There is no denying the power a good sermon, or good music, can have on the hearts and minds of parishioners.
And there is little doubt that if that message is delivered even more effectively – with more clarity, more beauty, even more volume – it is that much more powerful.
And so that’s why we’re here, to find the very best speakers for churches – be they for the nave, for the basement, for outside patios and gathering spaces or anywhere else.
Before we get started, here’s the short list of my top picks:
- Best Church Speaker Overall: JBL Pro PRX825W Dual 15 3000w 2-Way Powered Speakers w/ WIFI + Mobile App
- Best Church Speaker – Mid-Priced: Electro-Voice ZLX-12BT 12″ 2-Way 1000W Bluetooth Powered Loudspeaker (Pair)
- Best Church Speaker – Budget: Rockville RPG152K Dual 15″ Powered Speakers, Bluetooth+Mic+ Stands+Cables
What To Look For in the Best Speakers for Churches
This is a question that can get pretty complicated pretty quickly, but it doesn’t need to!
The main unnecessary complication comes from the question of power – how much wattage do you need for a church speaker? And this question is made even more confusing, and ultimately more unimportant, because different manufacturers are far more or less conservative in rating power.
To be more clear, we can say in general terms that a larger church nave, for example, will need more power in wattage. Simple, right? Except that you will find 200 dollar speakers that are rated at 2000 watts and 2000 dollar speakers that are rated at 200 watts – and yet the more expensive speakers will often clearly play much louder.
So we can quickly see that wattage is not a reliable or helpful specification, but again this doesn’t need to complicate things, because all of the speakers on my list of best church speakers will have more than enough wattage – and actual musical power – to fill even larger spaces.
That said, the cheaper speakers, even though they have beautiful sound, are no match for something like an Electro-Voice ZLX-12BT or JBL Pro PRX825W (my choices for best mid-priced and best premium speaker for church use), and for larger spaces those two would definitely make a better choice, simply because they will play with less strain, more clarity and greater ease.
So, in a bit of a controversial stance, I’ve decided to not even include power ratings here, and you can assume that any of the speakers would probably be big enough for most usage, and that as we go up in price we are mainly going to notice improvements in material and build quality and in sound quality – but still keeping in mind that some of the more premium speakers better suited for large spaces.
So what else do we need to consider in choosing a good speaker for church use?
All of the recommendations in this church speaker buyer’s guide will have both professional balanced and normal unbalanced wired connectivity, so they can be used with any computer, phone, music player, any mixing board, stereo or AV system
They will all also be fully wireless – the most expensive choice, the fabulous JBL Pro PRX825W, is the only one without Bluetooth, opting instead for wifi connectivity, but all the other choices have normal Bluetooth, and every one of my picks can be used with either physical cables or through a wireless connection.
Even the least expensive of my choices for best speaker for church has truly superior sound quality, with the ability to deliver sound – voice, music or anything else – all throughout even bigger spaces with perfect clarity, with lots of volume – and real energy at any volume – and with a beautifully musical tone.
Material and Build Quality
I am surprised that even the very inexpensive Costzon 2-Way Powered PA Speaker – my super-budget choice – has such a substantial feel, and can clearly be counted on for many years of reliable service. And, though this isn’t always the case, I really believe that as we move up in price the overall quality gets better and better.
We all have to work with a budget, and so I have arranged the list of top speakers for churches simply by price, from the least to the most expensive. I am confident, though, that any one of these choices offers perhaps the best value at its particular price level.
Please note that in this list of best speakers for churches I am focusing on complete solutions – that is, speakers that have amplifiers built in, and that also have wireless connectivity, so that they can be set up and used immediately in the widest range of environments and situations. They also come as stereo pairs, and often with stands and all the cabling you need.
That said, some people may also be looking for good basic passive speakers for their church – that is, speakers without amplifiers built in – because they are going to be connected to the church’s existing sound / PA system that has its own amplifiers, and so here let me at least list out my three favorite non-amplified speakers for churches:
- Best Speaker for Church – Passive, Budget: Rockville 15” 3-Way 1500 Watt 8-Ohm Passive Pro Audio PA Speaker
- Best Speaker for Church – Passive, Mid-Priced:JBL JRX225 Dual 15″ Professional Passive PA Speakers
- Best Speaker for Church – Passive, Premium: JBL Professional AM5212/00 2-Way Loudspeaker Syste
Ok, now that we have a better idea of what we’re looking for, let’s dive right into the list of the best speakers for houses of worship!
The 6 Best Church Speakers in 2023
Best Super-Budget Church Speaker
- High-power Professional PA Set: The speaker...
- High Quality Sound Reproduction: It is...
- Multifunctional Design: This PA system...
- Wireless Bluetooth Function: You can easily...
- Easy to Set & Height Adjustable: Complete DJ...
What I Like:
- Incredibly Affordable
- Solidly Built
- Good Sound and Good Projection
- Fantastic Connectivity
- Includes Stands, Cables, Mic and Remote
- A busy and potentially confusing control panel
It’s easy to assume that such an inexpensive PA speaker system has to be very low quality – built poorly, with bad sound, or not very useful as far as controls and connectivity. Or, for this ridiculously low price, maybe all three!
