The Best Stage Monitors - Powered Speakers Under $500

The Highest Rated Powered Stage Monitors

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Stage monitors are an essential part of the live sound setup. Bad monitors are prone to failure or muddy sound while others just sound horrible. Investing in a stage monitor is just as important as choosing good FOH (front of house) speakers.

For this September 2021 edition, we present you with the highest rated stage monitors in the sub $500 range.

Note that while alternatives like In-Ear Monitors are available, many still prefer the coverage and practicality of floor monitors.

The Best Stage Monitors Under $500

Author & Contributors

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

An audio engineer of 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.

Best Powered Stage Monitor Speakers Under $300

These are market leading powered speakers that are highly rated as floor monitors in the sub $300 price range. Some of them are also great FOH speakers.

Behringer Eurolive B205D

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 1450+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$169
Behringer Eurolive B205D 5.25” 150 watt Powered Floor Monitor

The Behringer Eurolive B205D is the smallest and lightest in this list, weighing at just 7 pounds.

It's equipped with just a 5.25" LF driver, and a 150W amplifier which may seem way under-powered compared to the others but reviews reveal that the projection of this monitor is just enough for small stages and venues.

It is ideal as a stage monitor for vocalists and keyboardists thanks to its mic stand mountable design.

It's also a great speaker for small-scale public address - just plug a microphone directly into the B205D and you're ready to be heard.

And since it has front mounted controls, making on fly changes to your sound is possible without the need for a technician's help.

Speaking of controls, the 3-channel mixer gives you mic and line inputs, including RCAs for music players. And the 3-band EQ lets you fine-tune your sound easily.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 5.25"
  • Power Rating (RMS): 125W
  • Power Rating (Peak): 150W
  • Frequency Range: 105Hz-10kHz
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 112dB
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR, 2 x XLR/TRS Combo, 2 x RCA
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR (Mic/Line)
  • Mounting: Floor Wedge, Pole
  • Weight: 7 lbs.

Pros
Aside from its obvious budget friendly price advantage, the Behringer Eurolive B205D is well loved for its portability, as stated by majority of reviewers. Many are also pleased with how it sounds, in terms of both projection and quality. From small cafes to a Las Vegas rock band stages, the general consensus is that it gets the job done quite well for the size. The ability to be mounted on a mic stand is also a plus, allowing the performer to better hear the sound coming off the speaker, and giving them easier access to the onboard controls which include a 3-channel mixer and EQ.

Cons
There are a few out-of-the-box defects reported, while some report having problems within a year of buying. These can still be covered by warranty so it's not necessarily a deal breaker. But it would still pay to handle and setup this compact active speaker carefully, specifically when mounting it on a mic stand, you don't want it to fall down during a performance.

Overall
Easily the best value compact stage monitor on the market today, since you can save a lot by buying this unit, we recommend that you also get a mic stand to get the most benefit.

Behringer Eurolive B208D

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$169
Behringer Eurolive B208D 8" Powered PA Speaker - 200W

The Behringer Eurolive B208D is a high-power powered speaker in a surprisingly light (below 15lbs.) package.

As a stage monitor, the enclosure is designed to stay in position when used on its side.

The built-in DSP has an intelligent crossover, EQ, and limiter. The crossover and EQ adjusts the low end to retain clarity at higher volumes.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 8"
  • Power Rating (Peak): 200W
  • Frequency Range: 65Hz-20kHz
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 113dB
  • Inputs:1 x 1/4", 1 x XLR
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR
  • Mounting: Pole Mount with 1.37" socket, Floor Wedge
  • Weight: 14.7 lbs.

Pros
Users praise its compact and lightweight size along with its loudness and clarity for floor monitor use. People found it best for small venues with cramped stages or portable / mobile setups for impromptu pop-up gigs.

Cons
The speakers were noted to lack bass. While not a problem when being used as a monitor, those that are looking for something versatile might want to look elsewhere.

