Best Powered Speakers Under 500 Dollars

Best Powered Speakers Under 500

In Search Of The Best Powered Speakers Under 500 Dollars

Powered pro audio speakers range in price from just under one hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Of course the higher, pricier powered speakers are extremely powerful and of the highest quality. Most powered speakers in the one thousand dollar range can hit sound pressure levels in excess of 132 (SPL) and have digital signal processing (DSP) built right in. These two items are important factors in determining the best powered speakers under 500 dollars. Other factors include weight, the number and size of speaker drivers, input options and bluetooth capabilities. Let’s look closely at the Electrovoice ZLX-12P, the JBL Eon 612, the Yamaha DBR-12, and the Turbosound iX12 to determine which are the best powered speakers under 500 dollars!

Electrovoice ZLX-12P

The first speaker in this comparison, the ZLX-12P, checks most of the boxes when it comes to a great budget powered speaker. Electro Voice is one of my favorite speaker manufacturers. They have a stellar reputation and I’ve had excellent experiences with their customer service over the years. These speakers push 1000 watts of peak power through the 12″ woofer and 1.5″ titanium compression driver. This powered speaker also delivers a DSP which is controlled via an LCD screen on the rear of the speaker. This affords instant configuration options, such as floor monitor usage, front of house use or providing a high cut filter when used with a powered sub. The ZLX-12P weighs 36 lbs, not the lightest in the lineup, but still very manageable for easy transport and setup.
Comparison Chart | Read Reviews on Amazon

JBL Eon 612

The Eon 612 is JBL’s answer to the sub-500 dollar speaker. It’s fifty dollars more than the ZLX-12P, but it does offer bluetooth streaming in it’s arsenal of capabilities. We all know that JBL is one of the top pro audio speaker manufacturers in the world. They have also earned an inherent trust in the quality of their products from the masses. The Eon 612 also has an amplifier that provides 1000 watts of peak power. It’s equipped with a 12″ woofer and a 1″ compression driver. This speaker also has a DSP for various specific uses. Whether you want to use the Eon 612 as a floor monitor, front of house speaker, or use it with a sub, just press the button on the rear as needed. While not as fancy or feature rich as the ZLX-12P, it’s DSP still provides added versatility. At 33 lbs the JBL Eon 612 is the lightest speaker in the lineup, yet another reason it could be considered one of the best powered speakers under 500 dollars.
Comparison Chart | Read Reviews on Amazon

Yamaha DBR-12

The Yamaha DBR-12 is the loudest of the group, pushing 131 SPL! Looking closely at the wattage specs, I noticed that the low end peak wattage is 400 watts, versus the 300 watts utilized for low end in the JBL Eon 612. The independent high and low end wattage’s aren’t available for the other two speakers, which makes it difficult to determine if this is the source of the added sound pressure level. Perhaps the Nexo inspired design of the enclosure and DSP adds to the volume of this speaker. Speaking of DSP, the DBR-12’s DSP operates in similar fashion to the JBL Eon 612. Switches can be engaged to use the speaker as a floor monitor or front of house speaker. There are also options for two different low pass filter points for a separate powered sub. As with the other speakers in this post, the DBR-12 has two channels that can be adjusted as needed for use without a mixing board. The weight of this speaker is similar to the ZLX-12p and the Eon 612, making for easier handling.
Comparison Chart | Read Reviews on Amazon

Turbosound iX12

The final powered speaker in the lineup is also the most feature rich. It’s the Turbosound iX12. The amplifier in the iX12 also pushes 1000 watts of sound. A 12″ woofer and 1″ compression driver are utilized in a fiberglass reinforced composite cabinet. The iX12 excels in two areas: it’s bluetooth capabilities and the added low end it provides without a sub. Not only can this speaker stream audio wirelessly via bluetooth, it’s mixer and DSP can also be controlled with an iPhone or iPad! The volume and three band EQ of both channels can be remotely adjusted to dial in the perfect sound from out in the crowd. There is also a backlit LCD display for easy viewing and control of all settings from the rear of the speaker. Based on the manufacturer’s specs, this speaker can put out low end on par with most 15″ speakers. This may be due to it’s advanced DSP. This may also be the reason for the reduced SPL output of this speaker. One downfall of the iX12 in my opinion is it’s weight. At 42.8 lbs, it’s nearly ten pounds heavier than the lightest speaker on our list.
Comparison Chart | Read Reviews on Amazon

The Best Powered Speaker Under 500 Dollars Is:

After reviewing the capabilities of each of the speakers, I believe the Electrovoice ZLX-12p is the best powered speaker under 500 dollars. Based on my research, the DSP is extremely useful, especially when matching to Electrovoice powered subs. I actually plan on purchasing the new ELX200-12SP to use with a pair of ZLX-12p’s. The weight of these speakers is great for portability and for the price you can’t beat it. I would have picked the Turbosound iX12 if it’s weight were more manageable. If weight isn’t an issue you’re concerned about, you may consider this speaker because of it’s wireless bluetooth capabilities and it’s added low end (down to 42 Hz). I hope this powered speaker comparison has helped you find the best powered speakers under 500 dollars! Be sure to check out my other posts for the best in pro audio!

Powered Speaker Feature Comparison


Electrovoice ZLX-12P
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JBL Eon612
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Yamaha DBR12
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Turbosound iX12
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Woofer Size12"12"12"12"
High Frequency
Driver Size
1.5"1"1.4"1"
Watts1000 Watts Peak1000 Watts Peak
(LF: 700 W, HF: 350 W)
1000 Watts Peak
(LF: 800 W, HF: 200 W)
1000 Watts Peak
SPL126126131125
Frequency range
(-10dB)
50Hz - 20kHz48Hz-20kHz52Hz – 20kHz42Hz - 20kHz
DSPYes (w/ LCD)YesYesYes (w/ LCD)
BluetoothNoYesNoYes
IOS Control via
iPhone or iPad
NoNoNoYes
Weight34.3 lbs33 lbs34.8 lbs42.8 lbs