Because most clubs already have house speakers where you can connect your DJ rig, you probably think that you won't need a speaker system at home.
If you do not want to spend a lot of money on expensive pro audio speakers and amplifiers, owning a set of powered speakers is a good idea.
You can use them for practicing without headphones, filming video performances, and many more.
Powered speakers might not sound like the best pro audio systems, but it is a good may of practicing your sets at home without the use of amplifiers.
Plus, buying the best powered DJ speakers is an excellent “plug and play” choice if you want to start mixing without going through the trouble of setting up a lot of equipment.
Wearing headphones when practicing at home is convenient, but sometimes headphones can be too loud, and wearing them for too long can strain your ears.
Powered DJ speakers come in many varieties, depending on the manufacturer.
Many big names in the pro audio industry are manufacturing powered speakers, and some sound really good.
In fact, most of these powered speakers are equipped for live performances.
You can use them for playing in small clubs, private parties, private events, and many more.
In this article, I will show you some of the best powered DJ speakers every DJ should own.
Finding the right speakers for you can be challenging.
With so many choices to choose from, you might find it tough to make the right decision, and it is entirely understandable.
All of us want to make the right purchase the first time, instead of regretting our decision later.
All right, let's get to the article now!
Why You Need Powered DJ Speakers
In some cases, clients would expect you to have your own equipment, especially for private events.
Not all venues have their own sound system.
If you want to land that client, having your own speaker system might just seal the deal.
By having your speaker system, you can actually charge more money.
Your talent fee as a DJ is separate from the cost of renting your equipment.
At this rate, you can even expand your services from a club DJ to a mobile DJ and charge more per event.
When mixing at home, most DJs use their headphones.
Although wearing headphones can be convenient in setting up or reducing the noise, you can mix more comfortably if the sound is coming out of separate speakers.
As a DJ, you are probably only using your headphones for monitoring the incoming track anyway.
Having a set of powered DJ speakers allows you to practice your sets the way you would actually play in live gigs.
If you have a home studio, you can also use powered DJ speakers for producing music.
These speakers work as excellent monitors for mixing and mastering your tracks.
Plus, these speakers are loud enough if you want to hear your records playing with a louder volume.
However, these speakers may be too big to fit on your desk.
If you are using powered DJ speakers for mastering your tracks, make sure you get one with a stand and make sure that you have enough space in your room.
If you like throwing parties, powered DJ speakers pack superb power to fill up an entire room with sound quickly.
Without going through the trouble of setting up complicated surround speaker systems, you can start the party by plugging your rig and start playing some jams right away.
Powered speakers easily hook up with your existing sound system, which is pretty useful if you want to expand the volume to fill up every corner of your home.
The 9 Best Powered DJ Speakers Every DJ:
Here is the list of our top contestants, let's dive right into it!
Mackie Thump 12
Looking for something with thumping bass, which is excellent for playing electronic dance music and almost any genre, make sure you check out the Mackie Thump 12.
As the name implies, the Thump 12 is excellent in playing deep bass sounds that could make a crowd go wild.
This affordable, but powerful speaker, can produce a deep thick thumping bass.
It makes it suitable for playing smaller venues where you do not need to connect it to a subwoofer.
Although this speaker was made initially to emphasize low-end or bass, it is a little versatile, making it suitable for other genres.
The Mackie Thump 12 is well-designed and built to withstand excessive use.
It is also built with a durable shock-resistant frame, making it a better choice for touring and moving around.
In terms of connectivity, this speaker comes with all the essential connections you need to perform.
It has an XLR / ¼” combo and an RCA input and output, allowing you to connect your mixer with ease.
It also has a built-in 3-band graphic EQ for advanced audio configuration.
If you need a speaker with a lot of bass, the Mackie Thump 12 is an excellent choice.
However, you can always adjust the mid and high end using the EQ, making the Mackie Thump produce a more balanced sound if required.
- 1300 watts of power
- Deep bass
- 2-way digital switch
- Made with wooden materials
The Mackie Thump 12 is one of the best powered DJ speakers thanks to its deep bass and low-end qualities.
