The Eurolive series from Behringer offers everything from a 300-Watt 2-Way with 8â€ LF drivers to 2200-watt loudboxes with twin 15â€ woofers. Thereâ€™s something for almost every application, including integrated mixers and wireless Bluetooth connectivity. My criteria for this evaluation was pretty simple: I wanted reliability, headroom, and a manageable size and weight.
The B2520 Pro (which are the 2200-watt mothers previously mentioned) first caught my eye, but then common sense kicked in and I had to own up to the fact that a speaker of this size, power and weight is not what I would call my â€œgo-toâ€ rig. Far better, I thought, to stick with the tried and true 15â€ 2-way design: The B615D.
Right out of the box (or, more accurately, â€œWhile lifting them out of the boxâ€) it becomes obvious that terms such as â€œlightweightâ€ and â€œcompactâ€ are relative. At 58 pounds, these fight in the same weight class as many other 15â€ 2-ways. The molded plastic cabinets are solid, tight, and rattle free. Handles are placed vertically, one on each side, for well balanced grip. Not that it makes them any louder, but unlike competing models, they do have a tad of a design differentiationâ€”instead of being round and flat, the grills have a little shape.
According to the spec sheet, SPL is rated at 125dB@1 meter. That shiny chrome label on the front that shouts 1500 watts represents the combined maximum output of the two high current amps inside each cabinet. Thereâ€™s one amp to push the 15â€ low range and one for the 1.75â€ Titanium compression driver. Behringer is among the few loudspeaker manufacturers that make all their own drivers. Last February, I had a chance to tour the Behringer factory in China and was quite impressed with the operation. And by making many of the componentsÂ in-house, the company is able to better control the pricing to the consumer.
Ins and Outs
On the back panel, thereâ€™s a 1/4â€ jack for balanced TRS and unbalanced TS connections along with an XLR Mic/Line connection. An XLR link output is handy when passing the signal (daisy-chaining) on to another active speaker. A gain control (with clipping alert) is providedâ€”but note that the mic pre-amp kicks in right at the 12 oâ€™clock position. If the signal coming out of your board is hot, things can get painfully loud real fast. I typically donâ€™t like to adjust the EQ using the tone controls on the speaker, but bass and treble controls (labelled: â€œlowâ€ and â€œhighâ€) if you need them.
On The Road
The advent of Digital Signal Processing has made a huge difference in the sonic experience your loudspeakers present to your audiences. It is essential that you to conduct a controlled A-B comparison before investing in new speakers. The DSP on the BB615D teams an active 2-way electronic crossover, graphic EQ, parametric EQ, mic preamp, and limiter with the two Class-D power amps. Behringer says, â€œAs output demands rise,the internal processor frees up LF amp and transducer resources by reducing program bass content, so that higher overall system volume can be realized.â€ Geek speak aside, good clean bass is on every DJs wish list, and with those 15â€ woofers these do not disappoint.
To put the B615D to a real world test, we took them out on dozens of jobsâ€”utilizing them as the mains for a backyard wedding reception one weekend, to filling the gaps in the PA at a large arena the next. Throughout the test, the B615Ds performed flawlessly and sounded great. For the PA job (mostly vocal announcements) it was simply a matter of â€œset â€˜em up, turn â€˜em on and leave â€˜emâ€ for four straight days. At the wedding receptions, we got a chance to check out their musicality and found they responded well to a little added compression and aural excitation yet kept their focus mostly on the dance floor.
Comfortably sitting atop our Frankenstand F2 tripods, the pair of B615D loudspeakers pumped out everything we needed to cover the dance floor with plenty left over for the surrounding grounds. The upside of working in a tent is that you donâ€™t have to deal with sound bouncing off the walls. The downside is, more power is required to keep the volume consistentâ€”especially with high winds and unfavorable weather conditions (that included having to compete with thunder).
At the end of the day, the B615Ds handled each event without any gripes or complaints. With a price tag of around $450 each (online), Behringerâ€™s Eurolive B615D merits your serious consideration when shopping for a solid, good sounding, lower-priced, powered loudspeaker. You just need to look beyond those shiny chrome labels on the front.