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The Best Powered Speakers for Live Band

Your band may put lots of hours into practicing, but getting a great performance is only half the battle—you also need a great sound system. A good sound system will help you fill up a venue with high-quality sound, while a bad one can ruin your reputation as a professional act. 

Regardless what music genre you’re playing, you need to ensure that your live performances are always loud and clear. Powered PA speakers will come in handy to solve this problem, as they can be easily set up and won’t need an amplifier to work. However, it is important to choose the best option so as to maximize your sound quality and attend your needs as a band.

Today, we are reviewing 6 products to find the best powered speakers for live band. Those range from a number of types and have different features and characteristics. We will also go through some of the most important factors to look out for when buying this type of product.

Also Read: 2-Way vs 3-Way Speakers

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We Tested 6 Products and found the JBL Professional PRX825W to be the Best Powered Speakers for Live Band

Pyle PDWR62BTBK Pair – Best Budget Powered Speakers for Live Band, in our Tests

6 Best Powered Speakers for Live Band – Reviewed in Detail

Table of Contents

  1. Mackie THUMP15A
  2. QSC K12.2
  3. JBL Professional PRX825W
  4. Pyle PDWR62BTBK Pair
  5. BEHRINGER B210D

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Mackie is a great option for both beginners and more experienced musicians. They have a number of products ranging from entry-level to pro-level, and this speaker is no exception. This speaker has a 1″ tweeter and a 15″ woofer that can be powered with up to 500 Watts of power. It’s also durable, as it’s made with metal grilles, a steel basket, and has a long-lasting powder-coated steel frame.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Powered Speakers
  • 1″ Tweeter
  • 15″ Woofer
  • 2 XLR/Line Combo Inputs
  • 1 XLR Mix Output
  • 4 Speakers Mode
  • Power: 1300W

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • There are 4 speaker modes that give you different frequency responses and you can adjust them depending on the requirements of your band.
  • Built-in 2-channel mixers equipped with two Vita preamps with Wide-Z technology.
  • Excellent design and build quality. The grilles are particularly high quality.
  • Lightweight. Can be transported with ease between gigs and venues.
  • Great response in the low-frequency range. Desirable if your band plays a music genre with lots of bass.
  • The 15″ woofer is larger than the one present in most other powered speakers around the same price range.

Cons

  • None.

Conclusion

The Mackie THUMP15A is a great match for any band or venue. Considering that these are priced around $400 each, the price may not be the most affordable but it is fair when you consider all of the features and characteristics provided by this product.

Probably our favorite fact was that it features a 15″ woofer low-frequency driver, unlike most powered speakers in that same price range, that features a smaller component. This is particularly great for achieving a thumping bass sound without distortion.

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The QSC K12.2 features a 1″ tweeter along with a 12″ woofer for a deep bass response. It also has a pretty large power output considering its size: 2000 watts. This means that it can be driven very loud without causing any distortion in the sound.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Powered Speakers
  • 1″ Silk Dome Tweeter
  • High-Performance Woofer
  • 2 XLR/Line Combo Inputs
  • Stereo Input
  • 2 XLR Loop-Thru Output
  • 1 XLR Mix Output
  • 1 Locking IEC Power Connector
  • Power: 2000 watts.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • Powered by high-quality, latest class d amplifiers technology.
  • Sleek and discrete.
  • The outer housing of the speaker is built out of high-quality materials. It can easily withstand any accidental falls or bumps and is very durable.
  • There are a lot of built-in functions inside this speaker such as EQ presets. These can all be controlled by the LCD screen on the back.
  • Directivity-Matched Transition. This technology ensures smooth coverage across the entire listening area.
  • Can be mounted on speaker stands.
  • Two passive radiators to increase the capacity to reproduce low frequencies.

Cons

  • None.

Conclusion

These QSC K12.2 speakers are one of our favorites for band performances. They have a large output power and an incredible bass range so they are optimal for large venues. As we discussed, the design also looks great and the building material is of very high quality.

