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Looking for a unicorn, a battery powered speaker that is also wedged and powerful Studio Monitors
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Looking for a unicorn, a battery powered speaker that is also wedged and powerful

Hello Everyone, so I've been struggling a little bit to find a unicorn that I would hope would simplify my operation.

Sometimes I have events where I host just solo acts who have a table in front of them, electronic and ambient stuff.

What I would really like is a speaker that is battery powered, has a wedge in the cabinet so I can point it at their head, and is actually loud enough to not distort at near field monitor levels that can co-exist with 127 decibel peak mains (RCF Art 708a-Mk4s).

I call what I am seeking a unicorn because finding something that matches all of these conditions appears to be impossible.

I bought a Samson expedition express for this purpose but have never actually used it in the field for this intended purpose because I feel that the damn thing is just too quiet and too prone to distortion relative to the actual volume puts out. But it is battery powered and wedged.

And there's a bunch of battery powered speakers that are powerful enough but they're not wedged and if I have to be doing extra stuff to compensate for them not being wedged then I'm not actually making my rig more simple.

So, I don't know if I'm missing something hidden in plain sight but can anyone recommend such a unicorn to me?

(Yes I tried the Bose S1 in another life, I think it's stupid expensive relative to its actual delivered performance. Honestly, I could justify the price if it could move air like I wanted it to, but if it's weak AND expensive, no way.)

Just to be clear, I envision the speaker being something like 30 to 45 inches away from the performer's head. I'm not envisioning concert level sound pressure because of the short distance involved.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
Can you explain more why having a power cord is a dealbreaker? Is everything else you're running on batteries?

What you're looking for isn't a unicorn, it's just something there's not a market for.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

high SPL = more power
More power that in order to make the speaker operational continuously during event duration (3-5 hrs) the battery must be huge and expensive. The speaker would not be priced at 100-300 dollar, which is usually the budget of the intended market target.
Priced higher than that, even i would consider that a toy and not a pro speaker.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jordyzzz View Post
high SPL = more power
More power that in order to make the speaker operational continuously during event duration (3-5 hrs) the battery must be huge and expensive.
With all due respect, that hasn't been true for at least 4 to 5 years now, if not way longer.

For example, I can run an RCF Art 708a Mk4, 127 decibel peak, for about 4 hours on less than 100 watt hours.

Depending on whose numbers you use, that's talking about a maybe 15-45 dollar battery bank.

Guys, I'm gonna be quite blunt, if you have nothing helpful to add, please just don't reply.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by nedorama View Post
Can you explain more why having a power cord is a dealbreaker?.
I mean, I'm just trying to make incremental progress towards a more ideal setup. In a perfect world wouldn't all modules be self powered and fed by wireless signal? Well, you get to that perfect world by rewarding the people who make that incremental progress.

I'm thinking I might just go ahead and spring for a Mackie Freeplay Live. On closer examination of the images, I notice that the body is kind of tilted.

" it's just something there's not a market for."

You know, once upon a time, there wasn't a market for audio amplification at all, the solution was literally to add members to the orchestra. You might claim that there isn't a market for what you're describing but that doesn't mean that the long term trend isn't towards battery powered and wirelessly signal fed. I mean, look at other industries, the Tesla Model 3 is battery powered and it was able to receive an over the air firmware update that made it able to brake more effectively. The only constant is change.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by badsearcher View Post
I mean, I'm just trying to make incremental progress towards a more ideal setup. In a perfect world wouldn't all modules be self powered and fed by wireless signal? Well, you get to that perfect world by rewarding the people who make that incremental progress.
May be perfect to you, but it's not to me, or apparently anyone else since no manufacturers are making it. I'd prefer to have my PA gear work as expected with regular AC power. A $10 XLR cable is going to outperform a $400 wireless, so unless you're willing to pay through the nose, powered, wired PAs are the way to go.



Quote:
I'm thinking I might just go ahead and spring for a Mackie Freeplay Live. On closer examination of the images, I notice that the body is kind of tilted.
If you're looking for volume, then the Freeplay Live isn't going to provide it. Get a decent powered 10 or 12" speaker (JBL PRX, Yamaha DRX, QSC K10/12) and you'll have what you need except for an AC cord.

Quote:
" it's just something there's not a market for."

