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The 10 Best DJ Speakers – Find the Right Monitors for Your Setup

18/01/2024

The right speakers are a pivotal part of any DJ’s setup, providing the sonic punch that can make or break a set, whether it’s at a wedding, club, or house party.

If you’re a DJ, we’re here to help you in your quest for the perfect monitor, with a focus on finding the best DJ speakers to suit your unique needs. We’ll give you our top 10, providing some great choices for starting out. We’ll also discuss key things you might want to look for, so you can identify exactly what you want when you see it.

In a hurry?

Want the best of the best? Here are our three favourite DJ speakers:

ADAM Audio A7VA high-tech and detailed studio monitor that’s great for DJs, production, and precise audio engineering with room compensation, DSP controls, and a complete frequency response.Check the current price
Mackie Thrash 212A high-output speaker with a voicing that gives huge bass, clear treble, and up to 125 dB of output for live performance.Check the current price
SubZero 6” Active Studio MonitorPowerful entry-level studio monitor that gives you the fundamentals executed well - neodymium drivers, versatile connectivity, powerful drivers, and detailed frequency response.Check the current price

The best DJ speakers for live performance

1. Alto TX Series

Alto Professional TS412 Active PA Speaker Pair with Speaker StandsKey features

  • Powerful speaker range with bi-amplification
  • Built-in 3-channel mixer and three preset DSP voicings
  • Lightweight and portable enclosure with Class D amplifier

Pros

  • Powerful amplification and sound output suitable for club performances
  • Series provides a range of woofer sizes and wattage to suit your needs
  • Speakers use modes and app control with EQ for flexible voicing and advanced controls

Cons

  • No on-board EQ controls without app use

Alto Professional are no slouch when it comes to PA speakers, and their TS Series delivers excellent performance for live DJ sets. Coming in four different sizes to fit your transport needs, budget, and the size of venues you play, this series of active PA speakers is great for anyone looking for a big, booming live sound from their decks to fill the dancefloor.

The TS series has huge output, with even the smallest in the range, the 408, with 8-inch drivers, has up to 130 dB of output and 2000 W of amplification. Meanwhile, the largest, the 415, has 2500 W amplification and 135 dB of output.

This packs them with enough punch for a wide variety of venues, such as clubs needing a PA system. Travelling DJs who need their own PA system to bring to gigs might find exactly what they’re looking for here.

The TS series also provides three DSP-controlled voices that you can switch between to achieve the ideal sound for your use. These speakers provide wireless Bluetooth pairing for creating wireless stereo pairs, as well as in-depth app control that allows access to additional features like EQ.


2. JBL IRX ONE

JBL IRX ONE Column PA SystemKey features

  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio streaming
  • Frequency response of 37.5 Hz to 20 kHz
  • High sound pressure level of up to 124 dB

Pros

  • Comes with four preset DSP modes for easy sound optimisation
  • Features a ducking function for speech clarity
  • Durable design with a sturdy metal grille for protection

Cons

  • Using onboard controls instead of the app makes it harder to set up and access features

The JBL IRX ONE is a very convenient column PA system that provides a unique take on portability. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can wirelessly stream audio, enhancing flexibility during performances. Its wide frequency response ensures quality sound across all ranges, while the high sound pressure level guarantees powerful output.

DJs will love the four preset DSP modes for easy sound customisation and the ducking function that temporarily lowers the volume of your music when it detects a mic input, letting you talk to and hype up the crowd. Despite it lacking a built-in battery, its durable modular design makes this a reliable option for travelling DJs who need something to join them on the road.


3. Bose S1 Pro

Bose S1 Pro Multi-Position Battery Powered PA SystemKey features

  • Multiple positioning options
  • Rechargeable battery with up to 11 hours of use
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Pros

  • Delivers high-quality sound output
  • Intelligent sensors ensure optimal sound in any position
  • 3-channel mixer enhances tonal flexibility

Cons

  • Small form might need reinforcement or stand mounting to get better coverage

The Bose S1 Pro is a versatile portable speaker with a detailed sound. Its design accommodates various positioning options, offering flexibility in coverage for any kind of venue and performance setup. This is complemented by its Auto EQ which detects the position and changes the speaker’s voicing to fit.

It’s powered by a rechargeable battery that provides up to 11 hours of use, ideal for long nights on the decks. Wireless music playback is also made easy with Bluetooth connectivity, so if you’ve got a CDJ with Bluetooth, you can even run a set wirelessly. Its 3-channel mixer allows for tonal adjustments, with adjustable bass and treble controls.

The S1 Pro is a great all-rounder for live performance, and while smaller than some of its counterparts, it has coverage and sound throw to spare.


4. Mackie Thrash 212

Mackie Thrash 212 12" Active PA Speaker, Pair with StandsKey features

  • High-performance 12″ woofer
  • Titanium compression drivers for competitive treble
  • Standard pole mount input accommodates stand attachment

Pros

  • Extremely durable construction ensures longevity
  • Two-channel mixer allows customisable control
  • Paired bundle includes stands for convenience

Cons

  • No EQ or effects

The Mackie Thrash 212 is a rugged PA speaker inspired by the company and Greg Mackie’s roots in rock music.

