Buying the best DJ speaker system that's perfect for your application is always challenging. Here we'll go over some of the basics on how to select the right speaker for what you do. Whether your a wedding DJ, solo performer, small band, the right speakers are super important. You can also contact us anytime for recommendations and cheat :), we don't mind a bit.
You’ll need to navigate through some confusing specs and wade through many brands offering speakers at a wide variety of price ranges and quality. DJ equipment speakers generate high sound SPL and are built to withstand the rigors of mobile DJ's and touring. Some people call them powered speakers, portable speakers, and these days we've got Bluetooth PA speakers that eliminate a ton of messy setup and sound great!
Trying to decide on what kind of DJ loudspeaker to get can be difficult. First, you need to determine what kind of gigs you’ll be working, and what purpose these speakers are going to serve. After deciding what types of shows you’ll be doing, you can then figure out what size speakers you will need (12-inch, 15-inch, etc.) and if you want active or passive speakers. Most DJ's these days are using Active speakers, more on this below.
What to Look for in DJ Speakers
There are several factors that you need to consider when deciding on what the best DJ speakers you want to get for your gigs. One of the biggest things to think about is if you want active (a.k.a. powered) DJ speaker or passive DJ speaker (a.k.a. unpowered). If you don't know what you want you probably want Active which includes an Amplifier. You also want to consider how big of a room you'll be performing in. If you have an outdoor show you'll want more power and larger woofers. For example a 12 inch PA subwoofer may sound rich indoors but in a larger room or outdoor show...you'll definitely want to consider some 18's to impress the client and rock the party. Keep in mind also that the higher performance small speakers like the QSC Powered Speakers pack more of a punch in a small package than some of the other lower priced brands. Yes there's a reason the K12's are bank, they are well designed with killer components.
Active vs. Passive
Active, also known as powered speakers, have an amplifier built-in and don’t require an external (typically rack mounted) amplifiers. DJ speakers with lights are active speakers and have an amp built right into them. The amplifier is what boosts the sound from your source unit or controller. This boost is expressed as “voltage gain” and is measured in decibels. The higher the voltage gain, the more power, or watts, the amplifier can push, thus the louder the speakers can play.
Look for wattage rating as an estimate for how loud the speakers will perform in general. However; some brands rate this differently and some low cost brands claiming 2000 watts etc that seem too good to be true...probably are. You get what you pay for at best, buying from a reputable authorized dealer is key to getting a good value and assistance in choosing the right gear.
Active speakers were initially made for the use of recording studio monitors, but in 2010 powered PA speakers were born. They were very heavy originally with the Class A Amplifiers. With the recent updates of Class D amplifiers which are much lighter and efficient the total weight has come down. Also, you'll see many of the powered speakers are crafted from heavy composite materials instead of traditional wood construction.
The active speakers have many advantages – such as woofer/tweeter power-matching and built-in limiting. Amplifiers often use digital sound processing (DSP) to process the signal in the most optimized way for the speaker, which also means the volume and EQ controls are found on the back of the speaker itself. With active speakers, there is no need for additional rack-mounted processing equipment thus lightening a DJ’s load going from gig to gig.
However, if your powered speaker takes a dump at a gig the speaker and amp are both useless, with a separate amp and speaker setup you have more options for a workaround since they are separate components. AKA you can hook up two sets of mains and double the load on an amplifier for a temporary fix to get you through a remote gig. That's a worst case scenario and I've been there.
Many active speakers also have advanced features like feedback suppression and application-specific sound modes like “bass boost” or “speech.” For these reasons, they have become wildly popular with mobile DJ’s. On most powered speakers you can plug straight into a DJ mixer, instrument, or microphone and get great sound with zero fuss. If you plan on hauling the speakers a lot and don’t have a dedicated sound guy or want to rent/loan out at times, we strongly suggest active speakers.
Passive speaker need an amp, period. A passive speaker doesn’t output any sound by itself which would require power from an amplifier, which you’ll need to buy separately. It’s a bit more complicated of setup since you need to make sure to match up the AMP’s Watts with how much power the DJ equipment speaker can handle. Passive DJ speakers are significantly less expensive than active speakers since they don’t have a power amp already built in.
Passive speakers have some advantages over active though, like the ability to control an entire sound system from one central place, instead of adjusting settings on the back of each speaker. Passive speakers tend to be more performance-oriented and more heavily constructed which is essential in a professional environment, and on a real stage so that the operator stays out of the way of the performance.