This speaker is also very affordable, so if you are looking for the best powered speakers with the best value, the Mackie Thump is an outstanding choice.
Bose F1 Model 812
Bose is well-known for making quality speakers throughout the years.
Expect superb quality if you plan on buying the Bose F1 Model 812.
This powered DJ speaker system is a fantastic choice for many different reasons.
It packs 1000 watts of power and produces serious bass thanks to its 12″ woofer.
That is not all, inside the cabinet, the Bose F1 is equipped with 9 different speakers that deliver full-range audio, making it one of the best choices.
This speaker might be a little on the pricey end, but it is equipped with everything you need to plug and perform.
It comes with different inputs for flexible live show solutions for performing DJs.
It sounds incredible, no matter what music genre you play.
The Bose F1 features a unique design.
Within its cabinet, it is equipped with 9 separate speakers that fit perfectly and are designed to distribute sound evenly within the space.
This speaker weighs a little bit heavy, but it is totally reasonable given the fact that it packs serious power.
The style looks a bit contemporary, perfect for professional performers who are into unique aesthetics.
In terms of audio quality, the Bose F1 does not disappoint.
The sound coming out of the speakers are very impressive.
You can hear the audio loud and clear, and it gives the listener a sense of space and depth.
- Nine speakers
- 1000 watts
- Four coverage patterns
- Excellent for mid to large-sized venues
- RCA, XLR, and ¼” jack inputs
Overall, there are not many bad things you can say about this speaker, except for its heavyweight and expensive price tag.
However, because of its fantastic performance and sound quality, the Bose F1 is worth every penny.
JBL is a brand that is known for making some of the best speakers.
It is a choice with more versatility, making it excellent for playing most genres of music.
This speaker is durable and built to last for a long time.
It has all the necessary connections so you can start playing sets by just plugging your device.
It also comes with a smartphone app that allows you to tweak the audio for fine-tuning.
It also has 4 different modes for different applications, a built-in EQ, and LED lights that add a lively performance.
The JBL EON612 is a well-rounded speaker, or a jack of all trades if you will.
It is not particularly good at one thing, but it is pretty decent for multiple purposes.
Take note that the vibrations may bounce if it is simply placed on the floor.
To avoid adding unnecessary feedback noise, use a stand or anything that can separate the speaker from the floor.
- Wavelength technology
- 1000-watt peak power
- Essential inputs
- Smartphone app
- Multiple configurations
- Built-in handles for more comfortable transport
The JBL makes for an awesome all-around speaker that can be used for tons of applications.
It is another all-around choice that you can use for playing live shows at mid-sized venues.
Yamaha DBR 12
The Yamaha DBR 12-inch is a compact powered speaker built with high-quality materials.
Because of Yamaha's reputation, this speaker can produce clear and superb quality audio that is ideal for both practicing and doing live performances.
This speaker is smaller than most items on the list, making it the most comfortable speaker to carry around the house or to take it with you on shows.
The manufacturers used high-quality ABS to build this superb machine.
This speaker system has a bass-reflex design for better bass quality.
It also has a built-in compression tweeter for a broader range of frequencies.
There are a couple of mounting options for this model.
You can choose to place it on your desk or use an optional U-bracket for wall mounting.
If you want something more significant than the 12-inch, Yamaha also has a slightly bigger 10-inch option.
Thanks to its bi-amplified design, you can use this speaker to play loud music with minimal distortion.
With a high peak power, expect to play powerful performances with this compact device.
It comes with all the essential inputs that allow you to use it as a stand-alone speaker, or us the speaker as part of a stereo set.
- 12” woofer
- 4” tweeter
- Amplified output
- XLR connection
- RCA connection
- Bass-reflex design
Overall, this tiny package packs a lot of power.
The Yamaha 12-inch is the best in terms of portability, but it does have what it takes to compete with other models in terms of sound quality.
This modern powered speaker boasts superior sound quality over volume.
