Finding a quality speaker is an integral part of your gear. For working professionals, it’s critical to be able to deliver outstanding performances. The speaker market is competitive but not all speakers are up to the task.
With so much choice and a variety of price points, it can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily we have you covered in this guide to the best DJ speakers available.
An exceptional speaker that offers a unique flexible array. Impressive sound, great design and excellent build quality.
Another excellent speaker that delivers fantastic sound quality. Easy to use tuning options and rugged construction.
Best Powered Speakers For DJs
Now that we have covered what to look out for let’s dive into the reviews for the best powered DJ speakers. From premium but expensive speakers to more affordable options. You can also check out our individual DJ speaker reviews if you want more details. Let’s dive into the best speakers for DJing.
Bose F1 Review
Powerful And Innovative DJ Speakers
- Exclusive Flexible Array – Instead of a traditional DSP and LCD screen you alter the output by adjusting the speaker. The EQ automatically adjusts making it simple and easy to use.
- Rugged Build Quality – Bose uses premium materials. This speaker is well suited to handle the rigors of frequent use.
- Top-Notch Sound Quality – Excellent sound across all frequency ranges. The highs are crisp, mids are full and the low end packs a powerful punch.
- Designed For A Subwoofer – This speaker can fill a small to medium-sized venue with ease. If you do need more low end to cover a larger area it is easy to connect the Bose F1 powered subwoofer. This creates an attractive and powerful all-in-one system.
- Good Connection Options – Many options in the DJ speaker market don’t offer an RCA option. While I still recommend using TRS or XLR balanced connections it is nice to have an extra option. This makes these great speakers for a DJ controller that only has RCA output.
- Unique and Attractive – In a world of bland speakers the Bose F1 is a breath of fresh air. It offers clean horizontal lines with distinct edges. This is not a generic-looking speaker.
- Not Budget-Friendly – There is no denying that the Bose F1 is an expensive speaker. If you are on a tighter budget you’ll need to look at other options.
- Heavy – Coming in at 20.4kg (44.5lbs) it is the heaviest speaker on this list. It makes it more difficult to transport and setup.
Bose is no stranger to the speaker market. They have a long history of producing high-quality professional DJ speakers. They also produce a range of other audio gear like open back headphones and home stereo systems. The Bose F1 812 Model flexible array speaker continues this tradition. The exclusive flexible array system allows you to adjust the speaker to a variety of situations. It offers excellent sound quality and durable design, making it one of the best DJ speakers to buy. It is expensive but well worth the price.
Read our full Bose F1 review for more detailed information.
QSC K12.2 Review
Dependable and easy to use
- Easy to Use Tuning Features – You can choose from a range of presets including “Dance” for extra low-end thump. This makes it one of the best speakers for EDM. Other options allow you to tweak the speaker settings further. Save your favorite settings for easy setup at your regular gig locations.
- Excellent Build Quality – The K12.2 offers rugged construction for good durability. Steel grille plus cloth backing protects the speaker from dust and dirt.
- Fantastic Sound – Pleasant to listen to and very satisfying is the first thing that comes to mind. No ear fatigue due to the excellent balance across frequencies.
- Long Warranty – No surprise that they offer a 6-year warranty. This shows how much they believe in their products.
- Portable and Flexible – While not the lightest speaker it is ergonomically designed for easy transportation. It also offers a range of mounting options making them one of the best mobile DJ speakers.
- A Bit Expensive – This speaker does sit towards the higher price bracket. Excellent features and premium quality does come at a cost. But there are budget alternatives available if this speaker is beyond what you are willing to spend.
The 12-inch speaker market contains plenty of options. The K12.2 sits at the forefront of the best choices available. This new generation speaker offers a wide range of flexible tuning options. This makes it ideal for those that like to fine-tune the parameters of their speaker. It is worth considering if you don’t have an external mixing board.
Read our full QSC K12.2 review for more detailed information.
JBL EON 610 Review
Excellent Value For Money
- Sounds Great – Crisp and clear highs followed up with warm mids. Low-end is meaty and can handle a small venue. You’ll need a sub to handle bigger venues.
- Logical Tuning Options – The core tuning options are accessible on the speaker. This allows you to cover the main types of gigs you’ll encounter. Extra tuning options available via the JBL App for even more control.
- Good Value For Money – It isn’t the cheapest speaker on the market but it offers a lot for the price. It’s great to see JBL offering an affordable speaker with this many features.
- JBL Waveguide Technology – The EON 610 utilizes technology from their more expensive speakers. No dips in frequencies across a wide 110-degree coverage range.
- Lightweight – At 11.8kg (26lbs) it is an excellent option for people who do not want to strain when transporting their speaker from gig to gig.
- Limited and Frustrating Bluetooth – Bluetooth connectivity is a nice idea when it works. It’s tricky and fiddly to get the Bluetooth to connect. Also a word of warning you can’t stream music to the speaker.
Getting the balance right between features and quality is difficult. With the EON 610, JBL has found a great middle ground. It offers excellent sound in a 10-inch woofer package. It makes them a contender for the best DJ speakers for home use. A lightweight and portable option that can handle frequent use. The value offering alone makes it one of the best DJ speakers for the money.
