Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Behringer B212D Powered Speaker Review

Behringer B212D Powered Speaker Staff Review

Behringer B212D 12-inch Powered Speaker Review Summary:

The Behringer EUROLIVE speaker lineup is a fairly new range offered to the masses by the familiar Pro-Audio and DJ company that promises to deliver on price and in performance. The lineup of EUROLIVE speakers is very expansive and covers passive (non-amplified) and active (amplified) speaker systems in different wood or Molded ABS cabinet configurations. There are different shapes and sizes to choose from ensuring there is something here for everyone. Behringer is known for making equipment for the budget-minded user but their latest equipment has also exhibited a higher level of quality which also carries over to the EUROLIVE speaker lineup. For the purposes of this review, we will take a closer look at the new Behringer B121D 12-inch powered two-way speaker system which is also available in a 10-inch and 15-inch version. Please check out our full Video Review of the new Behringer B1500D-PRO 15-inch powered subwoofer which is a perfect match for these 12-inch 2-way speakers found in this review.

The Behringer B212D 12-inch Powered two-Way Speaker system has decent power with a Class-D amplifier that exudes 550 watts of peak power. The built in Class-D amplifier was relatively quiet compared to other powered speaker systems in its price-point. The amplifier is a great match for the 12-inch long-excursion driver and the 1.35-inch aluminum-diaphragm compression driver for the crispy highs. The power remained smooth and steady for our 2.5-hour stress test. The testing procedure was to operate the two-way speaker system at 50% power or more with all types of different music being played. The speaker system reproduces excellent high range and mid range frequency coverage with nice crispy highs and clear/legible mids. These are perfect for monitoring situations. The low frequency handling of the B212D was somewhat of a mixed bag. The Lows were handled nicely on the lower end of the volume spectrum, but when levels went beyond the 70% range, there was more feedback and hum than I would have liked. There really is no 12-inch speaker that will deliver super-vibrant bass, since that’s what subwoofers are for. Overall, the bass handling would be adequate enough for most small-sized gigs and definitely enough for a studio and home type of setup. The Behringer B212D was an excellent companion for the new Beringer B1500D-PRO subwoofer that we reviewed simultaneously. This is the best combination for full bass reproduction. Throughout our testing, we never hit the LIMIT of the system and the performace was right on par with others in the same price range.

The Behringer B212D powered two-way 12-inch speaker system also has a few unique features around the back of the unit. There is an XLR input and a separate quarter-inch input at the top which can be used for Microphones or any other type of device that plays music. There is also an XLR output to chain speakers together. There is a Level knob to adjust the volume of the inputs along with a 2-band (high & low) EQ konbs to get the perfect levels throughout the performance. The cabinet itself is made of a heavy-duty Molded ABS material with great ergonomics and construction that was built to last. The speaker has a trapezoid shape that can be employed when laying them down on their side for stage performances. There is also a 35mm pole mount on the bottom and recessed handles on both sides for easy transport. The cabinet size of these 12-inch speakers is a lot smaller than most others on the market which makes them easier to move around and easier to fit into tight spaces. There is also a front grill for protection and they can be stacked on top of one another if necessary. The feet on the bottom will fit perfectly into the molds found on the top.

The only minor gripes that I could find with the Behringer B212D is that the bass handling. The Bass was adequate enough for monitoring and lower level situations, but those who want real deep bass should go with the 15-inch models that have a larger cabinet area to allow the bass to resonate a bit more. The Behringer B1500D-PRO powered subwoofer would also make a PERFECT companion for these two-way speakers and provide a full spectrum of sound for those bigger performance venues.

In conclusion, the Behringer B212D is a great all-around two-way 12-inch Powered Speaker system that is versatile, powerful, and very ergonomic. This 550 watt system delivers some decent power with great high and mid frequency response. The Behringer B212D speakers have more than enough power for almost any small to medium sized club, bar, or Mobile DJ application and the price is very competitive. DJbooth.net recommends the Behringer EUROLIVE B212D to beginner/intermediate DJ’s or performers who need a nice and compact powered-speaker solution to suit most monitoring needs.

-Excellent Pricepoint ($230)
-True 550 Watts Peak Amplified speaker system
-Ergonomic Construction: (Lightweight/Compact ABS Molded Cabinet with handles, pole mount, trapezoid design, and stackable )
-Great Sound quality
-On-board 2-band EQ
-1/4-inch and XLR Inputs and Link XLR output

-Low Bass Handling at Higher Volumes (75%+)

Behringer B212D Powered Speaker Features

Finally, Great-Sounding Active Loudspeakers That Won't Break Your Back or Bank Account!

Thanks to our revolutionary Class-D amplifier technology and internal switch-mode power supplies, EUROLIVE D Series loudspeakers provide a much better power-to-weight ratio than competing active speakers. Put simply, you get all the power without the back-breaking weight. And the sound quality of these lightweight loudspeakers exceeds that of our extremely popular EUROLIVE B212A and B215A systems — plus we've included two 200-Watt models, the B210D (10") and B208D (8") for less demanding applications.

