Best DJ Speakers – Buyer’s Guide (September 2020)

 

best dj speakers

The science, mechanics, and fine details of high quality sound production can be overwhelming, making it difficult to find the best DJ speakers for you. Whether you need DJ speakers for home or PA DJ speakers to wow a crowd, clear sound is essential for a professional experience.

 

Ideal DJ amps and speakers can produce a full range of frequencies with as little distortion as possible. With clean, realistic sound, you can fully immerse your audience in a thrilling musical experience. That’s why we’ve compiled the best DJ powered speakers on the market so you can find what’s best for you.

 

The majority of the speakers listed are active speakers. Active speakers are an all-in-one amplifier and speaker, which makes them user-friendly because they do the hard work of sound design for you. But if you want more creative independence, we’ve also found the best passive DJ speakers on the market for you. There’s a wide range of professional powered DJ speakers for various events, purposes, and abilities, so you’re guaranteed to find something that will give you the best sound experience.

 

Check out our list of the best DJ speakers below! Need a subwoofer too? No problem, check out our favorite subs here.

 

Name CategoryPrice
QSC K12Best OverallBest DJ Speakers
Yamaha DXR PoweredBest for DJBest DJ Speakers
Electro-Voice ELX200-15PMost PowerfulBest DJ Speakers
Mackie SRM650 15-inchMost Resilient DesignBest DJ Speakers
Bose F1 Model 812Most Defined Sound CapabilityBest DJ Speakers
Electro-Voice ZLX-12PMost Portable/LightweightBest DJ Speakers
Mackie Thump 12ABest BudgetBest DJ Speakers
Yamaha DXR8Best 8” SpeakerBest DJ Speakers
Behringer EUROLIVE B210DBest Stage MonitorBest DJ Speakers
Mackie Passive Speaker 600WBest Passive SpeakerBest DJ Speakers

 

1. QSC K12 (Best Overall)

 

QSC K12

The QSC K12 speaker is the best overall powered PA speaker because it combines power, clarity, and versatility. The hallmark of good DJ music systems is the ability to produce a full range of frequencies. Clear sound at all frequencies prevents noise distortion, especially among the deep bass sounds that round out an auditory experience. For this reason, the QSC K12 has high-powered drivers for professional sound production with little distortion. This speaker’s 2000 Watt amplifier and intrinsic correction tuning will deliver clear sound at any large event.

 

In addition, the QSC K12 is equipped with several mounting options: it can be wall-mounted, truss-mounted, flown, or set on a speaker pole. This speaker can serve as a floor monitor as well, making it one of the most versatile speaker options.

 

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Powerful
  • High-powered drivers
  • Floor monitor or PA
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Harder to transport

 

2. Yamaha DXR Powered (Best for DJ)

 

Yamaha DXR Powered The Yamaha DXR speaker delivers maximum sound quality in a compact design. This speaker successfully pushes the boundaries of size and sound quality because some small speakers can’t produce clear bass sounds. This 1100 Watt, 12 inch speaker contains a high-output woofer for full, professional sound production. To ensure a combination of power and clarity, the Yamaha DXR includes DSP (digital signal processing) to reduce noise and distortion.

 

Its compact design makes the Yamaha DXR more travel-friendly and adaptable for many gigs and venues. You can trust that this speaker doesn’t compromise in versatility and quality, which makes it one of the best 12 inch DJ speakers on the market.

 

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Compact
  • High-powered drivers
Cons
  • Less Wattage

 

3. Electro-Voice ELX200-15P (Most Powerful)

 

3. Electro-Voice ELX200-15P (Most Powerful)This Electro-Voice speaker is best for large events because it produces loud sound with precision and consistency. It’s energy-efficient design allows this 15 inch speaker to reach 132 dB at its peak, making it one of the most powerful speaker options. Plus, with DSP and synchronization options, the Electro-Voice speaker ensures powerful sound mixed with professional quality production.

 

The Electro-Voice speaker is unique because it offers more user-friendly control and creativity: you can synchronize up to six Electro-Voice speakers all via wireless bluetooth control. And, with signal synchronized transducers, you can trust that your sound production will be clear and consistent. They are designed to minimize distortion even with multiple speakers working together, which makes them perfect party speakers.

