Best DJ Speakers: Our Top List for July 2017
Table of Contents
- 1 Best DJ Speakers: Our Top List for July 2017
- 2 Best Speakers for DJ: Top 8 Reviews for Active & Passive Speakers
- 2.1 QSC K10 10″ 1000W Powered DJ Speaker
- 2.2 Yamaha DBR10 10″ 700W DJ Speaker
- 2.3 Electro-Voice ZLX-12P 12″ Active PA DJ Speaker
- 2.4 JBL LSR305 DJ Speaker
- 2.5 QSC K12.2 Powered DJ Speaker
- 2.6 Yamaha HS5 DJ Speaker
- 2.7 Pioneer S-DJ80X Active Reference Speaker
- 2.8 Bose F1 Model 812 Flexible Array Powered Speaker 1000W
- 2.9 Pyle Dual 10-Inch 2-Way Powered Active Speaker PA System
- 2.10 Rockville RAM15BT 15″ Active/Powered Professional DJ Speaker
- 2.11 Rockville RPG12 12″ Powered Active 800 Watt 2-Way DJ Speaker
- 3 What to look for in the best DJ speaker
- 4 DJ Speaker Terminologies
- 5 DJ Speaker Categories
- 6 Wrapping It Up
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The table below is our hand-picked list of the best DJ speakers for 2017. Do note that since we're constantly updating our top-something list (right now we're updating once a month) the rankings may change or some models may be added or removed altogether.
QSC K10 10″ 1000W
Yamaha DBR10 10″ 700W
Electro-Voice ZLX-12P 12″
Bose F1 Model 812
Best Speakers for DJ: Top 8 Reviews for Active & Passive Speakers
Below are short reviews on our top picks. A couple aren't really DJ speakers, but they're often used as house party or small-gig DJ speakers so I decided to include them too. Read the reviews below to learn more.
QSC K10 10″ 1000W Powered DJ Speaker
Assuming you can get two of these babies – getting one is actually alright, but the more the merrier – you’ll be having a blast not needing to do much upgrading on the pair.
Okay, maybe you do. But it’s only one Ksub subwoofer away to completing your sound needs. This gem right here offers two of the things every DJ is after for: power and portability.
If you’ve tested a lot of these things, you can get tell this one apart from the others right away. It reproduces crisper and clearer sounds compared to the rest - the best DJ speakers in my humble opinion.
Its 1000 watts capability is simply impressive, it gives you the edge of getting a more than what you’ve paid for. In terms of volume that is.
Another notable feature of K10 is that it limits circuitry. It saves you from the terrible thinks due to human mistakes – like pushing them beyond their limits.
Honestly, I think it’s a well-though feature. Smartly designed, making it look sleek and professional. Also, it feels great and durable.
QSC has created a speaker which is ready to take on a challenge. It’s ideal for travelling, it doesn’t weigh much. It only weighs 32 pounds of nothing but optimal sounds. For an easy time carrying it, it gives you a nifty handle on its sides and top.
- Easy to Carry
- Wide Coverage Angle
- No Unintentional Unplugging
- Speaker’s sides gets easily scuffed
Yamaha DBR10 10″ 700W DJ Speaker
This might be the smallest of the DBR variety, but it packs a heavy punch. This ideal for a DJ which takes on gigs with limited room. It offers a perfect combination of power and price for a medium sized venue.
When it comes to portability though, this is one of the best. Even when it’s being compared to K10. It’s really light – 23.2 pounds kind of light. Also, Yamaha adding a neatly placed handle gives it another star for transportation.
Checking out its range in frequency, it comes in at 55Hz-20kHz (-10dB). For this one in particular, depending on what sounds you’re planning to produce, a subwoofer might be a good idea.
Despite its build is mostly made out of plastic, you can’t shake off its solid and durable vibe. Another feature to take note is its inputs and outputs located at the rear panel, which makes it one of the best DJ speakers available.
