Power, speaker size, price, efficiency, dimensions, passive or active version. Choosing a DJ box is not an easy task! The profusion of models and technologies often confuses uninitiated consumers. You will find in this guide some tips to help you make your choice of dj box according to your needs.
The main families of DJ BOX
We thus distinguish 3 main families of Dj Box which are made up as follows:
Hi-Fi DJ BOX: These are good quality DJ boxes which, in certain cases, can be used in studio listening but in no case for sound use, the technical characteristics between these 2 families being diametrically opposed.
Home-Studio DJ BOX: the particularity of these models lies in the very neutral and very linear sound reproduction, in order to be able to listen to a recording in the most objective way possible. These are work DJ boxes.
PA DJ BOX: they are often powerful, with a more or less present quality of reproduction depending on the model. The components most often used are wood or polyethylene. Active, passive, passive processed, broadband, two or three channels… In short, there are all kinds depending on the applications.
DJ BOX Categories
DJ Box: more generally used for installations where the audio quality is not crucial, such as the sound system of a pedestrian street for example, these are speakers most often equipped with a single loudspeaker -speaker diffusing on its own almost the entire spectrum, resulting in an often very average sound.
Passive 2 or 3-way DJ box: these are loudspeakers made up of several loudspeakers, each of them working on its own frequency range. An internal filter will modulate the whole. It will also be necessary to purchase an amplifier depending on the characteristics of the speakers chosen.
Processed passive DJ box: they are intended for a rather professional installation. Depending on the models, it is generally possible to act on the adjustment of the frequencies of each loudspeaker, in order to optimize the sound reproduction. In addition, these speakers are often equipped with a limiter, allowing effective protection of the whole. Requires a power amp.
Stage DJ box : more familiarly called “Wedge” or “Foot bath”, monitors are used by musicians to allow them to hear themselves on stage. Placed on the floor, their cutaway shape is designed for positioning close to each musician, ensuring direct listening. There are many models offered by manufacturers. They differ mainly by the diameter of the boomers, the compressions, the cabinetwork, the amplification, etc… Exist in passive and active.
Self-amplified DJ box: they are more and more present on the market. The advantage is undoubtedly “all in one”. As the name suggests, these are speakers with their own amplification and filtering system. Practical and usable in front or stage monitors, they are generally of limited power due to certain compromises on amplification.
Types of DJ BOXES
Closed DJ Box: They are hermetic and therefore have no vents. The confined air in the enclosure will act as a compressor due to the displacement of the membrane but at the same time distort certain frequencies.
DJ Box “Bass-Reflex” : The most commonly used in sound systems, they are therefore equipped with air vents called “vents”. The air movement generated by the movement of the loudspeaker is therefore not compressed as in a closed enclosure, which will accentuate the bass and increase the performance. However, and in order to take full advantage of the loudspeaker’s performance, a very precise calculation as to the opening and the size of the vent must be written.
DJ Box: Generally designed for small-diaphragm speakers, the horn is screwed onto the treble motor, which will propel the air more quickly, the aim being to increase efficiency…useful in PA for outdoor use. We speak of long throw speakers when the conical horns are installed around the midrange and bass drivers.
So-called DJ Box: Frequently used for stage monitors, the sound quality of this technology is very homogeneous. The treble motor is located just behind and in line with the woofer, which on the one hand eliminates phase shift problems and on the other hand offers excellent transparency and linearity.
Your services: your needs
It is important to carefully analyze your needs, ie what types of service you provide or will be required to provide. It is therefore necessary to learn how to choose the DJ Box adapted to the applications. You have to define your needs because the general-purpose enclosure does not exist.
You just have to ask yourself the right questions. You must first study the type of application (wedding, party, concert, sound system for a fair or market, conference, etc.), quantify the number of people present during the event(s) as well as the space to sound.
These three factors form the basis of your choices and your future investments.
The notion of power in watts is quite relative. A large DJ Box will not necessarily satisfy your listeners and vice versa! Above all, you have to adapt the power of the sound system to the space to be sounded. For a dance party in a 100m2 hall with 150 people, 2×400 watts RMS are enough. When you are outdoors, and due to the lack of reflection, you will need 50% more power to achieve the same result. We are here in the case of a classic configuration where the public is gathered in front of the broadcast source.
If we have an audience scattered in depth / breadth (such as a wedding dinner or a concert), multicasting is essential. It will be necessary to add diffusion points either on the ground by means of speakers on feet, or from the point of origin by installing speakers suspended in height and directed towards the ends of the space to be covered. This last solution translates concretely into line-array systems.
Power and performance
A point also on the performance of a loudspeaker. The ear is stimulated by a pressure, this acoustic pressure for a given amplifier depends directly on the performance of the loudspeakers. This performance, expressed in dB/Watts at 1 m, is the number of decibels produced by the loudspeaker for an effective watt applied to its terminals, the measurement being carried out using a microphone placed one meter from the loudspeaker. It is always necessary to pay attention to the performance of its speakers to deduce the qualities of operation and to predict what they are capable of producing as acoustic pressure. Do not focus only on the power in Watts (RMS) but also on the performance of the DJ Box.