Also Read: Best Speakers for Vinyl Under 500 

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The JBL Professional PRX825W is a good choice for a band. It has good sound quality and can handle up to 1250 watts of power, which is more than enough for a performance.  Another great feature of the PRX825W is its ability to be easily configured as both left and right-side speakers.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Powered Speakers
  • Dual 15″ Woofers
  • 2 XLR/Line Combo Inputs
  • 2 Unbalanced RCA Inputs
  • 140 dB SPL peak
  • Power: 1500 Watts

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • This powered speaker has a dual woofer technology. The two 15″ woofers will give you the best bass response possible and sound clarity in the mid-range.
  • Compatible with the PRX Connect app for Bluetooth connectivity. You can wirelessly control the parameters of the active speaker directly from your smartphone.
  • Universal power supply. Compatible with outlets from all over the world.
  • Class-leading 1500 watts power amplifier. Enough to get a loud live sound without any distortion.
  • Can be coupled with a subwoofer for better bass response.
  • Great frequency response, especially on the lows and the mids due to the dual 15″ woofers.
  • JBL Waveguide technology.

Cons

  • High price.
  • No tweeter.

Conclusion

While not the more affordable option on the list, the JBL Professional PRX825W is probably the most technologic powered PA speaker on the list. We like the fact that it is compatible with the PRX Connect App, which makes it easier for the sound engineers to control parameters wirelessly on the fly.

A drawback is that these don’t have a tweeter, only dual 15″ woofers. So you’re kind of trading a clear high-end for better response in the lows and the mids. Whether this is desirable or not will highly depend on the rest of your PA system and what music genre your band is playing.

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The Pyle PDWR62BTBK is a pair of PA speakers that can be easily set up for live performances. They have a 1″ tweeter and a 6.5″ woofer, as well as an adjustable horn. While the specifications of these portable speakers are simple, they are very affordable and can do a pretty good job for live sound.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Powered Speakers
  • 1″ Tweeter
  • 6.5″ Woofer
  • Built-In Capacitor Speaker Protection
  • Low Power 12 Volt Input
  • AUX Input
  • Power Rating: 300 Watts.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • These are the most affordable powered speakers on the list. You can get a pair as low as $150 so it is definitely a steal.
  • Pretty good continuous power, considering the small size of these speakers.
  • Can be connected to more speakers in a daisy chain.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Very rugged construction. These are waterproof and can withstand any accidental falls or bumps.

Cons

  • The woofer is smaller than most other powered speakers on the list.
  • No onboard mixer.

Conclusion

With an excellent sound quality for the price, this lightweight speaker cabinet is sold as a pair for only $150, so they are the best option if you’re on a budget or just starting out as a band. While not as powerful as most other options on the list, these power speakers will perform great for small venues and practicing.

The only drawbacks are that the woofer is smaller than the average size present on other speakers on our guide and there is no onboard mixer. This shouldn’t be a big problem, however, since the fact that these come as a pair means that they can deliver more power output overall.

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The last product on our list is a PA speaker from Behringer, the B210D. Behringer is known to make affordable, high-quality audio equipment and these powered loudspeakers are no exception. At a low price, it is a great choice for beginner bands playing in small venues.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Speaker Design
  • 1″ Tweeter
  • 10″ Woofer
  • XLR Input
  • Line Input
  • Line Output
  • Power Output: 200 Watts

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • There’s an internal switch-mode power-supply to avoid noise in your audio signal.
  • Built-in amplifier with Class D technology.
  • Despite its small size, the Behringer B210D can deliver loud sounds without distortion even at an extreme sound pressure level.
  • Aluminum-diaphragm technology for the best sound quality.
  • Ultra-compact and lightweight, easy to be carried and transported around.

Cons

  • Not as powerful as other options on the list.

Conclusion

With one of the most affordable prices, the Behringer B210D can do a pretty good job for live bands on a budget. The power amplifiers inside this powered speaker are powerful enough to give a loud sound without distortion if you pair it with a powered mixer.

While it may not be as powerful as some other options on the list, the sound output is ok for the price.

