If you want decent on-stage sound, you need the best active stage monitors so you can hear yourself and make sure you’re playing the right song! Here’s our top 11 wedge monitor speakers available now
Great on-stage sound is one of the most important factors when performing live, which is why you need the best active stage monitors possible. Hearing yourself and the rest of the band, or hearing your own voice at the very least, is of paramount importance so you know you’re in key, on time and playing the right song!
If you’re a venue owner or sound engineer, we certainly don’t need to stress the importance of great stage monitors, or foldback speakers as they’re otherwise known. But where do you start? What are the best active stage monitors and the best wedge monitors available? Well, you’re in luck as we’ve compiled some of our most popular options from some of the world’s greatest brands.
Here’s a list of our best stage monitor options to suit all budgets and venue sizes in price ascending order.
1. TOURTECH PSM5 Powered Monitor Speaker - £119
If you want a very portable monitor speaker, say for electronic drums, acoustic gigs or events where you need to be able to hear clearly and set up quickly, then the TOURTECH PSM5 Powered Monitor Speaker is a great option. At just over £119 it won’t break the bank, but it’ll provide a 150-watt peak power, which is impressive to say the least!
You have a world of control via the front panel as well as 2 x Combi Mic inputs, 2 x Aux inputs and a built-in Echo effect and phantom power for condenser mics – that’s a LOT of features for such a small price.
The angled design means you can face it towards your ears when you’re performing and the ability to pole mount it means you can also use it as a PA for parties and functions.
2. Peavey Impulse II Installation Enclosure - £195
Next, we have the Peavey Impulse II which is a lightweight, highly portable speaker that is ideally suited to smaller venues and PA systems that need on stage monitoring. This is a particularly hard-working active floor monitor that utilises two 4 1/2” speakers and a bi-morph high frequency driver to provide a full range frequency response.
Don’t be fooled by the smaller size, as even though it’s only 38cm long, it still packs a whopping 200 watts peak power – more than enough to hear yourself over a drummer! There’s an onboard level control too, so you can make changes yourself, or let the sound engineer handle it from the desk, which it hooks up to via ¼ jacks. The metal grille is also handy for portable options as it protects the inner workings perfectly.
For under £200, this is a great portable active floor wedge for smaller set ups.
3. Wharfedale Pro PDM-100 Active Floor Monitor - £199
The Wharfedale Pro PDM-100 Active Floor Monitor is one of the best active stage monitor speakers in terms of price and functionality. We love this stage monitor speaker as it’s under £200 and it utilises a bi-amplified, two-way speaker system which means you get a crisp and powerful output at all volumes.
The 100 watts of power ensure the performer can hear what they need to hear and the onboard 3-band EQ allows the performer to make changes mid set without ever having to bother the sound engineer. If you’re using this speaker for rehearsal, gigs or even smaller café set-ups you make changes directly on the monitor as it even has its own dedicated volume control. A 3.5mm headphone input is also perfect for personal monitoring if you have in ears.
You have a 10” woofer and 2” tweeter complementing each other, it’s lightweight, it’s angled for great projection and features a 3-Pin XLR as well as a 1/4" Jack which makes it a perfect option for electronic drums, acoustic performances and more.
Perfect for venues, home practice, stage and rehearsal – basically anywhere you need the best stage monitor sound on a budget. It's also easily the best stage monitor for drummers here.
4. Alto Truesonic TS310 Powered Loudspeaker - £215
The Alto Truesonic TS310 Powered Loudspeaker is next on our list of best floor monitor speakers as it gives you a massive 2000 watts of 2-way power. You’re going to hear yourself onstage for sure!
This is perfect for the professional level set ups and bigger stages out there thanks to the amount of sound on offer and is definitely one of the best active floor monitor speakers we stock. The high efficiency class D amplifiers have a passive cooling design which means they don’t have a fan and run quieter on stage. This also means they are perfect for live music venues where they’ll be pushed to the limit time and time again – they can handle it!
The 10” LF driver working together with a 2.5” high-temperature voice coil provides all the full bodied low end, whilst the 1.4” neodymium magnet HF driver gives you all the crisp and clear high end, so you can hear every subtle nuance of your performance.
This is definitely an active monitor wedge for the pro-set ups out there, at a surprisingly low price.
5. Alto Tourmax SXM112A Active Stage Monitor - £279
We think the Alto Tourmax SXM112A Active Stage Monitor is one of the best wedge monitors on the market today as it provides a whopping 800 watts of Class D power – which is still enough to hear yourself and to stop acts from asking “can I have more of me again, please?”. However, it’s also a little more rugged than the Truesonic models.
The combination of the 12” LF driver (2-inch voice coil), precise 1” HF driver and angled trapezoidal shape of the Alto SXM112A means you get crystal clear clarity and a superior sound projection when you’re on stage.
Recessed handles, rubber feet and a rugged design that is resistant to scratches and dents makes it a great option for venues, especially if get someone thinking they’re playing at Wembley and putting their foot on the monitor.
If you don’t have a sound engineer, fear not as the Alto SXM112A is easily one of the most intuitive stage monitors as it has 16 built-in modelling presets designed for different applications. Simply turn the knob and it will self-optimise for vocalists, pianists, drummers and sound engineers.
One of the hardest working floor wedges and best active stage monitor speakers we would recommend.