 

 

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Wireless control
  • Synchronization
  • DSP
Cons
  • Large and heavy

 

4. Mackie SRM650 15-inch (Most Resilient Design)

 

4. Mackie SRM650 15-inch (Most Resilient Design)The Mackie SRM650 speaker was designed with ultimate durability in mind. Built with an all-wood cabinet, this speaker can withstand a lot of travel so you don’t have to worry when you’re constantly on the move. The internally-braced cabinet also holds a DSP system designed for simplicity. Further, high definition audio processing provides a user-friendly way to produce professional sound with little effort–perfect for a DJ looking for easy travel and set up.

 

This speaker was made with simplicity in mind. The various speaker modes make it adaptable to the different demands of your environment. At 1600 Watts, you can trust the Mackie’s clean sound will bring energy to every event and still be ready to hit the road again. Even when you push it to the limits, this speaker will endure.

 

Pros
  • Durable
  • User-friendly
  • Fool-proof DSP and audio processing systems
Cons
  • Less options for personalization

 

5. Bose F1 Model 812 (Most Defined Sound Capability)

 

Bose F1 Model 812 (Most Defined Sound Capability)The Bose F1 speaker produces professional quality sound through its unique flexible array design. You can adjust the vertical sound coverage of the speaker by positioning it in different shapes: a “straight J,” “reverse J,” or “straight C.” Once you have your desired shape, the Bose F1 will automatically adjust the EQ (equalization) for ideal sound production. With this unique design, your PA system can accommodate your venue and wow your audience.

 

Further, the Bose F1 includes all your basic necessities. The 1000 Watt, 8-driver design–including a 12 inch woofer–guarantees powerful and clean sound. If you want a flexible design that adds a little more definition in its own unique way, the Bose F1 could be what you need.

 

 

Pros
  • Flexible baffle design for smooth room coverage
  • High definition sound
Cons
  • Offers subwoofer, but sold separately

 

6. Electro-Voice ZLX-12P (Most Portable/Lightweight)

 

 Electro-Voice ZLX-12P (Most Portable/Lightweight)Because clear sound often requires larger equipment, it can be hard to find a lightweight, portable speaker without compromising in quality performance. For that reason, we recommend the Electro-Voice ZLX: it offers all the necessities in a portable design.

 

The Electro-Voice ZLX contains a 12 inch woofer and 1.5 inch compression driver for a full frequency range like the other speakers. In addition, its split baffle design ensures sound alignment as the sound travels in differently sized venues. For further clarity, the Electro-Voice ZLX’s powerful DSP will minimize any distortion. This 34 lb. speaker is one of the lightest options and has two high and low handles for easy transportation. Plus, you can trust its durable design to last through wear and tear.

 

 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Combines professional sound with lightweight design
Cons
  • Lacks more advanced sound modes

 

7. Mackie Thump 12A (Best Budget)

 

7. Mackie Thump 12A (Best Budget)If you need cheap DJ speakers, the Mackie Thump 12A guarantees the best bang for your buck because it gives you professional sound with minimum effort. With energy-efficient, high-output drivers and a variety of speaker modes, the Mackie Thump is user-friendly and adaptable. It’s designed for quick and easy set up. In addition, its internal cooling system protects it from damage, so it’s built to last.

 

This speaker is lightweight, portable, and user-friendly. Moreover, it has all the necessities to deliver professional sound for any DJ on a tight budget. Their versatile, dual angle design also allows you to use them as both PA DJ speakers or stage monitors.

 

 

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Simple/user-friendly
Cons
  • Less custom features

 

8. Yamaha DXR8 (Best 8” Speaker)

 

8. Yamaha DXR8 (Best 8” Speaker)The Yamaha DXR8 is small and compact, but also powerful. This is an 8 inch speaker that includes a wide variety of settings, making it possible to defy the limits of its compact size. The typical problem with small speakers is that they struggle to create clean sounds at all frequencies, which is why the Yamaha DXR8 offers DSP control along with EQ and time alignment settings. All these work together to reduce distortion and create a full sound experience.

