Selecting the right 15-inch speaker can be difficult. These large speakers can offer you the flexibility to run them solo. But not all speakers in this category are worth you spending your hard-earned money on. In this guide, we check out the best 15-inch powered speakers currently available.
An excellent sound profile with plenty of power. A dependable speaker that is built to last and at a great price.
Amazing clarity and tonal delivery. Advanced DSP for easy tuning. Clean design and bonus AUX-in connection.
The Top Rated Speakers Reviewed In Full
15-inch powered speakers are usually the biggest size available for PA or DJ speakers. With a large woofer, they are often the first choice for performers at larger venues. Let’s check out the top speakers in this category.
Yamaha DBR15 Review
- Awesome Sound – Yamaha is no slouch when it comes to audio quality. The DBR range delivers excellent clarity and the 15-inch is the best of the lot.
- Fantastic Value – Balancing quality with the price is difficult. The DBR15 executes this perfectly. High quality at a reasonable price.
- Dependable – The solid cabinet and premium components equate to a durable and long-lasting speaker.
- Nimble – Ergonomic weight at just 42.6 lbs. (19.3 kg). Not overbearing to transport or setup.
- No Tuning – Limited options when it comes to tuning. Just D-Contour and HPF.
The Yamaha DBR15 is an impressive 15-inch powered speaker. Expertly crafted it delivers premium sound quality that is rich and full. Good low end, warm mids, and crisp highs. It sounds great straight out of the box and is easy to use. Plenty of connection options and dependable Yamaha quality.
The Yamaha DBR15 is one of the very best options when it comes to 15-inch powered speakers.
PA systems are a great alternative for DJs. Larger systems are especially good for mobile DJs that need serious output from a portable unit. Check out our guide on the best pa system for DJ to find out more.
PreSonus AIR15 Review
- Top-Notch Clarity – The AIR15 offers excellent clarity, especially in the mids and highs. Airy but not distant with defined and distinct tonality.
- Handy Presets – Onboard DSP gives you access to a range of convenient presets. These are well executed and perform as expected.
- Eye Catching – The inward curve gives the AIR15 a distinct and attractive profile. Professional with a hint of flair.
- AUX-In – Few speakers give you access to an AUX-In. A flexible addition for direct playback from media devices.
- Volume Output – At 124 dB the PreSonus AIR15 is a bit softer than other 15 inch speakers. If you need epic volume levels this speaker will disappoint.
The PreSonus AIR15 is a solid 15-inch powered speaker. Well constructed with a thoughtful list of included features. The price point is also reasonable considering the feature set. Bright and clear. It’s an excellent speaker for a range of applications.
With a range of intuitive and useful features, the PreSonus Air15 is among the best 15-inch powered speakers available.
Read our full PreSonus AIR15 review for more detailed information.
EV ZLX 15BT Review
- Excellent Sound Quality – Crisp delivery across all frequencies. Solid low end while maintaining clarity in the mids and highs.
- Clean Presets – Impressive and effective range of presets to adapt to a wide variety of applications.
- Durable – Good components throughout. If treated with the appropriate level of care you’ll get years out of this speaker.
- Pro Design – Clean aesthetic with an attractive grille. Minimal extra styling allows these to blend seamlessly into any setup.
- Streaming Limitation – Bluetooth 4.0 is restrictive. You can only stream to one speaker. You’ll need to run cables to stream to additional speakers.
The revamped ZLX range now offers Bluetooth. A feature that is becoming increasingly more prevalent in modern speakers. Sound quality is the real highlight here. Well defined with good projection. Very capable of handling a variety of gigs.
Reliable and reasonably priced the EV ZLX-15BT is an excellent 15-inch speaker.
Read our full EV ZLX 15BT review for more detailed information.
JBL SRX815P Review
- Fantastic Audio – Premium quality sound. Meaty low-end, defined mids, and delicate and clear highs. An excellent sounding speaker.
- Very Loud – at 137 dB there is plenty of headroom up your sleeve. Well suited to outdoor gigs where other speakers would struggle.
- Rugged – Solid and dependable build quality. The cabinet is hefty but that adds to stability and performance.
- Heavy – At 63 lbs. (28.6 kg) this is a heavy speaker. Not ideal if you transport your speakers regularly.
- Expensive – The SRX line from JBL is top of the range and with that comes a hefty price tag.
