Last Updated: May 8, 2023 @ 2:08 pm.

Our team of experts spent seven hours researching to find the best powered speaker. We interviewed audio professionals, live musicians and karaoke enthusiasts. Then we tried some of the speakers ourselves. Which had the best audio quality? Best bang for the buck? Here are the ones we recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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Best Light Weight

Optional Bluetooth is helpful
We like this speaker for small stages or other tight setups, where a floor monitor needs to pack a punch without taking up too much room. Great sound quality.

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Best Light Weight: Alto Professional TX308 – 350W Active PA Speaker with 8” Woofer

When you are playing gigs, the weight of gear (especially monitors) matters—and this 8″ speaker hits all the right notes for our pick as best lightweight powered speaker. We like the sound quality and frequency range . . . and the size is perfect for small stages. 

What We Liked

• Weights just 14.3 lbs.

• Perfect for smaller stages as a floor monitor.

• Also great for DJ booths.

• Affordable.

• Bluetooth accessory (additional purchase) adds wireless connectivity.

What Needs Work

• Mid-range can sound a bit muddy.

• Volume controls can affect level of mix out.

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Best Sound Quality

Excellent bass
When you need the very best audio reproduction, this would be our pick—impressive features (including Bluetooth control). Also nice: presets for live music, speeches, etc.

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Best Sound Quality: Electro Voice ELX200-10P 10” 1200W 2-Way Powered Loudspeaker

Yes, these speakers are pricey, but the sound quality is off the hook, said the musicians we interviewed for this article. And after hearing a demo of this speaker compared to others in this price range, we would give this speaker the crown for best sound response and replication.

What We Liked

• Stellar sound.

• Easy to carry round.

• Bluetooth lets you control volume and EQ from your phone.

• Excellent bass.

• Loud!

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

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Best Monitor

Smooth low end
Loved by live musicians, this speaker impresses us with its overall quality and frequency response.

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Best Monitor: QSC CP12 12-Inch Compact Powered Loudspeaker

When it comes to the best powered speakers for live performance or DJ gigs, most folks are divided into two camps: those that love QSC speakers. And those that love QSC speakers, but don’t know it yet.

We were skeptical of the hype here, but after hearing these speakers live in a variety of performance settings, we give this model our top pick for best speaker monitor. And yes, this is the lower-end version of the QSC (compared to the K-series). But these 12″ CP speakers with 1000 watts are impressive. 

What We Liked

• Bass is tight and deep.

• Soundly built for travel and road trips.

• Great for mobile DJ.

• Excellent choice for vocal monitor.

• Very consistent frequency response.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• A notch below the sound quality of the QSC K-series.

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Best For Beginners

Good mid-level and high response
The value for this bundle is most impressive—and yes, the sound is good, especially for those starting DJ gigs.

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Best For Beginners: Pair Rockville RPG15 15” 2000w Powered PA/DJ Speakers + 2 Stands + 2 Cables + Bag

If you are starting out as a DJ, you need the best bang for the buck—and unfortunately, powered speakers can easily run into the four-figure range for a pair. And that doesn’t include stands, cables or travel bags.

We searched through a dozen entry-level models before settling on this option that came recommended by several DJ’s we interviewed for this article: Rockville’s RPG15. Yes, this bundle includes two speakers, stands, cables and even travel bags. And the sound quality is decent, especially for someone starting out.

What We Liked

• Good mid and high end response.

• Great for those starting out.

• Sturdy stands.

• Affordable bundle.

What Needs Work

• Heavy.

• Lower end response not as good as more expensive speakers . . . but we still think it is adequate.

About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Baby Bargains: Your Baby Registry Cheat Sheet is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.