Best Powered Speakers for Live Band: Buying Guide

Editor’s Choice

  • These speakers come in 12-inch and 15-inch sizes
  • Includes VARI V4000 Series powered speakers
  • Includes VARI V2318S powered subwoofer

Best Overall

  • Includes one pair of powered speakers
  • Includes one mixer
  • Includes speaker cables and tripod stands

Budget-Friendly

  • Ergonomically designed handles support an easy, non-fatiguing grip for streamlined handling
  • A pole/tripod mounts support a wide, flexible array of configurations
  • Offers a glow-in-the-dark back-panel ink to ensure a fast, accurate setup even in low light

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best Powered Speakers for Live Band is, then I’d recommend the Yamaha MG10XUF Mixer and QSC Powered Speakers PA Package as the best one.

Believe it or not, one of the things that will leave an impression on your audience is how well your speakers perform. Listening to a live band performance through an underperforming speaker system is unpleasant. But don’t worry because there’s a solution to this problem. 

Powered speakers are the best choice for live performers out there. Learn more about how powered speakers can help enhance your performance without the hassle of bringing extra, heavy equipment.

Here are the Best Powered Speakers for Live Band we will be reviewing:

What are the Best Powered Speakers for Live Band?

What are Powered Speakers?

Powered speakers work the same as passive speakers. The only difference is that the power amplifier is inside the loudspeaker enclosure. This particular speaker is used to amplify portable digital music devices. Powered speakers are often present in home theatres, bars, and live performances.

Active (Powered) vs Passive (Unpowered)

Active speakers have built-in amplifiers into their speaker cabinets, so you only need to connect them to a power source to be used right away. You can also find some active speakers that are battery-powered, and easy to transport and use on the go. This type of speaker also has fewer gears and wires to worry about, but it is more expensive and heavier than a passive speaker.

On the other hand, passive speakers need an external power amplifier or mixers. Because of this, the speaker and amplifier should always be compatible. Despite this detail, passive speakers are lighter and are more flexible in upscaling your setup. Passive speakers can be controlled from a single central point instead of active speakers.

Types of Powered Speakers for Live Band

Personal

Personal-powered speakers consist of mini speaker arrays that serve as main speakers and monitors. This type of powered speaker can’t pick up too much bass, thus limiting its use. Personal-powered speakers are more for certain audio production levels without intense scrutiny.

Medium-sized

A medium-sized powered speaker consists of two mounted speakers on either side of the stage. They handle mid-range sound production but can deliver the same level of sound performance as full-scale powered speakers.

Full-scale

Full-scale powered speakers have multiple speaker line arrays and advanced monitoring systems. These components allow the speakers to create as much audio frequency range as possible. Inexpensive multimedia loudspeakers are examples of a full-scale powered speaker.

How to Set Up Powered Speakers for Live Band?

The first thing that needs to be done is to determine the room layout. It is essential to know where to place the speakers. The goal of understanding your speaker placement is to minimize microphone feedback once the event starts. To ensure the best sound quality and coverage, place the speakers on either side of the stage. Also, always set the mic behind the speakers rather than in front to prevent microphone feedback. As for the cable placement, run the cables along the wall to avoid creating tripping hazards.

The next step is to check if you have enough working power to cover all your equipment. It is best to do this step a few hours before the event so that if a problem does occur, you’ll have ample time to look for an alternative.

For the third step, start connecting all the equipment. Check if the speakers are running smoothly and if there is no feedback. At this stage, you can adjust your speaker/amplifier output level to the appropriate level for the audience. Once everything is ready, your whole setup is good to go!

Purpose of Using Powered Speakers for Live Band

Using the best-powered speakers for a live band can make a massive difference from a simple performance to an amazing one. Not all speakers share the same specs and features. Not all instruments on stage like guitars, bass, and keyboards have their amplifiers. Powered speakers are important, for vocal microphones and drums, especially for bigger venues. Powered speakers can extend the range of the acoustic drum sound to complement the levels of every other instrument. It can cut through the mix and balance each instrument and not become overpowered.

Compared to bookshelf speakers, they may not perform with the same sound quality during live performances. With powered speakers, you can now play live shows with your band with enhanced audio quality and a more balanced sound. Having powered speakers allows you to balance the mix that guarantees a clean live performance that can get any band or performer more followers and fans. Using powered speakers is best because they are specifically designed for live performances.

