Best Column Speakers: Rated and Reviewed

Editor’s Choice

  • Custom-designed high-frequency drivers with copper-capped pole pieces
  • Sophisticated crossover management and HF/LF coupling
  • Four high-efficiency, low-noise microphone preamps

Best Overall

  • Bluetooth audio input for streaming music from any Bluetooth device
  • Satellite speaker carrying bag included
  • Save and store scene presets

Budget-Friendly

  • The lightweight all-in-one design offers everything you need for your gig
  • Universal power supply (100-240 VAC) with Power Factor Correction technology
  • Adjustable height directs the sound at ear level for optimal coverage and clarity

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best column speakers, then I’d recommend the Peavey LN 1263 Column Array as the best one.

Many consumers desire the highest-quality audio system currently available. With the advancement of technology, there has been a growth in the number of audio product lines. This progress is in response to a substantial public demand. The only problem for integrators is deciding which audio system to use for specific purposes like church services and occasions. Column speakers are a kind of audio system that many find beneficial.

Here are the best Column Speakers we will be reviewing:

What are Column Speakers?

Column speakers have become popular in applications. There has been an increase in demanding more outstanding performance and coverage from an inconspicuous physical profile. 

Column speakers use different vertical drivers but in a single long cabinet to produce high-quality sound. They have a great deal of control over their patterns. Their high-quality and clear sound makes them ideal for places like churches. These areas come with large cavernous interiors and many reverberant surfaces. 

A column speaker is also an excellent option for commercial and industrial use.

How do Column Speakers Work?

Column speaker systems extend sound over vast distances. This ability makes them ideal for extensive areas and venues, like auditoriums that extend well beyond the stage. The vertical pattern transmission of sound can be better controlled as more speakers are connected to a single line. These connections prevent sound leakage. Column speakers are likewise made up of multiple drivers that significantly raise the sound pressure level of the speakers.

Where to Use Column Speakers?

Several factors influence the type of speakers that could be used in a particular venue, but one of the most important is always the available space. Depending on the size of the room or area to be used, you may only need a few high-quality column speakers. The volume and sound quality will be adequate for daily gigs and live performances. Extensive sound coverage can be reached if several pairs are placed around the venue. Column speakers are also perfect for larger areas, auditoriums, and halls. They have long-reaching audio column speakers produced.

Column speakers are perfect for public speaking. Outdoor waterproof column speakers are helpful in a variety of configurations. Using them is a great way to make announcements and spread information. These speakers can also be used for sound paging, broadcasting, and live-streaming. 

It is possible to build a natural ambiance and appearance with column speakers. Such is possible by the speakers’ high-quality sound. Column speakers are usually portable and helpful in small-scale stage productions.

Benefits of Using Column Speakers

Aesthetic appeal

Column speakers can be an excellent choice when appearance is a consideration. In a church setting, column speakers are desirable, especially in more churches, where the presence of a speaker may be bothersome for others. Its sleek design makes it an excellent choice for speakers that users expect to blend in with the environment.

Coverage

It is possible to achieve excellent pattern control with column speakers, mainly passive ones. Column speakers of the modern era can deliver a more comprehensive range of bass frequencies. These capabilities are due to advances in technology. 

Users can even customize the patterns of coverage to fit the dimensions of the listening environment. These are better suited for outdoor use. A remote computer controls the sound output of powered column speakers most of the time. If you’re using a powered speaker, you have the option of “steered targeting” and “shaped targeting.” 

Even in complex architectural setups, like balconies and multi-raked seating planes, speech comprehensibility can be improved with shaped aiming. 

Consistency in sound

Column speakers can generate excellent and effective sound levels and audio quality throughout an area. The sound quality remains consistent throughout a given space. Column speakers also do not need as many complicated enclosures for sound quality to improve. 

Cost-effective

With their robust sound quality and coverage, column speakers are a more affordable option.

