12 inch Vs 15 inch PA Speakers: Which one to Choose?

Have you ever wondered if you should ditch the idea of a 12 inch Speaker and jump straight to a 15 inch to help ‘sound up’ your event? Although perhaps, you’re not so sure if …

12 inch Vs 15 inch PA Speakers which one best

Have you ever wondered if you should ditch the idea of a 12 inch Speaker and jump straight to a 15 inch to help ‘sound up’ your event? Although perhaps, you’re not so sure if they both serve the same purpose and are given limited resources, you want to make the best pick. If these thoughts have ever kept you awake, then follow me. We all don’t have some spare money to throw around in ‘aimless’ buying, you know….

So What’s the Big Deal About 12 Inch Vs 15 Inch PA Speakers?

To help you, first, you should consider certain variables before making a final choice for either a 12 inch or a 15 inch PA Speaker. Things like location, type of event, nature of the event, etc., must be considered before you expressly decide on either of the PA Speakers.

Why PA Speakers?

Imagine this scenario. You want to address a crowd of people and need something to amplify your voice and make it heard in the best possible way and quality. Microphones, alone, won’t cut it. You need something that reverberates and sends your sound signals to the whole room.

Enter PA System.

A PA System (Public Address System) is an electronic system comprising microphones, amplifiers, loudspeakers, and other related equipment. 

If you need to be heard all over the hall, room, or field during an event, you’d have to talk into a microphone. A PA Speaker sends the waves transmitted into the mic to the rest of the building. PA makes it easier to be heard, loud, and clear.

A Public Address System — PA system — helps to amplify the sound an artist is bringing. It converts acoustic sound to an electronic signal, uses a microphone or line inputs, processes, mixes signals before delivering sound through speakers, and monitors sound performance. 

These also come in various varieties and components with diverse functions.

For various reasons, a time would come (just like now) when you’d need to make a choice that would suit your every need. But, unfortunately, at this juncture, you may become confused with questions like “what exactly should I go for, how do I make this choice and what, features should I look out for” throbbing your mind.

While these questions thug at your heartstrings and leave you in worry, I’m here to give you clarity that’ll inform your final decision, especially regarding 12 Inch vs. 15 Inch PA speakers.

I know you have various questions you seek clarity on. So follow me closely as I play the “tour guide” role in helping you make the best decision for you and your event!

Ready? Let’s dive in!!! 

What Size of PA System Do I Need

What Size of PA System Do I Need?

First off, I need to establish that being confused on such issues as these is normal. Like, I’ve also been a tad confused when we needed to host a music concert for over 200 people early this year in an enclosed hall and had to resort to making the best picks to ensure our sound game was top-notch.

I had to deploy several factors to enable my team to take the best lead for us. We ended lighting up the hall and ‘booming’ up the sound with the best PA Speakers fit for our occasion.


Let me help you unravel this puzzle.

The size of the PA system you’d go for depends on the activity you intend to carry out. It also anchors on the power supply capacity in the hall/location in use.

Let me repeat this for emphasis.

The type of music to be played, the environment, and the power surge play a vital role in the kind of speaker you’ll need. I’m pretty sure this now looks easy.

Getting the right size for a PA system is no walk in the park and if the idea of numbers reminds you of your nightmares with math in High School, fret not. I also don’t have a love relationship with numbers. So, what can non-math-loving girls do? We find common grounds to get by!

Suppose a rock band is to play using PA speakers very medium sensitivity in an average-sized club. In that case, it will require about 1500 watts to power, while a jazz band will demand about 270-750 watts.  

Are you still confused about this? 

Here’s a pretty quick example: Using the same environment as above, you will need as low as 60 watts if you play simple folk music. 

This is why PA speakers are mostly loud as they fill an open space with the sound heard clearly from within the parameters.

There are various types and sizes of speakers. Depending on the Intercom systems in use, many are pre-installed in buildings. In contrast, others have in-built speakers and microphones to enable participants’ engagement and feedback.

For emphasis, choosing the right PA system means you want good audio clarity and definition.

The goal of every PA Speaker manufacturer is to ensure that their speakers are as loud as possible. It means that the size, shape, and circuitry inside PA speakers must meet the perfect optimization levels to enable them to project sound far and wide.

Inches on Speakers. What Do They Mean?

Inches are the diameter of a speaker. Inches look at the width and watts of a speaker. A 12-inch speaker rates 400 watts. This wattage helps you know how much power the speaker can take without damage. 

