If you have found yourself wondering what the best powered stage monitor is, then you are on the right track. There is a misconception out there about the importance of good quality stage monitors, and I have also been to a handful of events with NO stage monitors. Make no mistake, stage monitors are important. If you are asking yourself why they are so important, let us help answer that for you.
The Importance Of Great Quality Stage Monitors
If the band can't hear themselves, there is bound to be some tonal errors or worse, straight up mistakes. Let us paint a picture of this to help. I played drums in bands for years with a variety of speaker arrangements. The worst of all my shows was when there was NO stage monitor beside me to hear what was going on. Think of songs that start with guitar, or a break in music where just guitar is playing. The frustration of having to keep my eyes locked on our rhythm guitarists hands moving along the neck aggravated me to no end. What if the singer can't hear themselves? They might get off key and not realize it. Let's just say, if the band isn't having a good time, then the audience isn't having a good time
What Makes The Best Powered Stage Monitor The Best
First and foremost, the speaker needs to have enough power that the musician can hear what is going on. As a drummer, I can tell you that we have to have that speaker loud! Weight can be an important factor for you as you. Frequency range is incredibly important as you want to hear as much as possible through the speaker. Lastly, you need to make sure that the speaker has the cable connections that you need. I will go into deeper detail of each of these later in this article. Now let's take a look at the best powered stage monitor for your live sound needs. (the following products contain affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I get paid if you click through and make a purchase)
The Best Powered Stage Monitor List
Considerations For Finding The Best Powered Stage Monitor
As mentioned previously in this article, we talked about the specs that we took into account to give you the list for the best powered stage monitor, but let's look deeper into these specs and what they mean. These are not things that you must know, but they will help gain an understanding of what makes a good speaker. That way we can be sure that you are getting the best powered stage monitor to fit your needs.
Every instrument has a frequency register that it operates in. We have another article found here that we explained the different frequencies for instruments. You want the speaker that you choose to have as wide of a response as possible. We suggest when looking for the best powered stage monitor, that it is at least a low of 40 Hz and as high as 20,000 Hz. You will hear most sounds within this frequency range.
To give the loudest sound possible without causing distortion, it is suggested that the tweeter of a speaker have at least 30 watts of power, and the woofer have at least 100 watts of power. Contrary to belief, a 200 watt amplifier will not perform at twice the volume of a 100 watt amplifier, but it will be slightly louder. What wattage tells us is that the higher it is, the louder the speaker can be without causing distortion. That being said, speakers will also have a decibel rating that should be taken note of as well to get the best powered stage monitor possible.
You most likely will want a speaker that weighs as little as possible. In fact, I can't think of any situation where you would want it to be heavier. Often times when I am running sound, I alone am the one who is carrying the speakers from my car to the stage and setting them up. Thinking long term here, you will want to save yourself from some back issues in the future.
The Different Cables Used On The Best Powered Stage Monitor
There are two different types of cables that are typically used on a powered stage monitor. When selecting the best powered stage monitor for you, you will need to know the cables that will be best for your setup. Luckily, you can get cables that are different on each end. The first common cable that your stage monitor might use is a XLR cable. This cable has 3 prongs on the male end, and 3 holes on the female end of the cable. This is the most common connection that you will see.
The other type of cable that you will see on a powered stage monitor is a TRS cable. This 1/4" cable is not to be confused with an instrument cable. While an instrument cable can fit in the input, this is an unbalance, mono signal. A TRS cable will be a balanced, stereo signal. You can identify the difference between these cables by the lines on the insert. An instrument cable will have one line to mark it, whereas a TRS cable will have two lines.
Powered Monitors Vs Passive Monitors
A decision that you will want to make in the very early stages of your live sound rig is if you want powered or passive speakers. Each have their advantage and disadvantage. Passive speakers will require an external amp to power them. The benefit of this is that you can have all your amps is a specific location around the stage that is easily accessible to you. Powered monitors have to be plugged in, and they are a struggle when needing to adjust the volume on the back of the speaker. The benefit to powered monitors is that each speaker can have the volume adjusted on the back tailored to each musicians preference.
I personally prefer powered stage monitors due to each musician being able to adjust their own volume. This is also beneficial to me because I can easily add more speakers to my rig as I go along through my live sound experience. For more on powered vs passive speakers, check out our article here.
Final Thoughts About The Best Powered Stage Monitor
If you find yourself still asking what the best powered stage monitor is or any other live sound questions at all, we are always there to help! We can be contacted through our contact us page found here. Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay updated when we release new articles to help with your music needs!