Finding the best sound system for a church includes a wide variety of factors like the shape of the venue, budget, and worship style. As with any other purchase, one must know what they need to make the correct buy.
The best sound system for a church is custom designed for the specific acoustics of the space. Century Audio Visual (based in Mississauga, Ontario) are specialists in designing and installing sound systems. We are your best chance to get the sound you want at a reasonable price.
This article will explore the best equipment available on the market today.
The Best Sound Systems Mixer For A Church
An audio mixer creates carefully adjusted audio output for any sound system. Its function combines input and adjusts its quality for better live or recorded output.
Sound reinforcement makes for good instrument output quality and verbal clarity in churches.
While space is a factor, audio output is essential and can fix venue spacing issues.
A mixer improves the quality of sounds during and post-production. It is an excellent tool for adding dramatic effects and creativity to the output that you want to bring.
Here are some examples of the best mixers you can use for your church:
- PreSonus StudioLive 32S 32-Channel Digital Mixer
The PreSonus StudioLive mixer is a complete package. It has 32 channels for digital mixing and a dual-core FLEX DSP engine with enough power for at least 280 processors.
Some features allow multitrack recording, clean preamps sound recording, and an advanced equalizer for effects.
Features And Specifications
- This mixer has at least 16 channel inputs. It has eight mono-channel inputs and four stereo-channel inputs, all with 60mm faders.
- It has four auxiliary buses for pre-fader and post-fader send and two internal FX buses.
- It has two stereos with 32-bit digital processors for enhancing audio effects.
- It has 12 Class A XMAX mic preamplifiers. These 12 channels include talkback inputs as well.
- The mixer also has a Fat Channel signal processor for all channels and buses. Three are a semi-parametric equalizer & compressor, a downward expander, and a limiter.
- It is user-friendly
- Designed for easy setup
- Very intuitive design and layout
- It has a great integration of the brand’s system
- It does not have many reviews online since it’s new to the market.
- Behringer X32 Mixer
The Behringer X32 is one of the most improved digital mixers in the market. It has a very interactive interface that allows users to navigate around the device easily.
It also has 50 attached FX plugins, channel strips, motorized faders, LCD scribble strips, and many other features. It also has a 7-inch main display for review.
Features And Specifications
- It has 25 Motorized Faders
- It comes with a total of 25-bus Digital Mixer with 32 Gain Mic Preamps that are programmable
- Has a Virtual FX Rack
- It comes with 40-input channels
- It also has a 7-inch tracking display
- Very interactive system layout
- It has exquisite built-in enhancers
- Great sound processor and output quality
- It does not have an HDMI video output for screen hooking.
- Yamaha MGP32X 32-Channel Mixing Console
This mixer is relatively larger compared to other mixers in the market. It is the most ideal for church use.
This mixer has features compatible with iOS, has two hybrid stereo channels, a stereo imager function, and a leveler.
Features And Specifications
- It has 32 Line Inputs comprising 24 for mono channels and 4 for stereo channels
- Has 6 AUX sends with 2 FX sends
- The machine has at least 24 Microphone Inputs with a 48V Phantom Power and HPF for each channel
- Has 2 Matrix out and 1 Mono out
- Composed of 4 Buses Group with ST Bus
- Quieter than other mixers in the market.
- Very user friendly
- It has an excellent layout.
- Great console
- It has limited routing ports compared to other mixers.
- The channel equalizer is a bit hard to navigate for beginners.
- QSC TouchMix-30 Pro 32-Channel Digital Mixer
The QSC TouchMix-30 is a mixer combination of a multitrack recorder and a DAW interface for the live output. It is famous for being very easy to use, especially for beginners.
This mixer offers a 32-channel port, 24 microphone lines, Stereo USB, 16 output ports, installed with 120 instrument audio, microphone resets, and a direct output sent to external hard drives. It’s also famous for its 10-inch touchscreen finish.
Features And Specifications
- This mixer has a 10-inch multi-touch sensing screen
- It comes with an IEC Power Cord and a Rack Mount Kit Microphone Cable made with high-grade rubber
- A 24-input microphone line with 6.35mm ports
- It also has a 3.5mm stereo USB or MP3 panel
- It has a 14x XLR line-level output
- You can connect it to other digital devices via a Type A USB Connector or an RJ-45 Type B USB Connector for Wi-Fi Routers
- It has a very compact design
- It is very user-friendly
- Has an installed room tuning function
- Gives auto feedback checking
- It has an excellent user interface
- You can only navigate it through an iPad
- The touchscreen function can take a little bit of getting used to.