But this Costzon powered PA speaker system proves that assumption wrong on all fronts.
For one thing, the Costzon is a fine sounding speaker, with plenty of power and the ability to play quite loud. Maybe not as rich sounding as more expensive speakers, it still has a warm and musical sound, which makes both voice and music sound really good. It even includes basic tone controls to optimize the sound for different spaces, and the horn tweeters distribute the sound particularly well, and have very low distortion.
The Costzon 12 inch active speaker system also has an astounding array of controls and connectivity options, allowing you to use Bluetooth wireless, USB sticks and SD cards, microphones, analog audio sources and – amazingly, at this price – even 2 high quality balanced professional XLR inputs for mixing board outputs.
And the Coszton active PA speaker system is built solidly and substantially, and should provide years of reliable use. All in all, an almost unbelievably good product and good value, and the best church speakers for people on a very tight budget.
Best Budget Church Speaker
- Rockville Power GIG RPG-152K (2) 15" DJ/PA...
- High Power 15" Long-throw Woofer with 2.5"...
- FM Radio Built-In- tune to your favorite FM...
- Wireless remote control- Enjoy the added...
- Ergonomically shaped side handle for easy...
What I Like:
- Surprisingly Great Sound
- Lots of Volume and Great Projection
- Very Well Made
- Supreme Connectivity and Controls
- Includes Stands, Cables, Mic and Remote
- At this price, none
It’s hard to fault the super-cheap Costzon we just looked at, but for only a small increase in price you can actually get a pretty substantial upgrade in terms of sound and overall quality.
The Rockville RPG152K is a pair of active powered PA speakers that include stands, cables, a remote control and a nice microphone. There is Bluetooth wireless as well as various wired connectivity options – including pro XLR connectors – and you can use a USB stick or SD card as well.
So overall pretty similar to the less expensive Costzon in terms of completeness, connectivity and usability, but the Rockville does include a more useful basic sound mixer, which makes it more flexible and useful in many different situations.
The Rockville RPG152K also sounds markedly better than the less expensive choice. I’m sure it has to do with the quality of the speaker drivers in this Rockville RPG152K, which has powerful and dynamic 12 inch woofers and particularly fine, clear and open horn tweeters.
Whatever the reason, the sound is dynamic and engaging, but with subtlety and expressivity as well – really quite beautiful sound overall, and crystal clear and intelligible even at low levels. Although the rated power of this Rockville is a bit lower, it will actually play louder, and does a fantastic job of distributing the sound into any room, regardless of shape or layout.
For the biggest church naves you will probably need to read on, but for small to medium spaces the Rockville RPG152K is ideal.
It is also a bit more substantial feeling, and perhaps a bit nicer in terms of fit and finish – on both counts, in fact, way beyond what you’d expect for the price. In fact, even if it were more expensive I would still consider the Rockville RPG152K speaker system a great value, and would still undoubtedly recommend it as the best pair of speakers for churches at the budget price level.
Great Value and Big Sound
- Model: Apex-10D | Column Line Array PA System...
- Active 12" Sub Cabinet | Class D Power...
- Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2...
- Controls: Left, Right Volume, SUB Volume, DSP...
- Indicators: Power, Signal, Limiter,...
What I Like:
- Huge Sound for the Money
- Thundering Bass
- Substantial Construction
- Plenty of Wired and Wireless Connectivity
- Includes Stands
- No sound controls
- Not for smaller spaces
The Seismic Audio Aex 12D is all about big sound.
Well, not just big sound maybe – in fact the Seismic Aex 12D is a very nicely made, substantial and nice looking product, and has all of the basic connectivity options most people will need, including Bluetooth wireless and both unbalanced and balanced analog wired inputs, and even has some basic but nice on-board sound controls for ideal sound in any space.
But, though it qualifies for this list of best speakers for churches in every way, the Seismic Apex is really included here because of its thrillingly big and bassy sound, with so much power and impact, so much volume and so much excitement.
Both the tower speakers and the subwoofer have tons of power going into them, and the subwoofer goes impressively low, and delivers deep bass that is clean, fast and so very strong. The tower speakers are also very clean and clear, and have a sweet and musical quality that makes them nice to listen to even at higher volumes – and believe me, you can definitely reach higher volumes!
With this much bass and this much power, I would not recommend the Seismic Audio Aex 12D active PA speaker system for smaller naves, or for any smaller room, but if you have a large church or a large space to fill, you want big, exciting and engaging sound, and you are on a pretty tight budget, the 12 D is the answer.
A Great All-In-One Portable Church Speaker
- Legendary JBL audio quality and versatile...
- The detachable 8-channel mixer features...
- Compact and lightweight suitcase-style design...
- Inputs: combo ¼” / XLR (x4), ¼”...
- AC input voltage: 100 – 240VAC (±10%), 50...
