Best Passive PA Speakers – Top 5 Reviews, Tips, FAQs & More

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If you are a DJ or a performer, we know how hard it must be for you to find a good passive PA speaker that can entertain the crowd without distortions and unnecessary noise.

There are many speakers to choose from in the market, but how to choose the best one?

To make the search easier for you, we have listed the top 5 best passive PA speakers that we had the pleasure of testing.

Let’s look at our top picks first.

Top Pick

With 1300 watts this speaker blares music to far ranges with loud clear crisp sound delivering an exceptional experience.

Runner Up

This speaker is the perfect equipment for you to perform in a large arena as it will cover every nook and cranny with crisp audio due to its powerful 2000 watts.

Also Great

This speaker offers 250 watts which ensures powerful but even sound. It covers small crowds effectively with zero distortion in the audio.

Disclaimer for TT: Please note that the term “best” refers to a specific aspect of a product. 

This could be any of several factors we may use to test a product’s quality such as durability, design, user-friendliness, performance, etc.

These factors are analyzed over the course of some months and extensively compared to ensure that the top product is identified. While we may have a certain recommendation, other resources might have differing opinions due to differences in testing methods.

Best Passive PA Speakers - Top 5 Reviews

#1. Passive DJ Speaker - Mackie THUMP Series Review

The Mackie THUMP series brings back one of the best passive PA speakers series which are class-leading and provide great value for money. Their speakers provide high-quality sound and excellent frequency response. 

These versatile speakers come with 1300 watts of power equipped with built-in application-specific speakers modes and mixers. 

You can control many advanced features offered by the THUMP control app like wireless streaming, channel EQ and more. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices where you can get easy access to controls and configurations. 

To get the ultimate THUMP PA System, you should add the powerful 18 inch Thump18S powered subwoofer which will give you the maximum low end. 

What’s even more exciting is that they have utilized the latest technology for wireless linkage of speakers to each other to give you a full blast of music even 100m away. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Mackie THUMP Series

Budget: While they are not the cheapest speakers in the market, they do offer high value for their price tag. We think that the peak power and great sound quality justify its price.

Build quality: The speaker comes with flexible mounting options as well as an outer exterior that is highly sturdy. You can rest assured that it will last you a long time.

Output power: As mentioned, the speaker boasts 1300 watts of power and has inner controls and speaker modes that utilize that power to its fullest potential.

Best Passive DJ Speaker

The best passive DJ speaker is The Mackie THUMP Series in terms of the high-quality sound experience it’s able to deliver. We were impressed by how loud yet clear it is. Plus, you can even link them up to each other for louder sound.

#2. Budget-Friendly Passive PA Speakers - Alto Professional TS310 Review

These amazing speakers have high performance in every sense of the word. Their high-quality amplifiers and transducers allow them to play loud music without any compromise on the audio. 

The TS3 series shares a four product range which has 2000 watts of peak power (continuous power is 1000 watts).

It’s designed to operate with more power and play loud music with all-new low-frequency drivers. Its horn-loaded compression driver gives a loud but super clear sound. 

The transducers inside it have a new heat-sink property which provides great heat dissipation for extreme power handling. They take full advantage of high wattage, thus expelling higher SPLs without any distortion.

Along with awesome features, it is extremely easy to use and set up. The controls are clear and simple to operate with an updated control panel and clear indications and detents for a convenient hassle-free experience.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Alto Professional TS310

Budget: Compared to other speakers on the list, this one is relatively budget-friendly. However, that means that it has some compromises compared to other products on this list. For example, the exterior is not as high-quality as other entries on this list.

Build quality: As mentioned above, the exterior is not as sturdy as we would’ve hoped. Furthermore, we noticed significant wear and tear on its outer body just after a month of use.

Output power: The speaker boasts 2000 watts of output power which is more than enough for loud and clear sound with most applications.

Best Budget-Friendly Passive PA Speakers

The Alto Professional TS310 is the top budget-friendly passive PA speaker system because it gives great value for money with a ton of amazing features that ensure exceptional performance.

#3. Sound Quality Passive Speakers - JBL Professional JRX215 Review

The JBL JRX215 is one of the best passive PA speakers. It provides a smooth frequency response with superior coverage and lesser distortion. The sturdy build comprises an acoustically superior package that gives great durability and low-frequency performance.

Its polymer diaphragm driver allows a higher frequency performance along with system reliability. You also get inductors and high voltage capacitors that ensure the crossover network handles higher power without becoming saturated.

