gives off an impressive sound quality when used in the medium volume range. If you turn the volume past the mid-range volume though, the sound quality drops. Also, the speaker is not the best option for use in a large room or for a large crowd, though this is not surprising as we didn’t expect it to be a world beater at its price. Although the bass is quite decent for its price, if you need a much higher quality bass, then this speaker may not be the best choice for you.
The Mackie SRM450 is a DJ speaker that is a good option for use in any of your gigs. It offers 300-watt power, which is decent, though, not the best on the market. The servo feedback controlled subwoofer gives it a tight low-end punch. The speaker features two inputs that accept ¼ -inch and XLR cables, as well as RCA inputs for outboard gear. Although this speaker is not the cheapest one on the list, the price is quite decent considering its features.
The Mackie SRM450 boasts a 1.4-inch high-output precision titanium compression driver that handles the upper range of sound. You are also provided with four operation modes that tailor the speaker's response to your needs. You can choose between PA, DJ, Solo, and Monitor. Another feature that is quite unique to this DJ speaker is the neodymium low-frequency long-throw transducer with a 3-inch voice coil that improves your general experience. The featured class-D amplification improves the output power.
The Mackie SRM450 is an excellent speaker choice for use in small rooms or where there isn’t such a loud crowd. However, it doesn’t do so well in large rooms as the sound quality is reduced significantly. If you crave excellent bass sound, you may want to augment the bass sound with an external subwoofer. Also, the speaker could do better in terms of its sound quality out of the box.
The Electro-Voice ZLX-12P is another DJ speaker that often comes up in most lists of the best DJ speakers, and for good reasons. This impressive 1000-watt full range power and the 12-inch subwoofer makes it one of the best budget speakers on the market. The speaker has a compact and lightweight design, so you don’t have to worry about any difficulty moving it around. The speaker can also be used as a monitor. The features offered by the Electro-Voice ZLX-12P make it an excellent example of value for money spent.
One of the features that endear users to this speaker is the LCD display and 1-knob DSP control that gives it a speedy and precise setup. This speaker features a patented split-baffle design that gives it an enhanced sonic intelligibility and impact, as well as a superior driver time alignment. Another thing that sets it apart is the affordable price, which is quite surprising for a speaker with the features it offers.
Some users have complained of the bass sound not being very punchy, which is easily forgivable considering its price. Some users have also complained about the power pull from the speaker changing whenever the volume is suddenly changed. The speaker is best for small rooms and small gatherings, as the quality trails off as the size of the room and audience increases.
JBL is a reputable company that manufactures speakers and other sound equipment, and the JBL PRX715 is another of their top quality products. It features 1500-watt full range power, which gives it a high-quality sound output. The 15-inch woofer improves the quality of bass sound, and the class-D power amplification further improves the sound quality. It features an XLR and a ¼-inch input, and the featured sensitivity switch allows you to easily connect any source without the help of a mixer. The speaker comes well below $1000, making it a good low to a mid-level speaker.
The JBL PRX715 has many features that make it rank well on most DJ speaker reviews. Apart from its use as a DJ speaker, it can also serve as a PA speaker as well as a monitor. The 1500-watt power is quite impressive for a speaker in its price range. The sleek design is another feature that makes it a top choice among users. The 15-inch woofer on this speaker gives you a good bass quality, which is further augmented by the class-D power amplifier.
This speaker comes at 48 lbs, making it a bit heavier than most of the other speakers on our list. Another issue some users have with the speaker is the difficulty in getting an authorized local repair shop in case it needs repair. Also, it comes with one handle, so it is a bit difficult for one person to mount the speaker on the stand alone.
Yet another product from Mackie, the HD1521 offers a high level of sound clarity, and the 1600-watt system power makes it a top choice among seasoned DJs. Just like many other speakers on this list, it also features a class-D amplification system that adds to the already impressive power. It features a back control panel that makes using it as painless as possible. The 3-band EQ and the limiting circuitry also improve your overall experience. This offers many good features, though it is not for everyone, as it is a bit on the pricey side.
The Mackie HD1521 is a real top of the line DJ speaker that offers unrivaled sound quality for your various gigs. One unique feature is the patented acoustic correction algorithms that offer you true high-definition sound. When it comes to mid-sized performances, the Mackie HD1521 is an excellent choice. It also features a neodymium subwoofer and a 3-inch coil that enhances its ability to handle high power from the amplifier.
Although this speaker has some really amazing features, it is not without its flaws. At 90 lbs, it is hardly a lightweight speaker, so transporting it may prove tricky sometimes. Also, the high cost of the unit is kind of a deal breaker for users looking for budget models. The speaker doesn’t have high end for vocals, which is a bit disappointing for a speaker of its caliber.
The Harbinger V2115 is another speaker that has found its way into our list because of the quality of features it offers. The 600-watt power isn’t really the best you will find on the market, but the speaker still offers an impressive sound quality especially when comparing it with other speakers in its price range. It features handles at the top and at the side for easy transportation and a 1/8-inch aux input for your mp3 players. The speaker is also pole mountable, making the experience a straightforward and painless one. All of these features coupled with the fact that it is pretty affordable make it a good choice for people looking for budget speakers.
