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QSC K Family Loudspeakers Buying Guide Which K series or KW series speakers are right for you?

QSC K Series and KW Series Comparison

Find the right QSC PA loudspeakers with our guide.

QSC has set the standard for lightweight powered PA loudspeakers with their industry-leading K series and KW series. With 1000 watts of room-filling sound in small footprints, it's no wonder these speakers are huge hits. There's a lot to love about both Ks and KWs:

K Stands for Kilowatt: 1000 Watts of Class D Power. From the compact K8 to the KW181 subwoofer, each member of the K series and KW series is a powered, active speaker with 1000 watts of lightweight Class D amplification. These speakers' built-in Class D power amps employ QSC's Guardrail limiter to prevent destructive clipping distortion and woofer over-excursion, while a virtually silent internal fan turns on when the amp senses high temperatures -- making Ks and KWs truly robust.

DEEP Mode: Bigger Bass Output, Less Distortion. To get impressive bass output from 1000 watts, all Ks and KWs employ DEEP: Digital Extension and Excursion Processing. Flip the DEEP switch on the back of your speaker, and this virtually transparent limiter kicks in to increase the average output of bass frequencies. Much more than just a low-frequency EQ boost, DEEP employs sophisticated DSP to identify and limit brief low-frequency transients while preventing distortion.

Cover the Room Consistently, from Lows to Highs. K and KW series full-range speakers let you control high frequencies with application-specific EQ settings. Set the HF switch to "Flat" for full-range music, or "Vocal Boost" for increased intelligibility and presence for speech or vocal reinforcement. In addition, QSC's Intrinsic Correction EQ implements FIR linear phase filters to adjust the speaker's response, helping deliver consistent sound over the entire audience.

Practically Everything Else. These speakers are packed with useful features: Tilt-Direct for angling your speakers toward the audience, four-position mic/line gain knobs, M10 rigging points, and rugged enclosures with handles and steel grilles built to stand the test of time.

QSC K Series: Ideal instrument amplification or portable PA

The K series includes the K12, K10, and K8 full-range 2-way powered speakers, and the KSub powered subwoofer.

QSC K12 full-range 2-way powered speaker

Anyone that's heard a K12 in person can attest to how well these speakers fill a room. That's QSC's Directivity Matched Transition at work -- a smooth transition from high to low frequencies across the speaker's entire 75-degree vertical and horizontal coverage area. Thanks to its 12" woofer, each K12 responds down to a low 52 Hz and pushes out an impressive peak SPL of 131 dB.

The largest full-range speaker of QSC's K Series, K12s are also the best seller. Despite their room-filling sound, these powered speakers are under 24 inches tall and weigh only 41 pounds -- making them ideal for portable PA systems.

A single K12 can cover quite a bit on its own. In fact, the K12 is a "secret weapon" for onstage instrument amplification, replacing conventional amps for many keyboardists, bassists, and guitarists.

New from $849.99 | Learn more »

QSC K10 full-range 2-way powered speaker

At just over 20 inches tall, K10s are an excellent choice for houses of worship or other formal venues where your PA speakers need to fill the room without disrupting the aesthetics of the space. The K10 delivers bass frequencies down to 56 Hz with a maximum SPL of 129 dB. In a sturdy ABS box that weighs only 32 pounds, these speakers are truly easy to transport.

Even sound dispersion over a 90-degree area means your K10s can be closer to the audience without leaving out folks on the sides -- making them excellent PA mains for small-to-mid-sized venues. And like the larger K12, the K10's enclosure has one angled back corner, so it's easy to set up as a floor monitor.

New from $749.99 | Learn more »

QSC K8 full-range 2-way powered speaker

Under 18 inches tall and weighing only 27 pounds, the K8 pushes out the same 1000 watts as its bigger brothers. What makes the K8 different is its wider dispersion pattern of 105 degrees. The K8 employs QSC's Directivity Matched Transition to ensure that critical midrange frequencies are evenly dispersed, while switchable DEEP processing means the 8" woofers can push out a healthy dose of bass down to 66 Hz.

Beyond its incredible sound and solid build quality, the K8's most impressive spec might be a price-to-performance ratio that rivals nearly any small powered system out there.

New from $699.99 | Learn more »

QSC KSub powered subwoofer

Smaller woofer cones such as those found on the K8 and K10 naturally produce less bass than larger speakers. The solution? A dedicated subwoofer. The powerful and professional-looking KSub delivers maximum bang-for-buck among QSC's subwoofer offerings.

The 75-pound KSub has built-in quiet casters and ergonomic handles for easy transport. With two 12" woofer cones and a frequency range of 44 Hz to 148 Hz, the KSub is ideal for DJ setups, music playback in small bars, or mobile PAs that need easy-to-transport powered subs.