Voiced and designed with heavy music and intense gigs in mind, this speaker is also – perhaps unexpectedly – ideal for DJs. It makes sense when you think about it, though. Intense performances, rowdy crowds, blaring music, and a need for big low frequencies? That sounds like a good club night just as much as it does a heavy rock gig.

Its high-performance 12″ driver offers booming bass, and its compression driver provides clear treble that’s sure to translate to any venue. And what’s even better is that the lightweight and portable design makes it easily transportable – ideal for DJs on the move.

Plus, in terms of output and amplification, the Thrash might be the loudest speaker on this whole list, with 1300 W of power and a maximum output of 125 dB SPL per speaker!

The best DJ speakers for studio and home use

1. PreSonus Eris 3.5 (2nd Gen)

PreSonus Eris 3.5 (2nd Gen) Studio Monitors, PairKey features

  • Upgraded speaker voicing
  • High-quality woven-composite transducer
  • Ultra-low-mass silk-dome transducer

Pros

  • Powerful audio performance with 50W Class AB amplification
  • Easy control through front-panel volume/headphone output
  • Sound fine-tuning via rear-panel attenuation controls

Cons

  • Smaller form factor limits bass response and sound output

An update to PreSonus’ ever-popular Eris range, the Eris 3.5 2nd Gen offer some of the best value for performance on the market. Compact, powerful, and with a shockingly linear frequency response, the Eris 3.5 monitors have had some tweaks to their voicing, allowing them to extend further into low frequencies.

While they still suffer a compact driver size and can’t deliver the most thundering bass around, these compact studio monitors are great desktop companions for any DJ who wants to get into production. They’re also great if you want a simple and reliable way to hear mixes out of some good quality speakers while you practise.

They even have enough sound output for small home parties, if you want to break the decks out at home.


2. Pioneer DJ DM-50D

Pioneer DJ DM-50D Active Monitor Speakers, BlackKey features

  • Class-D power amp with DSP
  • Two-way sound optimisation suitable for DJs and producers
  • Front-mounted controls

Pros

  • Delivers high-quality sound with exceptional clarity
  • Specifically tailored sound optimisation for DJs and producers
  • Easy access to controls due to intuitive design

Cons

  • No XLR inputs

The Pioneer DJ DM-50D are a pair of compact active monitors designed with DJs and music producers in mind. Each speaker features a 50-watt Class D amplifier with built-in DSP operating at 96 kHz to maintain fidelity. This DSP lets you switch voicings from the powerful, bassy DJ mode to a flatter and more balanced Production mode.

Ideal for the dual-role DJ and music producers, these versatile monitors kick out detailed sound in either mode thanks to their convex diffusers, which spread out high frequencies for better stereo imaging. Combine this with curved edges and grooved ducts to reduce air resistance, and the throw is longer, more consistent, doesn’t lose energy, and reduces standing waves for more accuracy.


3. SubZero SZSM-4X

SubZero SZSM-4X Studio Monitors, PairKey Features

  • Compact, powerful, and detailed
  • 4″ woofers
  • 3/4” silk dome tweeters

Pros

  • Wide frequency response of 75Hz to 20kHz
  • Clear and accurate sound reproduction for informed decisions
  • Highly efficient and punchy low-end, even at high volumes

Cons

  • No sound control or tweaking options available on the speakers

The SubZero SZSM-4X Studio Monitors are a brilliant choice for DJs. Compact yet powerful, these detailed speakers ensure every beat hits just right. The 4″ woofers are responsible for controlled, deep, and warm lows, while the 3/4″ silk dome tweeters take care of crystal-clear highs.

With a wide frequency response of 75Hz to 20kHz, you can listen back to your mixes and hear every nuance. These monitors are designed for clear and accurate sound reproduction, allowing you to make well-informed decisions about your mix. Plus, they offer a highly efficient and punchy low end, even at high volumes.


4. ADAM Audio A7V

ADAM Audio A7V Active Studio Monitor, SingleKey features

  • Rotatable HPS waveguide
  • Advanced DSP and ‘Voicing’ profiles
  • Wide frequency response

Pros

  • Seamless integration with exceptional connectivity options
  • Precise mixing and mastering due to even and detailed sound
  • Redesigned cabinet reduces distortion and internal resonances

Cons

  • Needs network router and ethernet cables for computer-controlled parameters

The ADAM Audio A7V Active Studio Monitor is an outstanding choice for DJs and music producers. Its key feature is the famed X-ART ribbon tweeter, a distinct and recognisable aspect of all ADAM Audio monitors that delivers a powerful but clear and balanced treble. It also has a rotatable HPS waveguide, which allows sound optimisation in any orientation – perfect for adapting to unique studio setups.