Benefits of Using Powered Speakers for Live Band

Faster and more accessible to set-up

Because powered speakers are technically an all-in-one product, setting up for your performance is faster. There are even packages that include equipment such as mics and mixers. It has a built-in amplifier, so you take up less space and have fewer cables to organize on stage. They also offer more versatility as you can mount them on poles or use them on their side as stage monitor wedges.

It does not require using extra amplifiers before use

Powered speakers already have a built-in amplifier, which takes care of most of your problems. They are also made to have an assortment of ports to connect your equipment to the speaker easily.

It would not burn mixers

A powered speaker already has a built-in amplifier, so it lessens the possibility of an impedance mismatch. An impedance mismatch is when your speaker has a higher or lower range than your amplifier. This mismatch can also cause other components such as the mixer to overheat and damage many uses.

Guarantee better and right sound

DJs and bands use powered speakers because of the better sound quality every time. You can find a speaker that achieves high power and output levels perfect for live performances with enough research.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Powered Speakers for Live Band

Power Rating

The neatest thing about powered speakers is that they already have a built-in amplifier. You won’t have to worry about looking for an amplifier that matches your speaker’s power rating. All you need to do is plug the speaker in and play.

Portability

Portable powered speakers are best for performers that travel from one venue to another. Portable speakers are lightweight; thus, they are easy to carry. They also have fewer gears and cables to worry about, so setting up is a breeze. But, if you want to rent out your venue for live performances, there are also fixed-powered speakers for this purpose.

Reliability

Powered speakers for live bands are reliable because they are more compact and thus are faster to set up than most speaker systems. Because of the inbuilt processing, you won’t have to worry about the compatibility of your speaker with your amplifiers and mixers. Also, powered speakers are more manageable to carry if you need to bring them.

But it’s the inbuilt processing that is also the cause why powered speakers overheat quicker than others. Because all the speaker’s components are inside the same box, it heats up faster. To prevent this, be sure to never overwork your speakers by playing sound so loud that it becomes distorted. It is also wise to place them away from direct sunlight and a ventilation fan. Lastly, do not stack your audio components together as this will cause heat transfer and can overheat your equipment faster.

Technical Specs and Extra Features

It isn’t enough to read reviews of the best powered speakers for live bands; you have to know what you need as well. Specifications such as output power, frequency response, and range are essential. These specifications help in determining which powered speaker is best for you. Also, look into what extra feature will benefit your performances. Bluetooth connectivity, pivot controls, and remote controls are some of the features you need to consider. Although these do not improve sound quality, they make for a convenient and easy user experience.

Budget

Powered speakers do not come cheap, but you cannot deny sacrificing the quality for a more affordable price tag. Buying powered speakers for your live band can be considered an investment mainly since some include other equipment such as subwoofers. But if the speaker itself is the only thing you need, some speakers on the market will fit your budget.

Yamaha MG10XUF Mixer and QSC Powered Speakers PA Package

The Yamaha MG10XUF Mixer and QSC Powered Speakers PA Package has everything you’ll ever need for a live performance and more! Power, portability, and convenience are the top priority of this all-in-one PA system. Gain control over your audio settings and effects through the MG10XUF mixer. The MG10XUF mixer is connected to your computer, perfect for live events and performances.

But the main star of the show is the QSC K.2 powered speakers. This powered speaker has you covered if you want a speaker with connection tuning and loudspeaker management! The K.2 series pumps out 1,012 watts of continuous power, peaking at 2,000W, to give you improved performance every single time. This powered speaker expects an excellent sound with tight, deep lows, accurate mids, and clean highs. All that power and you can choose from three different model sizes to suit your preference.

Pros:

  • Includes one pair of powered speakers
  • Includes one mixer
  • Includes speaker cables and tripod stands
  • Includes wired microphone and cable
  • Includes tripod boom mic stand

Cons:

  • There are complaints of a very noticeable humming noise when using the instrument setting on input B

Harbinger VARI V4000 Series Powered Speakers Package

If you’re looking for full-range speakers, the Harbinger VARI V4000 series has you covered! You have the option of either 12-inch or 15-inch powered speakers, depending on your preference. This series combines 2,500W of Class-D amplification. So expect exceptional volume, headroom, and audio quality from this powered speaker.

Choose between the powered onboard DSP or the iOS app to easily tune and customize your system from anywhere in the venue. Even without a mixer, up to five inputs can be connected to the powered speaker. Connect more than one pair of V4000s, as many as you need, to one master unit and easily control volumes and tones for all speakers.

