Things to Consider
Listed below are important factors
Environment – Depending on your intended use of the equipment, whether it be indoor or outdoor, the environment where the equipment will be used is a major determining factor. Outdoor areas will require the use of multiple speakers; this is because the sound is produced into a wide open area that allows the sound to travel freely. Because of this, sounds waves dissipate at a shorter range and cannot be heard clearly as the distance increases. Indoor environments such as banquet halls or auditoriums require fewer speakers. This is due to the sound waves being moderately contained within a closed environment in which the sound waves being produced cannot travel as freely.
Staging Area – The size of the hall/auditorium or open stage area also plays a major role. The construction of the venue is also a factor. If Indoor the architecture of the area can affect the sound wave’s directed path and can cause a potential loss in volume and quality. Also the material that the walls and ceiling are made from can enhance or dampen sound depending on its density and curvature (i.e. a banquet hall with smooth surfaced walls will reflect more sound back into the area, and a brick wall will absorb more sound than it will reflect back). The size of the area will determine how many speakers will be necessary to maintain the original clarity and fidelity of the source material (i.e. Music, Speech, etc), and to also insure that the targeted audience can hear everything clearly.
Attendance – For small groups ranging from 10-50 people in indoor and outdoor environments, 1-2 speakers would be recommended. A larger number in attendance will increase the number of speakers necessary. This is due not only to the increase in space necessary to accommodate the amount of people attending, but also because there will be more bodies present absorbing the sound waves.
· Speech or music in an area with 50 seats: 1-2 Speakers
· Speech or music in a medium-size auditorium, club or house of worship with 150 to 250 seats: 1-4 speakers
· Speech or music at a small outdoor festival (50 feet from speaker to audience): 4-6 Speakers
· Speech or music in a medium-size auditorium, club, or house of worship with 150 to 250 seats: 4-8 Speakers
· Speech or music in a 2000-seat concert hall: 8-16 Speakers
· Speech or music in a medium-size auditorium, club or house of worship with 150 to 250 seats: 12-20 Speakers
· Speech or music at a small outdoor festival (50 feet from speaker to audience): 6-20 Speakers
· Speech or music in a stadium, arena or amphitheater (100 to 300 feet from speaker to audience): At least 40-80 Speakers
*These estimates are based on common measurements taken from similar locations based on these specifications.
16 to 32 feet
Small club or auditorium: 32 feet
Medium club, auditorium or house of worship: 45 feet
2000-seat concert hall: 110 feet
Small outdoor festival: 50 feet
Stadium or arena: 100 to 300 feet
The number of speakers required will vary based on how powerful the speaker is (number of watts).
Frequency Range – The range of frequencies in sound that the Speaker is capable of producing.
Frequency Response - The measure of any system's output spectrum in response to an input signal.
Sound Pressure Level (SPL) – The differential value between the ambient environment level and it’s deviation caused by a sound wave.
Decibels (dB) – The unit of measurement that determines how much sound the unit can produce.
Passive Speakers (Requires Amplifier) - A passive speaker doesn't have a built-in amplifier; it needs to be connected to your amplifier through normal speaker wire. This speaker level signal has been amplified enough to drive the speakers sufficiently.
Active Speakers (Self Powered) - Active speakers, have a built-in amplifier and are fed by a low-level (line-level) signal. Because the amplifier is an active electronic device, it needs power, and so you have to put any active speakers near a power outlet.