Music Gear News

At we update our news channel daily to ensure you always get the latest and most important music news.

PA Speaker Terms Explained

Which speaker should i buy?
PA Speaker Terms Explained

Active or Passive?

Active (or powered) Speakers have a power amplifier built into them, making them versatile as most have direct inputs for microphones and line inputs for other music sources such as MP3 and CD players.

Passive Speakers require the use of an external power amplifier for operation. When selecting an amplifier for your system, it must match the Power rating (Watts) and Impedance (measured in Ohms) of the speakers you are using. Passive speakers connect to the amplifier with a heavier grade speaker cable.

Power Rating

Your Loudspeakers is likely to overheat and fail if too much power is put through it. Wattage measures how much power your speaker can handle and is most typically denoted as Watts RMS. This is essential to take note of when choosing a loudspeaker as it ensures the speaker will perform to optimum volume without distortion or risk of being damaged. Other terms relating to power include Peak Power which takes into account the amount of power a speaker can handle for very brief amount of time (we're talking milliseconds), and

PMPO (Peak Music Power Output)- both these values are not very useful when matching speakers with amplifiers or comparing volume of one system to another.


Loudspeaker impedance, represented in Ohms, measures what the current flow from the power amp is working against. Knowing the correct impedance is essential in conjunction with power to prevent damage and ensure the speaker is performing correctly.

Sound Pressure Level

Sound pressure level, or SPL, is measured in decibels (dB). Often a maximum SPL level is given to indicate the loudest volume an audio system can provide. Although this measurement is subjective and depends on the same audio passing through each speaker for an accurate comparison, it is still useful when comparing the volume of different speaker systems.

Frequency Response

The frequency response tells you how well the speaker can respond across the audible frequency range. Usually, this is represented as the upper and lower limits- from the lowest frequency the speaker will reproduce to the highest frequency. The lower frequencies are represented in 'Hz' and the higher frequencies represented by 'kHz'. An example of a frequency response would be: '30 Hz to 20kHz'.

by Alice Thomson

Posted on 24 Jun 2013 11:47 to category : Tips and advice

Related Music News


Update available to improve performance and fix bugs.

15 May 2015 07:00

Shure recently discussed how guitarists can achieve great results when recording at home or in a small project studio. We took a look and picked out our favourite points.

25 Jun 2014 14:15

Recreate the Brazilian carnival atmosphere at your World Cup party with our Samba instruments.

19 Jun 2014 09:46

Many parents want to encourage their child to take up an instrument early on in life. Music can be a fun and rewarding activity for children but knowing where to start can be tricky. Here are our top picks for ideal starter instruments for children under 7.

7 May 2014 11:16

We take a look at 11 apps you may want to try...

30 Sep 2013 14:34

You've spent ages perfecting your sound and now it's time to let others hear it too. Read our 8 Tips for Putting on a Great Live Show.

9 Sep 2013 15:09

Recent Music News


With great discounts on Toontrack EZmix 2 Mix Software, Toontrack EZmix 2 Mixing Software EZmix Preset Pack Bundle and Toontrack EZmix Presets Bundle for EZMix 2 Mixing Software the choice for great and affordable mixing software has never been clearer!

21 Oct 2016 13:37

Builiding on their reputation for developing cutting edge music gear and accessories, Samsons new Z series bring professional audio quality and transparency to the table

20 Oct 2016 17:06

With Pearl Jam, Tupac, , Depeche Mode, Janet Jackson and many more being nominated, this years event shaping up to be huge.

20 Oct 2016 10:57

His first album in over 38 years, Chuck's new album is to feature his family and his own original material

19 Oct 2016 14:37

Toontrack have released Big Rock, a vintage based rock pack that brings classic flavours in a modern package

18 Oct 2016 15:07

A promotional offer from Akai running until the 31st December allows the user to explore a vast array of professional sounds on the renowned MPD218

18 Oct 2016 09:11