At just 14" x 26", the compact KSub can sit on its long side to fit under a stage riser in a small club or bar installation. Or you can pole-mount any K8, K10, or K12 speaker atop the KSub in a sub-satellite configuration. K8, K10, and K12s all have an XLR line output that's perfect for sending a post-gain mono-summed signal to a subwoofer such as the KSub.

New from $1,129.99 | Learn more »

QSC KW Series: Longer throws, deeper lows for large venues

The KW series includes the KW122 and KW152 full-range 2-way and KW153 full-range 3-way speaker, and the KW181 subwoofer.

What do you get when you upgrade to the KW series? For starters, KW speaker enclosures are made of machined birch plywood with aluminum handles, while K series enclosures are high-impact ABS molded plastic. While wood is heavier, it simply sounds better.

KW series speakers are made to be splayed. While K series speakers project sound in a cone-shaped pattern, KWs project an axis-symmetric pattern with a more square cross-section. In plain English, KWs lend themselves to being grouped in a cluster of 2 or more speakers, because the square pattern edges match up with each other -- helping to blanket a large venue in consistent sound.

QSC KW122 full-range 2-way powered speaker

While the KW122 and K12 are both 1000-watt 2-way 12" speakers with a 75-degree coverage angle, the models have key differences. To accommodate the KW122's larger tweeter horn, its birch wood cabinet is 26 inches tall and weighs in at 49 pounds.

The KW122 can simultaneously accept mic, line, and stereo RCA inputs, mix all 3 inputs within the speaker, and and then send output to a second daisy-chained KW122. If you're installing a PA that will be fed by multiple mixers, the ability to connect all those inputs is a big plus.

When you need coverage wider than 75 degrees, KW122s work especially well when grouped in a cluster. Even if you're starting out with a single pair of KW122s, these speakers make an excellent starting point for a PA that you plan to expand in the future.

New from $1,099.00 | Learn more »

QSC KW152 full-range 2-way powered speaker

Like all the K and KW speakers on this page, the KW152 is rated for 1000 watts of continuous power -- but that power is spread over a narrower 60-degree coverage angle. KW152s are "long-throw" speakers: they're built to be farther away from the audience, in larger venues.

Two or more KW152s can be mounted together to cover a 120-degree or wider angle, with minimal overlap -- unlike short- or medium-throw speakers whose wider dispersion patterns would cause comb filtering. The KW152s are excellent "building blocks" of vertical arrays or clusters in large venues, where high SPL is needed at a long distance. A single KW152 also makes an excellent side-fill or drum-fill monitor on stage: the 60-degree pattern lets you aim the speaker precisely where musicians need to hear it, resulting in higher gain before feedback.

Enclosed in birch cabinets, KW152 speakers weigh 64 pounds. Thanks to their powerful 15" drivers, KW152s reach down to 47 Hz, with a max SPL of 133 dB. Flip the External Sub switch to engage a 100 Hz high-pass filter and use your 1000 watts even more efficiently.

New from $1,199.00 | Learn more »

QSC KW153 full-range 3-way powered speaker

The only three-way loudspeaker in the family, the QSC KW153 has dedicated drivers for high, mid, and low frequencies: a 1.75" HF compression driver, a 6.5" midrange cone, and a 15" woofer for the lows. The KW153's 15-inch woofer cone digs down to a thunderous 35 Hz (think "dinosaur footsteps" low), while the dedicated midrange horn reinforces the real star of your mix: the vocals and instrumental solos.

When you're working with a frequency response this wide (35 Hz to 18 kHz), physics prevents the loudspeaker's coverage pattern from being contained to an extremely narrow angle. Still, the KW153 disperses sound over a well-contained 75-degree coverage angle, which makes them a great candidate for cluster applications.

So what kind of application requires a rock star of a loudspeaker like the KW153? Think big venues. KW153s make killer main PA speakers in high-SPL, long-throw applications. Pair them with KW181 subs in the corners of dance clubs. Set them up as side-fills on large stages. With these speakers in your rig, there aren't many gigs you can't handle. Each KW153 weighs 87 pounds, with handles placed at just the right height to make them portable.

Need another great reason to upgrade to KW153s? Since these speakers boast a frequency response all the way down to 35 Hz, you're that much less likely to require dedicated subs.

New from $1,199.00 | Learn more »

QSC KW181 powered subwoofer

Want to push some serious air? With 1000 watts continuous and 2000 watts peak power, the KW181 is a serious sub. Like its KW series siblings, the KW181 boasts a birch cabinet, plus casters that make it easy to move -- so you can get the dance floor moving faster.

QSC's sophisticated DEEP limiter (Digital Extension and Excursion Processing) detects and corrects any brief bass transients that could cause clipping distortion or over-excursion of the 18-inch woofer -- helping the KW181 to safely pump out frequencies as low as 43 Hz, with a max SPL of 132 dB.

New from $1,399.00 | Learn more »

Learn how musicians use QSC K and KW series speakers for instrument amplification onstage.
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