Choosing The Right Speakers - Beginner Level
You’re new to DJing, you just booked your first backyard party, and you decide to invest in some new speakers. But there are so many options, how do you know which ones to buy? When it comes to speakers, there’s a good amount of information you need to know before clicking that checkout button. So let’s go over what you should be considering when shopping for speakers for small events.
This video is going to be for those of you just starting out who might host the occasional house party, perform at the family barbecue, and anyone else who is looking to get better acquainted with speakers before making their first sizable purchase.
If you’re watching this, chances are you’re likely a DJ, singer, a band, or another type of performer looking at purchasing your first set of PA speakers. In this video, we’re going to be talking about speakers you’ll find at gatherings on the smaller scale. First, before you even look at speakers, it’s important to know as many details as you can about the event you’ll be performing at. Is it indoors or outdoors? Is it a crowd of 20 or 200? Are you on the floor? On a stage? Once you’ve got all that information, you can start to determine what speakers are going to work best for you.
The first thing you should think about when buying speakers for smaller gatherings is the size. You might think bigger is better, but it’s not always that simple.
8" speakers are often compact and lightweight, making them highly portable and easy to set up. They tend to deliver clear mids and highs but might lack the deeper bass frequencies that larger speakers can provide. Due to their size, they're well-suited for smaller indoor gatherings, bedrooms, and close-range listening. While they may not have the same volume and bass impact as larger options, they offer a good balance of convenience and sound quality.
10" speakers balance portability and sound performance. They can provide a more pronounced bass response and better overall volume compared to 8" speakers. This makes them suitable for small house parties and backyard use, where you need a bit more projection and power. They're versatile enough to work well indoors and outdoors, delivering a satisfying audio experience without sacrificing too much portability.
12" speakers are known for their ability to deliver powerful sound and deeper bass. They're an ideal choice for backyard gatherings and small parties, as they can fill a larger space with clear and impactful audio. While slightly less portable than 8" or 10" speakers, they offer a dynamic sound experience that's hard to match. Keep in mind that these might be at the higher end of your budget, but the extra investment can be worth it for a more immersive audio presence.
Considering your budget and the range of uses you may have in mind; 10" speakers seem like the best fit for most small gatherings and events. They offer a well-rounded performance with decent bass response and sound volume levels, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor settings. While 12" speakers offer more power, 10" speakers will provide an excellent balance between sound quality and portability within your specified budget.
When choosing the right speakers, it’s important to keep wattage in mind. Wattage is a power rating used for speakers. The more wattage, the more powerful the speaker is. It’s important to note the size of your crowd because if you get underpowered speakers, they’re not going to have the impact you’re looking for. To make sure you’ve got enough power to cover your small event, we’d suggest having about 5 watts per person. So, for example, if the crowd is 50 people, 250 watts should do the trick. You should also consider how many speakers you’ll be using. If the event is small enough, you can sometimes get away with using a single speaker. But two is more common and offers better coverage of the space. In a two-speaker setup, the total wattage is the output of both speakers. So, if you’re running two 500-watt speakers, that’s a total of 1000-watts of power.
Now, you’ve got your speakers. Where do you put them? Sure, you could put them on the floor, but no one’s going to hear them. That’s because of something called dispersion, or the direction of sound coming from a speaker. If your speakers are on the ground, the audio is going to be aimed at everyone’s feet and won’t make its way up to their ears. Similarly, if your speakers are too high, the sound will just go over everyone’s heads. You’ll want to invest in speaker stands. For the best listening experience, find out if your audience will be standing or sitting, and then you’ll want to make sure your speakers are at about ear level. Obviously, everyone’s height varies, so use your best judgement.
If you’re picking speakers for a smaller space like a bedroom, basement, or small room, you might want to consider getting yourself some speakers with Bluetooth connectivity. Not only does it allow for you or your guests to connect easily and play your favorite tunes, but you can use your speaker regularly and just play music while you’re getting ready in the morning, cooking, working out…whenever you want! Fortunately, most speaker companies are incorporating Bluetooth technology into their speakers these days, so you’ll have plenty of options there.
You should also take battery powered options into consideration. If you see yourself ever being in a position where an outlet might not be available, like a block party or maybe the beach, there are a several high-quality battery powered speakers available to you right now that can get the job done.
So we’ve gone over speaker size and the benefits of each, wattage, placement, and a few other little features to consider when picking out speakers for smaller get togethers. But what about when the party moves into mid-size event territory? Well, there’s even more speaker options to consider. So be sure to like this video, subscribe to the channel, and stay tuned.