You know, once upon a time, there wasn't a market for audio amplification at all, the solution was literally to add members to the orchestra. You might claim that there isn't a market for what you're describing but that doesn't mean that the long term trend isn't towards battery powered and wirelessly signal fed. I mean, look at other industries, the Tesla Model 3 is battery powered and it was able to receive an over the air firmware update that made it able to brake more effectively. The only constant is change.
Just because what you want isn't there doesn't mean that it's the future. It means your needs aren't in the majority. Comparing PAs to a Tesla with OTA is a bit extreme. But then I'm reminded this is Gearslutz... so until Elon Musk comes up with a $5000 battery powered wireless PA, spend far less and have great sound at the expense of $20 of AC and XLR cables.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Ok, with all due respect,

I didn't ask for your opinion,

I asked the forum if something like what I described is on the market. Nothing more, nothing less.

So, unless you have the solution that has actually been asked for rather than your own subjective opinions that haven't been asked for, kindly stop responding.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Just to be clear, I envision the speaker being something like 30 to 45 inches away from the performer's head. I'm not envisioning concert level sound pressure because of the short distance involved. Something like a QSC K10.2 sounds like drastic overkill for such a role, so I feel I'm justified in attempting to cut down on complexity and weight in this intended role.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Seems like the Mackie Freeplay Live will be my best bet, I'll come back to give my first impressions when I get my hands on one. Far as I can tell, it's a brand new product so there aren't a lot of reviews for it yet.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

IMO, all those battery powered speaker all 6 inch and have 100-200 watt peak amp.
For mackie, it claims to do 115 db spl, and claims 8 hour battery life max.
BUT
8 hours if it continuously put up 90 db spl
for 115 peak claim, it will do 0.25 hours. which is only 15 MINUTES!
which is in line as i said on my first reply. it will need a big ass battery.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by badsearcher View Post
Seems like the Mackie Freeplay Live will be my best bet, I'll come back to give my first impressions when I get my hands on one. Far as I can tell, it's a brand new product so there aren't a lot of reviews for it yet.
I have auditioned the Mackie Freeplay and it was ordinary belong belief as far as I'm concerned. My Roland ac-33 was better.

The best battery powered PA I have heard recently from a Full Range Flat Response point of view was the Behringer MPA40BT. 40 watts of power and a decent sized battery.

If you want to diss on Behringer then your perfectly entitled to pay more money for an inferior product.

I was in a pro audio store when a Mackie rep came around to present the Mackie Reach all in one system to the staff. Since I was there I butted in and put it to the test. It was unbelievably ordinary sound wise and quite expensive. A classic example of creating a product with a range of features aimed at appealing to a certain market but completely ignoring the audio quality requirements.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Check out the Bose S1. I don't know if it is loud enough for your purposes but it sounds decent.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
I have tried the Bose S1, I feel it's overpriced but maybe I should consider giving it another chance.

Also, Anthony, just to be clear, I'm talking about the Mackie Freeplay Live, which is the successor to the Mackie Freeplay.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by badsearcher View Post
I have tried the Bose S1, I feel it's overpriced but maybe I should consider giving it another chance.

Also, Anthony, just to be clear, I'm talking about the Mackie Freeplay Live, which is the successor to the Mackie Freeplay.
OK, its a different unit but being a Mackie I'd still want to test it first rather than buying it sight unseen.

Many years ago I was a student of Industrial Design. In Mackie these days I see CLASSIC Industrial Design but not necessarily in a good way. The priorities are, Design a good looking box first, add some marketable feature second and then audio quality/performance comes third. A little cynical yes but that's what I see in Mackie these days.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
I'm sorry to hear that because in some ways, in Mackie, I do see a progressive design culture, but we'll see how the Live stacks up, at the end of the day, that's what return policies are for.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
The Mipro MA708 is one of the louder battery operated PA speakers we sell. But it is battery operated and can have both bluetooth & a wireless receiver built-in. Don't kno if the form factor will work for you. You can build a complete system with a MA909...tho the front end is not battery powered.
You might get halfway there with a XLR Bluetooth adaptor into a DXR10. Don't know if Bluetooth has low latency or hi fidelity suitable for your needs
Most folks look for lighter weight in portable...serious battery operation will bring a significant weight penalty.
After 40+ years of pro audio I know where most Unicorns hide.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
no, the mipro uses lead and is overweight.

As far as I'm concerned, lead based batteries are obsolete for purposes of audio.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by badsearcher View Post
no, the mipro uses lead and is overweight.

As far as I'm concerned, lead based batteries are obsolete for purposes of audio.
If your skills are as great as your opinions...source a lighter battery
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Can and will?

Heh, geez, this thread has inspired a perplexing amount of defensiveness. I've already made my decision so fwiw, this thread is done, everyone.
Old 5 days ago
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Just got a Mackie Freeplay Live. First impressions are that it’s very good and exceeds my expectations of what is possible with a 6 inch woofer. For what it is, I like it a lot and I think it will fit the role I am after.

In terms of usable spl, it blows the bose s1 out of the water
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