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I am setting up a DJ setup as outlined here:

  • Laptop with multi-output sound card
  • Possible mixer
  • Powered Speakers

What are some important characteristics that I should look for in the powered speakers in such a setup?

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Watts per pound.

That is to say you want to evaluate on the following criteria:

How portable is it? (Can you fit it in your car with all the other gear? Will these be light enough for you to pick up and move?)

How powerful is it? (Can you fill your average venue with enough clean as in non-clipping volume with some head room to spare?)

To simplify, the more watts per pound should be an indicator at satisfying this criteria.

When it comes down to it, there are usually 2 or 3 models that will fit, then you should do a live A/B comparison while taking into account the subtle differences in tone and quality.

Other important considerations are how reliable are the power supplies? How clean is the power, noise issues? How forgiving are the power supplies with venues that may have brown outs or lots of noise on the utility line--will you need to buy a power conditioner too, or do the speaker power supplies keep things clean?

The most important item here is how well do these power speakers perform for your music show? Do they deliver the sound as you intend?

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