Your Guide to Buying PA Speakers

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Your Guide to Buying PA Speakers

Whether for a small private event or a massive concert, a PA system allows everyone to enjoy the music or clearly hear the information being passed on. One of the most important components of a PA system is the PA speakers, which amplify sound and reproduce it throughout a space.

 

Active and Passive Speaker Units

Active speakers have an amplifier built-in, while passive speakers require an external amplifier. With the former, you need fewer pieces of equipment, and wiring to a PA system is less complicated. However, these speakers can be heavy, and if the built-in amplifier fails, the whole speaker becomes useless. On the other hand, passive speakers require more wiring and equipment, but they are lighter and can function independently of a malfunctioning external amplifier.

 

Subtypes of PA Speakers

Different kinds of speakers cater to different frequency ranges. This should be the guiding point for you when selecting the right set of PA speakers for your needs.

 

Type of Speaker

Description

Frequency reproduced

Full range speakers

Has woofers, tweeters, and occasionally midrange drivers in the same enclosure

60 Hz up to 20 kHZ

Midrange speakers

Reproduces midrange frequencies

200 Hz to 3 kHz

Woofer

Reproduces low frequencies

Below 500 Hz

Subwoofer

Reproduce very low frequencies

Usually 300 Hz down to 30 Hz

Tweeter

Reproduce high frequencies

At least higher than 1.5 kHz, can go above 6 kHz up to 30 kHz.

 

Speaker Power

The power of the speaker determines the loudness of the speaker. A basic guide would be to purchase speakers above below 200 watts for personal use, above 300 watts for small events, or above 500 watts for a large event or you want to produce a loud sound. Bands that play heavy bass should choose subwoofers with a power rating of 500 to 700 watts.

 

Amplifier Compatibility

For passive speakers, check compatibility with the amplifier before purchase. Speakers too powerful for the amplifier can cause malfunctions early on, and this can be disastrous when it happens halfway through an event, especially a concert.

 

Crossovers

Crossovers help distribute the different sound frequencies from a single source to different speakers, while ensuring that the speakers only play their specific range of frequencies. Active crossovers require power, while passive ones do not. Using crossovers with your PA speakers can help maximise sound quality and improve the listening experience of the crowd.

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