When shopping around for speakers you’ll encounter lots of options. It can be difficult to cut through all the technical details between various manufacturers. This can be further complicated when a brand offers several different speaker lines. In this review, we check out the Yamaha DBR10. The budget alternative to Yamaha’s more high-end DSR and DXR series of speakers.
The Yamaha DBR10 is the more budget-friendly version of the Yamaha DBX range of speakers. At a much lower price, it still provides performers with a well-rounded speaker that is very loud. Let’s see what the DBR10 has to offer.
There is a lot to dissect when it comes to the DBR10 Yamaha has crafted an interesting speaker. Let’s dive into the details.
Above all else, the first thing to check is how the speaker sounds. This is where I’m a little torn with the DBR10. In certain instances it is amazing but in others, it is lacking.
The mids and highs are well defined and sound warm. No harshness in the top end. This makes them an excellent choice as stage monitors. This greater emphasis on the mid and highs also translates well for vocals.
Where it isn’t as great is the low-end. Don’t get me wrong, these speakers are loud. For a 10-inch speaker, they pack a punch. But compared to other speakers I didn’t feel the depth in the low-end. As a DJ the low-end is one of the most critical components I look for so it was a little disappointing. Adding a subwoofer will remedy this situation but it is an added expense.
This is where it is hard to judge the Yamaha DBR 10. It is not for everyone but still offers solid sound quality. The loudness also leaves plenty of headroom. This is great as you don’t need to punish and push the speaker to the max to get good coverage of the venue you are playing at.
Yamaha has a long history of producing quality gear. The DBR range of speakers is no different. I did have concerns that the budget mentality behind these speakers would result in a reduction of quality.
It’s often the case that to get costs down some features get removed. The more expensive DBX range does offer more features. But, Yamaha has managed to maintain and preserve the most important features.
The speaker is plastic so the usual poor sound you get when standing behind the speakers is present here. While the speaker is plastic it feels solid but still maintains a lightweight and portable footprint.
The DBR10 is a 700-watt class D amp speaker. It offers a custom-designed 10-inch woofer with a 1-inch precision compression driver. The exterior is a rugged plastic casing. A steel grille protects the components. The speaker contains a bi-amp design. This means there is one amp for the woofer and one amp for the 1-inch driver. This results in a cleaner and more balanced sound.
The Yamaha DBR10 is a lightweight speaker that packs some serious volume.
The frequency range sits at 55Hz-20kHz which is in the same range as other speakers in the market. It means it covers both the low-end and high-end frequencies with ease. The 90-degree vertical coverage range also presents a good field of sound even as a stand-alone speaker.
Output wise it hits a very high 129dB SPL at 1 meter. This is louder than other speakers in the market. It’s also louder than what some 12 and 15-inch speakers can put out. If you are a DJ make sure you have a quality pair of good DJ headphones. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time mixing considering how loud these speakers are.
All these features come in a compact and lightweight form. At 10.5kg (23.2lbs) it is easy to transport between gigs. This weight also allows for easy setup on tripods or stands.
The tuning options on the Yamaha DBR10 could use some improvement. Each of the two channels has a dedicated gain knob. Beyond that things get a little sparse. You have the option to set the D-Contour to FOH (Front of House)/Main, monitor, or neutral. This is handy for a quick change based on your intended use. You can also adjust the HPF (High-Pass Filter). That is the extent of your options.
The removal of some features to keep costs down and offer a budget option is something I’ve come to expect. Having said that there are other speakers at this price point that offer a larger range of options. You’ll need an external mixer for any extra modifications or tweaks you’ll want to make.
The all-black enclosure is clean and attractive. While not inspiring it is rare for speakers to have much personality. The angled edge on the front face adds some dimension and depth.
The Yamaha DBR10 is not the most attractive speaker but it is very practical.
The front grille is standard in appearance with noticeable screw points. Other speakers do a cleaner job of concealing these screw points. The iconic Yamaha logo is also embedded into the front grille and recessed making for an attractive profile.
The speaker has an angled case to allow for horizontal placement as a stage monitor. This has been well executed. I can’t see it rolling over without a considerable bump. The carry handle is well placed at the top of the speaker and makes for easy lifting.