 

In addition, the compact design of the Yamaha DXR8 makes it more portable than some of the other options out there. It’s simple and lightweight, so it can follow you wherever you go. Plus, the internal protective functions of the Yamaha DXR8 adds to its durable and trustworthy design.

 

 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Various settings to minimize distortion
Cons
  • Smaller frequency range

 

9. Behringer EUROLIVE B210D (Best Stage Monitor)

 

Behringer EUROLIVE B210D (Best Stage Monitor)Stage monitors are essential for onstage sound design in mid- to large-sized venues. Unlike PA speakers, stage monitors face the performers, so you’ll need a stage monitor that delivers clear sound and mixes well with your PA system. Otherwise, you may run into a lot of distortion, interference, and misalignment.

 

For perfect sound quality, the Behringer EUROLIVE speaker offerse low-noise and heightened control. With only 220 Watts of power, its super energy-efficient design produces strong and clear sound with shockingly low distortion, even when you push the transducers to their limits. It includes all the internal EQ Ultra-Low Noise systems necessary for a clean, professional performance. The Behringer EUROLIVE speaker system will benefit any large performance with sounds that work together onstage in perfect alignment.

 

 

Pros
  • Smart EQ and noise design
  • Energy-efficient
Cons
  • Only necessary for large events

 

10. Mackie Passive Speaker 600W (Best Passive Speaker)

 

10. Mackie Passive Speaker 600W (Best Passive Speaker)If you’re looking for a passive speaker, we recommend the Mackie Passive Speaker 600W. Unlike our other active speaker recommendations, this passive speaker does not include an internal amplifier. You can think of an active speaker as an all-in-one sound system, whereas a passive speaker is one piece of a larger system. You might prefer a passive speaker if you already own an amplifier, or if you’re looking for something that allows more personalization in your sound design.

 

The Mackie Passive Speaker 600W produces precise mid- to high-range frequencies accompanied by a 12 inch LF transducer. This speaker also adapts well to different venues: it can be pole-mounted, connected to subwoofers as needed, and used as a floor monitor. This versatile passive speaker can serve you in almost any situation, especially with it’s lightweight and portable design.

 

 

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Requires amplifier
  • Requires experience

 

Best DJ Speakers – Buyer’s Guide

 

What To Look For In a DJ Speaker

 

Power Rating

 

A speaker’s power rating is measured in Watts and it indicates how much power the speaker can handle without causing damage. There can be two power ratings: RMS and peak. The RMS power rating is continuous: it tells you how much continuous power it can handle while in use. The peak power rating is instantaneous: it tells you how much power the speaker can handle in one instant. RMS is the most practical measurement to pay attention to.

 

In addition, it’s important to know that the speaker does not create power; it receives power. An amplifier and speaker are two different parts in a sound system, and the amplifier produces power for the speaker. Therefore, a speaker’s power rating tells you how much power it can receive from the amplifier, which is important to know if you buy a passive speaker and you want to match it to an amplifier.

 

Speaker Size

 

There is some debate surrounding speaker size and sound quality. In general, bigger is better. Not only can larger speakers handle more power, but they can better accommodate low frequencies. Small speakers can produce quality mid- to high-frequency sounds, but the bass will often be distorted and strained without a subwoofer. You can always connect a subwoofer to produce higher quality bass sounds, but large speakers have the space to produce a full range of frequencies for clean, realistic, immersive sound on their own.

 

Weight

 

Typically, high quality active speakers will be heavier because they’re an all-in-one system. Passive speakers will often be lighter than active speakers. So, although active speakers are ideal for simple set up and ease of use, it can also make travel difficult. So, it’s essential to find the highest quality speaker in the most practical size for your needs.

 

Durability

 

Durability is essential. Many speakers include internal bracing or portions made of titanium and steel. It could be helpful to seek out a speaker with these features if you intend to travel often.

