How Many Speakers Does A DJ Need?
When you start out, buying DJ equipment can be a minefield. You don’t want to waste money buying hardware you don’t need. This guide aims to make sure you don’t.
Whether you're a professional DJ looking to expand your sound, or you just have an interest in DJing and thinking about taking the next step, there are some questions you might have about getting speakers. Here's everything you need to know about finding the right speakers for your DJ system.
Do DJs Need Their Own Speakers?
DJs need their own speakers if they want to be able to practice DJing from home or if they’re a mobile DJ who 'comes with their own kit'. Otherwise, they don’t necessarily need their own speakers at all.
If you’re booked to play a DJ gig at a club you can expect to use their in-house equipment. However if you’re pursuing a mobile DJ career and performing at private events and weddings, it could increase your chances of getting booked if you provide all of your own equipment, including speakers.
How Many Speakers Does A DJ Need?
The number of speakers you need depends entirely on the usage. Generally one DJ speaker is suitable for small rooms, for a small crowd and for less than 100 guests. Whereas we recommend using a pair of speakers for a larger space and/or more than 100 guests.
Two speakers should suffice for most events, including school dances, proms, weddings and other midsize parties. In this case, each speaker should be placed in opposite corners of the room to ensure good sound distribution throughout the area. You could also experiment with various locations in the room to achieve best results.
How Many Watts Do I Need For My DJ Speakers?
When calculating the number of speakers needed for your DJ setup, the rule of thumb is that the maximum volume of your system should be double the number of people in attendance. So, if you have 200 people you will need at least 400 watts RMS (root mean square) or 800 watts peak power. For example:
100 people = 200 watts RMS / 400 watts peak power
150 people = 300 watts RMS / 600 watts peak power
200 people = 400 watts RMS / 800 watts peak power
250 people = 500 watts RMS / 1000 watts peak power
300 people = 600 watts RMS / 1200 watts peak power
Types Of DJ Speakers
There are two types of DJ speakers: powered and unpowered. Since DJs require more power than ever before, it can be difficult to choose which type is right for your situation.
Powered DJ Speakers
This is the most popular type of speaker available on the market today. This is because most DJs prefer these to the unpowered alternative, mainly because they are easier to set up and use with equipment that you already have. The only problem with this type of speaker is that it can be very expensive, especially if you want a top-of-the-line model.
Unpowered DJ Speakers
If you don't want to shell out thousands on a powered DJ speaker system, then an unpowered system may be what you're looking for. These systems are generally less expensive than their powered counterparts and don't require as much power as their counterparts do. However, they also tend to be less powerful and require an external amplifier.
Do You Need Amplifiers For DJ Speakers?
Amplifiers provide the power needed to make your speakers sound loud.
There are two main types of amplifiers: powered and unpowered. Powered amplifiers are built into powered speakers (active), while unpowered amps are standalone devices designed for use with passive speakers. So if you buy a passive speaker, be sure to buy an amplifier that provides enough power for the speaker's needs.
The amount of power a DJ speaker requires depends on the size of the speaker and how loud it can go. If you're buying a passive speaker, it will have a power rating that tells you how much wattage (power) it needs to reach its maximum volume.
When it comes to how many amps a DJ needs for their setup, they'll need one amp per passive speaker. If you have active speakers, you won't need any amplifiers at all.
Choosing Amplifiers For Your DJ Speakers
Finding the best amplifier for DJ speakers is actually fairly simple when you get down to it. As a rule of thumb, the amplifier should be rated for twice the power rating of your speakers. So if you have a pair of speakers that are rated for 500 watts each, you would want an amp that's rated for between 1000 and 2000 watts total power.
However, keep in mind that some manufacturers use inflated or misleading terms like 'peak power' or 'music power' which can be wildly overstated. For example, an amplifier might have a peak power rating of 2000 watts, but its normal operating range might only be 150-250 watts per channel. So always check the actual continuous (normal operating) power rating to ensure you're getting enough juice to drive your speakers properly.
Also, make sure you don't connect too many speakers to one amp. An average DJ speaker will handle up to 300-400 watts RMS before failing, but this varies depending on its design and construction quality. The headroom provided by the extra amplification power is important in preventing clipping and distortion. This is why it's important to not overdrive your amplifiers - if they're running at full capacity, it means the audio signal is being distorted and affecting your sound quality.
Buying DJ equipment is never easy, you want to prioritise finding something that’s good value but will also stand the test of time in a rapidly evolving market. If you're just starting out learning how to DJ and you don't want to invest in a high power PA system just yet, you can practice DJing on industry standard speakers at Pirate's DJ studios in the UK, US or Germany.
All of Pirate's DJ rooms come kitted out with two or three Pioneer DJ CDJs and mixer paired with 2x Pioneer XPRS 10 speakers. Plus, you can DJ at Pirate with the music turned up as loud as you want.