What to Consider When Buying Column Speakers

Sound quality

Users should still consider the speaker’s ability to deliver consistent sound across a wide listening area when selecting a speaker. Listeners do not have to worry about sound quality deteriorating in large spaces with column speakers. For example, churchgoers always want to hear the music clearly and conveniently. For this reason, they will prefer and choose speakers that are not too loud in the front and still loud enough in the back. 

It is crucial to check if the horizontal and vertical coverage overlap. It is better to rely on a single speaker than multiple speakers if the speaker can provide maximum horizontal coverage.

Aesthetic

It may be essential to consider the size of the column speaker before making a purchase. Sleek column speakers are standard. They appear less invasive. Your speaker should be able to blend in with the environment. For example, a well-designed column speaker can be an excellent solution to avoid detracting from the romantic ambiance created by the wedding venue decorators.

Size and portability

Knowing if the column speaker is portable before buying it is essential. If a column speaker needs to be moved from one location to another, its portability will become an issue. Column speakers are extraordinarily lightweight and compact, making them convenient to transport and use. In addition, they are light enough to carry while on the go.

Budget

There are several drivers in a column speaker, but they are all contained within a single cabinet for protection. Thus, column speakers are significantly less expensive than vertical line arrays. In comparison to powered speakers, column speakers have only a few amplifier channels. As a result, the column speakers are considerably less expensive.

Peavey LN 1263 Column Array

The Peavey LN 1263 Column Array is compact, strong, lightweight, and minimalistic. In mono mode, the unit is entirely self-contained, and there are no visible cables. When speakers are all that’s needed to make a sound, a simple, uncluttered design like this is ideal. 

The LN 1263 weighs 10 pounds less than its competitors, making it a breeze to transport. Single-person transportation of the entire PA system is possible. The Peavey LN1263 offers the best value and performance for the money. This column loudspeaker has 1,200 watts of power and state-of-the-art drivers that sound fantastic. 

The LN1263’s six-channel mixer makes it ideal for setting up in a church or a coffeehouse. Because of the application-specific, EQ presets, the setup process is simple. The eight onboard effects and per-channel compressors guarantee professional sound quality. It is also easy to use Bluetooth audio streaming for other purposes, such as playing music between sets. The LN1263 is also rugged enough for real-world application.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth audio input for streaming music from any Bluetooth device
  • Satellite speaker carrying bag included
  • Save and store scene presets
  • Independent sub level control
  • Compressor per channel

Cons:

  • The sound may be overbearing
  • It isn’t easy to connect to an app

JBL PRX ONE Powered Column PA Speaker

JBL, James Bullough Lansing, is an award-winning audio hardware company. The JBL PRX One is a powerful sound system. It delivers a sound that elevates your performance and imagination to new heights. It has seven channels of digital mixing, giving full access to optimal control. 

JBL PRX One boasts superb audio and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has an optimized acoustic sound, filling any room with sound. Its speakers can produce an SPL of 130dB, making it the best in its class. It is easy to assemble. It also has audio effects, accessed through the Pro Connect app. 

The JBL PRX One allows users to utilize unrivaled power and efficiency in a slimmer and compact design. This product is one of JBL’s most versatile and powerful portable systems.

Pros:

  • Custom-designed high-frequency drivers with copper-capped pole pieces
  • Sophisticated crossover management and HF/LF coupling
  • Four high-efficiency, low-noise microphone preamps
  • Simple, intuitive full-color LCD screen
  • Rugged enclosures withstand the rigors of the road
  • Computer-modeled ComfortGrip handle simplifies transport
  • Included nylon carrying bag

Cons:

  • Weak battery power
  • No built-in effects included

Electro-Voice Evolve 50 Powered Column Speaker

The Evolve 50 is an ideal option for flexibility and interoperability at virtually any event. Thanks to its portability, durability, and simple advancement, the Evolve 50 is a highly effective audio system. This system’s size and high-quality materials will appeal to many users, including live musicians and DJs. 

