We’ve talked before about choosing a controller. Now it’s time to talk speakers. Your sound system is an essential investment that directly impacts the quality of your performances. A good sound system can make all the difference in how your music is received by your audience, and can help you stand out in a crowded market. However, with so many options available, purchasing a sound system can be a daunting task. In this article, I’m going to guide you through the best way to purchase a sound system. Remember, no matter how great you are at mixing music, it won’t matter if no one can hear you do it.
Before purchasing a sound system, it’s important to determine your budget. DJ sound systems can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, so it’s crucial to decide how much you’re willing to spend before making any decisions. You should also keep in mind that a good quality sound system is a long-term investment, so it’s better to invest in a high-quality system rather than a cheap one that will need to be replaced soon. Before I purchased my fist sound system, I rented amps and speakers for several years, and saved a portion of what I earned from each gig until I could afford a high-quality system.
The next step is to determine your needs. What type of events will you be performing at? How many people will you be playing for? Will you be playing indoors or outdoors? These are important questions to consider when selecting a sound system.
For example, if you’re playing at a small club, you may only need a system that can accommodate 50-100 people. However, if you’re playing at a large outdoor event, you may need a system that can accommodate several thousand people. You’ll also want to consider the types of music you’ll be playing and the acoustics of the venue. Different genres of music require different types of sound systems. For example, if you’re primarily playing hip hop or EDM, you’ll need a system with powerful bass capabilities.
Once you’ve determined your budget and needs, it’s time to start researching speakers. There are many different types of speakers on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular types of speakers for DJ use include:
1. PA Speakers: These are the most common type of speaker used by DJs. They’re designed to produce high-quality sound at high volumes and are often used in outdoor events or large venues.
2. Studio Monitors: These speakers are designed for use in recording studios and are ideal for DJs who want to produce high-quality mixes.
3. Subwoofers: These speakers are designed to produce low-frequency sounds and are often used in conjunction with other speakers to produce a full range of sound.
4. Powered Speakers: These speakers have built-in amplifiers, making them easy to set up and use. They’re often used by DJs who want a portable system.
5. Passive Speakers: These speakers require an external amplifier to power them and are often used in professional setups.
Finally, it’s important to consider the connectivity options that a sound system offers. Ideally, you’ll want a system that can connect to a variety of different devices, such as turntables, CD players, and laptops. Make sure to choose a system that has the inputs and outputs you need to connect all your equipment.
What you choose will depend upon how you worked through the above steps, but here are some popular options for DJ speakers, with details about each one:
JBL Professional EON615 – This powered PA speaker is a popular choice among DJs due to its exceptional sound quality and portability. With a 15-inch woofer and 1000 watts of power, it can produce high-quality sound even in larger venues. The EON615 also features Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream music directly from your phone or tablet. And, it’s solidly built making it suitable for outdoor events.
EV Evolve 50 – The EV Evolve 50 is a portable column array speaker system that is designed for DJ use. It features eight 3.5-inch high-excursion neodymium drivers and a 12-inch subwoofer, which provide a frequency range of 37 Hz – 20 kHz. The Evolve 50 is also equipped with a 3-channel mixer, Bluetooth connectivity, and DSP for optimizing sound performance. It’s easy to transport and set up, making it a popular choice for mobile DJs.
Electro-Voice ZLX-15P – This powered PA speaker is another popular choice for DJs due to its high-quality sound and affordability. With a 15-inch woofer and 1000 watts of power, it can produce rich, clear sound even at high volumes. The ZLX-15P also features an easy-to-use LCD screen and a built-in EQ for customizing your sound. Its lightweight design makes it easy to transport, while its rugged construction ensures it can handle the demands of DJ use.
QSC K12.2 – This powered speaker is a step up in terms of both power and quality. With a 12-inch woofer and 2000 watts of power, it can deliver clear, full-range sound even in larger venues. The K12.2 also features advanced DSP technology for precise sound control, along with a built-in mixer and Bluetooth connectivity. Its sleek, professional design makes it a great choice for DJs who want to impress their clients.
Mackie Thump15BST – This powered speaker is a versatile option that can be used for a variety of DJ applications. With a 15-inch woofer and 1300 watts of power, it can deliver powerful, clear sound even in challenging environments. The Thump15BST also features wireless control via the Thump Connect app, allowing you to adjust EQ, levels, and other settings directly from your phone. Additionally, its durable construction and lightweight design make it easy to transport and set up.
Behringer Eurolive B215D – This passive speaker is a budget-friendly option that still delivers impressive sound quality. With a 15-inch woofer and 550 watts of power, it can produce clear, powerful sound in smaller venues. The B215D also features a built-in amplifier and a durable construction that can withstand the rigors of DJ use. Its lightweight design makes it easy to transport, while its affordability makes it a great choice for DJs on a tight budget.