Although the brilliant JBL Pro Audio EON208P will work fine as a primary speaker system in a church nave, that’s not really what I would use it for, and not why I include it in this church speaker buyer’s guide.
Because the JBL Professional EON208P is really a bit more than just a great pair of powered stereo PA speakers. It is, in fact, a complete portable sound system and a complete solution for so many different situations, spaces, events and usages.
The clever portable design of the JBL EON208P makes it easy to move around, and set-up is a snap. And it is not just a pair of powered speakers, but also a very nice 8 channel mixer, with bass, treble and reverb controls on 4 of the channels and including an excellent microphone.
So while there really is plenty of power for a church nave, and absolutely beautiful sound, the real power and beauty of the JBL Professional EON208P portable PA system is that it can be set up anywhere and anytime you need it, and provide professional quality sound at the drop of a mic.
With Bluetooth wireless and both unbalanced and professional balanced wired connectivity, plenty of power, a functional and useful mixer, a smart and simple design and real portability, the JBL Professional EON208P is a great all-in-one sound solution for any church, and since it is a JBL is it also a fantastic sounding pair of speakers built for many years of faithful service – top recommendation!
Best Mid-Priced Church Speaker
- Bluetooth audio streaming for background...
- High-efficiency 1000W Class-D power amplifier...
- QuickSmartDSP features powerful processing...
- EV-patented Signal Synchronized Transducers...
- Front LED for "power on" and "limit"...
But back to the nave, we understand that different churches will have different budgets, and that however much you want to spend you want to make sure you get the best sound, the best overall quality and the best usability possible for your money.
And so the choice for best speakers for a church in this very competitive mid-range price level is obvious – the Electro-Voice ZLX-12BT.
Compared to less expensive speakers, I can’t really say that the Electro-Voice 12BT is somehow better in terms of connectivity or controls – in fact, if anything the EV is far more basic, with only the most essential connectivity – Bluetooth wireless and RCA unbalanced and XLR balanced wired connectors – and no sound controls, mixer functions, or USB / SD compatibility.
Compared to those speakers, though, or for that matter compared to pretty much any other professional PA speaker system at this price level, the Electro-Voice ZLX-12BT sounds just incredible – much better than anything else I’ve heard, and especially well suited for voice and music, for filling large spaces, and for playing loud with absolutely no strain or fatigue. In fact, loud or soft, the ZLX-12BT speakers have a sweetness that is so lovely, and are always perfectly clear and audible.
You do really need at least a basic mixer, though – I would highly recommend the inexpensive but just fantastic Yamaha MG10XU 10 Channel Stereo Mixer – but with that, or with your church’s existing sound system, I don’t know anything that comes even close to the Electro-Voice ZLX-12BT for sound or for overall quality. Not a cheap pair of speakers, but one of the true bargains on the market today.
Best Premium Church Speaker
- Specifications: JBI Pro PRX825W Dual 15 1500...
- Input Impedance: 20K Ohms (balanced), 10K...
- Signal - Green LED indicates signal present....
- AC Power Input: 100V - 240V ~ 50/60 Hz. LF...
- Grille: Powder Coated, Obsidian, 16 gauge...
I am tempted to say that the Electro-Voice we just looked at are the best speakers for churches for people who still have to work with a budget, and the JBL Pro PRX825W are the best money-no-object speakers for churches.
But that is actually quite a silly statement. There is no doubt that the JBL Pro are a bit expensive, and no doubt that they sound markedly better than even the impressive Electro-Voice, but in comparison to other top-tier PA speaker systems these JBL could almost be considered inexpensive – so not ‘money-no-object’ but rather a substantial relative bargain!
Because while there are definitely much, much more expensive church speakers to be found, I’m not sure any of them – or at least any of the many I’ve heard – sound better than these amazing JBL, or offer any other significant advantages.
The first time you hear the JBL Pro PRX825W stereo speakers you immediately realize that they are on a different level, with a sound that is so strong, clear and substantial at any volume, amazing dynamic range and power, incredibly deep but perfectly balanced bass, shimmeringly clear highs and almost eerily realistic mids and vocals. It cannot be stated strongly enough that these are absolutely superb sounding speakers, and even just for voice they sound so beautiful.
Like the Electro-Voice above, these JBL PRX825W are designed for professional use, and so have no real sound controls or other fancy options like SD card or USB drive compatibility – they are really meant to be used with a pro sound mixer, like the aforementioned, highly recommended Yamaha MG10XU 10 Channel Stereo Mixer.
In fact, the JBL doesn’t even have Bluetooth circuitry, although I think they’ve opted for a better route with wireless connectivity through the church’s wifi network and a brilliant free app, and so still offer full wireless capability and a lot more. But again, the JBL Pro PRX825W high power PA speakers are designed and built for professional use, and intended to be used more with a mixer, and even a digital control system.
If you are looking for a great pair of powered speakers for your nave, or for any large or small space in your church, and you already have a decent sound system / mixing console in place, and if you really want the best of the best, this is it – again, you can spend a lot more, but I’m not sure you will find anything a lot better than the JBL Pro PRX825W.