When choosing a mixer, amplifier, or mixer amp, there are several questions to consider before making a decision. it's important to explore these questions, so you can ensure the equipment you invest in will suit your application and function properly long-term.
1. Will you need to use any microphones and if so, how many? What type of microphones?
You may want a microphone for events and/or announcements or you might decide you don’t need one but it would be nice to have the capability for later.
2. How many audio inputs will you need and what type? MP3, USB, Bluetooth, etc.?
Music can be played from many sources, but in some instances, there are multiple sources of audio inputs to choose from, including audio from video sources. Consider what your equipment MUST do, and what input features might be nice or needed down the line.
3. How much power do you need to drive the speakers you have chosen? Is your system wired for 70 volt or low impedance?
If you have more than 4 speakers, having an amplifier that operates in 70 volts will make your installation much easier and add years to your amplifier life span. You will also want to consider *headroom for power and additional power, in case you want to expand the system in the future or add a subwoofer for more depth.
*Pro Tip: Headroom is the amount of clearance needed to provide a clean, un-distorted signal.
4. Where will you be keeping the equipment and are there size restrictions?
Most equipment is intended for a 19” rack installation but there are smaller models that usually offer less power and options.
5. Do you need multiple audio source zones (i.e. a different program for a bar to dining room or outdoors)?
Some situations require multiple audio zones, such as a restaurant with background music inside and a separate patio area with TVs playing the game. There are mixer/amp solutions for 2 zone systems and others that are more applicable for 4 zone systems if needed.
Choosing the right mixer/amplifier can make all the difference to the quality and versatility of your sound system. Keep in mind that, if you don’t know the answer to all of these questions our experienced audio engineers are happy to help.