The Yamaha DBR 10 has a range of connection options. Line one offers a combo jack that accepts TRS and XLR connections. This option allows for Line level or Mic inputs signals. The second Line offers another combo jack plus an RCA option.
The DBR10 offers a good range of connection options including RCA, TRS, and XLR.
The addition of the RCA connection adds extra flexibility compared to other speakers. For example, even the best beginner DJ controller only offers an RCA option. The Yamaha DBR10 is one of the few speakers in this range that will allow direct plug and play. While I’d still recommend you convert the unbalanced signal or run it via a mixer it is a good choice to have. A third TRS connection is available as an output to send the signal to other speakers or to mix channels 1 and 2.
Yamaha produces high-quality speakers but this is their foray into the budget space. As a result, it is worth assessing value by comparing it to other speakers at the same price. Other speakers do offer some more features at this price point. But, there is value in buying from a trusted brand like Yamaha. Years of experience and expertise go into their products. While the Yamaha DBR10 is not the best value for money, it’s still an affordable and power-packed speaker.
What Others Have To Say
There are plenty of happy customers when it comes to the Yamaha DBR 10. The speaker works well in a variety of situations. There are some complaints about the softer low-end. Check out some Yamaha DBR10 reviews below.
How Loud Should Your Speakers Be?
One of the challenges when purchasing speakers is understanding how big or how loud they need to be. This question is difficult to address as everyone has different needs.
The hobby DJ who wants some speakers for his small studio doesn’t have the same needs as a working professional. It’s worth understanding some fundamental concepts around loudness.
The size of the venue will determine how loud your speakers need to be.
When it comes to speakers it’s all about decibels (dB). This is a number associated with listening to the speakers at a 1-meter distance. Many DJ speakers will have values around 120db. For context, a lawnmower is around 106-115 decibels. While a rock concert can be between 120-129 decibels. Anything above 85 decibels can cause hearing damage with repeated exposure.
There are other factors to consider when thinking of how loud your speaker needs to be:
- You don’t want to be running your speaker at full capacity. Having some extra headroom allows you to not place too much strain on the speaker. This will help prevent you from blowing your speakers.
- Soundwaves change based on various elements. A crowd of people can diminish how loud the music sounds. Other obstructions like walls and furnishings can also diminish the volume.
- Volume in decibels decreases by 6 decibels for every doubling of distance. The further away your audience is from the speaker the more volume you’ll need.
By taking all this information into account you can more accurately select a speaker. If you are only using speakers in a small studio setting you’ll be better off with some near field studio monitors. Likewise, you don’t want to show up to a gig and not be able to fill the space with an appropriate level of volume.
It’s always good to compare a speaker with other options on the market. Here are some alternatives to the Yamaha DBR10.
JBL EON 610 Review
Another contender in the 10-inch speaker market is the JBL EON 610. It utilizes JBL Waveguide technology to deliver impressive sound performance. It’s also a bit more budget-friendly.
- Excellent sound quality across all frequencies.
- Solid selection of tuning options.
- Limited Bluetooth integration is at times frustrating.
Read our full JBL EON 610 review for more detailed information.
JBL EON 610
Electro Voice ZLX 12P Review
If you want to move up to a 12-inch model the ZLX 12P is another good choice. While the low end is unimpressive, it’s still a well built and capable speaker.
- Solid and durable build quality.
- Lightweight and portable for easy setup.
- The low end is not as meaty as other 12-inch speakers.
Read our full Electro Voice ZLX 12P review for more detailed information.
QSC K12.2 Review
If you do have some extra money to spend you can add the QSC K12.2 to your list of options. It offers professional tuning options in an attractive package.
- Outstanding sound quality with excellent tuning options.
- It comes with a 6-year warranty for extra peace of mind.
- Not a good choice if you have a limited budget.
Read our full QSC K12.2 review for more detailed information.
Should You Buy?
The Yamaha DBR10 is worth considering if you are looking to buy a 10-inch speaker. For vocals and instruments that don’t have much low end, they are a great choice. For the beginner DJ needing RCA connection options, it’s also a worthy contender. While the low-end could be a bit heftier that could be my personal bias towards thumping bass. Yamaha knows how to make a good speaker and once again they have delivered with the DBR series.