The JBL JRX215 two-way speaker has a 2.5” frequency driver which gives more cross-sectional area in the voice coil gap. This allows for more efficient operation and power handling. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy JBL Professional JRX215

Budget: This speaker is definitely good to get if you’re someone that wants great sound on a budget. It won’t burn a hole in your pocket but the sound quality rivals some of the most expensive PA speakers out there. 

Build quality: Despite its low price, the build quality of this speaker is impeccable. We noticed little to no signs of wear and tear over the course of our tests which lasted over a month.

Output power: With 1000 watts of peak power and 250 watts of output wattage, we feel that this speaker is fairly powerful. The sound quality is highly balanced and provides a dynamic range that is quite sizable. 

Best Sound Quality Passive Speakers

The JBL Professional JRX215 features great sound because its high power allows a larger coverage area with crisp and clear audio.

#4. DJ Passive PA Speakers - Rockville RSG12 Review

In our opinion, this powered PA passive speaker is well worth the value for money and is one of the top high-quality passive speakers. You get great audio pressure levels, exceptional build quality, an impressive design, and also, an affordable price.

The Rockville RSG12 has a tapered trapezoidal shape which contributes to a clear and crisp sound dispersion. You also get a pole mount located in the cabinet for easy and hassle-free setup. 

You’ll enjoy a generous range of sound produced by the speaker thanks to its 8-ohm impedance and 2 inch high temperature voice coil.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Rockville RSG12

Budget: This is a great speaker to get if you don’t have a ton of money to spend. The sound is impeccable and provides great value for money.

Build quality: The outer exterior is fairly prone to scratches and we noticed the outer layer showing signs of wear and tear after a month of use.

Output power: It has a high power-rating as it offers a generous amount of power up to 1000 watts peak, 500 watts of RMS power, and 750 watts program power. 

Best Reliable PA Speakers

The best reliable PA speakers are the Rockville RSG12 because of their 1-year warranty. They also pack a big punch in terms of sound and are also very easy to transport.

#5. Outdoor DJ Speakers - Behringer Eurolive B212XL Review

This 12 inch speaker comes with a titanium LF driver and 1.75-inch HF driver.This passive speaker is highly recommended due to its exceptional quality of audio, sturdy build, and great user experience.

It can also be used as a backup in case your main goes out of function and you have something to immediately set up and continue your gig.

The body is small, lightweight and easily transportable but it no way compromises on the value. It provides loud sound for such a small speaker and is perfect for backups or small range coverage.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Behringer Eurolive B212XL

Budget: Not only can you save yourself a fair amount of money but you’ll also get one of the best and most compact speakers in terms of size.

Build quality: The build quality of this speaker is impeccable. We tested with a variety of setups and stress-tested it for a month. It stood up to the tests quite well. 

Output power: It’s an entry-level speaker for smaller gatherings. Hence, it covers a smaller range since it has lower power generation with 200 watts continuous, 400 watts program, and 800 watts peak. 

Best Outdoor DJ Speakers

The Behringer Eurolive B212XL is the top Outdoor DJ Speakers and comes with exceptional quality of sound despite its low power. Its light weight and small size make it easier to be transported.

best passive pa speakers

Buyers’ Guide

What are passive speakers?

There are two types of speakers namely active and passive. Active ones have built-in amplifiers which makes them portable. Whilst passive ones come with their amplifiers sold separately. There are a variety of powered amplifiers to accommodate your power setting requirements.

There is no hard and fast rule of selecting either of the two. It all depends on how you want to set up. Active speakers have a fixed setting until you decide to purchase a new one. They are recommended over passive speakers for playing music on your computer or for general purposes.

Things to consider when buying PA speakers

You should consider the following things before making the purchase:

  • Match power and impedance

When purchasing an amplifier you will find readings like 55 Watt power channel at 8 ohms load. This explains the range of ohms you can connect that will be stable and compatible. 

For example a channel with 700 watts power with an 8 ohm load means the amp is stable at 8 ohms. You can connect 8 ohm, 10 ohm and 12 ohm but a 6 ohm will disturb the sound production and result in a distorted quality.

  • Budget

Considering a budget is the first and most important factor when making a purchase. The smart option would be to set a budget and stick to it. Do not go for expensive ones after quality as you can find some great affordable speakers at a low price as well. 

Besides, do not go over $500, but also don’t go under $250 as this may result in you ending up with a low quality speaker.

