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PA Speakers

PA speakers: get en excellent value for your money on HiFi-Tower

Achieving consistent, high-quality live sound can be a challenge and the choice of which PA speakers to buy goes through different evaluations. The starting point is undoubtedly the use you will have to make of them, depending on whether you are a music professional or a simple enthusiast. In the second case, in fact, your choice can fall on a type of small speakers, perhaps less powerful and easily transportable, while DJs or vocalists generally need speakers amplified by the highest wattage, with a larger woofer size and in some cases supplemented by a subwoofer.

On HiFi Tower, you can find a wide range of PA szstems for sale, with different features, sizes and power output. Ideal for all situations where you need a robust sound and a reliable P system, the speakers in our gallery are characterised by their excellent build quality, high-level performance, and a modern and pleasant design. Read on to find out what the main aspects to consider before buying your PA speakers, to make the right investment and always enjoy a warm, clean and powerful sound for your live, party and leisure time.

What to consider when choosing your PA speakers?

Starting point: think about the places where you would go to use the PA speakers, for example, if your musical situation usually takes place in small spaces and you need a practical object to carry, you could direct your research to a portable PA system with integrated accessories and autonomous power supply. For those who move around a lot, play alone or in small formations, portable amplified speakers can solve many problems related to transport without the addition of devices such as mixers and cables.

Clearly, these PA speakers do not offer high wattages, but they do their good "dirty" job! If you want to make people move and jump, you should consider a more effective solution, choosing the right balance between wattage power - at least 200W and the size of the woofer - 12 or ideally 15 inches - as loud outdoor music requires extensive use of watts. You may also consider to couple your PA speakers with a dedicated subwoofer, to get more kick on the bass frequencies and make the dancefloor shake.

When you are on stage, in the recording studio or elsewhere, active PA speakers have the advantage of being completely autonomous instruments. Their operation does not require additional supports, and they are open to different customisations. They have an internal power amplifier, so they do not need to be connected to other devices and have a special integrated potentiometer that regulates the power of the amplification. Unlike passive loudspeakers, the advantage of amplified loudspeakers is that they do not need to calculate the impedance value, just connect them to a source, like a mixer, for example, and you are done.

To choose the right PA It is then necessary to take into account the type of power supply, electric or battery operated. Finally, depending on your needs, you can opt for floor-standing or shelf-standing loudspeakers, or you can opt for a mobile model with wheels. Then you have to take into account the type of power supply, electrical or battery. Finally, depending on your needs, you can opt for floor-standing loudspeakers to be placed on a stand or a mobile model with wheels.

Active and passive PA speakers: pros and cons

If you are not familiar with active PA speakers, the most important thing to know is that the amplifier and crossover are built into the same cabinet as the speakers. The benefit of this is that all you would need is the speaker and a sound source, either a mixer, hi-fi system or even your instrument in certain circumstances. Active speakers simplify your PA system and are faster and easier to set up, but they are not always the best choice for designing complex systems for permanent installation in large auditoriums or halls.

Passive monitors and PA speakers require separate power amplifiers and sometimes crossovers. For most bands performing concerts, or small to medium-sized venues, passive speaker systems may not be the simplest choice for a sound system. But for larger and more complex systems, it can be a great benefit to have separate system components. Because of the extreme amount of power required for large systems, keeping the amplifiers separate prevents the speakers from being overheated by the amplifiers, and long-term system maintenance is much easier when you don't have to climb on the rafters to adjust your amplifier settings.

Type of PA speaker Pros Cons
Active PA speakers
  • practical: you just have to take two speakers with you
  • they are a turn-key solution: you don’t need deep knowledge of audio concepts such as power, impedance, crossovers, etc
  • they are easy to connect
  • you don’t need to buy a separate power amplifier
  • no separate mixer needed
  • if the power amp or the driver fail, the speaker doesn’t work
  • limited possibility to adjust the sound and set specific parameters for the amplifier and preamplifier
  • heavier overall weight than a passive PA speaker
Passive PA speakers
  • the total weight of the audio system is distributed between the amnplifier and the speaker
  • you can customise your sound choosing a specific amplifier
  • they are not a stand-alone solution: to use them you’ll need a separate amplifier and a mixer
  • at least basic audio knowledge is needed, to set up the system, connect the different elements and match amplifier and speakers correctly
  • risk of power dissipation, as the length of the cables connecting the amplifier and the speaker increases

PA speakers bi-amplification explained

As you can see, choosing between active and passive PA speakers has more to do with how you are using the PA system, than whether one type is superior to the other. Big bands and small venue owners may prefer the simplicity and reliable sound quality of active systems. In contrast, touring professionals and large venues may prefer the versatility and modular nature of a passive PA speaker.

Bi-amplification is the process of dividing an audio signal into two frequency ranges, which are then sent to two independent amplifiers which, in turn, lead to separate PA speakers. An active crossover network sends low frequencies to the larger driver and high frequencies to the smaller driver. Bi-amping also allows the amplifier(s) to be chosen or designed specifically to match your speakers and cabinets. Bi-amping, tri-amping, and beyond have been used in sound reinforcement systems for years and have become quite common in active monitors.

What’s the function of the crossover in PA speakers?

A crossover is a device that splits an audio signal into separate frequency ranges, that are ultimately routed to different controllers (speakers, tweeters, horns, etc.) in an audio system. For example, a 2-way crossover may comprise a low-pass filter that sends a signal with low frequencies to a woofer and a high-pass filter to send appropriate frequencies to the tweeter. Crossovers can have passive or active designs. You don't have to know everything about crossovers to set up a decent system, but knowing where the crossover points are in the sound spectrum can help you set up a better mix, achieving the optimal balance between the different frequencies and obtain a more balanced sound.

An all-in-one PA speaker solution

If you are a solo artist, you are probably researching PA speakers and equipment without much enthusiasm. You need to sound great every time you perform, and you don't want to invest more time, energy and money in your system than you do in your music. On HiFi-Tower you can find all-in-one solutions that integrate active speakers, signal processing and even effects into a simple, compact design. For singer/composer types, coffee concerts and small acoustic ensembles, these PA systems can save you money, time and space.

Do you need an extra subwoofer for your PA speakers?

Hey, it's the 21st century! Nowadays, some PA speaker systems can automatically recognise what you are connecting to them and optimise their sound accordingly. Some can identify whether they have been arranged vertically on speaker stands or even horizontally on stage as floor monitors, and will automatically optimise their sound for that orientation. Other intelligent built-in features can include automatic feedback suppression, network capability and remote control. How you plan to use your system regularly determines which of these advanced features, if any, will ultimately benefit you.

Do you need an extra subwoofer for your PA speakers?

Subwoofers are a particular kind of speaker which, due to its size and construction, is optimised for the reproduction of lower bass frequencies. What is not commonly recognised is that adding a subwoofer does not necessarily make your system any louder. In fact, they allow you to run your system at a lower volume level overall while maintaining your full range hit and impact.

Subs usually focus on the 20Hz to 100Hz spectrum, which is difficult to reproduce properly with standard PA speakers. If a speaker were built into a full-range speaker, the performance of the mid and high-frequency drivers would be compromised due to the intense vibrations of the powerful bass frequencies. In other words, larger PA speakers can reproduce respectively low frequencies, but for truly full-range sound, a dedicated subwoofer is the best choice.

Subwoofers are not just for dance music and heavy bass material. They can also play an important role in filling the sonic spectrum for any performance. Subwoofers also allow your main speakers to sound better, giving them valuable space to reproduce their dynamic performance better. As with full-range PA speakers, subwoofers can be either active or passive.

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