A single top solid speaker can provide live audio in a small space connected to a single subwoofer. Stereo sound is possible with the addition of a second top speaker. The Evolve 50’s onboard processing engine makes setup a breeze. Its users can set up, control, and access six EVOLVE 50 systems simultaneously. The Evolve 50 is a compact system with a low-profile design and excellent sound quality. 

Pros:

  • Quickly and wirelessly configure, control, and monitor simultaneously
  • High-quality Bluetooth audio streaming for background music or musical accompaniment
  • Ultra-wide 120 Degree horizontal coverage via custom-designed waveguides
  • Quick Smart DSP provides best-in-class processing via EV’s signature single-knob
  • Lightweight and intuitive assembly via the magnet assisted sub pole

Cons:

  • Has three components
  • May appear bulky

Mackie SRM-Flex Portable Column PA System

The Mackie SRM-FLEX is a single-person-operated column array PA system for small to medium-sized areas. It looks sleek, elegant, and modern. Moving from one gig to another is a breeze thanks to its four sections, carry bag, and dust cover. Because of all these, it is easy to transport. You will be able to connect familiar sources for all kinds of events because of its microphone, instrument, and aux inputs. 

It only takes a few minutes to get your sound right using the built-in 6-channel digital mixer, which lets you adjust levels, EQ, reverb, and more with physical knobs through a mobile device. Even Bluetooth-enabled devices can be used to stream music or other backing tracks. It is ideal for solo artists, bands, corporate events, and educational institutions. It also includes a shoulder bag and dust cover.

Pros:

  • The lightweight all-in-one design offers everything you need for your gig
  • Universal power supply (100-240 VAC) with Power Factor Correction technology
  • Adjustable height directs the sound at ear level for optimal coverage and clarity
  • Complete Wireless Control with SRM Flex-Connect
  • Carry bag for array module and extenders

Cons:

  • Bass sound may be distorted
  • Knobs may be confusing
  • Bluetooth may have a slight delay

JBL CBT 1000 Column Line Array Speaker

The CBT 1000 is JBL’s take on the Constant Beamwidth Technology (CBT). The CBT 1000 is a sequence-controlled passive loudspeaker ideal for a wide range of performance environments. Due to its wide range of customizable coverage, just about any venue can be loaded with the CBT 1000. 

By giving you complete control over how the audio it produces is shaped, you can virtually “paint” any area’s unique shape with stunningly projected sound using the CBT 1000. The CBT 1000 is popular with acoustic projectors and design enthusiasts. CBT 1000’s acoustics are impeccable. Every room is unique, and sound designers are well aware of this. This uniqueness is also something CBT 1000 addresses with its sound clarity. 

The CBT 1000 has coverage settings that give you more control when facing challenging environments. A perfect mix of low and high-mix frequencies make up this versatile array. With this combination, any area is covered from front to back in the best possible way.

Pros:

  • Asymmetrical vertical coverage
  • Constant Beamwidth Technology provides constant directivity
  • Patent-pending Tapered Horizontal Waveguide
  • Reduces out of coverage lobing
  • Vertical pattern coverage is individually adjustable

Cons:

  • The sound may be unclear at a distance
  • It may sound boomy when near the speakers
  • May provide feedback near the speakers

In Conclusion

Plenty of factors are crucial when purchasing a sound system. Some products may not be a good fit for a specific project or venue because they were created with a particular application. Column speakers are the best choice for expansive environments and areas. Column speakers’ sound levels throughout the listening space are a significant advantage. It is easily adjustable and flexible, allowing for more consistent coverage in a larger area. 

These systems have outstanding directional character traits. They are also tested in the most challenging environments. Column speakers stand out as the most reliable and straightforward to operate. 

The Peavey LN 1263 Column Array is the best column speaker system for any environment. No one expects it to have such a powerful sound with its lightweight design. With places like churches or halls, the Peavy LN 1263 is the perfect choice for having crisp and clear audio. The best audio is available no matter the distance from the system itself. 

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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.