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Behringer B210D Powered/Active Speaker

4.5 4.5 out of 5, based on 1 Review

An effective reliable, value for money powered speaker for personal monitoring and sound amplification for small rooms/venues/events.

26th April 2018

by kodebode

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5

It's not every day that a product prompts you to add a review, for the benefit of others.

About 6 years ago, I endorsed the selection of either a Behringer B208D or B210D for a mobile preacher who needed a portable kit, which he could transport himself, with mixer, etc. He bought 2 of these and for about 18 months when I was responsible for mixing his events, they did a really good job of projecting vocals, to venues sitting up to 120 people.

I had a recent need to improve audio quality for a similar need, a startup church which needs equipment to be portable, which was using a single passive/amp speaker. I needed to carry this to the venue myself, so it needed to be light. I also did not want to spend too much, as this speaker may get used only twice a week, typically once a week, and the audio needs of the church at this time, are not complex - a keyboard, and two or three microphones - all going through a Mackie mixer.

The initial purpose was for a single speaker to be both a FOH as well as a monitor for the singers and musician, and could be easily repurposed to monitoring duties, when the music team is larger, and/or the congregation is larger and needs a longer term pair of FOH speakers.

Key facts - 10 inch woofer, 1.35 inch aluminium alloy tweeter, 200 watts RMS, powered by a Class D amp, no fans.

Like everything else using a product and the opinions thereof depend on the skills and experience of the end user.

May I state that all sound reproduction has an element of subjectivity and personal preference/based on what you value or are accustomed to.

My opinions.

1. Weight - quite portable - single side handle

2. Reliability - From my previous experience and also from the recent purchase of a Behringer B210D, the packaging was excellent and with careful use, handling always in the cover bag which I also bought for it, I expect this speaker to be here in 40 years from now - Of course attempting to play it at volumes beyond its intended use will shorten its lifespan. Definitely not my plan. The casing is very well constructed - very good "plastic" - pretty much indestructible.

3. Looks - a bit dated compared to the more flat faced single grill designs, but it does look decent - I might find a triangle shaped sticker to blot out the Behringer label - who needs that distraction, and Behringer has not paid me to advertise for them.

4. Features - inputs for line in and mic in treble and bass controls, and a composite out to feed any other amp, speaker with the same input signal. I would not recommend using both the line in and mic inputs at the same time. INdicators for on/off (green light) and a limit indicator, which I never saw turned on - I definitely did not play this at any volume where the limiting would turn on. That is definitely not my intention. All controlled by buttons and dials, none of that digital malarchy with settings you can save, LCD panels - no. Very simple. The main thing to watch out for is the gain dial which for a part of its range amplifies line signals, and for the remainder of its range could be used to amplify dynamic microphones. If you plug in a line source and set the gain in the microphone region, you will soon notice noise and distortion - from this unintended use. Has the socket at the bottom for mounting on pole/stands which are its most typical deployment.

5. Sound Quality - my intention was clarity - able to serve the 3 or 4 speakers/singers and no more than a few instruments, most unlikely that we would attempt to run a bass through this - or drums. At least I would not think it suitable for this. Occasionally we could be expected to run audio from a backing track or audio amplification for a video. No way was this intended product intended for major DJ purposes or a large venue/audience.

I think while it is possible to do all manner of tricks with electronic equalisation, to make a small speaker sound like a big speaker, at some point in time, we have to reckon with some basic physics, if you want loud and clean undistorted - for a larger event - you will need something larger and heavier or maybe limit its use to spoken word or amplifying acoustic instruments for a large event.

With that in mind, playing back my keyboards and commercial audio, through this was a revelation - excellent mid range - not the greatest smoothest of high ends, or low ends. Positioning also became important - listening at the right height. The usual - positioning for studio monitors - ear height to tweeters (which I also suspect may not always be the best way to set these up also) did not apply here, Positioning the listener ear a few inches below the tweeter and not having the speaker too high up, would be my recommendation, unfortunately I could not tilt the speaker downwards which would have been great, at it does not come with this feature.

Once I was able to avoid listening at tweeter to my ear level, and listening at least 4 feet away - so allow the tweeter and woofer to blend this from the get go with no further optimisations, yielded something I could work with.

Although I did not wish to spend too much, I still wanted an outstanding audio result, so next steps.

I compared this side by side with one of my studio monitors, and spent many hours listening.

Like any speaker - taking it to the max is a function of taste, experience/skill and what other kit you have at your disposal, and effort.

My suggestions :

a) Block ports

b) Use a frequency analyser and a measurement microphone

c) Some minor eq correction, ideally with a graphic EQ.

d) Lots of listening and comparing.

e) use the tone controls on the speaker and see what works.

This extra effort in my case provided opportunity for me to know settings on the speaker and on a graphic eq which I could use to eke out even more quality from this speaker.

I think this speaker responds very well to even the smallest of eq tweaks on the graphic - typically no more than +/-2 Db on any frequency - ideally a 9 or 11 frequency graphic - a 31 band is a bit overkill at this end of the budget.

On keyboards this proved really excellent.

The only compromise to the sound is the low end, which is expected. Which could be a blessing in disguise, less low end rumble to worry about in a hall.

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