You can tell just by listening, that the designers put their time and effort into the sound quality of these speakers, rather than focusing on the volume alone.
It has a peak rating of 1000 watts, with an RMS of 250w, making it ideal for producers and DJs alike.
The build quality is not as durable as the Mackie or the Yamaha.
Still, it is a powered speaker designed for listening to music in better quality.
The Electro-Voice ZLX-12P can produce clear and precise audio with the right combination of low and high-end frequencies.
It is a versatile choice for playing any genre of music.
It may not be loud enough for playing at large venues because of its lack of power, but it can surely fill a room with high sound quality.
- Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
- 250 RMS
- 1000 watts
- Includes power cable
The Electro-Voice ZLX-12P is one of the best sounding powered speakers on the list.
However, the only downside is that it lacks power and volume, especially if you want to use it for larger venues.
Behringer Eurolive B112D 12”
Behringer is a brand that has been killing most high-end brands.
They are a company that makes more affordable gear.
From mixers, microphones, guitar effects, to speakers, Behringer creates much more affordable gadgets.
However, it is not always better than its high-end counterparts.
It does provide a decent alternative for people on a budget.
The Behringer Eurolive is equipped with an onboard mixer for advanced sound configuration.
It has multiple inputs and outputs.
It also has Bluetooth connectivity and a USB 3.0 input for playing music straight from a flash drive.
For its price, the Behringer Eurolive delivers decent sound quality.
You can use this speaker for playing in front of crowds up to around 200 to 300 people.
Because it is affordable, you can even buy two for better audio coverage at venues.
- Decent sound
- USB 3.0 input
- Bluetooth connectivity
Overall, this powered speaker works for many applications.
It is a suitable speaker for beginners.
They can use it to practice their sets at home or test their skills in front of a crowd.
This 15″ speaker can produce a rugged and bright tone suitable for any mobile DJ gig.
It is built to last and withstand many bumps, making it excellent for going on the road.
The Mackie SRM650 is an excellent choice, considering its price.
It includes a built-in 2-channel mixer, an acoustic correction DSP, and modes that you can configure based on your application.
The sound quality of this powered speaker is pretty decent compared to other models within its price bracket.
It provides a peak power of 1100 watts producing clear quality audio with minimal to no distortion.
It works as an excellent stage monitor, and DJs can also use them for small gigs and practice.
- 2-channel mixer
- Clear tone
- Suitable for small to huge venues
- Works as a stage monitor
To sum it up, this speaker is one of the best bangs for the buck you can currently find on the market.
If your budget is somewhat a concern, Mackie SRM650 is an incredible value for money.
Buyer's Guide: How to Choose
the Best Powered DJ Speakers
Most powered speakers may look the same and share some similarities in terms of physical design.
However, the powered speakers we reviewed differ in audio quality, connectivity, number of speakers, and power ratings.
If you cannot decide which of these speakers are right for you, you can read this powered speaker buying guide.
They may be different, but each of your choices packs power and volume good enough for doing live shows at small or mid-sized venues.
For practicing, one speaker is enough, but some people might even buy a pair of powered speakers for a 2-channel stereo setup during live gigs.
In the list above, I chose to review some of the more compact powered speakers, but if you are looking for something more prominent, some choices range up to 21 inches in size.
If you are looking for something more portable that would fit in your car, you can choose any size between 8 to 12 inches.
In general, larger speakers can play deeper bass, and smaller ones can produce better high and mid-range frequencies.
If you are a club DJ that plays EDM or House music with intense bass, you should definitely choose a bigger cabinet.
For mobile DJs who play a wide variety of music genres, you want a more balanced tone that you can get from smaller speakers.
Whichever one you choose, you can probably adjust the EQ on your mixer to get the sound you prefer.
Most of the speakers in the list above are carefully curated, meaning most of them to provide superb audio quality.
They are all products of a well-known speaker and pro audio brands, so you can never go wrong with your choice when it comes to finding superior sound quality.
However, some might not be as loud as the others, so make sure you choose something fit for your purpose.
