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How many watts do we need?

The number of watts you need depends on:-

The number of people in the audience (because bodies absorb sound)
The size of the venue
Whether you're indoors or outside (you need more power outside)

What you're amplifying (just the spoken word or a heavy metal band)

BASIC GUIDE What does RMS mean?Number of watts RMS
per audience member
Spoken Word 0.5 to 1
Acoustic Acts, Solo Artists & Duos 2 to 3
Bands & Average Sized Venues 3 to 4
Loud Bands & Large Venues 4 to 5

Recommended PA Systems for Halls VILLAGE HALLS & PLACES OF WORSHIP
- up to 75 people - over 300 people
- up to 100 people  
- up to 300 people  
Recommended PA systems for Bands, venues, pubs BANDS & VENUES
- up to 100 people - up to 600 people
- up to 200 people - over 600 people
- up to 400 people  
Recommended PA systems for school halls, assemblies, plays, sports day SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES, PLAYS, SPORTS DAY
- seating up to 100 people - seating over 500 people
- seating up to 300 people  
- seating up to 500 people  
Recommended PA systems for meetings and presentations MEETINGS & PRESENTATIONS
- up to 75 people - over 200 people
- up to 100 people  
- up to 200 people  
See also PA Systems for Conferences and Background Music & Announcements


If you're looking for a PA System please fill in our enquiry form and one of us will call you back or email you some suggestions for you to consider.

We need a PA system for:

We want to amplify:
Speech CDs Keyb'ds Live music Other
The maximum audience is roughly:
10 30 50 75


200 300 400 600


The room/hall size is roughly:

Leave blank if not sure.

You can see photos of the venue on the internet at:

e.g. www.ourvenue.co.uk/photogallery.htm (if applicable)


If there are no photos of the venue on the internet, if you can, please email a couple of photos to enquiries@whatpa.co.uk when you have completed this form.

We'll need some microphones:
Wireless Handheld Wireless Lapel  Wireless Headset
Wired Mics Microphone stands  
We'd like to put the speakers...
On the wall On stands Not sure    
We'd like to rack-mount the equipment in a case on wheels...
Yes No Not sure    
Our budget is approx:
I have something else to ask:
My contact details are:
I live in:

UK or Northern Ireland
Other, please specify


Please call me   Please email me some suggestions


What does watts RMS mean?

The power or loudness of a PA System is measured in watts. Speakers and amplifiers always show the wattage in the spec (e.g. 300 watts) and the number of watts can be shown as Peak power or RMS. Peak power is the maximum it's capable of, RMS* reflects the average amount of power it can comfortably and continually produce for a long period and is the rating we recommend you should always go by.

Always go with as much power as you can afford. You shouldn't have your PA system turned up to its full capacity because any peaks may cause distortion, and your speakers will have a longer life if they're not always running at their maximum.

*RMS stands for 'rout mean square',  a shortened version of 'the square root of the mean of the squares of the values'.



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