While speakers aren't the be-all-end-all of a PA system, they make up a significant aspect of it. Within a PA system, signal processing gear, the mixer and the amplifier all affect the audio signal and in turn the source produced. Yet, the speaker - and the monitor, as well - broadcast your music or vocals by converting those signals into soundwaves. The soundwaves, once projected outward, are what the audience hears as your voice's or instrument's sound.
Within this setup, PA speakers are an essential component. Having the wrong set may mean the audience can't hear you, or that your sound doesn't fit into the venue space. Think a single speaker for a large auditorium, or a large, multi-part sound system for a coffee shop gig.
About PA Speakers
If you're unsure about where to begin, PA speaker size correlates with venue, and this factor is measured in wattage. Anything under 500 watts is ideal for smaller venues, and above this amount is geared toward larger spaces and oftentimes better accommodates a multi-piece band.
As well, realize that a speaker may be part of a PA sound system, with all parts arranged together in a single cabinet, or may be an independent part that needs to be connected to all other components. In turn, all-in-one PA systems may be more portable, while a system requiring multiple speakers requires some time to set up.
Along with this aspect, PA speakers reproduce certain frequency ranges. An all-encompassing full-range, two-way speaker contains both a tweeter and a subwoofer to cover more ground. Others are dedicated to one or the other component, with a woofer using a 10- to 18-inch cone-style driver to better-render lower frequencies, and tweeters featuring a one- to two-inch cone driver. A mid-range speaker falls right in between these two extremes.
Types of PA Speakers
Your main PA speaker delivers the majority of your sound to your audience. These vary on how they're powered. An active or powered PA speaker includes integrated amplifiers and utilizes battery power, and tends to be more portable as a result.
A passive PA speaker, preferred generally by sound engineers, allows for more configuration options. These function strictly as a speaker and will need to be connected to a power amplifier to generate a sound. Generally, multi-speaker setups for larger venues utilize passive speakers, as they allow for more mixing and provide greater versatility.
Along with your main speakers, you may also want to consider a subwoofer for bass frequencies, and will also require a monitor, so that the musicians and anyone else on stage can fully hear themselves. Monitors range from stage- to floor-level devices to a wireless, in-ear system that's less conspicuous and reduces feedback issues.
Find PA Speakers for Your Band or Venue
Update your sound system, whether for your own gigs or bands performing in your venue, with PA speakers from Alamo Music Center. Shop powered and passive options, and get no-interest, 48-month financing, plus an extended warranty, on your purchase.