The Best Passive PA Speakers and Sound Systems Reviewed
To truly listen to and enjoy music, you need to have high quality speakers. As a DJ, your playing system is incomplete without having a set of one of the best passive PA speakers. In this article, we are going to review the top 10 models available in the market. We are going to talk about the features of these speakers and give you an idea of what to expect when using them. So let’s begin with three of our best passive PA speakers:
1. JBL JRX215 - (Our #1 Top Passive PA Speaker)
JBL is a brand that everyone in the music or audio industry know about. It is known for its superior products that push the frontier of audio technology with each release. The JBL JRX215 is one of the best passive PA speakers out in the market. We love it for its sound quality, of course, but also for its design and built. The speaker has the typical box shape, but provides a generous coverage that will fill up clubs and small grounds. Despite the power it packs, the speaker comes in a small portable size and is super versatile. The only thing that we think requires improvement in this speaker is the support for mounting, as at the moment the speaker can only be placed on a flat surface.
Whether it be for a casual use or for professional use, the JRX215 is a speaker that can handle it all. The customers love its high sound quality and its portability. Combined with the rugged built and the JBL warranty, it is no surprise that this speaker is a part of our best passive PA speakers list.
2. Peavey PR 15
If you are going to ask us off the bat to list one must have speaker, then the answer is simply Peavey’s PR 15. Since starting in 195, the company has become one of the best selling one in the audio market. The PR 15 is its best passive PA speaker. The speaker is made in the USA and comes with the expected high quality built. It has top-grade internal components that are secured with a strong metal grille. The speaker is very durable and can endure falls without coming apart. Despite the endurance, it will surprise you that this speaker is lightweight and small in size. But what will surprise you more is the fact that it can handle up to 400 watts of power! This is very generous and will allow you to truly rock your party. There are also multiple inputs and outputs provided at the back for easy connections with your equipment.
All in all, we really recommend this speaker to any DJ, whether it be for a small venue or a large one. It is a very user friendly speaker and can be used for basically listening to any music. We love its versatility and power, which is why it is our choice in this list of best passive PA speakers.
3. Rockville RSG12
Rockville RSG12 is constructed of stapled, bonded and braced high-density particle board. It weighs only 30 pounds which makes it a great option for floor use or pole mounting. The high quality ergonomic recessed handles makes it easy to move the speaker in and out of tight places. Meanwhile, the front grille is made from custom-molded thick steel to protect the speakers from any damage. The durability of the speaker is further enhanced by the steel molded protectors on the exterior corners, which prevents against any damage to the cabinet. The entire speaker is covered with thick aviation-grade black carpet, while the base has four rubber-isolation feet to damp the vibration inside. Rockville has installed a 12 inch Pro Audio woofer with 60 ounce magnet structure for deep lows. Also one high efficiency piezo compression horn and three 3-inch piezo bullet tweeters for the highs.
All in all, this speaker is one of the best passive PA speakers in the market if you really want the most value for your money. For the money and its built quality, you cannot get a better deal for yourself.
4. Yamaha S115V
Yamaha is a powerhouse in the music industry and it makes one of the best passive PA speakers in the premium range. The S115V is a model that professional DJs are raving about all over the globe. It is a high quality speaker, which is not surprising, and comes with a 3 year warranty that will ensure that you can reap the benefits of this equipment without fearing about damaging it. The speaker comes with a high frequency driver that will allow you to play music and rock the party, while there is a special protection circuit design embedded to prevent any burnouts or malfunctions. Since the speaker is portable and lightweight, you can carry it around. Moreover, it has a great coverage of up to 90 degrees from the source, which allows you to let a large gathering groove to the music.
All in all, this is a speaker that is loved all over the world. While these are more expensive, people still tend to buy it for the brand name and the high quality associated with it. Just a note that this speaker does not have an XLR input. Apart from this minor con, the rest of the features make it one of the best passive PA speakers around.
While the above three PA speakers are great in their own categories, the market is full of a range of options. Have a look at other best passive PA speakers that we came across here:
5. Alto Professional TX15
Designed to the very highest performance standards, the Alto professional TX15 utilizes state-of-the-art components and an innovative design to deliver accurate and transparent sound. This is Alto’s scaled-down variation from its very successful TrueSonic series. The speakers are very powerful, with single input and a lineout. There is also a single volume control with a line and mic switch, contour control and ground.
With this speaker as a part of your system, you're guaranteed dramatic high outlets, best-in-class value and refined sound for demanding DJs. The speaker gets you a great value for your money. It is by no means a premium model regarding features, but it is a model that is going to stand the test of time and be your partner in music making for several years.
6. Peavey PVX 15
Peavey is not a new name in the music industry. With almost 200 patents to their name, they are a brand to reckon with. The PVX series is the company’s latest offering. Don't let the price of these for you because we put these in blind tests against other speakers double its price and these sound amazing. The speaker has a high-frequency quadratic waveguide horn; in essence what it does is it limits the Distortion Zone in your speaker. No matter how far or how close you are to the speaker, you will not be hearing any distortion. Apart from this, the speaker produces clear sound and has lots of power. The other nice thing about them is that they are relatively lightweight and small. The back of the speaker also has an expansion slot to connect further equipment if you need to.