Although passive speakers require a separate power amplifier, you will probably only need one since one amplifier can power up to eight speakers in some situations. While the different operating modes of active speakers fit the needs of most users, the ability to fine-tune individual parameters in the DSP of an amp rack is indispensable for sound engineers.
Additionally, passive speakers are easier to set up since they do not require a nearby power outlet or extension cord so that you can place them anywhere. If your goal is to throw big events and cover big crowds you should consider a passive speaker system for that reason alone.
Our picks for the best DJ Speakers of 2019 below!
With so many speakers on the market and now you know the difference between active and passive DJ speakers, we want to share with you the best DJ speakers of 2019.
Best Active Speakers of 2019
DJ powered speakers are a better choice for DJs that are just getting started and DJs that are always on the go. Active speakers are very easy to set and start rocking your music out loud and clear. Here is our top list of active speakers:
The QSC K10.2 Series™ represents the best-in-class DJ loudspeaker to meet today’s demands. These are some of the best sounding PA speakers for smaller venue DJ's and solo artists. The perfect combination of elegant design, superior audio performance, high functionality, intuitive and straightforward operation, and good QSC reliability, K.2 delivers extraordinary results for users in both portable and installed applications.
Each model is housed in a rugged ABS enclosure with a professional yet unobtrusive appearance. Each model can be utilized in either main PA or floor monitor applications, while ergonomic handles and a heavy-duty steel grille with fabric lining further enhance overall appearance, functionality, and versatility. The dual pole cups allow a zero or 7.5 degree downward tilt when deployed on a pole. This allows for more even coverage across the listening area and fewer problems due to rear wall reflections.
The 2000 Watt power module delivers ample burst and continuous power for the loudspeaker’s premium drivers. It has been designed with very low-noise fan cooling, enabling the enclosures to be used in settings where background noise must be kept to a minimum.
The DJ can select from an extensive list of factory preset EQ contours including Live, Dance, Monitor, and many more. Savable and recallable scenes can store information like user EQ, Delay, and input configuration settings making this one of the easiest speakers to use for your DJ gig.
A pair of balanced combo XLR/F plus 1/4-inch TRS connectors with independent gain control are provided for the input. The first is equipped with selectable MIC/LINE (Microphone or Line) level input while the second offers selectable HI-Z/LINE (High Impedance or Line) level input, specifically for musical instruments. Both inputs are connected directly to a pair of XLR/M throughput connectors so that the signals may be “daisy-chained” to another audio device.
A 3.5 mm TRS input jack with independent gain control is also provided to connect sources such as smartphones, computers, and MP3 players. In addition to the two throughputs XLRs, a line-level output with the mixed signal from all inputs is also provided.
DMT™ (Directivity Matched Transition) design matches the coverage angle of the woofer at the crossover frequency with the horn pattern to ensure uniform response across the coverage area. Intrinsic Correction™ techniques are also employed providing smooth power response from the loudspeaker. The result is an extremely accurate DJ loudspeaker that behaves well in a wide range of acoustic spaces with little or no equalization.
Mackie Thump 15BST
Delivering proven, chest-thumping low-end in an extremely affordable package; the 1300W Thump15BST 15” Powered Loudspeaker has been redesigned from the ground up to sound better than ever. This model sounds...almost as good as the QSC above but you'll save a bundle, QSC is pricey and with good reason. Thump features an all-new amplifier design with Dynamic Bass Response for the chest-thumping low end. Plus, the flexible built-in two-channel mixer features Vita preamps with Wide-Z technology that handle mic, instrument or line signals with ease. Application-specific speaker modes let you dial in the system at the push of a button. And with an all-new professional enclosure and robust system protection, you can walk into your next gig with confidence.
Get your speakers ready for action at the push of a button. Choose between four or six-speaker modes* to instantly optimize the system for your application. Not only does this make setup even faster, but gives you a great starting point when it comes time to mix.
Unstable AC power can cause some frustrating problems during a gig, this is something you really need to consider if you're playing house parties or clubs with weird power. If you don't have good clean power...your system will sound like crap unless you have Mackie Power Factor Correction!
With Power Factor Correction, Thump Loudspeakers keep the power in check ensuring consistent performances. They make the most of the power you give them, this is awesome! To top it all off, Thumps accept wall power from anywhere in the world with no modifications needed thanks to a universal internal power supply, a claim that no other powered loudspeaker can make. Just use the appropriate power cord for the country you are using them in.
Thump Series loudspeakers feature an all-new 1300W ultra-efficient amplifier design with Dynamic Bass Response technology. Utilizing a higher voltage power supply, the amplifier in Thump has an incredibly fast response to transients and bass-heavy music. This means that when you need maximum power and chest-pounding bass, Thump will always deliver.
