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 Powered Speakers– Are They Right For Me?

Dave Yantz Tech Editor


First off, a powered speaker is a speaker enclosure with a crossover/amplifier built into the enclosure. All you need is wires from the mixer output to the powered speakers and your off and running.

A Balanced cable/cables is recommended,(from the mixer to the powered speaker) as you will be running a line level signal at distances of 25 feet or more. Balanced cable is used to reject noise from outside sources such as florescent lighting. Not all mixers have balanced outputs, so be sure to check yours before investing in powered speakers.

There are many manufactures that make powered speakers, both in full range and subwoofer arrangements. There is even a battery-powered speaker that I found on the Internet while researching this article. I thought it was interesting, so I will pass along the web address in case you're interested as well. Info on the battery-powered speaker is at http://www.trewaudio.com/battspk.htm

Power amplifiers in the speaker brands runs from a low of 35 watts to over 325 watts depending on the brand and type of powered speaker. (By Type I mean Subwoofer or Full range and the size of the speaker)

Advantages of Powered Speaker Systems
One advantage of having a pair of powered speakers is that there's NO need for a separate power amplifier to drive your system. They're already in the speaker box.

With a source for sound (CD Player, turntable, etc), Mixer and Powered Speakers you have a sound system. And is very simple to setup. With a simple system like this. it will fit in just about any car.

Placed on Tripods, Most pairs of powered speaker systems should cover 200 People indoor events with no trouble.

Adding a Powered Subwoofer to your full range system is easy, and without buying a separate power amp for the Subwoofer/s can be cost effective.

Disadvantages To Powered Speaker Systems
Price.  Powered Speakers cost a full 1/3 or more than similar non-powered speakers.

Carrying back up gear is not practical , in order to do so...;.you need a second set of powered speakers. In case of a speaker failure, or amplifier failure,  all your egg's are in one basket, so to speak.

An AC  Power cord must be run to each speaker cabinet.  As well as the line level cord from the mixer. (Unless you have the battery powered speakers mentioned above)

For large events  ...;. .multiple pairs of speakers would have to be used. And for large outdoor events there use is not practical. A Mixer with balanced outputs is recommended.

Are they right for you?
Only you can answer that question, but at least you have some facts to work with when making your decision. Buying any type of speaker system as always, use your ears to make the final decision. Take your own disc (one your use to listening to) and compare as many brands as you can before deciding on that pair of speakers. As DJ's we play music for our clients and guests. But we have to hear the sound system every event we play. Your speaker choice is a very important decision as far as your sound quality goes.

Have a tech topic you would like to see covered?

Drop me E-mail

djdave@m-m-t.com

JBL 

EON Power 10 & 15

Powered two-way sound system with bi-amped 10" (or 15") driver and high frequency driver/horn. The control panel consists of one low impedance XLR input for mic and line, an XLR output connector to allow daisy-chaining. This neat package weighs only 40 lbs. Power 10: (SJBL0025), Power 15: (SJBL0029A)  

Rated Power Output: (Bi-amped) 60 watt low frequency amp, 25 watt high frequency amp  
Frequency Response (-10dB): 60Hz to 16kHz  
SPL (Long-Term Continuous): 112dB @ 1 meter  
AC Power Requirements: 120V, 60Hz  
Dimensions: 19.4"H x 14"W x 12.1"D  
Weight: 27 lbs.

List Price Power 10: 
$653.00/each 

Mackie 

SRM450

  • 2-way biamplified, optimized active system- no external power amplifier needed

  • Built-in monolithic FR Series 300 & 150 watt amplifiers
  • Built-in precision 24dB/oct. Linkwitz-Riley electronic crossover
  • 300 mm long-throw low frequency transducer
  • High-output precision titanium compression driver
  • Studio-quality maximum dispersion horn design
  • High SPL Output/Extremely Low Distortion
  • Electronic Time correction, Phase alignment and Equalization
  • Servo feedback controlled woofer

List Price: 
$799.00/each 

HR824

The HR824 is internally powered by two FR series power amps exactly matched to its transducers and internal electronic crossover. Also incorporated in this system is an array of acoustic space, roll off and high frequency switches to tailor the HR824 to your needs. (SMAC0001) 

Power Output: Bass amp: 150 watts; Treble amp: 100 watts  
System Frequency Response: 39Hz to 22kHz +/-1.5dB  
Acoustic Output Power: 121dB SPL @ 1 meter  
Dimensions: 15-3/4"H x 10"W x 11-7/8"  
Weight: 32 lbs.

List Price: 
$749.00/each 
 

Peavey 

IMPULSE
200P

Premium powered, full-range, two-way system 
200/125 watts internal power amplifiers 
12" Kevlar® impregnated woofer for extended low frequency response 22XT™ Titanium compression with a 90 degree x 45 degree high frequency horn
Available in white or black  
Optional install bracket/mount (Versamount™70) 
Stand mount socket 
Weather-resistant polypropylene enclosures 
Trapezoidal design 
Rugged metal grilles 
Easy portability

Frequency Response 68 Hz to 18 kHz
Sensitivity (1W - 1m) 101 dB SPL
Power Handling 200 W / 125 W internal power amp for woofer and HF driver
Dispersion 90°H x 45°V 
Weight & Dimensions 60 lbs. 23.5625" H x 17.825" W (10" rear) x 13.75" D

List Price: 
$699.99/each 

 


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