All in all, these speakers are special. They are meant for professional DJs and musicians, who really need high quality sound. In our opinion, the price of this set is a steal considering that this is one of the best passive PA speakers around.
7. Behringer EUROLIVE B212XL
Here we have another Behringer speaker. This is part of the 200 series, but has a larger size that can be understood from the XL label in its name. This is a passive 2-way PA speaker system. It'll take up to 200 watt continuous power or up to 800 Watt peak power of 12 inch woofer in it and a 1.75 inch titanium compression driver going to look at a great sound on the sound reinforcement PA system. It's Ultra Compact and Ultra lightweight which is what you want for your gig. These speakers have Ultra wide dispersion and a large format exponential conical horn connecting to the back of the speaker is super easy using either the quarter inch or the twist lock connector. One of the nice things about these speakers is the trapezoidal design what that allows you to do as you can have a speaker uprightness going to sound great or you can tilt it on one of its sides so that you can use it as a monitor. That's a very handy feature to be able to use a speaker either way like that. So this is the b212xl for more.
Now we already know that behringer is a top manufacturer of passive speakers. This one here is no exception. Being one of the best passive PA speakers around, you can enjoy clear and high frequency sound from it and truly rock your party.
8. JBL JRX225
JBL products are reliable, durable and innovative. The JRX 225 is an extremely powerful, yet very portable speaker. It comes with an ergonomic design and steel handles on side for easy carrying. The speaker has been embedded with patented SonicGuard technology that will protect it from damaging the driver when the power exceeds the required level. The security safeguard is automatically handled by the driver and would not stop you from enjoying a powerful listening experience. The sound from the speaker does not distort and maintains a great coverage. There are 2 drivers in the speaker that maintain the frequency and all for crossover without saturating and spoiling the sound.
Overall, the JBL JRX225 is one of the best passive PA speakers around. We recommend it for professionals and audiophiles who do not want to sacrifice the sound quality, but want the portability factor in their speaker. Do note that since these speakers are designed for portability, they are not mountable.
9. Seismic Audio SA-155.2
Seismic Audio is a brand that has not been mentioned in our review. While it is not a super popular brand, due to its lack of marketing, the products it makes are super reliable. In fact, if you want a speaker that provides excellent sound and give you the most value for money, then the SA 155.2 is a real contender. The speaker comes with a large range of frequency response and has 2 drivers supported by 50 oz magnets, that allow it to produce clear and powerful sound. The speakers are not only great sound wise, but they are also easy to transport. This makes them very versatile and allow you to setup your system without requiring additional help. These speakers are generally niche and are loved by their fans. However, they can go head to head with the giants of the industry.
Overall, we are really digging the SA 155.2. It comes with a solid 1 year warranty that gives you further confidence to buy from the brand. The reviews of customers using this speaker are pretty solid and considering the features on offer, we really think that it is one of the best PA speakers in the market.
10. BEHRINGER EUROLIVE B215XL
This is a passive 2-way speaker with a 15 inch woofer and a 1.75 inch compression driver made of titanium. It has a nice strong driver that is going to get you a lot of top in the cool thing. So about this speaker, the first important thing that you need to know is its ability to manage 250 watts of continuous Power Sound or up to a thousand watts of peak power. This makes the speakers very sturdy on the sound reinforcement PA system. The unit is an ultra lightweight one, which is what you want for your gig. These speakers have Ultra wide dispersion and a large format exponential conical horn connecting to the back of the speaker is super easy using either the quarter inch or the twist lock connector. One of the nice things about these speakers is the trapezoidal design what that allows you to do is you can have the speaker up brightness goes down grade or you can tilt it on one of its sides so that you can use it as a monitor. That's a very handy feature to be able to use a speaker either way like that.
This is a speaker to have if you are an audiophile. It is lightweight and does not compromise on sound quality. Behringer’s customers are loyal to this brand and there is a solid reason for it. The company has been making one of the best passive PA speakers in the industry.
What Are Passive Speakers
So there are passive speakers and there are powered speakers. What's the difference? Do you need an active speaker or a passive speaker?
An active speaker has a built-in amplifier that offers you the convenience and portability. All you have to do is plug and play. On the other hand, the passive speaker offers you the freedom of choosing your favorite power amp. As you may know passive speakers do not come with a built-in amplifier and that is why there are separate power amplifiers sold. There are a range of power amplifiers to suit the power rating of your passive speakers.
So which is better, active speakers or passive speakers? It all depends on your application. Some might call for the active speakers while others might require a passive setup. There is no hard and fast rule behind selecting one. Usually, professionals and studio owners take the passive speakers as they can incrementally improve their system. Active speakers do not allow for much customization and you are stuck with one until you decide to get completely new ones. We recommend active speakers for music listeners who want to play audio on their computer or for casual purposes in general.
How To Buy The Best Passive PA Speakers
So now we have our list of the best passive PA speakers and their reviews. Each speaker mentioned in our review is of top quality. We have mentioned products to suit different requirements and budgets. If you have used any of the mentioned speakers before, do let us know about your experience with them.