In addition, it comes with some other EQ adjustment aside from its one stereo RCA input. It gives you a variety of options.
- Clean and Tight Bass
- Inputs and Outputs panels
- Doesn’t work well with larger venues
Electro-Voice ZLX-12P 12″ Active PA DJ Speaker
This comes with it’s a titanium driver, it carries the role of delivering clear highs. It’s better than what you expect it would sound like.
If you really want to get the party going, you can simply crank up the volume. This CAN get really loud, if you want it to be. There’s not much of a difference to QSC K12 when it comes to volume.
Remember: This unit is HALF of the price, and it still gives an impact. Let’s look at its inputs, this comes with 2 XLR/TRS jacks. It may not be as light as the other two, but no one’s complaining.
Considering the price you paid it for, it’s more than enough. But it isn’t considered as heavy as well. It’s only 34.4 pounds and it comes with convenient carry handles.
The sound that it produces is clear and rich. However, we especially like its mid-range sounds. It’s pretty detailed, much to our liking...and really deserving to be in our top-list.
- Good range, bass
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Doesn’t work well with larger venues
- More seasoned DJ's might feel too limited with these.
JBL LSR305 DJ Speaker
NOTE: It's actually a monitor, but often used for small gigs and house parties, so we included it here because why the heck not.
JBL's new LSR3 series brings technology from the company's premium monitor range within reach of the home studio.
While the monitor market is now more crowded than ever, especially in the sub-500 region, anything new from JBL targeting that sector is always worth a closer look.
Especially when it 'leverages' technology from their high-end studio counterparts.
Both LSR3-series models reviewed here are based on the same underlying technology, the main difference being that the LRS 305 has a five-inch woofer and the LRS 308 an eight-inch woofer.
Another novel design feature is the specially shaped 'Slipstream' bass port, which is designed to reduce port wind noise while extending the low-end performance by virtue of tuning the cabinet. This port features a specially shaped taper with a rounded exit that is located on the rear of the cabinet.
The sides of the cabinets, which have radiused corners, are made from a plastic-foil-covered board (presumably MDF or similar), while the waveguide flare is moulded into the profile of the curved, rigid plastic baffle.
- Greater depth and ambience in recordings
- Subtle details can be heard even in a dense mix
- Broad Sweet Spot -3-Series speakers
- Efficient Class D amplifiers
- Reports of faulty power supply
- Inconsistencies in durability
QSC K12.2 Powered DJ Speaker
It's popular with bands, DJs and audio engineers for use both as an FOH speaker and a foldback wedge or stage monitor - many people even report using it satisfactorily as a studio monitor.
It's important to note that these are more expensive than many other options available (you can get some for close to half the price), which makes the high ratings it has received even more impressive than they would ordinarily be.
It provides a total of 1000 watts via the Class D amplifiers and can peak at 2000 watts.
It has built in DSP (Digital Signal Processing) which performs a range of functions to keep the sound crisp and clear across a wide range of frequencies and volumes - one proprietary function is DEEP (Digital Extension and Excursion Processing) which allows it to produce low frequencies at volumes not usually associated with a speaker enclosure as small as this - some people even report they get a similar response to using a sub woofer.
- Loud volume power speaker
- Clear and crisp sound
- Solid construction and durability
- Power cable clips into place
- XLR cables sometimes fall out when using it in the foldback wedge position
- Some DJs reported they were reaching the power limit
Yamaha HS5 DJ Speaker
NOTE: It's actually a monitor, but often used for small gigs and house parties so we included it here because why the heck not.
Small monitors aren’t just for people who can’t afford large ones. Savvy engineers know that tiny near-fields provide an invaluable alternative reference to full-range monitors when mixing and the HS5 is particularly good, if not the best at it.
Problem is, most near-fields sound mediocre when placed where they ergonomically belong—on workstation or console shelves.
Yamaha’s new HS5 active monitor, on the other hand, sounds sensational in that setting.