The sound mixer you choose can largely affect how the congregation responds to church activities. Issues like background noise levels and venue shape can negatively affect people’s experience.
But with a suitable mixer, you can modulate these things effectively.
The Best Speakers for Your Church’s Sound System
The next part of your sound system that you would have to fill are the speakers. There are many types of speakers in the market; there are those called powered and un-powered ones. There are also portable ones and permanent speakers for different purposes.
Choosing the correct type of speaker will only amplify and improve the audio output that its listeners will hear. Speakers who have quality materials will impact the quality of sound.
- PreSonus ULT15 2-Way 15-inch Active Loud Speaker
The PreSonus ULT15 has a “long throw” design which amplifies its output to be heard clearly by an audience in a wide venue.
It has a sizeable 110-degree dispersion that can avoid feedback and sonic dips. It’s usually used as a stage monitor, a fill speaker, or the main speaker for outdoor events.
Features And Specifications
- It has a WorxAudio-designed, rotating waveguide Pivot X110 as a horn for clearer coverage.
- It has a 15-inch low-frequency driver with a voice coil of 2.5 inches.
- The peak power of Class D is 1,300W.
- It has two combo XLR 1/4-inch inputs.
- It has a wide horizontal dispersion of 110 degrees and 50 degrees vertical audio throw.
- Well labeled and designed
- Can be positioned vertically or horizontally
- Best preference as a multipurpose speaker
- Despite being designed for outdoor and indoor use, this equipment tends to be heavier than regular speakers.
- RCF ART 715-A Mk4 Digital Active Loudspeaker & RCF Sub 705-AS II Active PA Subwoofer
This loudspeaker and subwoofer set is perfect for medium to large venues for churches. Both the speaker and subwoofer have a combination of professional features of 1,400 watts with 2-way peak power.
RCF ART 715-A Mk4 Digital Active Loudspeaker And SUBWOOFER W/3″ Voice COI, SUB-705AS-MK2
- It has a frequency response of -3 dB: 45Hz
- Built-in compression driver of 1-inch, 1.75 inches v.c.
- A 90-degree x 60-degree wide directivity horn
- It has a horizontal and vertical coverage angle of 90 degrees and 60 degrees, respectively
- Can accommodate medium to large-sized venues
- It has exquisite professional sound features
- It has a 2-way peak power for maximum performance
- The design of the speaker can be quite bulky and a bit heavy.
- QSC K10.2 Active PA Loudspeaker & QSC KW181 Active Subwoofer
Combining these two will satisfy you if you want consistency and reliability. It has excellent system power and a well-distributed system design.
QSC K10.2 Active 10-inches Powered 2000 Watt Loudspeaker
- It has the best audio class performance in the market
- Has recallable scenes for applications that are useful most of the time
- It has a multi-function digital display for loudspeaker control and functions
- A 2000 Watt Class D amplifier port
- Detailed tuning management system for loudspeaker and frequency response
QSC KW181 18-inches Watt Active PA Subwoofer Loudspeaker
- It has an 18-inches woofer
- It has a built-in fixed-length of0 threaded speaker pole and mounting cup
- 1000-watts powered subwoofer or a 2 x 500-watt Class D amplifier
- A plywood enclosure with black pain
- 1000 watts output with 2000 watts peak
The supplier provides an extended warranty for the item
Made with high-grade materials and part
It needs more padding for protection due to its large physical dimensions.
- Yamaha DXR15 Active PA Speaker & Yamaha DXS18 Active Subwoofer
The Yamaha brand is famous in the sound industry for producing quality equipment concerning sounds and the like. These two types of equipment are designed professionally to function both for indoor and outdoor purposes.
Yamaha DSR115 Active Loudspeaker
- It has 2 inches HF Driver with a 90 x 60 CD Horn
- Has an installed advanced DSP for excellent sound modulation
- They are in a 15-inch cast frame with a neodymium magnet as the primary material for a lighter overall weight
- It has a Line-X spray external
Yamaha DXS18 Powered Subwoofer
- Features a 4-inch voice coil magnet for clear, low-frequency bass effect for sound output
- It has a high SPL design to reduce sound distortion
- It has a 1020W Class D Amplifier
- Low-frequency control via a D-XSUB processor
- It has wooden enclosures with LINE-X external coating
It has a lot of online reviews
The speaker has a slim design
The subwoofer is made with high-grade materials and parts
It can be challenging to transport, depending on its permanent setup.
