Hiring an audio engineer and paying them tens of thousands of dollars to estimate optimal speaker placement is one technique to achieve acceptable sound coverage. Of course, most organizations do not have the funds to pay for such a procedure.
Fortunately, there is a less complicated and less expensive solution to provide proper audio coverage: DIY line array speakers.
The first step in looking for line array speakers should be determining where you will utilize them. To begin, use industry-standard modeling tools to determine whether a line array is a good match for your space. Once established, there are several factors to consider while looking for the finest speaker alternatives.
Size and weight of the speaker
First and foremost, you must consider the weight and size of the speakers. Line array stacks are, by definition, bigger than point source speakers, and the intended hanging points must be capable of holding the entire weight of all the units in the stack.
Second, you must consider sightlines. Taller line array stacks might hang low. Therefore, consider the installation position and ceiling height in relation to where the audience occupies the space. This is especially true for spectators situated towards the front on the sides.
You must also ensure that the line array does not interfere with the range of any projectors in the venue, especially if you have projection screens on the edges of the stage instead of a center-mounted projector. Since the speakers will be apparent within the area, you'll need to decide whether you want them to be white or black early on.
Power and signal processing
Power and signal processing are two important factors when making line arrays. Some line arrays are "active," which means they provide an amplifier that is power-matched to the speaker in addition to a digital signal processor which modifies the sound to prevent driver damage.
Loudspeaker drivers can only generate particular frequencies and require a DSP independent from the cabinet tuned to the speaker's frequency ranges. Appropriate speaker calibration and a power-matched amplifier are essential for the speaker's durability, and active systems include both.
Our Best Picks
QSC KLA12 12" 500-Watt 2-Way Powered Active
JBL Professional VRX932LA-1 Two-Way Line Array Loudspeaker System
Bose L1 Compact with Carry Case
Best Line Array Speakers
1.JBL Professional VRX932LA-1 Two-Way Line Array Loudspeaker System
It has a Constant Curvature resonator for exceptional array coherence, and the Array Configuration Selector allows for "array shading" in passive mode.
It also features JBL's unique neodymium magnetic Differential Drive woofer that provides tremendous power output while being lightweight.
It features a dual-angle pole socket for targeting versatility, and you may use it with one or two speakers connected to a 35 mm tripod stand or pole.
It includes integrated rigging hardware for easy enclosure attachment and an additional array framework.
The array coverage of the VRX932LA is shaped via "amplitude shading." Switches on the interface panel, for instance, allow the top box in an array to reach a faraway terrace while shading back the lower HF portion to minimize unnecessary levels in the forefront of the listening area.
It has a tripod or subwoofers that can combine with one or two VRX932LAs. The incorporated rigging hardware secures the array, while the double pole socket allows for targeting versatility.
2. QSC KLA12 12" 500-Watt 2-Way Powered Active Line Array Loudspeaker, Black
It features a power module of 500 W + 500 W.
The tough ABS casing provides lightweight durability.
It has a SOLO Rigging Mechanism, which allows for deployment without using tools or other gear.
It has a high-power, 12" low-frequency driver, which delivers extension down to 44Hz without subwoofers.
It contains substantial DSP, which improves and preserves performance even more.
It boasts a compression driver with a diaphragm of 1.75" that produces clean and strong high-frequency reproduction.
It also has a Tilt-Direct pole mount, which aids directivity in single-unit situations.
KLA speakers feature QSC's DEEP DSP technology, which provides prolonged bass response by proactively regulating potential harmful low-frequency nonlinearities, as well as GuardRail circuitry protection, which eliminates unnatural and dangerous clipping of the amplifier module.
3. Bose L1 Compact with Carry Case
The Bose Spatial Dispersion speaker system distributes sound equally over the stage and across the audience—even to the far corners.
It features two ToneMatch channels, one for a portable microphone and another for an acoustic guitar, with fixed settings.
It has a built-in bass speaker in the power stand.
It has two configuration options: compressed for smaller areas and expanded for larger ones.
The L1 Compact technology is one of the most portable systems for up to 100 people. It boasts a 6-speaker flexible line array and a two-channel controller with ToneMatch settings on each channel. You can transport it in a single trip, set it up in a minute, and fill the space with just one system.
4. PRORECK Club 4000
It contains built-in Bluetooth for easy connection without the use of cords.
It also features a USB/SD card reader: Insert and play your preferred music from a flash drive or SD card.
It has separate volume controls: subwoofer volume/MP3/BT volume/Master volume/Mic volume.
A mix output is provided for connecting extra speakers.
To operate numerous subwoofers, you can adjust the phase from 0° to 180°.
It includes various special features, such as a USB connector, a built-in microphone, and an SD slot.
5. Electro-Voice Evolve 30M Portable Powered Column Loudspeaker System, Black
It features a sophisticated industrial layout, professional-grade EV-engineered parts, and superior build quality, allowing for rapid installation and single-trip mobility in a system that appears as good as it sounds.
It also boasts an industry-leading QuickSmart DSP, allowing you to adjust every element of your sound from anywhere in the space using the control panel or the app.
The robust onboard mixer allows you to mix your concert like a professional, providing best-in-class connection and control.
It features excellent Electro-Voice sound quality and the most comprehensive functionality in its class - the ideal blend of performance and flexibility in a very small size.
6. Electro-Voice ELX200-12P 12" 1200W 2-Way Powered Loudspeaker
It features the Ev QuickSmart smartphone application, which can remotely configure, operate, and control a maximum of six Elx200 speakers simultaneously.
It also includes a high-efficiency 1200 W power amplifier that can provide up to 130 dB peak SPL using EV-designed and built transducers.
It has professional-grade components, including three M10 threaded helical gears for reinforced eyebolts, inbuilt pole mounts, and the tried-and-true ZLX three-handle layout for effortless lifting.
QuickSmartDSP has industry-leading processing. Four presets, sub/top system-matching, three-band equalizer, five user-programmable sequencers, graphical monitoring of limiter condition, input control loops and gauges, and master voice control to enhance boost structure. The all-through LCD makes setup simple.
7. Yamaha Portable PA System with Bluetooth Stagepas 400BT, Black
It is quick and simple to set up: STAGEPAS 400BT may be configured and ready to use in a few seconds.
It features a PA for any event: it can be used in various settings and applications.
It also has a Bluetooth connection, allowing wireless streaming from cellphones and tablets.
It includes Intelligent DSP.
It has ultimate portability, making it compact and lightweight enough to carry by hand.
To conclude the discussion above, if you want the best quality without compromise, you should go with the JBL Professional VRX932LA-1. But, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, go for the QSC KLA12 12."
That was all for this article, where we discussed how you could choose a good line array speaker. You also learned about some of the best line array speakers available in the market.