Best Line-Array Speaker Brands
If you’ve ever been to a high-quality, large-scale event—a national-touring rock show, a Broadway performance, an outdoor concert of any kind, or even a larger church service—you were probably hearing sound produced by line-array speakers. Since the mass production of line arrays in the mid-1990s, they have been at the top of every production company’s wish list due to their evenly distributed and far-reaching sound that makes them a modern necessity for large-scale events.
Line-array systems are vertical columns of speakers which are designed to be more targeted sources of sound than their alternative, point-source systems. When they’re installed (often by suspending them in the air), the line array speakers’ design and layout allow them to directly focus sound to specific sections of the audience. Not only does this layout allow audio engineers to customize their sound to their specific venue, but it creates a more focused, evenly spread, and powerful sound as well.
In this Gearsupply Guide, we’re going to be exploring line array systems both small and large. We’ll even cover which companies and manufacturers specialize in different kinds of line arrays—like JBL Professional, Electro-Voice (EV), L’Acoustics, Martin Audio, Meyer Sound, and D&B Audiotechnik. Hopefully, this information will help you the next time you find a line-array rig that’s for sale!
Could you imagine every word of your church worship being easily understood by every audience member? Line arrays might help you achieve that. For churches both small and large, line arrays can make a huge difference in your intelligibility and the overall quality of your speech and music. Due to the vertical arrangement of these systems, they’re excellent for focusing sound through long and tall areas and cutting down on noise in undesired areas. For example, using line arrays, you can focus more sound energy on the congregation and less on the sides and ceiling, thereby cutting down on unnecessary muffling and reverberation coming from those areas.
JBL Professional has a product for just about every situation when it comes to church speakers. One line-array speaker which could make an excellent church sound system is the JBL Professional VRX932LAP powered line array speaker. In addition to its fantastic sound quality, the main benefit of this speaker is its easy installation. You can either place it on a pole mount or suspend it above your congregation, and they’ll be angled pretty much exactly how you’ll need them. Plus, these are powered speakers, meaning you don’t need separate (and expensive!) amplifier racks to run your system. Although these speakers can be a bit pricey, there’s no better bang for your buck in terms of church speakers.
For a smaller church that doesn’t require pounding, far-reaching sound, we would recommend checking out the compact line-array systems on the market. The JBL VLA system, for example, would be a great choice. For covering an even smaller area, like for small church cookouts, the JBL EON One Pro can create a high-quality sound on a budget (and is even portable!).
No matter if you’re a large-wedding DJ or a middle-school-dance DJ, the best line array speakers for DJs all have to be portable, powered, affordable, and most of all put out a lot of volume. That’s why we say that the best brand for this industry is Electro-Voice (EV). The EV speaker that sticks out the most for mobile DJs is the EV Evolve 30M, a portable column speaker that functions effectively as a line-array system. Coming in under 45 pounds, this speaker system still deserves to be called a powerhouse. Its built-in 1000W amplifier powers six 2.8” mid-frequency speakers in the column and one 10” woofer in the base of the system that extends down to 45Hz (at -10dB). These drivers are controlled by a 3-band and 7-band EQ, and its settings are even controllable via a proprietary mobile application. On top of that, it boasts 8 input channels: 4 XLR/TRS microphone inputs, 2 line inputs, and a Bluetooth receiver. As long as the venue is small enough, the EV Evolve 30M can pretty much handle any DJ’s speaker requirements—all while providing exceptional sound quality.
If you’re looking for a much bigger setup, you might want to dip into JBL’s selection of modular portable line-array systems, like the JBL BRX300 series. It’s definitely a bit less portable than the EV system mentioned above, but if you’re looking to fill a large venue with crowd-energizing dance music, this might be your best choice. It can be ground stacked, pole-mounted, and flown, and many consider it a real-life line-array system on wheels. Check it out if you need something a bit larger!
For Live Sound
For large venues or outdoor event spaces like stadiums, concert venues, conference centers, and amphitheaters, we can start researching the purely professional audio brands like France’s L’Acoustics, Germany’s D&B Audiotechnik, the U.K.’s Martin Audio, and California’s Meyer Sound. These are generally considered some of the best line-array system manufacturers out there, having been installed in some of the most prominent and prestigious venues in cities around the world. In fact, L’Acoustics is generally considered the first manufacturer to popularize line arrays for the concert and events industry with their V-DOSC line array system in the 1990s.
In addition to the L’Acoustics V-DOSC system (and the contemporary dV-DOSC system), some of the most important high-level line-array systems include Martin Audio’s MLA system, Meyer Sound’s LEO family of products, and D&B Audiotechnik’s J series and now SL series of line arrays. These are staples within the live-events industry and, if you’re a major event space, you should consider shopping from one of these brands.
We hope that this Gearsupply Guide can help you as you shop for line-array speaker systems for your church, DJ business, or other venue. You may even be able to find a great deal on a line-array system by browsing the current selection on Gearsupply—an online marketplace where events-industry professionals can buy and sell audio, video, lighting, and stage equipment for ultra-low prices.
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