Overall
The B208D is a great, affordable, and compact choice for loud and clear monitoring duties.

Behringer Eurolive B112D

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$259
Behringer Eurolive B112D 1000 watt Powered PA Speaker

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Powered Stage Monitor Under $300 - for the second year in a row!

Behringer knows how to balance price and quality, to the detriment of the competition. A good example of this is the B112D, which for the price gives you a 12" woofer, a 1.35" tweeter and a 1000-Watt amplifier with built-in DSP for speaker protection.

While it doesn't have multiple voicings, it does come with 2-band EQ controls, which you can use to shape the sound to match the venue and the sound source.

All these features are packed inside a lightweight plastic cabinet, which makes the B112D a good portable stage monitor.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 12"
  • HF Driver: 1.35"
  • Power Rating (RMS): Not Specified
  • Power Rating (Peak): 1000W
  • Frequency Range: 50Hz - 20kHz
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 127dB
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR/TRS Combo
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR
  • Mounting: Pole, Floor Wedge
  • Weight: 27.1 lbs.

Pros
There's no stopping the many high ratings that point to the B112D's overall quality. Most users appreciate its fuller sound, which make it work nicely for rock musicians, DJs and many more. There are also plenty of comments speaking about the nice headroom that it has.

Cons
Not many complaints from users other than a few experienced owners who are not impressed with its sound.

Overall
The Behringer B112D is a budget friendly monitor for those who are looking for one with 12" woofers.

Alto TS308

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 275+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$269
Alto TS308 2000W 8" Powered PA Speaker

The Alto TS308 features a whopping 1,000W power section driving an 8" LF driver and 1.4" Neodymium magnet HF driver.

The TS308 has multiple anchor points and a pole socket. As a floor monitor, the enclosure has angled sides for proper throw angle.

This power and versatility comes in a compact and lightweight enclosure for maximum portability.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 8""
  • Power Rating (RMS): 1,000W
  • Power Rating (Peak): 2,000W
  • Frequency Range: 62 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 129 dB
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR combo
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR
  • Mounting: Floor Wedge, Pole
  • Weight: 20.2 lbs.

Pros
Users found that the headroom and power were deceptively loud even for an 8" speaker. As a floor wedge, the smaller speaker size lends itself to clearer monitoring which is essential to keeping stage volume down during gigs. Despite the smaller 8" LF driver (compared to 12"), the TS308 puts out a surprising amount of low frequencies.

Cons
One user found that the low end of his organ caused the LF driver to distort at loud volumes. For monitoring however, it is usually recommended to roll off the low frequencies at the mixer to keep stage levels uncluttered.

Overall
If you need a loud and clear stage monitor at a reasonable price-point, the Alto TS308 is tough to beat for its sheer power and clarity.

Mackie Thump12A

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 450+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$300
Mackie Thump12A Powered Speaker 12" - 1300W

Generally speaking, stage monitors do not require as much low-end as FOH.

Still, there are particular instruments and musical styles that require a bit more bass in their monitors, and this is where the Thump 12A comes in with Mackie's proprietary Dynamic Bass Response technology - that allows their speakers to have a bit more low-end than what others have to offer.

At 1,300 Watts, and with a 12" woofer, the Thump 12A has more than enough volume for handling FOH, let alone stage monitoring duties.

It has a 2-channel mixer with Vita preamps that can handle various sound sources from mics, to instruments to line level signals, thanks to its Wide-Z input technology.

Other features include 4 speaker modes including one for stage monitoring, and it comes with built-in projection and thermal limiters.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 12"
  • HF Driver: 1.4"
  • Power Rating (RMS): Not Specified
  • Power Rating (Peak): 1300W
  • Frequency Range: 50Hz-23kHz (-10dB)
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 126 dB
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" Combo
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR (Mix out)
  • Mounting: Pole, Floor Wedge
  • Weight: 29.1 lbs.

