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11.17.2010

Review of the Behringer Eurolive B215D By: Terry White


Have you been looking or shopping for your first or just another PA system? If you have there is a speaker I think you might want to check out before you start spending tons of money.

If you have ever checked into buying a PA system or if you already own one then you know just how much money you can spend for very little sound.
Most of us always find a speaker we like then a mixer we like and then we need a power source to get the sound to the audience and make it loud enough for everyone to hear without any problems.

In the last few years many companies have been designing what are referred to as active or powered PA speakers. What an active or powered speaker is just what it sounds like; it is a speaker that has its own amplifier built right in.

This is really noting new they have been around for several years now but until the last few years the amount of power you could get from a 15 inch 2 way speaker way limited. With the latest class D amplifiers available now not only can you get tons of power from a 15 inch 2 way speaker but you get tons of power in a light weight easy to set up and transport package that really does sound great.

I have been testing out the “Behringer B215D active PA speaker”
four almost 2 weeks now, and once more I have to say I am very pleasantly surprised.

First they weigh very little when you consider that they have a 15 inch woofer as well as a horn/aluminum dome compression driver, and also not one but 2 class D amplifiers inside. Each speaker only weighs around 50 pounds.

The B215D is rated at 550 watts per speaker max output. But trust me you will never need max output, I tried I really did. I have punished these speakers for the last week and the loudest that I needed to turn them up was a little past half way.

Of course you are not going to be able to play stadiums with only 2 speakers but because of the way their designed you can use just 1 speaker or you can string them together and use 10 or 20 of them.

Each speaker has an input for a microphone, or you can run a source like a CD player to them. I even used a distortion pedal with a couple of other effects and played my guitar through them.

Unless you are connecting more than a single microphone you really don’t even have to use a mixer. But if you plan to gig with them at all I would suggest a mixer of some kind. The cool part is that the speakers are powered so you will never have to use a powered mixer or any power amplifiers at all. All the power you need is already built inside of each speaker.

Prices for these speakers range anywhere from around $330.00 to around $350.00 each, and if you keep in mind that for that price you get the speaker and all the power it can handle in the same package it really is a great price.

Sound is as good as any speaker of this same type that I have used or heard. I have read that some people do not think there is enough bass output but I really can’t understand where that ever came from. These are PA speakers not subwoofers, there not designed to pump out a ton of bass. I have used them mostly for vocals and they sound just fine. I would not want any more bass from them.

They mount easily onto tripod speaker stands, or can be placed on their side and used as monitors.

I really enjoyed testing these speakers. In fact I am planning by next spring to get a set of 6 of them all together with just a simple mixer and use them as my main gigging speakers. I can use just 2 of them for smaller gigs, 4 of them for large outdoor gigs and still have the other 2 that I can use as monitors. And I will have only spent about half of the amount of money it would take for separate speakers, amplifiers, and mixers.

I am no different than most musicians out there; I just do not have tons of money to spend on just anything that comes to mind. I have to be very careful about how much money I spend. And I have to be sure that I get the most that I can possibly get for every dollar that I spend.

The Behringer Eurolive B215D gives me just what I need and fir a price I can afford.
Like I have said many times before, don’t just take my word for it, go out and find a pair and check them out for yourself. If there is a better active speaker with this much power in a package this light weight and easy to move and set up then I have not been able to find it.


Here are some of the specs.

High-power 550-Watt 2-way PA sound reinforcement speaker system for live and playback applications
Ultra-compact and light weight system delivers excellent sound even at extreme sound pressure levels
Revolutionary Class-D amplifier technology: enormous power, incredible sonic performance and super-light weight
Internal switch-mode power supply for noise-free audio, superior transient response and very low power consumption
Integrated sound processor for ultimate system control and speaker protection
Extremely powerful 15'' long-excursion driver provides incredibly deep bass and acoustic power
State-of-the-art 1.35'' aluminum-diaphragm compression driver for exceptional high-frequency reproduction
Ultra-wide dispersion, large-format exponential horn
Ultra-low noise Mic/Line input with Volume control and Clip LED
Dedicated 2-band EQ for perfect sound adjustment
Additional Line output allows linking of additional speaker systems
Versatile trapezoidal enclosure design allows different positioning:
Stand mounting with 35-mm pole socket
Tilts on its side for use as a floor monitor


Terry White

©2009 - 2010 Terry White and Fred Russell Publishing, All Rights Reserved. This article can not be used without permission from the Author. To Contact the Author email curt@RockHouseMethod.com

4 comments:

Bob said...

Thanks for the review. But you ought to be aware that you can't just use 10 or 20 - or even 4 or 6 - speakers like this in combination and hope that it will sound good. You'll get interference (comb filtering) between the units. It takes some very special design to make two speakers work well together, and these aren't designed to be used that way. And if you don't put your speakers together, but have some at the front and some half way back, then you need to add delay to the rear set so that they work in time with the front set. Multiple speakers need careful planning!

terrywhite1 said...

I have not tried 20 but I have tried as many as 10 and an 11th as a monitor just to see what kind of sound I would get and had no feedback problems at all. And it was ridiculously loud.
There is digital circuitry designed in the units to aid in limiting feedback and it seemed to work as it was intended to during my testing. On the other hand you can and will have feedback problems from any speaker system if you use too much speaker and power for where you are playing.
Really the statement that you can use almost as many as you would like to is simply a statement of how this active speaker is designed, and could be used if one choose to.
2 of the B215D’s can easily be used in most (not all) average clubs, I have used 4 in a High School gym and they provided more than enough sound.
As far as the placement of the speakers, that would really just depend on where you may be playing. But any speaker no matter what the design is going cause problems if you place some of them facing your audience and then say some of them at the rear of the same room facing the stage. Placement should always be the shortest distance possible from a mixing unit, that’s just sound 101.
The statement of adding more speakers if needed and the number I used as an example is to illustrate the design of the speakers and how easy it is to link them together using the link XLR outputs.
Just for the record if playing anywhere that someone would think that there would be a need for 20 active 550 watt speakers (around 12,000 watts) you would really be better served using a different type of PA all together.
These are really designed for smaller audiences, now smaller does not mean small. 20,000 seat audience, no use a different system all together. 2000 to 3000, I would feel comfortable using the B215D. A good sound check would be my deciding factor in the number of speakers I would use.
Thank you for your insight, as you do make a valid point.

Terry

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a review on the 12 or 10 inch versions of these speakers. My experience has been that the smaller speakers have a much better off-axis response, and you can get better coverage with less speakers.

Of course the smaller version are not suited for kick drum or a lot of bass guitar, but neither are most single 15 speakers.

Anonymous said...

I have been using 2 B215d's for the last 6 months as front of house for a rock cover band. We use it for vocals, kick & overhead drums, bass DI & mic guitars with it. They have plenty of punch, clarity & spread for most clubs we play at. I also use 3 12" versions as fold backs. I usually find I have to cut back the bass on each speaker a little to get rid of the boomy sound. However....I have had reliabilty issues with one of the B215D's. It has already had the powder amp go once. I have just dropped it off again due to the woofer on the same speaker dropping out at our last acoustic gig. I'm not sure if I just got a lemon or if I've done something to it some how but I'm pretty careful with my gear & have never run anything flat out. My entire PA is Behringer - Mixer, EQ & Compressor & everything else has been faultless. I might have just drawn the short straw with this one!

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