Thump loudspeakers feature built-in 2-channel mixers equipped with two Vita preamps with Wide-Z technology that handle mic, line and instrument signals with ease. So, when you only need one or two inputs, you can plug directly into the speaker without an external mixer.
Thump Boosted speakers take versatility even further with a built-in 3-channel mixer that features two digitally controlled Vita+ preamps, plus a third Bluetooth channel for music streaming and cable free setup! The Mackie Thump Series offer unbeatable value and sounds terrific. Mackie Powered Speakers
More than just another great JBL sound system, the new EON615 is a real step forward in technology developed specifically to deliver the best sound possible regardless of its application. Completely rethinking how perfect an affordable self-contained, portable PA system can be, JBL engineers purposely designed and built the EON615 from the ground up.
The enclosure design has been optimized for ideal acoustic resonance taking advantage of injection molding techniques and mechanical shaping of the enclosures.
This results in tremendous increases in cabinet volumes which enable better acoustic performance while maintaining the same footprint. Two intelligently positioned handles make the 615 easy to carry and move around. With the integrated hardware mounts, designed into the enclosures, this allows each model to be mounted high when required. And indexed feet molded into the enclosures allow for convenient storage and transport, secure stacking for stage monitor and traditional stand-up configurations, and unique acoustic arrangements.
The EON615’s extraordinary performance results from a breakthrough approach to waveguide design. JBL engineers examined the radiation characteristics of the EON’s high and low-frequency drivers at 36 different points employing JBL’s exclusive, state of the art measurement techniques, then designed the Image Control Waveguide ensuring the sound radiation and coverage pattern match at the high frequencies, the crossover point, and the low frequencies. The result is consistent response throughout its 110-degree coverage pattern.
The quality and consistency between on axis and off axis response deliver uniform coverage and high intelligibility throughout the coverage area, which means the EON615’s smooth, transparent sound is the same for the entire audience.
Knowing that fine-tuning your sound needs sophisticated yet convenient control, JBL engineers developed an iOS and Android supported Bluetooth v4.0 compliant interface for controlling master volume, aDJusting the 5-way, user definable parametric EQ, and saving and recalling user presets.
Behringer B115W active loudspeakers are exactly what you’ve come to expect from BEHRINGER – more power, more features and more affordable! The engineers have outdone themselves, creating a self-contained PA solution that merges Bluetooth wireless technology, state-of-the-art 1,000-Watt Class-D power amp technology, built-in wireless microphone capability, an amazing 2-channel mixer complete with individual Mic/Line input sections – and exceptional portability. The B115W professional active loudspeaker is destined to become a legend in their own right, alongside the other EUROLIVE models that have made BEHRINGER the world leader in active speakers.
Thanks to its trapezoidal shape, the B115W is suitable for a wide variety of applications, such as mounting on standard speaker poles, vertical placement atop subwoofers, or even laid on the side for use as onstage monitor wedges. B115W’s extraordinary fidelity and frequency response make it a favorite of vocalists and instrumentalists alike. Hookup is simple, requiring only a single XLR or ¼ " cable from your mixing console and power. Additional active monitors can be chained together via the XLR Link Output jack on the rear panel.
Thanks to the revolutionary Class-D amplifier technology, BEHRINGER can provide you with enormous power and incredible sonic performance in an easy-to-use, ultra-portable and lightweight package.
The days of tape decks, CD players and even MP3 devices are long gone. Now your music lives on your phone, tablet, or computer, so you can stop searching for those old cables and fancy adapters, and stream music from any Bluetooth audio-equipped device such as your iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, even your laptop computer. Plus, two B115Ws can provide true stereo performance via their Stereo Link function, making them the first active loudspeakers in this class to offer this capability.
BEHRINGER drew from their considerable experience to build the B115W performance-grade loudspeaker and made it lighter (38 lbs/17.2 kg) and more powerful. We started with custom-engineered Class-D power amps for the ultimate in low-distortion power and efficiency. Backed by SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply) technology, the high-tech alternative to heavy transformers and massive heat sinks, your B115W loudspeaker can run cool all day and all night without even breaking a sweat!
The B115W’s integrated 2-channel mixer features the same ultra low-noise, high-headroom mic preamps that have made BEHRINGER mixers legendary, and the individual Mic/Line inputs accept virtually level signal you’re likely to run across. Variable Input gain controls (with Clip LED) will have you dialing in the perfect level every time.