Pros
Great sounding is a common description used in reviews, and these reviews come from a wide variety of users, including keyboardists, DJs, announcers, guitarists, bassists and many more. There are even reviewers who rate it highly after using it as a stage monitor in big venues that can sit thousands. Another key factor for the high ratings is the Thump 12A's pricing, which is quite affordable given its specs and performance.

Cons
There are a few who wish for more EQ control instead of the speaker modes. The extra bass response can also be a turn off for those who are looking for more midrange and treble clarity.

Overall
If bass response in a monitor is important to you, then the Mackie Thump12A will fit you nicely.

Best Powered Stage Monitor Speakers under $500

Many high quality FOH (front of house) speakers in the $300 to $500 price range work just as great when used as stage monitors, thanks to built-in DSP that tweaks the voicing to meet the needs of stage monitoring. In this section, you'll see the best of these versatile speakers.

Yamaha DBR10

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 300+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$350
Yamaha DBR10 Powered PA Speaker

Weighing in at just 23.2 pounds, the Yamaha DBR10 packs quite a lunch of punch, with its 10" LF Driver, 700W (Peak) power rating and max SPL of 129dB.

And since it is also top rated PA speaker, it can serve as a reliable backup for your FOH speakers.

Its power, portability, flexibility, and Yamaha's reputation for quality makes for a potent mixture of practical traits that many are looking for in a stage monitor.

Features:

  • 10" LF Driver
  • 1" HF Driver
  • Power Rating (Continuous): 325W (260 LF | 65 HF)
  • Power Rating (Dynamic): 700W (500 LF | 200 HF)
  • Frequency Range: 55Hz-20kHz (-10dB)
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 129dB
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR/TRS Combo, 1 x Stereo
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR
  • Mounting: Pole, Floor Wedge
  • Weight: 23.2 lbs.

Pros
Most commendations point to its clean sound, good projection and portability. Many acknowledge experiencing a big jump in sound quality improvement after switching to the Yamaha DBR10, which is quite special considering its affordable price point, and its light weight. While it does work great as FOH mains and side fills, experts have noted that it works even better as a floor monitor, with its clarity and quiet operation - especially for vocals and acoustic instruments.

Cons
The rating would have been higher if not for some users who wanted more bass and projection from its compact 10" speaker, they should have known better and bought something bigger. An expert reviewer cautioned that it can't handle too much lows, but said that this is a physical limitation rather than a fault on the speaker - and it would not be an issue for most musicians when used as a stage monitor.

Overall
If you are looking for a quality monitor that's light on your back and your bank, then definitely get this one.

Mackie Thump15A

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 850+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$350
Mackie Thump15A Powered Speaker 15" - 1300W

Who would need a stage monitor with a 15" woofer?

Our research into actual market responses show that there are many - including drummers, bassists, keyboardists, DJs and more.

And this need is addressed by the Mackie Thump15A, with its 15" LF driver that better emphasizes low frequencies compared to its smaller siblings.

But aside from its bigger woofer, everything else about this speaker follows the same specs and configuration as the Thump 12A, including having a 1,300 watt Class D amplifier and Mackie's Dynamic Bass Response technology.

Other features include 4 speaker modes and built-in thermal limiter for speaker protection.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 15"
  • HF Driver: 1.4"
  • Power Rating (RMS): Not Specified
  • Power Rating (Peak): 1300W
  • Frequency Range: 32Hz-23kHz (-10dB)
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 127 dB
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" Combo
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR (Mix out)
  • Mounting: Pole, Floor Wedge
  • Weight: 34.8 lbs.

Pros
The Mackie Thump15A is rated highly for its great balance of cost, durability and sound quality. Users are simply blown away by the sound they are getting from the speaker given the money they spent. And while it gets many of its reviews for its outstanding performance as a main FOH speaker, it gets plenty of thumbs up as a stage monitor for drummers who use electric drums, keyboardists and electronic musicians, DJs, bassists and even guitarists who uses guitar modeling processors. Durability is also another important factor as to why many recommend the Thump 15A, with some reviewers sharing stories of the Thump 15A surviving various falls and hits.

