11 BEST VALUE ACTIVE PA MONITORS
Many people underestimate the importance of a good PA monitor, more often than not we end up with bad on-stage sound and although there are many factors that contribute to this, bad quality PA monitors seem to be a large contributing factor.
Yes, the best sound is expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great sound at a fraction of the price, you just need to know exactly what to look for- where to splurge and where to save – so that your sound equipment does complete justice to your cause. We’ve compiled a list of speakers who’s sound quality completely out-shined their price tags, whether you’re a venue operator or a musician looking to invest in quality gear, we hope this article helps you with your choice.
The Line 6 Stagesource L2T is versatile and durable, you can use it as a single solution PA for “coffee house” gigs and as a monitor for larger shows. Used with or without a Line 6 Helix, this can even double up as a guitar amp.
The compression driver technology Line 6 use in the Stagesource L2T ensures constant coverage, so the audience can enjoy the power and clarity your music deserves– no matter where they’re positioned.
It features on-board effects like a 3-band EQ with sweepable mid and Smart Mod and Smart Reverb effects on each input channel so you can achieve almost studio-quality sound on stage.
Staying true to attention to detail, Line 6 kept functionality and durability in mind when they designed the Stagesource’s cabinets – instead of plastic they use dual-plywood enclosures which minimise vibration to deliver precise, powerful sound production. Its tour-grade steel grille and protective screen ensure durability and its M10 suspension points offer easy instillation.
The Yamaha DBR12 is known for its reliability, it will provide an accurate, controlled performance as a speaker or a stage monitor, thanks to its D-Contour switch. Its on-board mixer means you are able to mix two feeds through it, perfect for an acoustic act looking to cut down on unnecessary gear.
Using the latest DSP, Yamaha applied their proprietary FIR-X tuning to optimize the sound and protection algorithms of the DBR12, providing you with plenty of punch, very tight bass and clear highs.
These clear, noiseless speakers are versatile and easy to carry, providing full frequency range with punchy bass. Often used as a speaker/monitor for acoustic acts, the RCF Art712 carries the depth of a booming kick drum and soprano high’s simultaneously and effortlessly thanks to its 12″ woofer and 12″ woofer and high-power 3″ voice coil.
Because it has such a range and reach, this speaker fairs well outdoors to, delivering crisp, even sound that travels.
The CVA-28’s three-way, dual 8-inch design allows the speaker to deliver superior power handling, tight bass, and rich mid-range reproduction, and the fact that it is easy to install makes this an option for applications in most events and any genre.
They’re loud too, their built in amplification means the loudspeaker supplies its own power, it pushes out 800 Watts at peak, but its integrated features are what got our attention – it has an EQ contour switch for high-SPL applications and a Sub/NoSub switch to avoid competing system frequencies.
We wouldn’t expect anything less from Cerwin Vega – these speakers are clear, powerful and precise.
Suitable for any occasion, the Turbosound Milan M12’s are one of our top picks for live music and outdoor events, this 12-inch, 1,100-watt speaker’s coverage is wide – expect tight, powerful lows, detailed mids and smooth highs.
The Turbosound Milan M12 has two inputs, making it a perfectly viable solution for “coffee shop” gigs while its music/speech mode also makes it a great option for public speaking.
Its cabinet is made from injection-moulded polypropylene, which means it is extremely light for its size, weighing in at about 20kg’s. Its ribbed texture provides the cabinet with extra strength without compromising on-sound and its trapezoidal design doesn’t just make it easy to handle, it also angles the Milan M12 up at you when you use it as a floor monitor.
Making use of JBL’s advanced waveguide technology and the latest developments in cabinet materials, acoustic science, and transducer design, the EON612 delivers a studio monitor-quality sound.
JBL have developed an iOS and Android-supported Bluetooth interface so you can control its on-board parameters via Bluetooth, so your sound can be controlled from almost anywhere.
The JBL Eon 612’s enclosure is optimised for ideal acoustic resonance and portability, making it ideal for almost any live application, its design actually ensures consistent frequency response throughout its coverage area, meaning it delivers even sound to your entire audience.
DB Technology’s Opera range is a phenomenally powerful and accurate series of active PA speakers. Known for their painstaking attention to detail, DB proves that the smallest upgrades can completely change the quality of sound produced – their asymmetrical horn, for example, is designed to make the monitor more effective for close, long and wide range coverage.
It has a low noise reflex port, reducing wind by up to 50%, ‘ultra efficient switched mode power supplies’ so it always performs at its best, even when plugged into poor quality power supplies and its housing is completely multi- functional, so these speakers can be used as satellites or monitors.
Overall, these speakers are a great option for indoor and outdoor use.
Ultra-lightweight and super portable, the Peavey PVX12 can handle up to 800 watts thanks to its 12” neodymium woofer and titanium compression driver.
Its low end is tight with no rattles and its tops seamlessly cut through the mix.
Perfectly suited for small shows, acoustic events, rehearsals, and bar gigs, these Peaveys feature rugged moulded polypropylene shells, scuff-resistant powder-coated steel grilles and built-in speaker stands, great for on-the-move musicians.
Another lightweight and road-ready speaker, the Alto TX12 was designed to the same performance standards as their award-winning TRUESONIC series. Built for smaller venues, its efficient bi-amped Class D amplification pumps out 600 Watts of crisp, responsive power, providing your audience with a clarity in sound un-matched by other speakers in its price point.
Its versatility is a definite “plus”. The Alto TX12 can be positioned upright or used as a wedge monitor, you can even a custom setup using the Link output to chain multiple cabinets together – creating the perfect system for your event.
A lightweight and powerful speaker, the Behringer Eurolive B112W delivers clean vocals and rich bass.
Because of its 2-way EQ, active crossover, dual protection limiters and transducer response, your audience will always experience high quality sound.
Its Bluetooth streaming feature lets you mix your sound from wherever you are in the room, so you’ll always be in control.
Perfectly suited for conferences and “coffee-house” gigs, this speaker can also be used as a PA monitor for larger shows, and the convenience of its solid housing and lightweight frame lets you pack up and go effortlessly.
Years of research, design and honing in on sound quality have lead to Wharfedale’s release of the Titan 12 D. Its titanium compression driver and heavy-duty cast-frame woofer deliver smooth, wide dispersion with high output and accuracy.
Its ultra-portable design and light-weight frame makes it suitable for a plethora of audio applications, from fixed venue instillations to mobile DJ systems, the Titan 12 D is one of the most versatile and easy-to-use speakers on the market today.
The Titan 12 D is equipped with Qubit – a powerful and precise 24-bit 192kHz DSP processor – which helps you fine tune your system sound to natural and open. It optimizes the loudspeaker to provide polished, digital crossover points, which allows the speaker to always produce a warm, natural sound, so your audience will always hear you at full capability.
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