Small Room? No problem! Measuring only 6.7" x 11.25" x 8.75" (WxHxD) and weighing only 11.7 pounds, the HS5 accommodates even the most cramped control room.
And its Room Control filters, which provide 2 or 4dB of low- shelving cut below 500 Hz when activated, compensate for speaker-boundary effects that would otherwise muddy low-frequency response when the monitor is placed near a wall.
A companion High Trim filter boosts or cuts the HS5’s response 2dB above 2kHz to make up for an overly damped (boost) or live (cut) room.
- Unsurpassed clarity
- Transient response in its price range.
- Performance doesn’t degrade
- Built-in filters and level control
- Small footprintExceptional value
- Very slightly understated sibilance
- XLR connector doesn’t latch
Pioneer S-DJ80X Active Reference Speaker
Let’s talk about our budget. And when we say budget-friendly yet still offers decent quality, we talk about Mackie.
The company has been in the business for quite some time, and almost all of their gears are quality-driven, budget-oriented speakers.
It comes with the big woofer, and while it offers more, the price remains the same. It still comes with the same price range as what you’d get for the smaller loudspeakers.
A feature to look at is its awesome low end punch. Not to mention this can be used as your all-around speaker as well. This is definitely a great bargain, knowing you’re getting more than what you should be.
You can give all the thanks to its 15” woofer, and it wouldn’t be complete without its 1.4” tweeter. This makes the speaker produce a really sweet bass. However, there are some downsides to this product.
Despite the offer, this isn’t for someone who wants more than just receiving a full sound 15” equipment.
Let’s not forget that it still gives you the experience of having a number of connectivity options, too. Its tone shaping isn’t half bad either.
But overall, it’s just the right size and weight, a decent mid-frequency making it a great speaker for beginners who want to try something new.
- Cost-effective and affordable
- Big woofer
- Connectivity options
- Quality materials, durable
- Too much bass (if there's such a thing)
Bose F1 Model 812 Flexible Array Powered Speaker 1000W
This one kind of blew me away. It’s different from what I usually see in a speaker. It doesn’t have what most models have (woofer and tweeter match up.) Bose’s pretty smart to give it some sort of “Line Array” type of configuration.
It comes with a neat F1. Of course, it goes with its 8 adjustable 2.25” steeply concerned with high and mid drivers. It also gives its feature of a single 12” woofer – the results are just great.
Looking at it, it’s quite impossible to achieve with just the conventional speaker configurations. It marks a high score when it comes to consistency. Both of the sound quality and exterior are amazing.
Even when you crank it up to louder volumes, all of the sounds are wonderfully clear. It offers you its maximum 132 dB. All you have to get your desired result is to pull the array physically.
You can do so by adjusting the coverage pattern. While the operations starts going, its built-in DSP gives you an automatic function and shifts the EQ.
It makes a really good speaker for an adaptable placement without having to change the quality of the sound. It’s an innovative creation by Bose.
- Flexible speaker
- Impeccable sound quality
- Heavy-duty, can withstand bad conditions
- Heavy and feels too bulky
Pyle Dual 10-Inch 2-Way Powered Active Speaker PA System
This is anyone who wants a dual loudspeaker sound package. Let’s take a look at how this is being presented by Pyle. Honestly, it’s geared for party and music.
Aesthetic wise, this has everything down. And you have to give credit to this unit’s feature. This gives you Bluetooth wireless streaming so you can enjoy sounds without any problems.
In order to place them properly in the venue, this has speaker stands to match it with. You’re also being offered with a wired microphone to entertain your guests and the party people when the occasion arises.
So that you won’t have to be confused with its wires, there’s an included remote control. This is a solid 10”subwoofer, and its watt is nothing to laugh at, it’s at 1000.
This gives you the best of both worlds. It means you’re given two high-powered systems. You have an active speaker and a passive speaker as well. To match it up, you’re given an additional stand.