Cons
This is not a good stage monitor for those who prefer more treble and mid-range emphasis over bass.

Overall
If you're looking for a monitor with extra emphasis on bass frequencies then the Mackie Thump15A is highly recommended.

Electro-Voice ZLX-12BT

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 425+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$449
Electro-Voice ZLX-12BT

The Electro-Voice ZLX-12BT is a high power, 1000W Class D Powered speaker distributed to a 12" LF Driver and a 1.5" Titanium HF driver.

Onboard DSP enables it to be tweaked according to purpose. As a floor monitor, flexibility in this regard is a welcome feature.

Bluetooth music streaming makes it a great tool for buskers and cafe musicians looking for a one-speaker solution.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 12"
  • HF Driver: 1.5" Titanium driver
  • Power Rating (RMS): Not Specified
  • Power Rating (Peak): 1000W Class D
  • Frequency Range: 50Hz-20kHz (-10dB)
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 126 dB SPL @ 1m
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line), 1 x 1/8" (aux in)
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR (Mix out)
  • Mounting: Pole, Floor Wedge
  • Weight: 34.3 lbs.

Pros
"Loud and clear" has been mentioned more than once in many user reviews. The ZLX-12BT performs well as floor monitors thanks to its onboard DSP as it enables fine tweaking of the speakers to filter out unnecessary frequencies that might cause feedback.

Cons
The side handle is not on top when used as a floor monitor, which may make it slightly inconvenient to reposition or carry.

Overall
If you need a great, loud and clear floor monitor with DSP that is equally adept at small gigs as with big stages, the ZLX-12BT is a great choice.

QSC CP8

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$400
QSC CP8 Powered PA Speaker

At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Powered Stage Monitor Under $500 along with the ZLX-15BT and CP12.

Although far from being the cheapest on this list, the CP8 has been the most popular floor monitor with Gearank readers during 2021.

It features QSC's brand of premium sound quality at a reasonable price point, and its ability to reproduce sonic details and nuances make it ideal for stage monitor use.

It has a 1000W Class D 3-channel amplifier that drives an 8" woofer and 1.4" tweeter, all designed and built to QSC's strict quality requirements.

To achieve a clear sound that the brand is known for, CP8 comes with QSC's DMT (Directivity Matched Transition) and Intrinsic Correction DSP.

In addition to its dedicated floor monitor voicing, it comes with 5 other contour modes which include speech, dance and subwoofer ready modes.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 8"
  • HF Driver: 1.4"
  • Power Rating (RMS): 1000W
  • Power Rating (Peak): Not Specified
  • Frequency Range: 56Hz-20kHz (-6dB)
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 124 dB SPL @ 1m
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" Combo (Mic/Line), 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR (mix out)
  • Mounting: Pole, Floor Wedge
  • Weight: 25.5 lbs.

Pros
Musicians of various backgrounds commend the QSC CP8 for its clear and clean sound, reviewers range from guitarists, singer songwriters, saxophonists, keyboardists, vocalists and many more. Some even use it as both main speaker and monitor for small venue performances. It also gets a lot of thumbs up for its sound quality to weight ratio, while others appreciate its solid build quality.

Cons
If you're looking for a deeper sounding monitor with more bass then this may not be a good choice.

Overall
The QSC CP8 is currently one of the highest rated powered stage monitors and for good reasons, do check it out if quality is your top priority.

Electro-Voice ZLX-15BT

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$549
Electro-Voice ZLX-15BT 1000W 15" Powered PA Speaker w/ Bluetooth

At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Powered Stage Monitor Under $500 along with the CP8 and CP12.

NB: The street price was $499 when we first published this Edition but it went up to $549 a few weeks later.