 

Another important factor in durability is energy-efficiency. If your speaker is not energy-efficient, you run the risk of wearing out the amplifier or speaker. Take note of how much power you need from your speaker and buy accordingly so you don’t blow out any portion of your sound system. This way, it’ll last you a long time.

 

Why Quality Speakers Improve Your Craft

 

Have you ever watched TV at your grandma’s house only to discover she turned up the speakers too loud and blew out the speakers? The bass sounds are always distorted and the dialogue hardly carries far enough to hear. A bad sound system can sound like this too because if it can’t produce clear frequencies like it should.

 

You want a good sound system to produce clear, realistic sounds that immerse your audience into the experience you’re creating. A good sound system can accurately capture and reproduce all frequencies; it can produce the ground-shaking bass booms without distorting the whole sound experience into something unintelligible. We often take for granted the beauty of clear sound.

 

A good speaker that appropriately meets your needs will produce distinct sounds that work together, whereas a poor speaker will produce conflicting noise that floods a room instead of filling it.

Ways To Mount Speakers

 

Speakers can stand alone, but often speakers include mounting features. Most speakers can be pole-mounted a few feet off the ground to project over a crowd. You can also clamp them to a wall or to trussing depending on your venue. Lastly, if your venue allows it, speakers can be flown–meaning you hang them from cables over an audience.

 

 

Active vs. Passive Speakers

 

There are pros and cons to both active and passive speakers.

 

As mentioned above, an amplifier and a speaker serve two different functions in a speaker system: the amplifier gives power, then the speaker receives it and converts it into sound. Both are essential to a sound system.

 

Active Speakers

 

An active speaker is an all-in-one amplifier and speaker. Active speakers are user-friendly and often include internal adjustment systems, which removes the difficulties of sound design and set up.

 

Passive Speakers

 

A passive speaker requires an external amplifier, and it’s essential to match them appropriately according to their power ratings (otherwise you could damage your amplifier or speaker). A passive speaker allows more control and creative freedom than an active speaker. Plus, if your speaker breaks and your amplifier is ok, or vice versa, you can easily replace it without buying an entirely new sound system.

 

 

The Anatomy of a Speaker

 

A speaker’s job is to convert sound waves into an electrical current and then back again. A speaker holds all of its components within the speaker cabinet.

 

The main components within the speaker cabinet are the drivers (or transducers) which convert one type of energy into another–in this case, electricity to sound. Different drivers produce different frequencies, which we call woofers (low frequency drivers) and tweeters (high frequency drivers).

 

The drivers are moved by a magnet called the voice coil, and the vibrations of the drivers make sound as they create air waves. Then, the air waves exit the speaker out of the front cone.

 

 

Do I Need a Subwoofer?

 

A subwoofer is a low frequency transducer that you can connect to a speaker for more distinct and powerful bass sounds. All of the speakers listed above include woofers to fill out an arrangement, so using a subwoofer really depends on personal preference.

 

Because the size of a speaker can affect its frequency range, a larger speaker may be able to produce clear bass sounds without assistance from a subwoofer.

 

However, many DJs recommend using subwoofers because they relieve the rest of your sound system of making deep bass sounds, which preserves the longevity of your speakers. In addition, a DJ speaker system with a subwoofer can produce that chest-thumping feeling that we all love at concerts and clubs because it turns an awesome musical experience into an immersive physical one.

 

Lastly, subwoofers create a more realistic sound experience so you can hear and feel the audio as the artist intended. So, depending on the event, you may want to consider a subwoofer.

 

Conclusion

 

Navigating the complexities of sound design can be overwhelming, but there are a few things to keep in mind that make the process much simpler.

 

First, determine whether you need an active or passive speaker. This is a simple way to narrow your search. When deciding between an active and passive speaker, it’s best to consider your experience level and the equipment you already have.

 

Next, consider travel and venue sizes. If you travel to events often, you’ll need something that can adapt to different spaces and produce clear sound for your personal style. As for venues, you want speakers that cover the space well so every person in the audience experiences the fullness of your audio creativity.

 

Each speaker that we recommend offers professional power and clarity that will elevate your craft for an awesome impression everywhere you go. All you need to do is determine which speaker is the best fit for you.