Although the power is not a jaw-dropper, the class-D amplification augments the power, thereby giving you a reasonably high-quality sound. The speaker can also be used as a monitor, which further increases its overall appeal. At 51 lbs, it is not the lightest speaker you will find but it just manages to pass as a lightweight speaker. The featured 2-band EQ and 3-input mixer add to the overall user experience.
The Harbinger V2115 does have some drawbacks. Just like many budget DJ speakers, the bass output is not very impressive. Also, the speaker struggles to replicate its high-quality sound in a more crowded or larger space. The speaker is not really suitable for live sound with a band because of the sound quality that drops quickly.
Bose is an American company known for designing and developing various audio equipment. The Bose F1 Model 812 is another one of their top-of-the-line products. This speaker is a real premium product as it offers some unique features you would be hard pressed to find in other speakers. The FLEX array technology it uses gives it a one-of-a-kind design that can be configured into different unique shapes (C, J, straight, reverse-j). The low-frequency output is pretty impressive, which can be attributed to the 12-inch high-performance low frequency (LF) driver. The 1000-watt power is considered by many as being too small for a product with such a steep price.
One of the features that make the Bose F1 Model 812 a fan favorite is the flexible baffle design, which allows you to form different shapes with the speaker. The 100-degree by 40-degree coverage is also quite generous especially when you consider what other speakers offer. The 5-year warranty on the product also makes it a good choice for anyone that can afford it. When it comes to bass sound, the 12-inch low-frequency driver provides high-quality bass sound. Another amazing feature is its ability to automatically change EQ depending on the coverage pattern, so you are guaranteed the best possible sound quality no matter what.
Peavey is one of the largest suppliers of professional sound equipment and musical instruments in the world today with over 180 patents to their name. They definitely didn't get their reputation by shelling out low-quality products. The Peavey PVX 15 is one of their top budget DJ speakers. The speaker offers 800-watt peak power, making it an excellent choice for mid-level performances. Out of the box, the speaker weighs 52 lbs, making it a lightweight product. It features a 15-inch high-performance woofer and a 2.3-inch voice coil that together give it a high-quality output sound. The speaker is reasonably priced for its features too.
One of the features unique to the Peavey PVX 15 is the DDT compression and speaker protection. It also boasts ¼-inch and XLR through outputs. The 15-inch subwoofer improves the quality of the bass sound from the speaker. The speaker features an angled side that makes it suitable for use as a floor monitor. The featured titanium compression driver improves the overall quality of the speaker. Coming from a reputable company like Peavey, the PVX 15 doesn't disappoint in terms of features offered.
The speaker struggles when used in large venues, which is not unexpected from a speaker in its price range. Also, although the bass sound is quite decent, the speaker isn't really the best choice for users in search of a bass monster. The speaker is not the best out there when it comes to overall sound quality.
The QSC K10 is a two-way powered DJ speaker that has a 10-inch woofer. It features a 75-degree-by-75-degree coverage angle. The 1000-watt power is quite impressive for a speaker in its price range. It boasts a combo ¼-inch and XLR inputs that accept Line Level input and Mic, and the RCA phono inputs allow for easy connectivity with your CD players, line-level mixers, and mp3 players. In fact, you can mix up to three different audio sources with this speaker, which is quite impressive. The speaker is also super lightweight at just 33.1 lbs.
The QSC K10 speaker features onboard switches that provide preset EQ settings. Some of the settings include HF (high frequency), FLAT, and LF (low frequency) setting. It is also designed to easily function as a monitor. Another impressive feature is the extensive DSP, which enhances the performance of the system. The 1.75-inch diaphragm compression driver works alongside the 10-inch woofer to give you a really nice sound quality.
Some users have complained that the output sound is a bit flat and dull. Also, it is not an advisable choice for use in a concert or a live show because it loses its sound quality as the size of the room and audience increase. Some users have complained that the front grill dents easily, thereby reducing the overall durability of the product.
Yamaha is one of the biggest manufacturing companies of sound equipment and musical instruments, and you will hardly find a list of these products without one from Yamaha. The Yamaha DXR15 is a 2-way speaker with 1100-watt class-D power, which is responsible for its high-quality sound. It has an in-built three-channel mixer that gives you a nice balance of convenience and performance. At 59.5 lbs the Yamaha DXR15 is not really the lightest speaker on the market, and the price is a bit high considering its features and limitations.
This speaker boasts a bi-amplified design, which provides a top quality output sound. The three-channel mixer offered makes it a balanced speaker, and you can be sure of a very convenient experience. It features 90-degree horizontal coverage and 60-degree vertical coverage. The 1100-watt power is also quite decent for a speaker in its price range. One of its most significant selling points is the high-efficiency switching-mode power supply that makes it suitable for use anywhere around the world.
One of the obvious drawbacks of using this speaker is the sound quality that some users consider to be subpar for a product in its price range. The speaker is also a bit heavy, though not as heavy as some other DJ speakers on this list. The speaker is a bit pricey, which is discouraging for many potential buyers.
The need for DJs today has been on the rise over the years because of the more social and party lifestyle going around. One of the most basic equipment of a DJ is the speaker, and it is essential that you get the best one possible for you. Of course, everyone’s budget cannot be the same, so you should consider where you are going to be playing when going for one of these speakers. Other features you need to consider are the portability, power, cone size, range, and so on. If you are looking to start your career as a DJ or you're a veteran looking to get new and better speakers, then you can check out the various speakers reviewed here. No matter your budget, you will definitely find one for you.