The JBL SRX815P is a high-performance 15-inch speaker that delivers on several fronts. This premium loudspeaker has all the features a professional would need. Loud, clear, dependable, and flexible. DSP is simple to use and the Ethercon connection opens up full flexibility for larger setups.
It is expensive but if you are looking for a pro-level speaker the SRX815P is a fantastic choice.
Mackie Thump 15A Review
- Satisfying Bass – Excellent low-end delivery that lives up to its name. Plenty of thump for a small to a medium-sized crowd without needing a subwoofer.
- Great Price Point – Aggressive price point places these in line with other entry-level speakers. Good value for money.
- Smart Appearance – Despite the cheap price the Thump15A retains a professional appearance.
- Agile Build – At just 34.8 lbs. (15.8 kg) this speaker is easy to transport. A great option if you are sick of lugging around heavy speakers.
- Over Emphasized – For some musicians the defined and pronounced low end will not be ideal. If you need a more neutral response there are better options out there.
The Thump 15A continues the series from Mackie that highlights a meaty low end. The sound quality is good but skewed towards a smiley face EQ curve. Lightweight and ergonomic design adds to the appeal for mobile DJs or artists that gig in different locations.
The Mackie Thump 15A is an attractive speaker at a fantastic price that is perfect for bass lovers.
QSC KW153 Review
- Superb Sound – QSC continues to produce speakers with excellent audio quality. Rich tonality across the full frequency range.
- Wood Cabinet – Dependable and rugged birch cabinet is a welcome change from the plastic enclosures other speakers offer.
- Deep Function – The Deep setting for the low-frequency driver does deliver on its name. Satisfying and meaty bass response.
- Flexible Connections – A full range of connection options are available. Great to see an RCA option which is quite rare for loudspeakers.
- Awkward Size – The 3 driver setup does result in an exceptionally tall speaker. May be an issue to transport depending on your vehicle.
The QSC KW153 offers an innovative approach to the classic loudspeaker. A total of 3 drivers handle low, mid, and high frequencies. This results in an expertly balanced output. Crisp and clear with plenty of volume up your sleeve. It is expensive and unusually shaped compared to competitors.
A premium-sounding speaker with intelligent and well-executed design philosophies.
Turbosound iQ15 Review
- Impressive Sound – The iQ15 delivers on the sound front. Crystal clear audio delivery even at higher volumes. Excellent balance across frequencies. Especially great with a sub.
- Excellent DSP – Full-range flexibility to adjust output to your desired preference. Good presets but also granular control.
- Easy Install – Plenty of mounting options for seamless integration into your existing sound setup.
- Solid Build – Good quality components and a solid cabinet. But it is a little prone to scratches.
- Low End – Despite a high power rating the bass response is a little lacking. But you can get more out of the low end by tweaking the output via the DSP.
The iQ15 is another excellent speaker from Turbosound. Rich tonality abounds with precise and clear audio delivery. Coverage is solid but the low end is a little disappointing. The stand out feature is the Klark Teknik DSP. Easy to use and packed with features to adjust output.
If epic bass is not a concern the iQ15 is one of the best 15-inch powered speakers currently available.
Peavey DM115 Review
- Sounds Great – The DM115 sounds great straight out of the box. Clean response with pleasing bass and no harsh tones in the top end.
- Broad Coverage – Exclusive Quadratic Throat Waveguide technology boosts coverage range. Well beyond what other speakers offer. Excellent as a solo speaker.
- Flexible Tuning – Good selection of presets to accommodate your gig type. Also allows for adjustment based on placement.
- Solid – Rugged injection-molded cabinet can handle the rigors of frequent gigging.
- Underpowered – For a 15-inch speaker it isn’t very loud. Will struggle in medium-sized venues. Clipping is also an issue when pushed to its max.
The Peavey DM115 is an excellent speaker for solo performers that don’t want to bring two speakers to a gig. The broad coverage and clean sound lend it to guitarists and vocalists. The low end is solid but does struggle at higher volumes.
An impressive speaker that offers a lot of features. A great choice for solo performers.
Alto TX315 Review
- Solid Output – At 119 dB these speakers are loud enough to handle small venues by themselves. Clarity is also good even at higher volumes.
- Good Value – An aggressive price point makes this an excellent beginner speaker. A bit light on features but still great value.
- Attractive – Clean design that retains a professional appearance. Flexible install options add to the appeal.