12 Inch Vs. 15 Inch PA Speakers: What’s the Difference?

The Main Difference between a 12 inch and a 15-inch speaker is space and aesthetics. If you wish to deploy the PA System to a prominent place, you could opt for a 15 inch, which is more extensive.

However, other factors come to play here.

Seek to pick the right speaker that suits the room structure and emphasize quality while on this. 

Generally, the 15 Inch PA System is more efficient than the 12 Inch and can handle more power.

  • 15 Inch speakers are heavier than 12-inch speakers.
  • 15-inch speakers have a better bass on their own and generally don’t sound as good as subwoofers.
  • 15 Inch PA Speakers are bigger and can create lower frequencies. This sort of distorts the overall output.
  • A 15 inch PA Speaker can exhibit treble beaming at a lower frequency than a 12″. 
  • A 15-inch speaker can beam at something around 1000Hz, while a 12″ might beam around 1250Hz or so.
  • A 15-inch PA speaker can handle more power than a 12-inch and even produce more volume for the same cone excursion.

For 12 Inch Speakers:

  • Many people prefer a 12 Inch PA Speaker over a 15 Inch as they believe vocals sound better on 12 Inches.
  • With subs, a 12 inch gets more midrange out of the system.
  • 12 inch PA Speakers produce better vocals but at the cost of losing some lows.
  • Also, a 12 inch PA System suits a bar setting better as it has more comprehensive coverage.
  • Also, modern 12-inch speakers, opinions say, have better bass than older 15-inches.

Are Passive PA Speakers Helpful?

A passive device will require external power to function, and this also applies to PA speakers.

While active speakers power themselves, as they can easily be set up and used, Passive PA speakers must have external power and components to function.

This means passive PA Speakers have no internal amplifier and depend on power from an external source which is usually a power amplifier or powered mixer.

You will need a Passive PA Speaker because:

  • More hardware is needed.
  • You can quickly repair malfunctioned components without taking out the whole system.
  • Passive speakers enable easy expansions of systems and can connect more than 1 or 2 speakers at a time.
  • Passive speakers are used by most medium to large-size as they are stationary on stage or built-in to the space, powered by several amps and controlled by a stationary mixer.
  • They are also easy to upgrade, sound great, and are less susceptible to faults.
  • They are lighter than active systems as they lack internal amplifiers.

How Many PA Speakers Do I Need?

You will need to calculate the indoor speaker coverage requirements to determine how many PA speakers you’ll need.

Like I’ve mentioned earlier, these things play a significant role:

  • The type of event.
  • The size of the venue.
  • Your expectation.
  • The purpose of the PA system.

If you have the answers to these, it is easier to determine how many speakers you need and if you’d be going for a 12 Inch or 15 Inch PA system.

I’ll advise you to gauge 6–8 watts per person, and if you plan to have music at high levels at events like parties, you can double this while noting subwoofers for some extra bass.

It is not about being loud but rather having a better positioning and quality of speakers.

How Far Apart Should PA Speakers Be?

If you are indoor and would require to place speakers therein, have enough space away from the walls and corners with a distance of at least 2 feet. This will help to project the sound and reduce the number of waves that bounce back immediately.

Do I Need 2 PA Speakers?

I would advise that if you want to run mono, you do not need two PA speakers. However, if you are in an outdoor environment, having two speakers will help in two ways:

  • You’ll need more power outside than inside.
  • More speakers ensure you have more coverage. 

Let me advise you that it plays safe to always run on a mono mix and have all instruments and mikes panned center and speakers fed one daisy-chained signal.

Can You Use Pa Speakers For Home Audio?

You know, ideally, PA Speakers are truly not designed as home stereo speakers.

Yes, they can be used without issues but remember how powerful they are and how loud they can be. Do you genuinely want to have such earth-shattering noise from the comfort of your home? I doubt. You can also read our blog post about PA speakers vs Studio monitor, which may help you to choose the right one.

Your health–eardrums– are also important, you know!

If you’re bent on using PA Speakers for home use, I advise you to tone down the volume to the minimum. Speakers are not home-friendly and should always be used from a beautiful distance–though they are designed to fill a room with great sound — something every home would want to taste. 


In choosing speakers, especially between 12- inch and 15-inch PA Speakers, know that the sizes play different roles for different occasions.

The main variation between the two is space and aesthetics. And you must consider the location you want to use the speakers. For example, if the empty area you wish to deploy the PA system is large, consider using a 15-inch speaker which suits you better.

To make the right choice between a 12-inch and a 15-inch PA speaker, you should know the type of event, the location, the event’s aim, and your budget. 

These will help you make an overall informed decision.

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