If you are planning to use these speakers for playing slightly larger venues, make sure you get a pair or choose one of the high-end speakers on the list.
Every item I included on the list feature is full-range speakers, meaning that they can produce sound across all frequencies.
The high, mid, and low frequencies are heard clearly, unlike powered subwoofers, which are designed explicitly to emit deep bass sounds.
If you want thumping bass sounds that would get everyone on the dance floor active, make sure you partner your powered speaker with a powered subwoofer or choose a larger powered speaker with more bass.
Ensure the powered speaker you choose has the right type of connectivity where you can connect your rig.
Most DJ rigs use an RCA jack, while some mixers use an aux or two ¼” jacks for a stereo setup.
Most powered speakers support these connections, and some even have a mic input and Bluetooth connectivity.
Mobile DJs should choose one with a mic input, especially if you are hired for private events such as birthday parties, weddings, etc.
Speaker power is measured in watts, but when choosing the right power rating of your speaker, you must look more closely at the peak and RMS.
– The peak measures the max running volume.
– The RMS measures the average max volume the speaker is capable of producing, which is more important if you are looking for a louder speaker.
The common misconception is that higher wattage is better for playing louder music.
Although this is half correct, what you need to really watch out for is the RMS.
Not all high-watt speakers are equipped with quality components and built-in amplifiers to handle loud volume without compromising audio quality.
When choosing a speaker, do not rely on how high the power rating is because louder speakers are not always better.
Make sure you check the threshold of wear.
The speaker begins to lose quality as you crank up the volume.
Lastly, you can choose which powered DJ speakers based on your budget.
Whether you are willing to spend $1000 or way less, I am sure you will find something that will suit your needs.
There may be some budget options out there, but I wouldn’t expect it to perform as well as one of the high-end options on the list.
If you need something with better audio quality, you can save more money rather than opting for a cheap speaker you will hardly ever use.
All powered speakers are equipped with an internal amplifier, making them active speakers.
Passive speakers, on the other hand, will need an external amplifier to work.
The reason I am suggesting that you buy powered speakers is that they are more convenient to set up, and you can use them as a stand-alone speaker without the need for an amplifier.
If you ever need to choose between active or passive speakers, always go for active speakers for continence.
Because of the latest technology, active speakers pack more power, and they sound relatively better than passive speakers.
Plus, no one ever really uses passive speakers these days, not unless you have any old audio equipment in your house.
The main difference is the size.
Regular studio monitors have powered speakers built in a smaller package, and most of the time, they come in pairs.
For a home studio setup, I prefer smaller studio monitors.
If you want something louder, go for powered speakers.
They may be more prominent in size, but you can use them for both practicing and doing live shows.
Plus, they can also work as studio monitors and can work as 2-channel stereo speakers.
After reading the list of the 10 best powered DJ speakers and the buyer's guide, I hope you have a better idea of how to choose the right one for you.
Each of the choices is carefully handpicked and reviewed based on my experience and based on user reviews.
Powered DJ speakers make excellent choices because they showcase power, portability, and versatility in one single package, making them ideal for live performances or practicing at home.
The best thing about owning powered speakers is ease-of-use.
You can simply plug in your DJ rig and play music right off the bat, unlike buying multiple speakers that need an external amplifier to operate.
Amplifiers were a staple in your home entertainment system back in the day.
I would never have imagined listening to music without one.
Nowadays, the use of amps is becoming obsolete.
Smaller and more compact speaker alternatives are slowly replacing huge components and multiple speakers.
These include powered bookshelf speakers, soundbars, and powered DJ speakers.
Each of the speakers featured on the list is the best in their own way.
It is hard to compare these choices, mostly because all of them function quite well for any occasion.
If you are looking for something you can use for doing live shows in different venues, I suggest choosing the Bose F1, the Mackie Thump 12, or the Electro-Voice ZLX.
If you want the best budget option, you can try the Behringer Eurolive.
This affordable product can outperform some of the most expensive speakers in the market.
The brand is known for creating cheap alternatives for high-end products.
Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API