QSC PA Speakers Buying Guide

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If you’re in the market for a new PA system, take a seat. QSC offers a wide range of speakers, from portable models to full line arrays, designed to meet your needs whether you’re the quintessential wedding DJ, a performing musician, a karaoke master, or an audio engineer. There are many factors to consider and many options to choose from.

Traditional Passive Loudspeakers

When all the mixing and amplification will be handled via dedicated consoles and power amplifiers, your need is simple—powerful passive speakers that are easy to mount and have high power handling. The QSC E Series loudspeakers and subwoofers share some important common features: rugged plywood enclosures covered in durable textured paint, protective steel grilles lined with foam, dual NL4 inputs, and screw terminal “barrier strips.”

The 1x10" 1200W E110, the 1x12" 1600W E12, and the 1x15" 2000W E15 feature 8-Ohm impedance, M8 suspension points, and dual-angle, 35mm pole sockets. Their respective peak SPL output ratings are 126 dB, 128 dB, and 130 dB, while their corresponding frequency ranges (-10 dB) extend to 50 Hz, 46 Hz, and 43 Hz. The E215 is a right and proper beast, with two 15" drivers, 4000W power handling, a peak SPL of 134 dB, and reproduction of bass down to 39 Hz (-10 dB)! You’ll find it rated at 4 Ohms and mountable via M10 suspension points. In all four models, high-frequency compression drivers allow the high-frequency response to go all the way to 20 kHz.

QSC E110 10" Two-Way Passive Loudspeaker

For additional low-frequency support, check out the two E Series subwoofers. The 1x18" 3200W E18SW can produce a peak SPL of 133 dB and comes with a 24" pole to fit its M20 socket. The E218SW bears two 18" drivers for an eye-rattling 6400W power capacity. The peak SPL? 136 dB! Each sub carries 4-Ohm impedance and boasts a frequency response of 32 to 230 Hz (-10 dB).

QSC E-Series 18" 800W Passive Subwoofer

If you opt for passive speakers, remember that you do need compatible power amps to drive them! Plugging a line input into a passive speaker will only bring you sadness.

Portable Active Loudspeakers

When you need to connect microphone, instrument, or line sources without (or with) a dedicated mixing console, one or more active loudspeakers is the way to go. In the K.2 Series, there are three models, each with impact-resistant ABS enclosures, M10 threaded inserts, and support for wall-, truss-, or pole mounting. The angled cabinet design also allows them to serve as personal floor monitors or stage wedges. Their integrated Class-D amplifiers provide 1800W of peak power for the lows and 225W to a 1.4" titanium compression driver for the highs. Versatile connectivity includes two XLR-1/4" combo inputs, a 3.5mm stereo input jack, and XLR thru/mix outputs. A built-in mixer with DSP allows easy manipulation of levels, EQ, presets, and more. How do the three K.2 Series loudspeakers differ? The K8.2 has an 8" low-frequency driver, a peak SPL of 128 dB, a 105-degree coverage area, and a frequency range of 55 Hz to 20 kHz (-10 dB). The K10.2 offers a larger 10" woofer, a peak SPL of 130 dB, a 90-degree coverage area, and a frequency range of 50 Hz to 20 kHz (-10 dB). The K12.2 boasts a 12" LF driver, a high peak SPL of 132 dB, a 75-degree coverage area, and an extended frequency range of 45 Hz to 20 kHz (-10 dB).

QSC K8.2 K.2 Series 8" 2-Way 2000 Watt Powered Speaker

With any of the three loudspeakers in the K.2 Series, you’ll benefit from the flexible, easy configuration and clean power. Plus, you won’t need external power amps!

Need More Bass?

If you’re simply looking for a solid sub to expand the K.2 Series speakers, consider the two KS Series subwoofers. The KS112 is a 6th-order bandpass sub with 2000W Class-D amplifier driving a 12" woofer. It produces a 38 to 121 Hz frequency range (-10 dB) and hits a peak SPL of 128 dB. The KS212C is a dual 6th-order bandpass cardioid sub with two 1800W Class-D amplifiers pushing the two 12" woofers. With a frequency range (-10 dB) of 39 to 118 Hz, a peak SPL of 132 dB, and 15 dB of rear rejection at 70 Hz, it offers great performance and controlled directionality.

QSC KS112 - 2000W 12" Compact Powered Subwoofer

Wood-Enclosure Active Loudspeakers

When only the comforting essence of rich wood will do, the KW Series has what you need. The series consists of three full-range loudspeakers and one powerful subwoofer, all featuring 1000W of continuous Class-D amplification and birch plywood enclosures. First up is the KW122, which has a 12" woofer, 131 dB peak SPL, 75-degree coverage area, and low-frequency range down to 50 Hz (-10 dB). The KW152 incorporates a 15" woofer to bump the peak SPL to 133 dB and broaden the bass range down to 43.7 Hz (-10 dB) while offering a 60-degree coverage area. The 3-way KW153 boasts a 6.5" midrange driver in addition to its 15" woofer, allowing a peak SPL of 134 dB and low-frequency extension to 33 Hz (-10 dB). Like the KW122, the KW153 provides a coverage area of 75 degrees. All three loudspeakers employ 1.75" compression drivers to handle high frequencies out to 20 kHz and sport XLR, RCA, and 1/4" inputs. Plus, built-in DSP functions include clip protection, time/frequency/amplitude correction, and EQ presets. Deployment options include a tiltable pole-mounting system and M10 suspension points.

With the KW181 subwoofer, an 18" woofer delivers a 37 to 129 Hz frequency range with a peak SPL of 135 dB. Dual balanced XLR-1/4" inputs and two XLR outputs allow easy connectivity.

QSC KW122 1000W 12" Active 2-Way Loudspeaker/Stage Monitor

Powered Line Array Loudspeakers

For big clubs, houses of worship, and large stages, line arrays are prime. The KLA Series includes one full-range speaker and a sub, both with simple, “Lift, Click, and Play” setup for rigging without tools or external hardware. The KLA12’s impact-resistant ABS enclosure houses a 12" woofer and 1.75" compression driver, driven by 1000W (500W x 500W) of continuous power, enabling a wide 44 Hz to 20 kHz frequency range (-10 dB) and a strong peak SPL of 131 dB. Connectivity includes XLR and powerCON input and thru jacks. Built-in frequency optimization and DSP allow easy and customizable tonal configuration.

QSC KLA12 12" 2-Way Line Array Loudspeaker

The KLA181 features a 1000W Class-D amplifier and an 18" woofer in a birch plywood enclosure. With a peak SPL of 135 dB and low-frequency handling down to 33 Hz, it is a great addition to the KLA12. As with the KLA12, XLR and powerCON I/O jacks are provided. Up to five KLA models may be powered from a single 15 A, 120V circuit, and daisy-chained gain control is supported.

QSC KLA181 1,000-Watt Subwoofer

Conclusion

Obviously, the different series of QSC PA speakers are designed for different applications and scenarios, but they all are built with the common goal of granting easy setup, versatile installation options, high output, and extended frequency reproduction. Pick the model that meets your needs and suits your environment, and feel welcome to ask questions and research further!

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