- Lacks Tuning – Doesn’t offer presets or any defined tuning options. You’ll want to run these through a mixing board.
- Sharp High End – Excellent clarity but a little harsh in the top end. Can be fatiguing for long sessions.
The Alto TX315 is a solid entry-level speaker that packs plenty of punch. The bass response is meaty and satisfying. Clarity is excellent but the balance is a little off. But at this price point, it is hard to be too critical. Build quality is also better than you would expect at this price level.
If you need a budget yet powerhouse speaker the Alto TX315 is worth considering.
Behringer Eurolive B115D Review
- Nice Sound Profile – The Eurolive B115D offers a good sound profile when used at low to medium volume levels. Clean and clear across all frequencies.
- Cheap Price – An affordable price point that allows you to establish your setup without breaking the bank.
- Lightweight – For a 15-inch powered speaker these come in at just 38.9 lbs. (17.5kg). Easy to transport and set up compared to other speakers.
- Not Very Loud – While offering excellent sound this speaker does struggle at higher volumes. Clipping is a frequent concern if you are pushing it to its limit.
- Average Build Quality – A cheaper price does result in lower grade materials. Capable but not as refined as more expensive speakers.
The Behringer Eurolive B115D is a budget-priced 15-inch powered speaker that performs well. Ideally suited for solo performers and smaller venues. Its lack of volume does hurt its potential and concerns over its durability are also an issue.
Cheap and with decent sound quality. The Behringer is an appealing budget choice for the right artist.
Behringer Eurolive B115D
Our Expert Buying Guide
Investing in a 15-inch powered speaker is a big decision. Here are a few things worth considering before handing over your hard-earned money.
Brands You Can Trust
I’m usually not a brand loyalist. I like to give every product a chance to prove itself on its own merits. Not on the merits of its marketing department. But when it comes to speakers some brands have continued to consistently produce excellent products.
Buying from a reputable brand comes with several benefits. These brands have a long and established history in the audio space. They’ll often back up their products with excellent warranties and after-sales support.
Like any electronic device, there is the potential for the occasional dud unit to come off the production line. Having a good warranty and solid customer support can ease anxiety. Speakers are not cheap so anything that makes you more comfortable is a big benefit.
A reliable speaker is critical if you are a working performer.
I recommend you stick to the trusted names for your first purchase or your next upgrade. I’m sure there are some good up-and-coming audio brands. But it’s hard to beat the peace of mind an established brand offers.
Getting Value For Money
Speakers can vary in price by quite a lot. When you consider how many speakers look similar it can be difficult to understand the differences in price points. The main difference tends to come down to component quality, technology, and features.
This is why you want to get maximum value for money. It can often be the case that spending a little bit more results in much better results. Both in sound and build quality. A speaker should be reasonably priced in comparison to the features it offers.
Look for speakers that offer flexible inputs, tuning options, and durable components. The last thing you want is to end up spending more because you have to replace your below-average speaker.
Are Bigger Speakers Better?
When it comes to speakers, size matters. The bigger the speaker the bigger the woofer. The bigger the woofer the more satisfying the low-end response will be.
But it does come down to your personal needs. If you play small intimate venues a 15-inch speaker may be overkill. Plus larger speakers will be heavier and dominate the space.
Another factor to consider is if you will be incorporating a subwoofer into your setup. If you are you can usually go for smaller tops.
A large woofer helps deliver better bass response.
Large 15-inch powered speakers are ideal if you don’t want to add a subwoofer to your setup yet. They often have enough low-end to fill a medium-sized venue with a satisfying sound.
When in doubt always go bigger.
Is It Bad To Play Speakers At Max Volume?
Yes. If you consistently push a speaker to its limits you can damage the components. If you hear distortion you’ll likely have the speaker up too loud.
Does More Watts Mean Better Sound?
Usually, the number of watts will determine the volume level of the speaker. It doesn’t impact the quality of the sound. An efficient speaker with lower wattage can produce better sound than a higher wattage speaker.
Which One Should You Buy?
There are plenty of outstanding contenders in the 15-inch powered speaker market. All the options in this list could be the ideal choice for you depending on your needs. But for excellent all-around performance, the Yamaha DBR15 does stand out. The exceptional sound coupled with the durable build quality is a true highlight.
Yamaha continues to deliver exceptional products and the DBR15 is another fine example. A capable and reliable speaker that will serve you for years to come.