Read our full JBL EON 610 review for more detailed information.
JBL EON 610
Yamaha DBR10 Review
Loud And Portable DJ Speakers
- A Well Respected Brand – Yamaha delivers another well built and quality speaker. Buying from a trusted brand adds a layer of reliability and aftermarket support, that other brands can’t offer.
- Solid Sound Quality – A nice spread across the frequencies. Not perfectly balanced but still clear enough to handle a wide variety of situations.
- Packs a Loud Punch – At 129db this speaker is loud. More than enough to handle a good range of venues.
- Very Portable – Extremely lightweight at 10.5kg (23.2lbs). Ideal for the solo performer that already has a bunch of other gear they need to take with them.
- Mids and Highs Overemphasised – The mids and highs take on a more prominent role. I don’t expect massive low-end from a 10-inch woofer but it could be better balanced.
- Lacks Tuning Options – A small selection of tuning options. This means you’re limited in your ability to adjust to different scenarios. I’d recommend buying an external mixer if you need to make adjustments regularly.
Yamaha is another established brand that offers quality speakers. The DBR series is the budget alternative to the more expensive DSR and DXR line of Yamaha speakers. While not as refined it is still an excellent speaker. The Yamaha DBR10 is a very loud speaker considering its got a 10-inch woofer that makes it an excellent choice for small to medium-sized venues. It also makes them one of the best home DJ speakers.
Read our full Yamaha DBR10 review for more detailed information.
Electro-Voice ZLX-12P Review
Most Versatile DJ Speakers
- Excellent Clarity – The mids and highs sound great. No muddiness in the mids and a clean top end. The clarity this speaker offers is excellent for vocal performances.
- Solid Build Quality – It is a durable and well-constructed speaker. Its obvious Electro-Voice has adapted the important features from their pro-touring range.
- Extensive Tuning Options – Onboard DSP with an LCD screen that isn’t made for ants! Plenty of flexibility to adjust the speaker to a variety of uses. Presets are available like “Live” and “Speech”. Extra options to adjust for speaker location is a bonus.
- Value For Money – So many excellent features in an affordable package. Few speakers at this price point offer as much as at ZLX-12P.
- Low-End is Disappointing – I expected a little more from a 12-inch woofer. It isn’t horrible but for lovers of deep bass and fat kicks, it will disappoint.
Electro-Voice is a rising star in the speaker space. The ZLX-12P is an affordable option that still offers a lot of flexibility. With an impressive set of features, it’s only held back by a disappointing low-end. But, if you need it for vocal performances it’s worth considering. It’s also worth noting that unlike the other speakers on this list this speaker is a passive speaker. This means you’ll need an external amp to run these.
Read our full Electro-Voice ZLX-12P review for more detailed information.
Mackie Thump 12A Review
Lightweight and Affordable Option
- Affordable Option – The main consideration with the Mackie Thump 12A is the price. If you need a cheap backup speaker this is a decent option. Acquiring everything you need to be able to perform can get expensive. It’s good to have a budget option available.
- Lightweight and Portable – Two handles on each side of the speaker makes it easy to pick up and transport. The addition of an extra handle on the top adds to the flexibility.
- Loud Enough to Handle Bigger Venues – At 126db it is plenty loud. It can handle small to medium-sized venues.
- Not Very Durable – Unfortunately the speaker does feel a little on the flimsy side. Considering the price I’m willing to give it a little more leeway.
- Balancing Issues – The low-end is satisfying. Where it struggles is the mids and highs. Mids are a bit muddled and the highs have an edge of tinniness. Passable but not amazing.
Mackie continues to offer budget-minded entry-level speakers. The Thump 12A is an example of a speaker that is within reach for those that are starting their musical career. These are DJ speakers with amps built-in but the build quality isn’t amazing. Despite this, it still is a great option for those with a tight budget.
Read our full Mackie Thump 12A review for more detailed information.
Mackie Thump 12A
How To Select The Right DJ Speaker Setup
There is a lot to consider when buying your DJ speaker system or DJ loudspeaker. In comparison, selecting the right studio monitors is easier due to the physical dimensions of your studio space. When it comes to speakers DJs need to factor in a range of variables that are often hard to predict. Let’s check out some of the main things you need to consider.
Brands You Can Trust
The speaker market offers a large range of options. It is easy to become overwhelmed by this selection. One of the easiest ways to determine your initial selections is to focus on top quality brands. There is a reason that you’ll come across these brands in both casual and professional environments. They have stood the test of time and proven themselves time and again.
The best DJ speaker brands like Yamaha and Bose evoke a feeling of comfort. They have developed and released high-quality products for decades. Many of us would have grown up with Hi-Fi systems in our homes emblazoned with these recognizable logos.
If all the technical specifications for speakers become overwhelming you should stick to a well-known brand. Even the best cheap DJ speakers may not be able to compete with the years of experience these brands have. Your reputation relies on delivering a quality performance. That’s not to say there are not other amazing new brands that have emerged over the last decade. It’s simply a case of sticking to a brand that has already proven itself.