It’s been rugged and reliable. You can easily insert your USB flash drive to choose your music as well as your SD card. It lets you see everything thru its digital LCD Display.
- Dual High-powered loudspeaker
- Rugged & durable sound
- Bluetooth wireless
- Heavy bass end (could be a good thing though)
Rockville RAM15BT 15″ Active/Powered Professional DJ Speaker
Looking for a speaker which delivers smooth Bluetooth capability? This is probably what you’re looking for. This is an amplified speaker which is geared for portability.
It comes in with a lot of inputs. This includes your SD Card, MMC, Mp3, and many more. This even went as far as giving you an LCD Display at its cheap price range.
If you want to some nifty add-ons, this comes in with a FM radio tuner so you can hear your favorite station anytime. You can immediately say that it’s a high class amplifier.
This has both AUX RCA In and Out. For your microphone, it gives you 1 Mic Input at the size of ¼”. Also, so you won’t be stuck with wires, it comes in with Wireless VHF Mic Capability.
In the package, you’re given two wireless VHF microphones for you convenience. To give you a boost of portability, it comes in with 12V-9AH Battery.
Impressively, it’s able to play non-stop for a good four to eight hours for every charge. The only factor which determines it is its volume.
- Bluetooth Capability
- You can plug in your guitar or keyboard
- 2 wireless microphones
- Can’t control volume with the remote
Rockville RPG12 12″ Powered Active 800 Watt 2-Way DJ Speaker
This is the outcome of months of research. It has been made by Rockville with the use of their skills and technology. Amazingly, you’re able to break the common standards and go higher.
As well as get a better bass out of it. These speakers have already went through a lot of tests. For instance, this has been taken into samples of other companies.
The results were amazing, its other competitors were only half as good as this one. You’re going to enjoy its feature of a 12” woofer. This has been partnered with a 2.5 inch aluminum coil.
It means you’re able to enjoy an exceptionally loud and deep sound. If that’s not enough, you’ll appreciate how Rockville made a 1.35 inch diaphragm compression driver to boot.
The wave comes in with a large format. It is at 40 degrees horizontal wave guide. This is what you want for a full-blown concert with awesome sounds.
- Ultra-low noise Mic
- High-quality components
- Ergonomically shaped handle
- Bass feels like it needs more power
What to look for in the best DJ speaker
There are several factors to consider when looking for the best DJ speakers for your needs. Let’s discuss the most important ones:
- Power Rating (Watts): The wattage rating on an active DJ speaker is the power of the internal amplifier. The general rule of thumb is the higher the Watts, the more power (i.e. louder) the speaker can put out.
- Woofer Cone Size: The size of the woofer cone is measured in inches, and determines how much low end (i.e. bass) the speaker can handle. Note: full explanation below
- Subwoofer: You should think about how important bass is in your DJ sets. You could get away with smaller ones (8” or 12” for example), and pair them up with a subwoofer.
- Portability: This is an obvious one, but that doesn’t make it any less important! As a mobile DJ, you’ll need to haul your gear to and from gigs. Read more about portability below.
- Durability - Features are amazing. But unfortunately, the more components you’re being given, the more it’s prone to be broken fast. Always check out its build quality. If possible, stay away from plastic (although there are some good ones) but be careful. The speaker’s materials are important.
- Budget: Often a musician’s most limiting factor (we've all been there), budget determines how many powered DJ speakers are realistic options for you. There’s bad news and good news - the bad news is that the best DJ speakers are not an inexpensive purchase. The good news is that as more people are becoming mobile DJs, brands have made entry level units that are pretty decent quality and power. That being said, finding the best DJ woofers for you is getting easier by the gig.
All About Cone Size
If you’ve ever owned a neat, compact loudspeakers which are 8”in size, you’ve already got a pretty good bargain for small time gigs or venues.
From what you can automatically observe, they produce great sound sources. Of course, this comes with the restriction that it isn’t bass heavy. It’s ideal for sounds which are either vocals or guitars.
