If you’ve never bought PA systems before, it can be difficult to know what to choose. There are lots of products available and if you don’t really understand all the specifications and technical terms, it’s especially challenging to make the right decision for you. Luckily, the Soundkicks team is here to give you expert advice. Here’s our guide to the five PA essentials.
Quality Speakers for your PA Systems
There are two kinds of speakers for any PA system – active or passive. A passive speaker needs an external amplifier while an active speaker as an in-built amplifier. While active speakers have a simpler set up, they need mains power and are heavy.
When you’re choosing speakers, you need to look at the driver size (in inches) and power rating (watts). You’ll need speakers with a higher wattage if your requirements are more heavy-duty. The size of the driver will indicate the amount of low frequency sound which can be produced. Again, for more heavy-duty requirements a larger size of driver will be necessary. If you need more bass, you’ll need subwoofers too.
A mixer will take all of the audio sources then mix them together into a single audio channel which is sent to the speaker or amplifier. Mixers have multiple channels and you’ll need one that has sufficient channels to accommodate all your sound sources. A modern mixer will usually have inbuilt digital effects and an inbuilt amplifier as well as a USB socket to allow recording and playback from laptops.
The amplifier will take the audio signal from the mixer then amplify it so it has sufficiently high power for the driving speakers. If you have passive speakers, you’ll need to ensure the amplifier’s power is matched to the speaker.
When acoustic sound sources like instruments and voices need to be amplified, the PA system will need a microphone. There are two kinds of microphone available – wireless and wired. While a wired microphone will need a physical lead to the mixer, a wireless microphone will use wireless transmitters and receivers. Although wireless microphones are often useful, they are costly and can be affected by radio interference.
You can choose from handheld, headset and clip-on microphones. All have their own uses so you need to choose the ones which best suit your requirements.
If you’ll be broadcasting audio files or pre-recording music through your PA system, you’ll need audio playback equipment. iPods and MP3 players are popular solutions in this respect. While some PA systems have incorporated docking systems, others can simply use a lead between the MP3 player or laptop’s headphone socket and the mixer. Some of the most up-to-date PA systems and mixers have an inbuilt MP3 player that can play audio from USB sticks or memory cards.
Here at Soundkicks, we have a range of high-quality, modern sound systems and PA systems for hire.
If you’re ready to find out more, call our team today on 0333 210 0198 and we can answer your questions and offer you our expert advice.