The advanced DSP and Voicing sound profiles offer further customisation, letting you shape the sound to fit any space. And with a wide frequency response, you can trust this monitor for accurate and detailed sound reproduction. Exceptional connectivity options ensure easy integration into any setup, and the outstanding sound quality makes precise mixing and mastering a breeze.


5. KRK Classic 5

KRK Classic 5 Studio Monitor PackKey features

  • Soft-dome tweeter
  • Clear midrange and tight bass from lightweight woofer
  • Improved accuracy in various environments with flat low-frequency adjustment

Pros

  • Compact studio monitors with a sound far more powerful than their size
  • Flat mode creates a more even, accurate sound profile
  • Powerful low-frequency response with adjustable controls ideal for DJs

Cons

  • No control over mid-range frequencies when customising your sound

The KRK Classic 5 stands out as one of the top choices for DJ speakers. It features a soft-dome tweeter with an optimised waveguide that delivers smooth and articulate highs up to 35kHz, offering unmatched sound quality.

The lightweight glass-aramid composite woofer ensures a clear midrange and tight bass for precise mixing and mastering, whilst the flat low-frequency adjustment adds versatility, improving accuracy across different environments. It comes with isolation pads and audio cables for an easy setup, and high and low-frequency controls for customisable sound. The factory-installed under-monitor foam pad further enhances clarity.


6. SubZero 6” Active Studio Monitor

SubZero 6" Active Studio MonitorKey features

  • Kevlar driver cones
  • Neodymium tweeter
  • On-board filters to adjust high and low frequency response

Pros

  • Woven fibreglass driver and silk dome tweeter provide detailed sound with accurate stereo imaging
  • Wide frequency response from 50 Hz – 22 kHz
  • High and low-frequency trim switches to customise your sound

Cons

  • Lacks advanced features like room correction

The SubZero 6″ Active Studio Monitor is crafted from high-quality components to offer a detailed, accurate sound that’s ideal for DJs. The Kevlar drive cones and rubber surround work in harmony to provide a fantastic low-end response.

If you’re a DJ wanting to delve into music production without breaking the bank, these monitors are ideal. You’ll find recording, mixing, and mastering a breeze, thanks to the ported and tuned enclosure enhancing accuracy.

Better still, there’s no distortion at high volumes, courtesy of the Neodymium Iron Boron tweeter. Plus, you can tailor your sound to any environment using the on-board filters.

What to consider when buying a DJ speaker

There are four main things you should think about when looking for DJ speakers. The first and probably the most important is the context you want to use them in. Do you need something for the venues you’re performing in? In that case, it’s worth looking for active PA speakers built for live performance. Something to practise at home or even produce with? Look for some studio monitors.

Knowing the context will also help you figure out the size of speakers you need. Smaller speakers will typically be lighter, but weight is also determined by internal components like amplification. The main benefit of Class D amplification is its efficiency, which means it can deliver more wattage at a lighter weight.

As far as sound quality goes, there are two main schools of thought. You can either opt for an accurate and flat response that recreates the original sound source or something that adds character, hyping up basslines and treble to give that larger-than-life dancefloor sound that so many DJs crave.

Some speakers, like the KRK Classics, deliver the latter by default, as do many live speakers, like the Mackie Thrash range. However, this can also be achieved with EQ or speaker tone controls on units that don’t have it regularly, so you have plenty of options for both characteristics.

SubZero 6" Active Studio Monitor

FAQs

What speakers do I need to DJ?

The type of speakers you need to DJ depends on several factors. The venue size, the genre of music you’re playing, and your personal taste in sound all play a role. A larger venue might require more powerful speakers, while certain genres might benefit from speakers that emphasise bass or treble.


What speakers do most professional DJs use?

Most professional DJs utilise active speakers for their performances. These are self-powered units that don’t require an external amplifier, making them a convenient choice. They often come with features like built-in equalisers, compressors, or feedback suppression that allow DJs to tweak the sound to their liking.


How many watts is a good DJ speaker?

A good DJ speaker typically has a power output of between 500 and 1000 watts. This provides a balance between volume and sound quality, ensuring your music can be heard clearly over the noise of a crowd. However, the right wattage for you will depend on the size and acoustics of your venue.

Rounding off

So, we’ve covered the best DJ speakers available, what makes them great, and what you should look for to find your ideal set. For both live performance and at home in the studio, there’s a wide variety to choose from, each with its own strengths and features to fit their context. From sound quality, bass response, and coverage to SPL output and connectivity options, it all boils down to what suits your needs best.

If you want to do some further reading, check out our deep dive into the best DJ controllers. And if you want to hear more about some of the brands that you might have seen mentioned here, why not visit our rundown of the best speaker brands around today?

 

Content Writer - Live Sound

Callum is a former audio and music technology student who has a love of punk, rock, metal, and electronic music. In his spare time, he produces music, and DJs occasionally. He's also a freelance engineer when possible, helping local bands make their noise even noisier.

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