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Active 15" PA Speaker Comparison - Under $1000

Posted by Andy McQueen on

Alto TX15 vs  Alto TS115A vs Behringer B115D vs Behringer B215D vs Behringer Eurolive B615D vs Behringer VP1520D vs JBL EON615 vs Mackie Thump15 vs RCF ART 315-A MK3 vs Yamaha DBR15

At Buzz Speaker Hire Sydney we were looking to increase our hire stock range with some powerful 15’’ speakers under $1000 each. We shortlisted the 15’’ speakers in this price range available in Sydney and performed an intensive full range test to decide which we would add to our rental portfolio.

Speakers tested and their Australian retail prices:

  • Alto TX15 600-Watt 15" 2-Way Active Loudspeaker $449
  • Alto TS115A 15" Truesonic 800W Powered PA Speaker $479
  • Behringer B115D Powered 15" Speaker w/ Digital Amp (Black) $499
  • Behringer B215D Powered 15" Speaker w Digital Amp (Black) $599
  • Behringer Eurolive B615D 15" 1500-Watt Active Speaker $759
  • Behringer VP1520D Active 15" Speaker $549
  • JBL EON615 15" Two-Way Powered Reinforcement Speaker $699
  • Mackie Thump15 1000W 15" Powered Loudspeaker $549
  • RCF ART 315-A MK3 15" Active Two-Way Speaker $999
  • Yamaha DBR15 Powered 15" PA Speaker $795

The test was conducted in three stages; the input volume was at 0db for each stage:

1.Speakers at 50%

2.Speakers at 75%

3.Speakers at 100%

The test was blind to make sure each speaker was judged impartially, not on perceived brand reputation, aesthetics or any other bias. We had three people judging each speaker for frequency response, volume output and clarity.

The top two speakers were the Yamaha DBR15 and the RCF ART 315-A MK3.

Not surprisingly the Alto and Behringer speakers fell well short in both sound quality and output.

The Mackie Thumps had a nice sound and good bass range at medium volumes but began to limit and distort fairly early as the volume was pushed.

The JBL performed surprisingly poorly compared to the RCF and Yamaha speakers; the volume output was not even close (it sounded almost half as loud!).

Looking at the manufactures specifications the JBL EON615 has a max SPL of 127dB vs 132dB for the Yamaha DBR15, in real terms this equates to almost double the sound pressure and perceived loudness.

The RCF sounded crystal clear (almost to the point of sounding clinical) but with a max SPL of 129dB did not have the same punch as the Yamaha DBR15. We also preferred the warmer sound of the Yamaha.

With all the blind votes tallied the Yamaha DBR15 was the winner, closely followed by the RCF ART 315-A MK3.

With it’s price advantage we were very please with the results. The Yamaha DBR15 is a fairly new speaker and has received a lot of praise online, after experiencing it ourselves we have to agree that in this price range it blows its competitors out of the water.

We looked long and hard and believe we have the best prices in Sydney for all of our equipment. We offer a BEST PRICE GUARANTEE! If you can find a cheaper price we’ll beat it by 10%.

Click here to hire our new Yamaha DBR15s!

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