Different kinds of speakers are positioned differently depending on the venue’s needs. There are factors to consider like spatial uniformity, delay, level setting, delay setting, and even audio equalization. (Source)
The kind of speakers you decide to use will determine how you can design your sound system in the church.
The Best Microphones For Your Church’s Sound System
The quality of microphones plays an essential role in the overall sound system of your church. A microphone’s ability to intercept the sound quality is necessary for the entire effectiveness of the sound system.
- Audio-Technica Wireless Microphones And Transmitters
- It has a 24-bit/48 kHz wireless sound quality and microphone performance
- It has receivers you can place in the chassis mounted via an Ethernet cable
- Operates independently from any TV interference
- It has ten receiver units that can be used all at once
- You can pair up all receivers with up to 10 transmitters for easy switching between RF signal levels, transmitter battery level, system ID, and link status
- Shure GLXD14/SM35 Wireless Headset Mic
- It has a lithium-ion rechargeable battery with at least 16 hours of continuous use
- Has a LINKFREQ or an Automatic Frequency Management
- Can be connected and navigated to at least four systems up to 8 in most efficient use
- It has a GLXD4 receiver and a GLXD1 bodypack transmitter for wireless use
- Includes an SM35 headset microphone and a power supply tool
- This microphone also has a clothing clip and a windscreen
- Shure QLXD24/B87A
- This microphone has an interchangeable mic cartridge for handheld wireless mic use, ideal for presentations and worship events
- It has a half-rack QLXD4 digital wireless receiver with an efficient frequency range to transmitters with a one-touch sync function
- Has ethernet that you can use for Wireless Workbench software integration and remote controlling of the microphone through iOS devices
- The package has a microphone clip, power supply, batteries, wave antennas, BNC cables, BNC bulkhead adapters, and a rackmount kit
- Sennheiser EW 100 G4-845-S
- The Sennheiser microphone has a transmission range of up to 100 meters or at least 300 feet, making it great for big venues and events
- It has a high-grade live sound lightweight aluminum transmitter with a mute switch
- You can connect it with up to 20 compatible channels
- Some studies reveal that it operates entirely in a wireless system for ease
Some studies show significantly poor directivity of sound and audio because of reduced speech intelligibility determined mainly by the microphone quality. (Source)
The effectiveness of a church’s sound system can be affected directly by the quality of equipment such as the microphone. It is why it’s essential not to rush buying one.
What Do I Need For A Church Sound System?
If you’re looking to set up a basic church sound system, below is a list of equipment and materials you may need. This list covers a typical church service that can serve small to large church groups.
Basic Components For A Church Sound System
- A power conditioner machine
- Microphone stands
- Microphone cables
- Wireless Headset Microphones
- At least four microphones for instruments
- Drum microphone
- Around 3 to 6 vocalists microphones
- Stage monitor speakers or an in-ear monitor fix
- A channel compressor with at least two slots
- An equalizer for the microphone and sounds
- 1 or 2 subwoofers for the speakers
- Speakers that you can use with subwoofers
- Cable snake wires with at least four auxiliary returns
- At least a 16 to 24 channels mixer with four auxiliaries sends that match your snake wires
Power conditioners protect the audio devices and other equipment from any type of power surge. It acts like a tank that absorbs any unnecessary energy to prevent it from damaging the actual equipment use.
Once you have your power conditioner, make sure that you plug it into everything that you will use for your sound system. Otherwise, all your efforts would be for nothing.
Wireless Microphones (Headset Microphones)
There are a lot of different wireless microphones here, like Shure and Sennheiser. Be sure to use one that spells quality when buying in the market.
Look for headset microphones that have a high digital frequency range. Some also have automated frequency adjustments depending on the audio setup. The imperative thing is to choose up-to-date models.
One of the main things you will have to invest in is our cables. Avoid buying relatively cheap or low-quality wires as these can affect your microphones negatively.
Since your cables will be more exposed than the actual microphones, you must choose a brand that offers durable and strong wires.
Make sure to check your microphone to ensure compatibility as well.
Microphones For Instruments
A combination of different types of microphones works best with various musical instruments. Check with your supplier for the best ones to capture the sound of the instruments you will use.
You can use various microphones for guitars, keyboards, and even drums. Find established brands in creating microphones for these different instruments for maximum efficiency.
Microphones For Vocalists
While there are a lot of microphone brands available in the market, there are only a few that will give you your money’s worth.