With its 1,000 ultra-clean Watts of digital output delivered through separately-powered drivers, courtesy of true bi-amping (2 amplifiers per speaker system), the B115W provides high-resolution sound that brings out the best in your music. While some of our competitors apply simple passive crossovers, which inaccurately separates the frequency spectrum and degrade driver performance, BEHRINGER has gone the extra mile – driving each woofer and tweeter with a separate amplifier for absolute signal integrity.
Powerful, high-efficiency Class-D amplifiers and Switch Mode Power Supply technology coupled with state-of-the-art DSP functionality sure sounds impressive – but what about the part of the system you hear? The LF (Low Frequency) and HF (High Frequency) transducers are designed specifically for each application – it’s what sets us apart from the competition. When you buy a BEHRINGER active loudspeaker, you can rest assured the transducers inside have been engineered to perform flawlessly in conjunction with every other element for truly professional results. The B115W cranks out massive quantities of low end, with articulate, detailed mids and crystal-clear highs.
Best Passive Speakers of 2019
Now that we have shared with you our top picks for active speakers, let’s talk about the best passive speakers of 2019.
The Mackie DRM212-P is a 1600W 12" powered loudspeaker designed for medium-sized theaters to large music venues as well as DJs, clubs, houses of worship, and rental systems. A professional-grade 12” woofer and 1.4" compression driver are housed in the texture-coated 15mm plywood cabinet, and when combined with more than one, they offer a frequency range of 50 Hz to 20 kHz (-10 dB) with a peak SPL of 128 dB. The rear panel includes parallel SpeakON inputs. The versatile enclosure is angled for use as a high-performance floor monitor, while the dual-angled pole-mount provides optimal coverage and minimal reflections in most venues. The Mackie DRM212-P is flyable via the eight integrated M10 fly points.
The two-way full range TCS122/96 is a switchable passive/bi-amp 12" 2,400 Watt loudspeaker system that is ideally suited for a wide range of speech and music sound reinforcement applications. The TCS122/96 is designed to work in conjunction with TURBOSOUND loudspeaker management systems, providing optimal FOH performance, as well as offering considerable flexibility to adapt to varying venue requirements readily.
The TCS122/96 loudspeaker features a glass fiber loaded 12"low-frequency driver with inside/outside wound coil with low mass voice coil for improved transient response, and a titanium dome 1.4" neodymium motor compression driver mounted on a 90° horizontal by 60° vertical Dendritic waveguide. All drivers are matched with an internal passive crossover network in a reflex-loaded enclosure, and bi-amp mode can be enabled using a rear panel switch. The back panel connector plate carries Neutrik speakON* NL4 and barrier strip connectors for input and link connections to additional enclosures.
TURBOSOUND’s proprietary HF Dendritic waveguide features multiple hornlets (love me some hornlets!) with identical path lengths, which are designed to provide a flat constant-phase wavefront with a 90° horizontal by 60° vertical dispersion pattern. When the waveguide is rotated 90° from the standard position, a 60° horizontal by 90° vertical dispersion is achieved, making the TCS122/96 ideal for an even broader range of applications.
Finished in a highly durable semi-matt black paint, the cabinet is constructed from 15 mm (5⁄8") birch plywood – and includes a rugged powder-coated perforated steel mesh grille backed with reticulated foam. Internal M10 threaded rigging points are provided for suspension in any orientation, or mounting with dedicated brackets – available separately. A dedicated range of fly plates and coupler kits are also available individually for constructing tightly packed custom full-range and subwoofer enclosure arrays for aesthetically pleasing and venue specific coverage requirements.
Don’t forget to check our DJ subwoofer speakers that would make a great addition to your DJ set up!
One thing to keep in mind when trying to decide if you want active or passive speakers the passive speakers require additional equipment, like the Pioneer XDJRX2. This all-in-one DJ controller features a large, 7-inch dual waveform touchscreen display and a club-standard layout that will be immediately familiar to professional DJs all over the world. The XDJ-RX2 can be used as a standalone, professional 2-channel DJ mixer, allowing you to sync with CDJs and analog turntables for added flexibility and creativity.
The built-in mixer boasts enhanced performance features and sports an improved, illuminated track selection knob that is conveniently located at the top of the mixer next to the display screen. With its intuitive interface, you can easily search, select and load your tracks without having to lift your fingers off the knob or push additional buttons.
It is every DJ’s dream to give the audiences the best entertainment with their sound systems. However, to ensures that dream is a reality, there is a need to have advanced speakers which is why we have shared our top picks with you. Above, are just some of the best DJ speakers on our website.