6. HeadRush FRFR-112 2000 Watt Powered Speaker - £299
The HeadRush FRFR-112 2000 Watt Powered Speaker was actually designed specifically to accompany your HeadRush FX Multi-FX/Amp Modeller, offering 2000 watts of power and a flat response so you don’t have to worry about amplifiers colouring your tone. However, we feel it’s one of the best active stage monitors for a wide range of uses. Although it’s flat response was designed to combat your amplifier colouring the tone of your amp and effects models, it’s still an amazing PA for performers who who need to hear crystal clear sound.
The specially voiced 12-inch woofer and high frequency compression driver offer precise and clear sound, which is exactly what you want when you’re performing at gigs. The speaker can be flown, pole mounted or placed on an angle for stage monitor purposes whether you’re using a house mixing desk or just hooking up your Headrush pedal board.
A nifty contour EQ switch helps you cut through muddy mixes on stage and the Ground-Lift switch ensures any unwanted noise from venues with grounding issues is eliminated so you can enjoy the 2000 watts of power, distraction free.
If you want flat response, massive amounts of power, crystal clear sound and positional options, this is great!
7. QSC CP8 Compact Powered Loudspeaker - £374
The QSC CP8 Compact Powered Loudspeaker is one of the best active stage monitors as it provides a1000 watts of peak power thanks to a Class-D module and has been specifically designed to accommodate floor monitoring.
This is ideal for smaller to mid-size stages as well as portable stages, say, cafés that have outdoor gigs and small outdoor music events, for example. The likes of the two gain controls and mic boost push switch on-board allow you to get your levels right without having to bother a sound engineer and the Contour Selection functionality lets you optimise the speaker for certain environments, such as floor monitoring. The Floor Monitor setting in particular offers a full balanced sound when you’re using the CP8 as a wedge monitor and provides added stability when mics are nearby.
At 9.5 kg, it won’t break your back should you need to move speakers or set up the stage for a new act to come on. Perfect for solo musicians, venues and anyone who needs high quality sound on stage.
8. RCF ART 712-A Mk4 Digital Active Loudspeaker - £434
The RCF ART 712-A Mk4 Digital Active Loudspeaker makes our best floor wedges blog as it’s been designed to withstand high amounts of use of extended periods of time, which is an essential feature if you’re a venue owner or need something to rely on during long sets.
You get 1400 watts of power, which is controlled by the innovative onboard DSP processing and FiRPHASE Technology. This basically means the RCF ART 712-A is able to produce a consistent audio distribution without phase distortion and minimal latency, even when you’re pushing it hard.
The Horizontal coverage angle give you 90 degrees of sound dispersion, so you can hear it on stage when you’re using it as a monitor speaker, whether you’re close up or further back – a great feature and an essential aspect for live performance. The 1” Compression Driver, 1.75” voice coil and 12” Woofer handle every aspect of sound, from the crisp clear highs to the lower end frequencies that you need.
9. Yamaha Stagepas 400BT Bluetooth Portable PA System - £442
The Yamaha Stagepas 400BT Bluetooth Portable PA System is a lot smaller than the DXR12 making it perfect for smaller venues, cafés, small bars and even outdoor applications where you need to be able to pack down quickly.
This is one of the best active stage monitors for smaller set ups as you can angle the speaker towards your ears and enjoy the 400-watt power through 2 x 8” speakers. Best of all, there’s a removable 8 channel mixer and Bluetooth connectivity so you can take control of your sound without the need for a sound engineer and stream music via your Bluetooth device in between sets or when you need backing tracks.
We think it’s one of the best floor monitor speakers as it has a built-in feedback suppressor, which mean you can drive the foldback speaker without worrying about that pesky feedback creeping in.
10. Yamaha DXR12 Active PA Speaker - £449
Next up we have the Yamaha DXR12 Active PA Speaker. This is ideal for a variety of applications, including pole mounted applications, suspended applications (flown) as well as floor monitoring. The multi-purpose enclosure of the DXR12 allows you to use it on the floor and the fact that it has a 50-degree dispersions makes it one of the best stage monitors around as it projects the sound to your ears rather than your knees. And last I checked you can’t hear through your knees!
The Class D amplifiers pump out a massive 1100W sound with a maximum SPL of 132dB, so you can hear everything you need to without any of that nasty distortion creeping in. The rugged enclosures and heavy duty steel grilles are also perfect for venues where they’re going to get a lot of use.
11. Bose S1 Pro PA System with Battery Pack - £521
Time and time again the Bose S1 Pro PA System appears in our best PA speakers blogs as it’s just so good! This is easily one of the greatest floor monitors for stage and live use as it’s designed with an Auto EQ functionality that automatically detects the orientation of the speaker and optimises itself for that application. This means when you place it on the floor as a floor monitor, the Monitor Mod EQ kicks in and pumps out the optimal equalisation curve to maximise the sound quality.
You can daisy chain these together and the included battery pack with lithium-ion battery provides up to 6 hours of play time after a full charge – ideal for portable applications.
However, if you’re using them for the stage and plugging them in, you’re still getting 103 dB of quality Bose sound straight to your ears! This multiple position PA is perfect for floor monitoring applications where sound quality on stage is paramount.
View a full range of active PA speakers and floor monitor wedges over at PMT online, or call in to your local PMT store today. Or why not call 0151 448 2089 to speak to our PA experts about a full range of PA options for stages and venues of all sizes. We can help you get the perfect PA system for your needs, whether large or small and handle everything from initial free no obligation advice to complete set ups, installation and aftercare.