There is a reason why branded microphones are much more expensive compared to others. These microphones are tested and are constantly used in big productions, which means they can withstand long periods of use.
More expensive microphones have added protection, such as titanium ball covers that do not easily get damaged once dropped on the floor. Having a microphone with great external protection features would also mean that you get to save on any major repairs.
Stage Monitors Or In-Ear Systems
What musicians or performers on stage need to hear differs from what the congregation needs to hear from them. These speakers allow the people on stage to hear themselves during air time.
There are speaker-like stage monitors that can be positioned near musicians and singers. However, this can be difficult when the drum set is near the vocalists due to the volume.
A more practical alternative would be in-ear monitors. These monitors have individual sends from the mixer, allowing each musician and singer to hear their output alone.
Powered Speakers And Subs
Powered speakers have built-in amplifiers and circuits intended for significant events. The sub is what you hook up to the main speaker so sound will crossover to the amplifiers with optimal frequency for the speakers.
Synchronous Rectifiers act as electronic switch that improves the power flow efficiency from the source of electricity to the equipment. (Source)
It does the same as a sub you can use for more than just one type of equipment.
If you use subs, you also need to have power receptacles if you use unpowered speakers. Otherwise, you don’t need the receptacles.
What Is A Good Sound System For A Small Church?
A good sound system for a church is not a one-size-fits-all thing. How you envision your church and its physical design will largely determine the kind of sound system you need.
Here are a few things to consider when trying to find a good sound system for a small church:
- Your Budget
Setting a clear budget will help you find the right fit for you. It does not matter if you find the right equipment y ways to fit one’s budget.
If you know someone knowledgeable with sound equipment as well, it’s best if your future-proof your system, which means that you decide on the type of equipment and tools you buy according to changes or future additions you may want to make.
- Who Will Operate The Sound System?
In a typical church setting, you’ll find that most staff who’ll volunteer are inexperienced in handling highly professional equipment. If you don’t have anybody knowledgeable in things yet, it’d be best to look for a user-friendly system.
- The Plans For Worship And Message
As previously mentioned, there are a variety of sound systems that you can choose depending on your church’s requirements.
Different churches have different “celebratory styles” or how they articulate their celebration of coming together in a mass. (Source)
This style determines how a church uses its space for instruments and sound systems.
Some churches have minimal use for instruments and technical effects, and some have an entire band and group of singers for worship.
Think about what kind of worship style you do in your church? are you looking to record your Pastor’s message? Which musical instruments do you use? Would you need special tools for a large choir as part of worship?
- The Shape Of The Church
The sound system must be able to cater sounds of people in different parts of the room. The design of the place will determine the kind of speakers you need for the room.
The materials used for the church building also play a role in creating a great sound system. When choosing your sound system, you must consider a place’s acoustical issues, echoes, and flutter echoes. (Source)
- Do You Want A Portable Or A Permanent Sound System?
Any church does not limit its activities to just one venue. Different gatherings are held outside of the church, depending on your activities. You may need a portable sound system if your church does a lot of outdoor activities most of the time.
How Much Does It Cost To Put A Sound System In A Church?
The budget for a church’s sound system can vary depending on the amount you’re willing to shell out. There are sound systems that you can buy at a range of $1,000 to $3,000. These are usually second-hand instruments you can still use for basic sound system needs. However, you get what you pay for and the budget items are typically not worth it, in our opinion (although we get to repair them a lot).
If you choose to optimize your sound system purchase for future additions to equipment and tools, then you can prepare a budget of around $10,000. However, it will greatly depend on your space and the acoustics.
The best option is to contact us for a consultation. We’ll set you up with a plan that makes sense for your space, and you budget.
What Is The Best Mixer For Church?
If you don’t have a professional in your church who knows a lot about managing your sound system, especially a Mixer, then it’d be best to settle for an Analog Mixer.
While Digital Mixers can have more features installed, like presets, faders, and effects, these can complicate things for someone who’s not adept at handling this mixer.
Analog Mixers can offer the same sound quality and is more user-friendly because of their primary and well-rounded structure.
You must choose a good sound system that fits your church’s space and acoustics so that the congregation conveys and hears a proper sound. It’s necessary to remember that the best sound system for your church will largely depend on the acoustic needs of your church.
Having a great sound system in the church will make the people more engaged and focused on what’s happening on the stage. So focus on what the church needs to find the right solution.
Talk to the professionals first. Trust the professionals at Century Audio Visual – we’ll set you up at the right price.