Ideally, there are many options for PA speakers someone may choose to buy. Before doing so, it is always an excellent idea to take into consideration some factors. With that, buyers will be sure to get value for their investment when the device turns out to perform the job correctly.
Below are some of the factors that buyers must put upfront before buying a speaker.
PA Speaker Uses
In a familiar context, various speakers used in PA systems have different purposes. They include:
- Main Speakers-These are the speakers that deliver most of the sound to the audience or listeners. Decide on the size and number of speakers according to the venue’s size and the amplifier output power. Depending on size and number, go for a 10 inch pa speakers or even a bigger one.
- Subwoofers-These speakers are designed specifically for low-frequency sound playback and are used together with the main speakers to boost the low-end sound range.
- Monitor speakers-These speakers are used by the performers to monitor the sound. Monitor speakers are positioned differently depending on their shapes, such as on the floor or a stand.
Speaker types, based on the amplification method
There are two main types of speakers, based on where the signal is amplified. The characteristics of each class are described below.
- Passive Speakers-Speakers that only feature basic speaker functionality can be called “passive” speakers. These speakers require a separate power amplifier to produce sound.
- Powered Speakers-Speakers that contain an internal power amplifier can also be called “active speakers”. Since these speakers include a built-in power amplifier, they can be directly connected to a mixer, which reduces the number of cables required. (Though of course, an electric power cable needs to be connected to each powered speaker).
Models such as the Yamaha DXR series or the DBR series allow microphones to be directly connected and provide essential mixer functions built into the speaker.
Size of the Venue
One spec that will define how someone buyers a PA speaker is the size of the venue. Simultaneously, this will affect the size of the PA speaker to buy. A small room, for example, will only require a 10″ pa speaker. While bigger rooms with intensive gigs will need 12″ inches or even 15″.
It is a measurement of how efficiently the speaker can convert power into volume. Speakers with high sensitivity need less energy than speakers with low sensitivity.
Speaker sensitivity is measured in dB SPL/Watt/meter, which can be read as to how loud the speakers will be 1 meter away when supplied with 1 watt of power.
Here are the typical loudspeaker sensitivity ratings, according to Crown:
95 dB for small PA speakers
100-105 dB for medium PA speakers
110 dB for large PA speakers
The next thing to check is the speaker’s power rating. A speaker’s power rating is a measurement of how much power or volume it can produce.
Finally, check the impedance. Impedance, measured in Ohms, tells how resistant the power amps and speakers are to electricity. The most important thing about impedance is that the speakers and the power amps have the same impedance rating.