The Electro-Voice ZLX-15BT is the larger sibling of the ZLX-12BT.

It features a 15" LF driver along with a 1.5" Titanium HF Driver. 1000W of Class D power is distributed to the two drivers.

It has DSP presets to enable it to sound perfect as stage monitors by preventing low frequency muddiness from ground placement.

Bluetooth also enables playback from phones and tablets should you need it.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 15"
  • HF Driver: 1.5"
  • Power Rating (RMS): Not Specified
  • Power Rating (Peak): 1000W Class D
  • Frequency Range: 42Hz-20kHz (-10dB)
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 127 dB SPL @ 1m
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line), 1 x 1/8" (aux in)
  • Outputs:1 x XLR
  • Mounting: Pole, Floor Wedge
  • Weight: 38 lbs.

Pros
People that used the ZLX-15BT as floor monitors note that it sounds clear and punchy to keep rhythmic cues audible, especially for bassists. Other users noted that they purchased this model for use with electronic drum kits to great success.

Cons
There have been some complaints about the Bluetooth capability but this won't be an issue if you're using it as a floor monitor.

Overall
The Electro-Voice ZLX-15BT is a great powered speaker for those that want a little more punch from their monitors.

QSC CP12

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$500
QSC CP12 Powered PA Speaker - Front & Back

At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Powered Stage Monitor Under $500 along with the CP8 and ZLX-15BT.

The QSC CP12 is a bi-amplified 1000W speaker (800W LF, 200W HF) for loud operation with minimal distortion.

It features internal DSP with presets for FOH and floor monitor usage.

DSP corrected driver balancing also ensures proper frequency response for each preset.

As a floor monitor, the DSP corrects the tone to prevent low frequency buildup and reflections from the floor for clearer sound.

Features:

  • LF Driver: 12"
  • HF Driver: 1.4"
  • Power Rating (RMS): Not Specified
  • Power Rating (Peak): 1000W Total (800W LF, 200W HF)
  • Frequency Range: 47Hz-20kHz
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 126 dB SPL @ 1m
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line), 1 x 1/8" (aux)
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR (mix out)
  • Mounting: Pole, Floor Wedge
  • Weight: 30.3 lbs.

Pros
Clarity is the most repeated descriptor for the speakers both as a FOH unit and a floor monitor. The un-distorted performance even at louder stage volumes really helps intelligibility even with dense monitor mixes. The DSP equalization also helped with achieving clarity.

Cons
One user noted them to be "hollow sounding". We tried looking for similar sentiments about the speaker but found this to be an isolated case.

Overall
If clarity is your top priority, The QSC CP12 is an amazing performer at any volume.

Things to Consider When Buying Stage Monitors

Powered (aka active) vs Passive

Powered stage monitors come with built-in amplifiers, while passive ones require a separate amplifier. There's no clear winner between the two, rather, they each have their own advantages over the other. Powered stage monitor speakers make setup simple. Passive monitors require an amplifier. The most practical method is to consider your existing equipment when getting stage monitors, if you already have a dedicated amplifier, then get a passive monitor, if none then go powered. Also remember that powered speakers need to be plugged into a power outlet. Note that since our 2020 edition, we've decided to leave out passive stage monitors entirely, since most people are now looking for powered stage monitors due to their ease of use and convenience.

How many do you need?

The number of monitors you need is influenced greatly by the size of the stage and the number of performers. The most ideal is to setup is a monitor for every performer, otherwise they may have to share a monitor. A good rule of thumb is to start with two monitors for small to medium sized venues, and add as the need for more arises - you'll often need one dedicated to the drummer as it can be difficult to hear every performer from the back of the stage where the drummer is usually positioned.