If you’re just like me who’s your all-around singer songwriter *cough* *cough* then these would make the perfect partner for your career.
As you can see, these are able to come up as twice as a mobile PA system, and the results are just wonderful!
On the other hand, on the event that the heavier bass instruments takes into place. Like for example, bass guitars and bass drums, it’s time to upgrade your speaker size.
I personally find 10” to 12” a great place to start with when it comes to a small band setting. If you want to mix things up with your low end, you can always go for with 15” speakers.
Otherwise, think about purchasing a PA subwoofer to help you out. One or two should be more than enough.
More On Portability
It’s general knowledge that powered speakers (or active ones) are heavier than its passive counterpart. So yes, you can expect some additional bulk and weight. It’s mainly because of the built-in amplifier it carries.
Now, here’s the problem: How hard is it to find a powered speaker which still offers mobility? Well, let’s just say the search is going to be a long one.
As for me, since I’m creating this generation’s Green Day – or not – our venue often changes from one place to another.
Good thing is you can still cope with its weight. There are the little things which matters. For instance, its handle location is important. Depending on where it’s placed, the load can either get heavier or lighter.
If there’s anything you should ponder on, it’s the size and weight of the machine. You can easily get the weight off the hook, but it should be able to fit perfectly in your vehicle for transportation.
DJ Speaker Terminologies
The road to getting a set of awesome powered speakers is nothing more than knowing the basics. Once you’ve got everything down on how electrical power is connected to sound amplification, you’ll be able to pinpoint the key aspects on what makes a great speaker.
Basically, the electrical power has the role of getting what sound the amplifier makes to your chosen speaker. Watts is what we call the level of power usage, without it there would be no completion of transmissions.
They aren’t too different from one another, they both have limitations as to what they’re capable of. It’s being solely based on their power specification.
On how we rate things in the world of speakers and sound, these specifications are considered to an important factor on rating the speakers in order. Especially in their performance level.
Studio Monitor? Active Speaker? Powered Speaker?
By now, I think I've already established that the term 'active' and 'powered' are usually used interchangeably (although I've read somewhere that there are still slight differences between the two)
However,I believe that the terms 'monitor' and 'active/powered' are still one of the biggest misconceptions of DJ speakers. There are some special people around the globe who often confuse themselves with studio monitors and DJ speakers.
Let’s take KRK Rokit RP6 studio monitors as an example. Looks can be really deceiving, and you might think that these would go along with your setup.
Heck, turning up the volume, and pumping out some sounds seems like it’s something you should do. Well, you can’t blame yourself for thinking that way. Or anyone for that matter.
Because you’re being partnered up with a 50 watt speakers, right? I mean, that’s what you’d think. But it won’t win you any Grammys.
These studio monitors are often being indicated as nearfield monitors. Or as some would call it, “reference” monitors.
They aren’t meant to satisfy hundreds of people in your gigs. Particularly, this should be place on your studio desk. And ideally, the distance should only be a few feet away from where you are.
This is to make sure you could hear the music perfectly. I’m talking about you alone. You’re ensured of hearing the littlest detail to give you quality sounds for when you are producing or recording.
As what you can get from it, this is not made for parties. If you still insist in putting them to full volumes, it can actually damage your speakers. This is especially the cause if you pump it for long hours.
On the side note, getting yourself a proper set of DJ speakers save you the trouble of everything. It’s able to take care winder angles to make sure the room is pumping loud with music.
So, What’s This ‘Speaker Rating’?
Now that we’ve got the audio power covered, we need to learn how these bad boys are being rated. It lets you regulate the amount of what the AC power is. It’s reliant on the unit’s voice coil, it’s important to get this down before it gets damaged.
Currently, there are some manufacturers who does things differently. Not all companies follow a certain rule. In total, it comes down in 2 different ways.
One way is to base their ratings on the speaker’s continuity of power or how long is it able to maintain sounds. While the other processed being used it to base it off on its peak power.
