How to Choose the Best DJ Speakers

As a DJ and a musician, the most important element you must take into consideration is sound. It may seem like a no-brainer, but not many seem to realize the importance of not just ensuring your track is being heard alright but also that it is being heard the way you intend it. Whether it is being played in your room by yourself , in the studio with other producers, or in a club for an audience, it’s important that every ear gets to appreciate every groove and beat of the track being played.

Thus, it is important that you have quality speakers that will provide quality output to ensure your mixes sound right anytime, anywhere. And for a DJ, not any speaker system will do, regardless of whether one is looking for a simple speaker system or an elaborate home theater setup. There are specific things to look for in a DJ speaker, which we will be elaborating on to help you shop for the right sound:

Studio speakers or PA speakers?

A visit to the music store provides a choice between DJ speaker types. One is the studio speaker, designed mainly for accurate playback at low and moderate volumes. As the name implies, these speakers are designed mainly for studio or room use and not suited to play music at loud volumes over a long period.

The other type is the PA speaker, which can play at louder volumes and designed for venues with larger crowds. If you are looking for speakers that you bring along for actual live events with a crowd, PA speakers are best suited for the job.

Passive or active speakers?

Speakers are categorized as either passive or active speakers. The difference between the two is simple: basically passive speakers require an amplifier to produce a more powerful sound while active speakers do not. As such, passive speakers are a more affordable option, especially if you already have an amplifier to add to your system. On the other hand, active speakers are sort of an all-in-one solution, but it can be hassle adjusting the controls since they are located in the speakers themselves.

Active speakers (credits to DJ Tech Tools)

Before you buy

It is a must that you check out the sound coming out of the speakers you are considering purchasing. Sound is a very subjective thing, and it is important the sound of your speakers would sound the way you like it. Asking the following question will help you arrive at a sound (pun intended) decision:

  • Does the bass sound tight and controlled, or boomy and muddy? The speakers should be able produce a pronounced bass line that can be heard well.
  • Is the stereo fold good enough for you to tell the different elements of the tracks apart? Speakers should be able to let you distinguish the different elements you put in your track so you can determine how well they are placed in the mix
  • How do the high frequencies sound like?  Since you be listening to them often at high volumes, depending on your preferences , it is important to determine if their high frequencies sound crisp and clear or harsh and shrill.
  • Are you able to hear things you’ve never heard before in your tracks? If so, that is actually good.

Other considerations

Range – DJ speakers need to have a full range of frequencies so they can reproduce all the sounds in your track. Thus, your speakers should have both a low-range woofer for the low frequencies and tweeters for the high frequencies.

Subwoofers – Adding subwoofers to your setup is a choice that depends on the type of setup you are looking to have. Generally, subwoofers are not always required, however they can help enhance the sound of your mix. Though speakers can handle the job well, dance mixes can benefit from the deepest bass and kick drum sounds that a subwoofer can reproduce. If you are looking to add subwoofers, just make sure they are integrated well in your speaker system and not cause disruption.

TS-42 subwoofer (photo credits to DJzone DJ Magazine)

Speakers are important equipment in your DJ career that require a considerable investment, and thus some wise decision-making. Regardless of the model of speakers you will ultimately decide to buy, it is important that above everything else, your ears, as well as that of your audience, will be greatly satisfied with the sound they will deliver.

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