There are a lot of factors to consider when setting up a home theater. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is what type of speakers to use. You have different options, from traditional home theater speakers to professional PA (public address) speakers. But can you use PA speakers for your home theater?
It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you want the best possible sound quality or a large room requiring high volume levels, then PA speakers might be the way to go. However, PA speakers are typically more expensive and bigger in size than traditional home theater speakers. On the other hand, if you’re on a budget or are limited on space, then traditional home theater speakers might be a better fit. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what will work best for your home theater setup.
To help you make the right decision, it’s important to understand the differences between PA and home theater speakers. In this article, we’ll explain the differences, pros, and cons of using PA speakers for home theatre and provide tips to help you make the right choice.
What exactly are PA Speakers and their purpose?
PA speakers stand for “public address” speakers. These PA speakers are designed to project sound over a large area, making them ideal for use in settings like auditoriums, concert halls, and outdoor arenas. They’re also frequently used in professional recording studios. They are powerful and capable of delivering excellent sound to larger areas.
When we compare these speakers with general home theatre speakers, PA speakers offer superior sound quality. But they are also bigger in size compared to typical home theatre speakers and have larger enclosures to accommodate their powerful drivers.
On one side, you’ll get better sound quality with PA speakers, but on the other side, these devices tend to be much bulkier and require more power than traditional home theater systems. And the most important thing is that in a small enclosed room, PA speakers might not sound as you expect because there are good chances the sound will be distorted and bounce off the walls and create a feedback loop.
That is why choosing the right PA speakers for your home theatre system is very important. Below is the pros and cons section; I discussed the advantages and disadvantages/limitations of using PA speakers for your home theatre.
Pros and Cons of Using PA Speakers for Home Theatre
When it comes to using PA speakers for home theatre systems, there is always doubt about whether or not to use them. And that’s fine as these speakers are not as popular for this purpose.
On the one hand, PA speakers are known for their loudness, clarity, and durability; on the other hand, they’re also large and bulky. So before you make your decision, here are some pros and cons to consider:
Powerful and Loud
PA speakers are popular for their loudness and power. You can find them often in places like concerts and events since they are capable of producing a large amount of sound. Though you can use other speakers for home theatre as they are also loud enough, when we compare them with PA speakers’ power and loudness, it won’t be fair.
You can easily fill up a large room with sound using these speakers; they’ll always be heard clearly from any corner of the house. You can get the idea of loudness as a small PA speaker features 95db, and it goes for bigger PA speakers with up to 110db.
And when it comes to using them for home theatre, you can use these speakers to really feel like being in the theatre.
Clear and Crisp Audio Quality
You can pick any speaker that is powerful and loud enough, but the quality is what matters. PA speakers are known for their sound clarity and crispness. These speakers are popular for use in spaces where the instrument sounds need to be heard clearly and without any muddiness. In addition, these speakers are the best picks for performers to pick acoustic sound because these speakers help to detect the details of sound.
So if these speakers are used in a home theatre system, they could provide you with the same clarity and crispness and make it easier to differentiate between all the different sounds. It will enhance the experience of watching movies or playing video games.
Durable and Long-lasting
Home theatre systems are one-time investments, and when you set up PA speakers, you can be sure they’ll last very long. PA speakers are designed to withstand loud and powerful sounds, so they can take a lot of wear and tear.
So even if you use the speakers frequently, they won’t break down anytime soon, which makes them a great choice if you’re looking for something that is long-lasting.
For example, if we talk about Bose F1 Model 812 PA speaker, it is often used in concerts and events because they are durable enough to handle the high sound pressure levels that comes out of it.
Versatility in Size Range
The size range of PA speakers is also one of its best features, as you can find them in different sizes and shapes. This makes it easy to choose the one that suits your needs. If you have limited space in your house, then you can select a small-size PA speaker(and it is also highly recommended to choose small PA speakers for small spaces), and if you have a bigger room, then you can select the larger ones.
This makes it more convenient when you’re looking to add PA speakers to your home theatre system. You won’t have to worry about whether the size of the speaker is too big or small, as there are plenty of options to choose from.
While looking for good PA speaker options, I just found Thomann website, where you can find a wide range of PA systems, PA speakers, amps, Crossovers, microphones, and much more. If you are interested in setting up PA speakers for your home theatre, I recommend checking out that site.
Great for Outdoor or Large Environments
PA speakers are designed to handle large crowds, so they’re also great for outdoor environments. If you have an outdoor area in your house, you can use PA speakers to create an amazing atmosphere and entertain your guests.
And if you’re looking for a speaker that can fill up a large room, then PA speakers are the best choice.
In addition, PA speakers also come with many features that make them stand out from the rest. For example, some models come with wireless capabilities and multiple inputs, making connecting them to your home theatre system easier. Even you can bring them outdoors as you can connect them wirelessly.
More Expensive than Consumer Speakers
One of the key disadvantages(limitation word might suit better here) is that PA speakers tend to be more expensive than consumer-grade speakers. This is because they are designed with a different purpose in mind and use higher-quality materials and components.
Difficult to Setup
Another issue with PA speakers is that they can be difficult to set up properly, especially if they are not the same model. Each speaker needs to be calibrated in order to get the best sound quality, and this can be a time-consuming process. Additionally, you may need to hire a technician if you don’t know how to do this on your own.
Heavier and Bulky, difficult to move
If you are a fan of setting up a sleek design home theater with slim speakers, then PA speakers are not the right choice because they are larger and heavier than consumer-grade speakers, making them difficult to move around. Especially when you’re in a room where the space is limited.
Not Ideal for Small or Intimate Spaces
As I just mentioned, the loud sound in small enclosed spaces will be too much, so you shouldn’t use them in such places. The sound will be more affected by room acoustics. Professional PA speaker operators believe and recommend 10-15 feet of distance between PA speakers and listeners. And when you’re in a room with an enclosed space, it is not possible to maintain that distance.
So for small living rooms where you plan to set up your home theatre system, you should try and opt for consumer-grade speakers.
Do you need an amp if you have a PA speaker?
Most PA speakers are passive, meaning they don’t have any built-in amplifiers. This means you’ll need an external amplifier to use the speaker at louder volumes or for more powerful sound reinforcement. If you’re using a powered PA speaker, it usually has an amplifier built-in and doesn’t require an external amplifier.
However, if you have multiple PA speakers, it’s usually better to use an external amplifier designed to power multiple speakers simultaneously. This will ensure that all speakers receive the same level of power and deliver consistent sound.
Additionally, an external amplifier will often provide more features, such as equalization and sound control, that may not be available on the built-in amplifier of a powered PA speaker.
PA speakers can be used for home theater, but you must know tweaking the system and know what you are doing. PA speakers are generally designed to handle large amounts of wattage, produce a wide soundstage, and have a lower frequency response than traditional home theater speakers. They also tend to have a much more ability to produce fine details in the sound.
However, using PA speakers for home theater also has downsides. They may be more expensive, bulkier, and take up a lot more space than traditional speaker systems. And one thing I can say for sure is that PA speaker systems are not the best choice for use in small spaces.
So that’s why, as I mentioned earlier, before deciding to set up a home theatre system with PA speakers, make sure you do a proper search and study the room/place environment.