Also Read: Best Floorstanding Speakers under 500

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Best Powered Speakers for Live Band – Factors to Consider when Shopping

Type of the Speakers

While most powered speakers meant for PA systems have a 2-way setup, you may encounter other configurations and it is useful to know the difference between each one of them. There are three common types of powered speakers:

2-Way Speakers

A 2-way speaker system is one of the most common and popular types of powered speakers. It has two separate speakers, one for bass and the other for mid and high frequencies. This means that it is capable of producing sound at two different ranges in a single cabinet (hence 2-way). 2-way speakers are usually used in small rooms as they produce less bass compared to their bigger counterparts.

3-Way Speakers

A 3-way speaker system is similar to a 2-way speaker system in that it also has two separate speakers, except that it has an extra woofer to handle the bass frequencies. The third driver means that you can use this speaker in larger rooms without having to worry about tone quality degrading due to low-frequency reproduction.

4-Way Speakers

A 4-way speaker system has four separate speakers, one for bass, one for mid and high frequencies, and two tweeters. This means that it is capable of producing sound at four different ranges in a single cabinet. These speakers are usually used in larger rooms as they produce a lot more bass compared to their smaller counterparts.

A Neutral Frequency Response

As a band, you will probably be connecting several musical instruments to the same PA, so your powered speakers must have a neutral and balanced frequency response, to begin with. The frequency response of a speaker is the way it reproduces sound at different frequencies and is generally represented by a graph.

Powered speakers need to be able to play all frequencies equally well in order to reproduce music accurately. However, some speakers tend towards certain frequencies over others in their response curve. This can cause a speaker to sound “boomy” or “tin“.

Enough Output Power

Your powered speakers must be powerful enough to provide a loud sound without distortion. This will depend on the size of the venues your band usually play on.  If you are just starting out, you can use small powered speakers. You can move up to bigger ones as your band gains popularity and your venues become larger.

The power output of a speaker is measured in watts. A 100-watt speaker is capable of putting out 100 watts of power with a solid frequency response. Just because a speaker is rated at 200 watts, however, doesn’t mean that it will actually put out 200 watts of power. A rating like that indicates the maximum power output of the speaker when you test it using certain conditions and standards.

If you don’t have enough power output, the sound quality will suffer and you might not hear the music clearly. If you’re looking for a speaker that meet the requirements of your band, you should look for one with a high power output.

Connectivity

Most professional powered speakers feature at least one line input, which you can use to connect it to an audio mixer. Some models may also include an AUX output for connecting a subwoofer and an effect loopback input.

Keep in mind the particular requirements of your band when choosing the perfect product. For example, depending on the musical genre your band plays, you may want an option that allows for connecting a subwoofer so that you can upgrade your PA system in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Active and Passive Speakers?

Active speakers have a built-in preamp inside them, so you won’t need an external device to power them properly. A passive speaker must be powered by an amplifier so that it gives the optimal sound quality and performance possible.

Can Multiple Speakers be Connected in a Daisy-Chain?

Yes, most professional powered speakers allow you to connect more cabinets in a daisy-chain, using the XLR mix output. However, it is always great to make sure this feature is in fact available.

Conclusion

In our best powered speakers for live band article, we reviewed 5 products and discussed all of the factors you must pay attention to when buying this kind of product. Each powered speaker has its own features and characteristics and the sound output may vary greatly, so make sure to check things such as the frequency response before making your purchase.

Without further ado, let’s see our overall best and best budget top picks:

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JBL Professional PRX825W – Overall Best Powered Speakers for Live Band

Without a doubt, this is the best powered speaker for live band on the market. The JBL PRX825W features excellent features and technologies that justify its high price. This stage monitor has Class D amplifiers and can even be controlled wirelessly by your smartphone.

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Pyle PDWR62BTBK Pair – Best Budget Powered Speakers for Live Band

The Pyle PDWR62BTBK are the best powered speakers for live bands on a budget. These floor monitors come as a pair and are priced at around $150, one of the most affordable price tags on the market. While not as powerful as other options on the list, the amplifier technology and the features inside this are excellent for the price.

How to Buy

You can find the link for each product at their respective titles on the list. We hope our article was helpful in finding the best powered PA speakers for your live band. Make sure to research extensively before you purchase one and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions we could help with!