Recently I was reading an article on church sound systems and in that article was the guide for spending. They recommended that you spend $100.00 per person in your congregation on a sound system. A 100 member church should spend $10,000 dollars and a 200 member congregation should spend $20,000 dollars.
I thought to myself that there is no way an average church with attendance of 75, 100, or 150, can afford that type of spending on a sound system. In fact, I though that there is no way for a congregation that is serious about being good stewards of God's money should spend that type of money on a sound system. There must be a better way.
So this article is for all of you that want to provide good sound for your church members in your sanctuary without breaking your budget. It is not for those that want to dissect frequency ranges, sibilance, or peak thresholds.
Don't get me wrong. None of us want cracking, hissing or distortion. However we don't need to sound like Celine Dion at the MGM Grand either. We just need something that sounds good and is functional.
With that in mind. I have come up with 3 sets of speakers for church sanctuary sound that I think will do a good job for the average church of less than 300 people.
Our Top Sanctuary Speaker Picks
Sanctuary Speakers Buyers Guide
All of these speaker systems will do a good job for a church sanctuary of 5,000 square feet or so. However there are some things you should consider before making your purchase.
Do You Really Need To Upgrade?
Old is not necessarily bad. There are still people who prefer tube amplifiers to solid state amplifiers. Just because you have an old set of speakers doesn't mean you necessarily need to buy a new set.
I say that, not because I want to talk you out of getting a new set of church speakers, but I do want you to be a good steward of what God has given you. So ask yourself the question. Why do we need a new set of speakers? Is it because they look worn? Do they just need a fresh paint job or recovered with vinyl fabric? Or are they buzzing and hissing and are something out of the dinosaur days.
Things To Consider When Choosing Speakers For A Church Sanctuary
The first thing you need to think about is where the speakers are going to be located and how they are going to be mounted or installed.
Are you going to go with a center stage setup or will you use a 2 speaker setup at the corners of the room? A center stage setup mounted near the ceiling gives you a more realistic sound but a 2 speaker setup can sometimes give you better room coverage.
Your primary concern is to make sure you have the room covered with sound.
After you choose which setup you want to use, you will then need to think about how you will hang or mount your speakers. This might be simple if you are just going to use the same system you used before.
However if you are going to do something new, then you need to decide if you are going to use stands, wall mounts, or hanging mounts.
Speaker stands are the easiest with no real installation needs. However they are also the ugliest and the most hazardous of the choices.
Wall mounts are not as hard as hanging ceiling mounts. You just put up your shelves or brackets and place the speakers on the shelves or attach them to the brackets.
Hanging ceiling mounts are the least obtrusive of the installations but they are the most difficult. Not only do you have to hang the wires or chains from the ceiling to where the speakers will be hanging, but positioning them for the right angles is extra difficult as well.
You will also need to consider wiring going to the speakers. You will want to hide the wiring as much as possible. You will also want to make sure that your mixing board is located in a position that it is possible to hear the sound from the speakers without obstruction.
How Much Speaker Do You Really Need?
As I talked about earlier, you need to sit down and decide what you want your speakers to accomplish. Are you a loud church? Do you want to drown out the people singing or do you want to just fill the room with enough sound so everyone can hear the singing of the worship team.
Also, you want to consider what is a good speaker for listening to a person talking. It is not all about the music. Your pastor needs a good speaker for his voice as well.
This is why I am not recommending the fanciest sanctuary speakers. I am just recommending good all purpose church speakers. Unless you plan on being the next mega church in the next 5 years, these speakers are the best for your money.
Balancing Quality With Cost
None of us want bad sound. Nothing is worse than a bad sound system. However let's be realistic. None of us are Rock stars or Country and Western legends. We are just average people using our gifts to bring glory to God.
Don't buy cheap. Buy reliability and good quality. The last thing you want is to buy some off brand speakers that are dirt cheap only to have them fry in 6 months use.
Balance quality with price. You want your church sanctuary speakers to last for a good amount of time. You don't want to be doing this project again in 5 years.
3 Quality Speakers For Church Sanctuaries At A Reasonable Cost
Bose Panaray 802 Speakers
Bose is well known for their premium home sound systems. However they have a great set of speakers that can be used for a church sanctuary.
The Panaray 802 speakers are able to handle 300 watts and put out up to 123 decibels of sound. That is more than adequate for the typical church sanctuary.
Peavey Sanctuary Series SSE 15 Speakers
The Peavey Sanctuary Series speakers are specifically designed for church sanctuary situations.
They not only take the need for good musical sound but also provide for the needs of a public speaker as well.
They will handle 500 watts of continuous power and will put out up to 122 decibels of sound.
JBL JRX215 15' Passive Two-Way Speaker System
JBL is a premier manufacturer of speaker systems. These speakers are specifically designed to handle both music and speech sound reinforcement. It makes them perfect for a church sanctuary system.
The JBL JRX215's will handle 250 watts of continuous power with spikes up to 1000 watts and will produce 129 decibels of sound.
Final Tips On Finding The Best Speakers For Church Sanctuary Sound
- Don't be afraid to try new things. If these speakers are not what you have now, that doesn't mean they won't work well.
- Remember to think about what your basic needs are, not your sound system dream list. There is always time to upgrade when you have a lot of extra money.
- Don't buy cheap. Don't buy just for bells and whistles. Buy reliable and proven sound quality.
- Don't get sold buy a church sound system guru. Most churches are sold much more sound system than they actually need.
- Learn sound system basics.
I hope that you have learned a few things about speakers for church sanctuary sound systems. I truly believe that for the average church you can't go wrong with these sanctuary speakers.