Speaker Size and Weight

The size of the woofer (LF Driver) is significant in that it will dictate the stage monitor's bass handling and projection. You will want smaller speakers (10" to 12") for vocals and other common instruments that include guitars and keyboards. While bass heavy instruments like drums and bass guitars generally require bigger (12" to 15") woofers - note that some drummers use an additional subwoofer or a dedicated drum monitor for stage monitoring. Portability is an important consideration if you're performance venue constantly changes, and to help with that, we have put the weight of each stage monitor listed on the features section.

Can be used as FOH (Front of House) or General Speakers

Most modern powered PA speakers can double as good stage monitors, making them great bang per buck choices. This means that they can serve as back up FOH speakers should your mains have problems.

Differences between a Floor Wedge and a Stage Monitor

Stage monitor refers to speakers that can be used as monitors, while floor wedge refers to the shape and position of a stage monitor. Many of today's powered speakers have back wedges that allow them to be positioned as floor wedge monitors. And many also come with built-in DSP that can let you switch the voicing of the speaker to compliment the floor wedge position.

The best Stage Monitors for Drummers

There are some great sounding powered monitors that are specifically designed for drummers, we feature the best of them in our guide to the Electronic Drum Amps / Drum Monitors.

Best Stage Monitor Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2016 and the current edition was published on September 1, 2021.

This guide complements our Powered PA speakers guide, focusing on top-rated stage monitors that are readily available at most major American music stores. After surveying the major retailers we placed the most promising 40 options on our short-list for closing examination.

We gathered relevant reviews, ratings and recommendations for each model and fed the data to the Gearank algorithm to produce the rating scores out of 100 that you see above. Over 12,900 sources were processed for this edition. The resulting scores allow us to rank each monitor according to their ratings and we selected the highest rated ones to recommend above. The list is broken down into sub $300 and sub $500 price categories for convenience. See How Gearank Works for further details on our methods.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

An audio engineer of 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.

Aside from endlessly window shopping and watching hours of gear reviews for leisure, he enjoys playing competitive FPS games, MMORPGs and caring for his 5 cats. He is primarily influenced by guitarists like Kurt Ballou and Paul Gilbert. His favorite pieces of gear are his Ibanez RG550RFR, Orange Brent Hinds Terror amplifier and EQD Acapulco Gold fuzz.

Contributors

Alexander Briones: Supplemental writing.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: Created by Gearank.com using photographs of the QSC CP8, Behringer Eurolive B205D and Yamaha DBR10.

The individual product images were sourced from their respective manufacturers' websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation.

Comments

Looking for a monitor there

Looking for a monitor there are other considerations such as weight and controls on the front, durability. You can sit at a desk and evaluate but when you have to move equipment around and use it during an event these things are as (or almost) important as quality. So I did get much from this.

Got a Yamaha DBR10 and it is

Got a Yamaha DBR10 and it is great. It’s light, and works great as a stage monitor. Much better than the QSC K10 we were using

I'd like to have seen more

I'd like to have seen more reviews of monitors with a 10" woofer. I know that Yamaha makes one. I have two of the Kustom 10" and I like them for my situation which is in a small church with a relatively small staging area. There has to be other 10" monitors out there under $300.

As part of our December 2017

As part of our December 2017 update we looked very carefully at 10" speakers, however the passive ones at this size didn't rate highly enough for us to recommend them despite powered versions with this size woofer rating quite highly with some being recommenced above.

Nice overview. I would add

Nice overview. I would add that the Peavey PV 12M horn drivers do blow. From my experience, that happens about every 8-10 years if the monitor is used 3-4 times a week in performance and rehearsal. My bands have pushed these units to the limit. They've been impressive and held up to everything we've thrown at them.
How do I know they blow every 8-10 years? I date my drivers when I install them, originally because I was curious as to how long they last. I'm glad I started to do that as I doubt I would remember accurately when I had last replaced them.
These guys are extremely durable and will deliver clean, crisp audio for decades. the pole mount allowed us to use one as a main when we blew a speaker once. And like most Peavey gear, these speakers will handle much more power than Peavey says they will.