Pros:

  • These speakers come in 12-inch and 15-inch sizes
  • Includes VARI V4000 Series powered speakers
  • Includes VARI V2318S powered subwoofer
  • Includes speaker stands and cables
  • Includes a standard pole mount

Cons:

  • There are issues with the sound quality once it hits a certain number of cycles per second (HZ)
  • It doesn’t have a digital DSP screen

JBL PRX818XLFW 18″ Self-Powered Speakers

The JBL PRX818XLFW has all the brand’s latest design and production advances. Besides the class-leading power, this powered speaker is remarkably lightweight, and perfect for transport. Another convenient trait is that your speakers can be connected through the PRX Connect mobile app for iOS and Android. EQ, speaker delay, mute, gain, and so much more can be commanded over the mobile app. Through the PRX Connect mobile app, you have simultaneous control over all your speakers from anywhere in the venue.

You also get a subwoofer that features reduced magnet mass and increased power handling. This ultra-reliable and lightweight system ensure clear, pristine audio at extraordinarily high volumes.

Pros:

  • Full range speaker configuration
  • It offers complete wireless control
  • Includes 2 combo TRS XLR input/output
  • Includes an 18 mm plywood cabinet material enclosure
  • Features the PRX Connect mobile app for easy configuration and set-up

Cons:

  • Some features of the mobile app are not efficient for professional use

JBL SRX828SP Dual 18″ Powered Subwoofer System

The SRX828SP line of the SRX800 series is the dual 18-inch powered subwoofer that packs a punch and does not disappoint. This powered subwoofer is ideal for heavy-duty sound reinforcement applications – complete control over iOS and Android apps for effortless wireless control. User-configurable DSP, an LCD screen, and a handy glow-in-the-dark rear panel are some of the best features you can expect from the SRX828SP. Every component in this powered speaker is designed for a powerful audio output that is reliable and easy to use.

The JBL SRX828SP has the highest power rating of 2000W. This series has a low signal-to-noise ratio for absolute sound clarity. Massive sound pressure levels and low distortion also contribute to clear sound. ‘Earth shaking’ doesn’t even begin to comprehend how incredibly strong and sturdy the JBL SRX828SP is.

Pros:

  • Ergonomically designed handles support an easy, non-fatiguing grip for streamlined handling
  • A pole/tripod mounts support a wide, flexible array of configurations
  • Offers a glow-in-the-dark back-panel ink to ensure a fast, accurate setup even in low light
  • Offers 3″ voice coils with lower mass ferrite magnets for reduced weight
  • Includes outstandingly low 103dB signal-to-noise ratio

Cons:

  • Some features of the powered speaker only work through the mobile app

JBL Professional PRX825W 15″ Two Way Powered Speakers

The JBL PRX825W is designed to amplify your main systems applications. It delivers incredible volume through its two-way, bass-reflex design. This speaker model is lightweight and compact, very convenient for travel. Like all JBL speakers, the PRX825W also has a free PRX Connect mobile app for wireless control. It is assumed that a very high level of performance can be delivered over a wide bandwidth. Also, the amplifier input panel can connect to any sound source without even using a mixer.

An 18 mm, robust and light-weight plywood with tongue and groove joints protects the whole, powered speaker. The PRX825W is lined with JBL’s DuraFlex finish for extra protection and a sleek finish. Perform in style without sacrificing sound quality with the JBL Professional PRX825W.

Pros:

  • Complete wireless control using the free PRX Connect mobile app
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for wireless control of your system from anywhere in the venue
  • Universal power supply for worldwide compatibility
  • Compact design and very portable
  • Flexible to use

Cons:

  • Navigating through the mobile app takes some getting used to

Conclusion

There is no doubt that powered speakers are reliable and convenient to use. Besides delivering crisp and clear sound over a wide range without distortion, powered speakers are also easy to carry for travel. This is why we recommend the Yamaha MG10XUF Mixer and QSC Powered Speakers PA Package as the best-powered speaker for a live band.

Check out the Yamaha PA package if you’re new and looking for an all-in-one speaker package. This package has its latest mixer and speaker, giving your audience the best live performance every time. You don’t even need to look for a microphone because this package also has that covered! Easily control your audio settings and effects through the mixer. Expect excellent sound with tight, deep lows with accurate mids and clean highs with the powered speaker. Lastly, you can choose from different model sizes to suit your preference.

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.


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