3 of our Favourite: Column PA Systems
Published on 22 February 2018
With technology seemingly growing more complicated every day, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to get started. When considering live audio, the rabbit hole goes particularly deep and the process of finding the right setup for you can quickly become exhausting. Far from the days of having a simple speaker setup, the world of PA has evolved into a far more complex one; however, armed with the right knowledge, there's some really incredible kit out there that's just waiting for you to dive in and try it out. One of the most notable changes has been the shift towards column PA systems which have taken over the market in recent years. Offering a compact, portable and easy to set up solution, we thought we'd take the time to run through a few of our favourite systems. Of course, our doors are always open to the curious and baffled, so if you're seeking guidance on the best fit for you, come and pay us a visit. If you just feel like a look at what's out there, this rundown on 3 of our favourite Column Speaker Systems should give you a taste!
Starting off with the most cost-effective option, LD Systems Maui 5 Go offers absolutely tons of power and portability for a very reasonable price! Designed for convenience, this transport friendly column is battery powered so that it can genuinely be taken anywhere. Don't think that the guys at LD Systems have scrimped on sound either, dishing out a hearty 800 watts peak output, the Maui 5 Go is among the loudest battery powered PA systems available on the market. It features an integrated 4-channel mixer which gives you access to individual input, main and subwoofer level controls, along with a variable high-frequency boost that lets you quickly shape a perfectly balanced sound. Also sporting LD's proprietary LECC DSP with multiband limiter, equalizer, compressor and crossover functions, this is a unit that really lets you sculpt the perfect sound for your surroundings. A solid choice across a wide range of applications, the Maui 5 Go has all of the standard microphone, hi-Z instrument and line inputs, but part of what sold us on it was its Bluetooth® stereo audio streaming capabilities, making it even more versatile and portable. If you're looking for a practical option that'll fit into your car and give you plenty of bang for your buck without breaking the bank, look no further, the Maui 5 Go will tick all of the boxes for you!
Next up on our winner's podium is the Bose L1, a reimagined take on the traditional PA setup. A household name at this point, Bose know a thing or two about pushing boundaries with innovative ideas and the L1 is an absolutely prime example of their penchant for doing exactly that. Again designed with a focused on portability, the L1 is set in a sleek black tower style unit that looks great, but more importantly is fairly lightweight and extremely compact. On to the sound itself and we can safely say that the L1 impressed us with unbelievable clarity that's far removed from the muddiness that users of cheaper PA systems may be used to. Truly going above and beyond what we expected from it, this column sounds absolutely unbelievable. Making use of Spatial Dispersion loudspeaker technology, it features an integrated bass speaker in its power stand, as well as six small drivers mounted at precise angles inside a slim, vertical enclosure; resulting in nearly 180 degrees of horizontal sound coverage. That means that remarkably, the supreme sound of the Bose L1 remains consistent even at extreme sides of the system, meaning that it can actually be positioned behind or to the side of individuals onstage. Dishing out powerful, natural sound no matter where your audience is standing is a pretty impressive feat and this is what separates the L1 from a lot of its competitors for us. Perfect for musicians who spend a lot of time on stage, mobile DJs and even for presentations and lectures, there's not much to disagree with when it comes to the crisp, clarity of the Bose L1!
Finishing off our list on a firm favourite in our stores, we couldn't talk about column PA systems without mentioning the colossal Evox 8. We absolutely love this system and have been blown away by its quality in terms of build, design and most importantly, sound. Capable of a mega 1400 Watt, the Evox 8 features eight 2.0” full range transducers in the line source satellite and a deep sounding 12” woofer in a bass reflex enclosure. The result is absolutely deadly and we couldn't believe just how loud this column was. Although, to simply call it loud is a bit of a disservice. This speaker system is a true room shaker and was designed as a high output solution for DJs and musicians. However, it also provides a tremendously detailed sound with punchy, thick sounding lows that have loads of depth and crystal clear clarity across high frequencies. Appropriate for loads of applications, the Evox 8 has managed to impress us no matter what we've thrown at it. The design itself keeps things fairly simple and is really simple to set up, with all standard inputs along with an EQ Switch and a Mic/line Switch. Doing away with the frills and gadgets, the RCF Evox 8 straddles the line between modern units and more traditional PA Systems, with a sleek, portable design that also lets its supreme sound speak for itself. Hearing this in the flesh is really the best way to experience it and we can't recommend checking the Evox 8 out enough - this is a true tower of power!