One of the best investments any serious DJ can make is in a good set of DJ speakers. Cranking up your music nice and loud is one of the main privileges that comes with being a DJ, but when you crank up your speakers, you want to make sure that what’s coming out of them sounds amazing.
Choosing the right pair of DJ speakers can be a challenge, however. There are many brands out there that claim to make the best speakers for DJs, but of course not all of these claims are true. In order to determine for yourself which speakers are best, you’ll want to take some time to educate yourself on the basics of pro audio sound systems. Here are a few things to be aware of when you’re searching for the best DJ speakers for your needs.
Studio Monitors vs. PA Speakers
When you start looking at high-end speakers, you’ll probably see a lot of studio monitor style speakers for sale. While you could certainly benefit from owning a pair of studio monitors (especially if you’re interested in the production side of EDM), these aren’t the types of speakers you’d want to bring to a DJ gig. Studio monitors are designed to give you extremely accurate playback information at low and moderate volumes, and while some will sound ok when they’re cranked up, playing music at loud volumes for long periods of time can actually be damaging to studio monitors.
The other types of speakers you’ll find in the pro audio section of your local (or online) music store will be PA speakers. As opposed to studio monitors, these speakers will excel when you use them to play loud music for big rooms of people, which makes them the perfect choice for DJs.
Passive vs. Active Speakers
PA speakers come in two categories: active and passive. The latter type tend to be less expensive, but that’s because you need to buy an amplifier in order to use them. If you already own a good amplifier, then a solid set of passive speakers can be an affordable choice. If you don’t have an amplifier and you’re looking for an affordable option, then active speakers will be the way to go. The drawback of active speakers is that in order to adjust the speaker volume, you need to turn a knob on the speakers themselves. This can sometimes be a hassle, but once you’ve adjusted the speaker volumes to suit the room you’re playing in, there should be no need to make further adjustments, assuming you’ve observed proper gain staging techniques.
What’s In a Name?
Once you start shopping for DJ speakers, you’ll notice that there are a lot of brand names to choose from. These brands can sometimes be a challenge to navigate, but if you have any experience with other pro audio and DJ equipment, you’ll start to recognize some brand names pretty quickly. There are some brands like Yamaha and Mackie that are known for producing a range of high-quality pro audio gear, while other brands like JBL specialize in speaker manufacturing. Some other quality brands to be aware of are Electro-Voice, Seismic Audio, and Behringer. These brands will all make PA speakers to suit a variety of price ranges, but as long as you’re sticking to brands that are known for quality and not looking for cheap knock-offs, you should have no problem finding a pair of quality DJ speakers.
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