Looking For The Best Powered Speakers For Live Band?
Here’s a look at our favorites, including our top pick the – Electro-Voice ZLX-12P.
#1 Best Powered Speakers For Live Band
Every gigging musician knows that getting high-quality live sound can be a challenge. The right equipment can make a huge impact on the quality of your performance, and nobody likes the pressure of struggling to solve sound-reinforcement problems when the show is on the line.
Getting a good powered PA system should be considered an investment, not a purchase. Quality equipment will cost a little more, but it’s much more durable and consistent, and it’ll give you clearer sound when you need to crank the volume.
What to look for in powered speakers for live band
Before you dive into the tech specs what a powered speaker system includes, take a moment to assess your needs. Smart buyers piece together a system based on their what kind of gigs they expect to play. As you’re considering your options, take a few moments to consider the following:
- Venue and audience size – how large is your average venue? Do you typically play in a wide-open multi-story auditorium or theater, or are we talking about more intimate settings like restaurants, coffee shops, and small theaters? Do you ever play outdoors, or is it mostly indoors? What size of an audience are we talking about? How far away will the audience stretch from the stage? You don’t need to get into the math of acoustics here, but it helps to generally understand how much sound you’ll need.
- Having enough power – the great thing about powered speakers is that you don’t need to worry about matching an amplifier to the speaker. In contrast, if you’re using passive speakers, you’ll need to be careful because having too much or too little power can damage your speakers.
- Using a subwoofer – generally speaking, using a sub-woofer will make your music sound much more rich and vibrant by maxing out the full range of sound. If you want that massive bass that you hear at concerts, you’ll need to add a professional-quality subwoofer. That said, there are certain situations where the difference is hard to detect and therefore not worth the extra investment. If you’ll be mostly performing in small venues, the benefits of adding a subwoofer may be negligible.
- Stage monitors – this is essential for live performers. If you don’t have any speakers aimed at you, it’s difficult to monitor how your set sounds to your audience and detect any potential problems.
The ZLX-12P is compact, lightweight, and engineered to provide power and performance significantly beyond other small format loudspeakers. It pulls this off with a 1000-watt amp, a 12-inch woofer, and a 1.5-inch high-frequency titanium compression driver.
The ZLX-12P has a patented split-baffle design for superior driver time alignment, with input level meters and independent amplifier control to ensure optimal gain structure. Its size makes it ideal for sound-reinforcement and stage monitoring in smaller venues, and high/low grip design makes it easy to mount on a pole. Pound for pound, this is the best composite box for live bands.
Alto Professional TS212W | 12″ 2-Way Powered Loudspeaker with Bluetooth Connectivity (1100W Peak / 550W Continuous)
The Alto Professional TS212W is another fantastic 12-inch professional-quality speaker. It boasts a 550-watt continuous, 1100-watt peak class D power amp, which makes it a great choice for larger venues and spaces.
It’s also incredibly easy to use with wireless Bluetooth connection, a built-in two-line mixer, and Contour EQ with Ground switches for full control over sound and noise. Gigging musicians will appreciate its lightweight design, which makes it easy to travel with and set up. For extra volume, consider purchasing a second TS212W that you can connect via Bluetooth for double the sound power.
If you’re looking for the best value for a single powered PA speaker, this is the one for you. The SPA-15 is a one-speaker, one chord solution that eliminates the need to lug around an entire system. It’s compact with a built-in 180-watt amp, so it’s ideally suited for small to medium-sized venues.
The SPA-15 has flexible inputs, reliable output, enough juice to crank the volume, simple music controls, and quality audio reproduction. With its light weight and take-me-anywhere size, it’s the ultimate solution for portable yet powerful amplification.
Pair Alphasonik All-in-one 15″ Powered 2500W PRO DJ Amplified Loud Speakers with Bluetooth USB SD Card AUX
The previous three options are geared for bands who just need a single powered speaker. If you’re looking for an all-in-one system out of the box, these next two sets are for you.
The Alphasonik system is engineered for professional-grade sound. It’s a little more expensive than the Rockville system (we’ll discuss that one next), but if your budget has some wiggle room, it’s worth the upgrade. As part of the set, you’ll get 1 passive speaker, 1 active speaker that provides power for both speakers, 2 tripod stands, a high-quality microphone, and an STC cable to connect both speakers.
You can connect to the system via Bluetooth, USB, Auxiliary, RCA, XLR, and FM radio inputs. As a bonus, the speakers include active LED strobe lights that flicker to the beat of your music, and an echo function for fun vocal effects.
The Alphasonik system is capable of high-power output without sacrificing sound quality. The speakers’ tweeters are specially engineered to widen and enhance the critical high frequencies necessary to cover the complete audio spectrum.
The woofer was designed with an efficient motor system and flexible cone suspension capable of moving enough air to create a loud bass without demanding as much power. And a precise Alpha Q bass and treble equalizer to ensure quality output. The result is a thrilling quality of sound that doesn’t deteriorate as the volume goes up like many cheaper systems do.
The RPG-122K is another fantastic all-in-one out of the box solution. The system comes with two 12-inch professional audio speakers (1000 watts), one of which is the master active speaker with a built-in amp and the other is a passive speaker powered by master speaker’s amp. You’ll also get two speaker stands, a microphone, and all of the necessary connection cables.
The system has Bluetooth integration, a USB input, SD card input, and preset digital graphic equalizer effects, with a wireless remote control. The woofers have a 30oz. magnet and high-power aluminum voice coils, and the tweeters boast 25mm Piezo crystal compression horns for crystal-clear loud highs. The ABS plastic polymer cabinet is time-aligned with the drivers, so the system is optimized to deliver massive bass, clear mids, and clean highs.
The active speaker unit features a Clip LED indicator to let you know if you’re beginning to distort, so you can always keep control of your music. It includes separate treble and bass controls to let you customize your sound stage, and there’s a built-in equalizer to help you tailor the sound to your style of music.
Once you’ve narrowed down what size speakers you need based on your gigs, the biggest determining factor will probably be your budget. All of the speakers in this article are excellent quality, but as the price goes up you’ll get more powerful amps, louder bass, clearer mids and highs, and some premium features like Bluetooth connectivity that makes it even easier to set up and play.