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Buyer’s Guide to Powered Speakers

Whether researching The QSC K or KW, Turbosound iX or Milan series or Behringer powered speaker range, when purchasing powered speakers what are the major points to consider?

Firstly and foremost for what application are these speakers intended? Are they to be used for front-of-house or monitors? Obviously you will need a more powerful model if they are to be used as stand alone front-of-house speakers as opposed to being stage monitors. Some models have a better side on angle for use as stage monitors.

What is your budget? There is no point considering speakers that are around $3,000.00 each when your budget is a third of that for a pair!

Sound quality and SPL are more important than appearance and/or size. What onboard controls and/or processing do the speakers have? Weight can also be an issue. The QSC K and KW series for example feature speakers with neodymium magnets. Thus when you add the weight of their amplifier module to the lightweight speaker components the total cabinet is similar weight to comparative passive speakers. Are protective carry bags available? With these your speakers over time will remain in pristine condition.

Reliability should also be a major consideration. Obviously avoid models that you have heard break down often or that people are complaining about on online forums. Length of warranty period and ease of servicing down the track should also not be overlooked.

When going to a showroom to listen and test prospective powered speakers be sure to take along a CD that you are familiar with as a listening point of reference. Hiring speakers you are seriously considering for a night often proves very worthwhile.

You will pay more for the major brands but chances are they will have better resale value. Better still think ahead and future-proof your self. For example purchase speakers that will do an adequate job for front-of-house now but can later be used as stage monitors when you decide to upgrade.

If you are still confused give us a call at Cannon Sound And Light where we are only too happy to share our experience and help you make an informed choice!

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