RMS watts is what is used to measure a speaker’s continuous power. On what it stands for, it generally means root mean square – yes, we’re going to talk about numbers and a bit of math and physics. More of the nitty gritty here, if that's your thing.
It is what’s being used to distinguish the AC waveform deviations as it continues to change over time. The ratings that’s considered to be the foundation of RMS comes with accuracy. In fact, they’re more accurate than the usual or speaker ratings.
However, this isn’t what all of they go through. It’s only for a selected few which is considered to be elite models of powered speakers.
Learning About The Peak Power
It refers to what the speaker’s maximum energy is able to endure. It’s beyond what the continuous power can comprehend. This rating type mostly revolves on an exciting level of results.
IS THERE AN ACCEPTABLE LEVEL?
Well, I did explain things are going to get wild with this one. Naturally, it does have a standard level being implemented by manufacturers.
It gives you a certain grasp of harmonic distortion that’s still considered as “acceptable” this is assuming that a speaker is at its heightened limits. Interestingly enough, it has been an issue as to how the DJs react to the manufacturer’s standards. The reason behind their chaotic appearance is because of the capricious acceptance level being followed by the companies.
Because of the obvious lack of synchronization between popular manufacturers, it’s become a constant concern in the DJ world. The gap between two powered speakers are clearly diversified. In fact, even a newbie can even spot the difference.
The only problem is that they carry the same peak power ratings due to the different standards of companies.
I consider this to be a continuation under the sub heading of “Is Finding A Speaker Easy?” Heck, if anything this only make things harder for both parties.
Potential buyers or DJs are being forced to spend more time in product research. Online documentation of experiences by different people and the company’s description are only two of the many things one must go through.
With proper investigation, you’ll be able to FINALLY see what’s the REAL power rating as well as the REAL continuous power rating. Of course, that’s only if you’re willing to spend a couple of minutes researching.
DJ Speaker Categories
Whatever it is, the best DJ speakers can only fall under two categories. Generally, what’s being used is the power components of the units. Let’s discuss about it further.
Active speakers are, simply put, loudspeakers with a built-in amplifier. The active type is often used in music concerts and festivals. Of course, this also suitable for raves. Uhmm...this is also what we covered so far.
Powered Speaker = Active Speaker
Some high-end active speakers with a sound reinforcement system includes onboard sound mixing console and pre-amplifier that enables you to connect a mic directly to the unit.
If in any case, you decided to go for passive speakers instead, you have to pair it with an amplifier.
If you want to hit the road badly, passive speakers are just the thing for you. It offers variety of choice when it comes to setup. Correspondingly, this is waaay lighter than the previous speaker.
Also, it’s important to note that this can be situated at a certain distance away from an amplifier. When you own a number of passive speakers in your threshold, you can use it produce sound coming from a single amplifier.
It means customization and settings comes in with A LOT more rooms when it comes to passive speakers. You do have to purchase a separate amplifier to partner it up with your passive speaker.
But of course, there’s always a solution for every concern. You’re able to find a lot of tips for DJs and aspiring DJs on the internet. Finding the right gear to partner it up is quite easy…but it’s going to take time.
Passive Speakers and Amplifiers
It’s time to play the role of a matchmaker. You do what most of the matchmakers do when they’re asked to pair up something or someone – you start by checking out what their common ground is.
In this scenario, of course, it’s the manufacturer. Looking at both speaker and amplifier coming from the same company, it gives you a higher chance of matching up the perfect pair.
Also, once you’ve taken this into practice, it gives you the assurance that the ratings aren’t being jumbled up together like when two different companies usually are.
Generally, they’re being based off by the same criteria. The results are favorable, with similar standards, it produces an awesome sound production.
Wrapping It Up
There you have it! I hope this lengthy guide helped you find the best DJ speakers for you. If you have any question, you can check the FAQ section below or contact me here if you need anything else.