  • Output power rating and max SPL

The output power rating is the numerical value given to the speaker’s projection and headroom. There are two types of output powers. The first one being Continuous (RMS) which is a better representation of how much wattage a speaker requires to operate smoothly over a period of time. 

The second one is the Peak (Dynamic) which is the short volume bursts that speakers can take. 200 watts are suitable for small venues whilst 500 watts are suitable for larger ones.

Maximum sound pressure level is the measurement of how well a speaker can cover an area. Generally a higher SPL ensures greater coverage.

  • Speaker size

The speaker size can be judged by the area of the place you intend to play it in. Arenas with a larger size require the 15 inch ones however they are pricey. The 10 inch ones will serve you well in smaller areas. So, make sure you go for the one that comes with the features adjusted to your requirements.

Why choose passive speakers over powered speakers?

  • Light-weight

The passive PA speakers have no built-in amplifiers which is why they are lightweight. This makes them affordable, set up, transportation and installation easy.

  • Durability

Powered PA speakers have a ton of connections which makes them more complicated and have a shorter lifespan. Whereas, a passive PA speaker does not have as many connections hence has a longer lifespan. A passive PA speaker has lesser connections that can fail which is why they outlast.

  • Easy to set-up

An advantage of passive PA speakers is that you only need to connect one cable to them which contains the electronic audio signal from the amplifier. Hence, these are more easy to set up as compared to powered PA speakers since they require a cable to provide them energy.

  • Safety

A PA system is dangerous as it carries large amounts of current and can be dangerous when set up near water or outdoors where it can rain. Which is why a passive PA is safer to deploy outdoors.

Drawbacks of passive PA speakers

Whilst these speakers are great, they do have some drawbacks. You need to match the energy levels of the speaker to the amplifier according to the speaker’s requirement. For this you need knowledge on the peak energy output, impedance, and mathematics that are involved to calculate those requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best passive PA speakers?

The top passive PA speakers includes:

  • Mackie THUMP Series
  • Alto Professional TS310
  • JBL Professional JRX215
  • Rockville RSG12
  • Behringer B212XL

Do passive speakers sound better?

Yes, they do sound better than the powered speakers. This is because the passive speakers have bigger drivers, whereas the powered ones feature an amplifier that leaves less space for the drivers. However, the driver is the part of the speaker that produces sound. Bigger the drivers, clearer and better balanced sound will be produced.

What’s the best PA system for the money?

Following are the top  PA systems for the money:

  • Mackie THUMP Series – Great Passive DJ Speaker 
  • Alto Professional TS310 – Top Budget-Friendly 
  • JBL Professional JRX215 – Great Audio
  • Rockville RSG12 – Top Unpowered Speaker
  • Behringer B212XL – Top Outdoor DJ Speaker

Can you connect a passive speaker to an active speaker?

Yes, you can connect the two. All you need to do is to connect the active speaker with the amp of the passive one. Besides, make sure that the cable connecting the two is XLR type and has inputs and outputs of the signal.

What is the loudest PA Speaker?

The JBL Professional JRX215 is one of the loudest speakers. It is a two-way sound reinforcement loudspeaker system. It has a whopping power output of 250 Watts. It offers a ton of features that makes its sound clearest and  loudest.

What is the difference between PA speakers and home speakers?

Public-address (PA) speakers are used in a large area where loud and clear sound is needed. Whereas, active ones or home speakers don’t require any extra hardware to produce sound as they plug directly into power outlets.

Are PA speakers good for music?

Yes, these speakers are portable and good for music. They produce better sound than the portable ones. Moreover, they are loud enough to fill a room and hold moderate bass within a short distance. 

What do I need for passive speakers?

Passive speakers have a couple of wire connectors or jack sockets on the back of the speaker that need to be plugged into an amplifier. Also, they don’t have their own power supply, thus there is no power cord attached to them.

Final Thoughts

This concludes our article for the best passive pa speakers and hopefully we have helped you on deciding the one you want most. Our favorite speaker is the Mackie THUMP Series which offers a range of exceptionally brilliant speakers with features unmatched. Our second pick is the Alto Professional TS310 which provides 2000 watts power and will fulfill all your needs to entertain a large crowd. The third most reliable speaker is the JBL JRX215 which will stand by you and provide excellent loud audio.


  • Victor Marquez

    Victor is the Editor in Chief at Techtyche. He tests the performance and quality of new VR boxes, headsets, pedals, etc. He got promoted to the Senior Game Tester position in 2021. His past experience makes him very qualified to review gadgets, speakers, VR, games, Xbox, laptops, and more. Feel free to check out his posts.

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