Keep in mind there is a difference between cheap and budget. In the reviews below we have included the best budget DJ speakers. This gives you options depending on how much you want to spend on your setup.
Adapting To Different Gigs
The next consideration is what you’ll be using the speakers for. For example, if you only play birthday parties you can tailor your purchase to meet that need. Many powered DJ speakers offer a range of tuning and settings options. But, you may not need those features. There is no need to spend extra on features that you’ll never use.
But, you may be a performer who plays a variety of venues and gigs. One week you may be performing at a bar and the next week you’ll have to DJ at a wedding. This is where selecting a speaker with extensive tuning options becomes more important if not critical. You need to be able to adapt your sound setup to the various venues and situations you’ll encounter.
Understanding How You’ll Use The Speakers
It’s also worth considering what you need from your speakers. These types of speakers can serve a variety of purposes.
Understanding the size of the venues you’ll play at will help you choose the right speakers.
If you are a solo performer it will be the primary output. In this case, it is worth investing in the best speaker you can afford. You may only need one so it’s worth investing in something that sounds great. Keep in mind you don’t need big DJ speakers to deliver high-quality sound. Sometimes two small DJ speakers will also be enough for small gigs.
If you are a band you may be looking at these speakers from a different perspective. You may need several speakers. In this case, aim to find a good middle ground between features and price. As you get more gigs you invest in more premium gear. You don’t want to blow you budget on one lonely speaker.
These speakers are also used as stage monitors. Stage monitors face the performers so they can hear themselves when they play. It’s worth checking for angled edges with rubber feet. You want your speakers to sit securely on the stage. You can also look at more budget options since they will not be delivering sound to the crowd.
If you are a mobile DJ speakers are a critical piece of your gear. Selecting a set of high-quality portable DJ speakers will make transporting and setup much easier. This is also where it is important to get DJ speakers with stands. You’ll want to be able to set them at the correct height to deliver the best quality sound to the audience. Keep an eye out for DJ speaker packages. It’s a great way to get everything you need to get you up and running.
Taking into consideration how you intend on using the speakers can save you money and headaches down the line.
Delivering An Excellent Performance
Getting your musical career started is a process that requires dedication and work. As a performer, you’ll have spent countless hours practicing. The last thing you want is for your sound system to let you down.
This is where it is important to select durable speakers. You want high-quality components that can handle the rigors of weekly use.
It is also important to get the settings right. You don’t want your vocals to sound muddy or the bass to sound flat. Selecting a speaker with good tuning options can help you get the sound quality right for your gig. I also suggest you invest in an external mixer but that may not be in everyone’s budget. Good tuning options can help ease this issue.
Luckily you don’t need to worry about dedicated amps with active DJ speakers. All the options in this review are good DJ speakers with built-in amplifiers. Buying a DJ speaker with a built-in amp allows you to spend less on gear.
For a mobile DJ powered speakers are much easier to set up compared to passive speakers. These self-powered DJ speakers are also designed to reduce the risk of damage to the components. If you are unfamiliar with how sound systems work stick to the best active speakers for DJs and ignore passive speakers.
If you have a good quality sound setup and you’re a great performer the gigs will keep coming.
Getting The Volume Right
There is a tendency to always compare speakers based on how loud they are. While it is an important factor there are some nuances to be aware of.
If a speaker is loud it means that it allows you to have a bit more headroom. You do not want to always have to crank the speaker to max volume to fill a space. This places a strain on the speaker and will lead to wear and tear. You’ll likely need to buy a new speaker sooner rather than later. When buying speakers refer to the decibel rating (dB SPL) instead of watts to determine how loud they are.
Once again the types of gigs you play will define what speaker you need. If you play medium-sized venues you’ll need speakers that pack a punch. You may also need a subwoofer or several speakers. The louder the speaker the more chance you’ll have to cover larger venues.
If you don’t have ambitions to play for crowds and need speakers for your home DJ studio you don’t need an excessively loud set of speakers. As a home DJ portable speakers also become less important. It’s unlikely you’ll be playing you music that loud. Unless you want to annoy your neighbors and get a knock on the door from the police! You’ll also save money by not buying a speaker designed for large venues. You can use the money you saved to pick up a pair of the best DJ headphones you can afford.
Our Choice For The Best DJ Speaker
The modern performer needs a modern speaker. A speaker needs to sound great in a variety of situations. From the bar gig with 30-40 people to medium-sized venues that can handle up to 200 people. Flexibility and portability are at the forefront of the features you need to deliver a quality performance. Even the most talented musicians and singers will sound horrible through a bad sound system.
It’s because of these needs that I recommend the Bose F1. The sound quality is second to none. The rugged and durable design adds to the lifespan of the speaker. The innovative flexible array is the type of innovation I like to see in the speaker space.
While a bit heavy, it’s still one of the best portable DJ speakers available. Add to that how easy it is to add a subwoofer and it makes the Bose F1 one of the best DJ speakers in the world. It is an expensive speaker but worth every dollar.