Due to their high-efficiency design, they crank out 550/200 of the cleanest, punchiest audio Watts you've ever heard from a compact loudspeaker system. The integrated sound processor provides total system control, along with dependable protection of the LF and HF transducers, thanks to the built-in active high-pass filter, which virtually eliminate distortion — even at extreme operating levels. In addition, all four models feature an Ultra-Low Noise (ULN) Mic/Line input with LEVEL control and a dedicated 2-band EQ (bass/treble) for easy control.

Intelligent by Design
One of the coolest things about active loudspeakers is the lack of back-breaking racks of amps, crossovers and EQs that are often required to make passive speaker systems sound almost as good. But that comes with a trade-off — that extra weight is transferred to the loudspeaker, making it difficult for a single user to heave all that mass onto the top of a speaker stand.

BEHRINGER's D Series' "Intelligent-Design" merges the best features of active loudspeakers with significantly lower weight by using switch-mode power supplies and Class-D amplifier topology.
Hidden deep inside each enclosure is the equivalent of an active 2-way electronic crossover, graphic EQ, parametric EQ, mic preamp, limiter and two Class-D power amplifiers, yet overall weight is less than comparable loudspeaker systems! These components work together seamlessly to provide optimum sound quality — and it all takes place automatically, without you having to touch a single knob.

Class D Amplifier Technology Delivers High Power With Low Weight.
Instead of operating relatively continuously like Class AB circuits, Class D amps switch on and off thousands of times per second, delivering power only when needed. In other words, the amplifier is either fully on or fully off , which significantly reduces the power losses in the output devices. This is easy in theory and complex in practice, which is why there are so many different Class D designs. Without boring you with terms like PWM Generation and Gate Drivers, let's just say that to realize the benefits of a Class D design requires compensating for a lot of potential problems that can cause audible distortion. BEHRINGER didn't invent Class D technology, but our R&D Department has been working for years to perfect our own version with all the benefits of reduced weight and cool running, and none of the drawbacks. That's why we invested over a solid year of research time eliminating pitfalls like quantizing errors and excess dead time, selecting just the right switching frequency (and other equally tech-y terms). And why we spent an equally long time testing individual components to ensure they will stand up to the rigors of the real world.

When combined with switching-mode power supplies that replace heavy toroid transformers, our new designs provide more dynamic punch since the higher switching frequency reloads the supply's capacitors much faster. And, because they are so much more efficient, the D Series runs cooler and doesn't require huge, heavy heat sinks. The resulting speakers systems are much lighter, making them easy to transport and set up. Our no-compromise design means your D Series active loudspeakers will deliver full power and incredible fidelity all night long, with no need for rest cycles.

Instant PA System
With just a single D Series loudspeaker system and a microphone or MP3 player, you can set up an instant sound system. Thanks to the built-in preamp section, you just connect a dynamic mic and raise and lower the volume with the Level control. Plug in your sound source, place the speaker on a tabletop or stand, and power up. It's just that easy. And if you need more coverage, simply use the convenient LINK OUTPUT XLR connector to add more active loudspeakers.

Stereo Music System
You can even use two D Series enclosures for stereo playback of your MP3, CD or old-skool cassette deck without any additional hardware. Just plug the appropriate stereo "breakout" adapter into your deck's output jack and run the cables to the 1/4" inputs on each loudspeaker. Set the Level and EQ controls the same on both enclosures. VoilĂ , instant party!

Marvelous Monitoring
Thanks to their trapezoidal design, these cabinets can be laid on their side providing the ideal angle for onstage monitor wedge applications. Hookup is simple, requiring only a single XLR or 1/4" cable from the monitor send on your mixing console and, of course, power. Additional monitors can be chained together via the XLR LINK OUTPUT jack on the rear panel.

Custom-Designed Transducers
Let's face it; the transducers (woofers and tweeters) are the only part of a sound system you actually hear, so we don't cut any corners. While some of our competitors are content to buy off-the-shelf transducers and plug them into their boxes, we custom-design and build our transducers from scratch. Not only do we wind our own voice coils, we process the paper pulp into cones and even machine our own backplates. This enables us to control the quality, and frankly, make better components, like the long-excursion LF transducers and state-of-the-art 1.35" compression drivers we deploy in each and every EUROLIVE enclosure.

Low Frequency Response
The EUROLIVE D Series was built with extended low frequency handling in mind. With a tuned port, internally braced, injection molded enclosure, each model's custom-designed LF transducer (woofer) really cranks out tight low end. Keep in mind that bass response varies according to LF transducer size, so the larger the speaker, the more bass you will be able to generate.

Accurate Non-Fatiguing Midrange and Treble
Even if your particular application doesn't include booming bass, you'll love the sheer accuracy of these loudspeakers. Over a year of design went into a exponential horn/aluminum dome compression driver combination that could do justice to loud hard rock or dance music — yet could also satisfy audiophiles with its musical timbre and attention to detail. For spoken word, singing or acoustical instruments, they are un-matched for being able to articulate complex harmonic details. In fact, many customers think it's the most natural-sounding speaker they've ever heard at anywhere near the price.

Processor Controlled Output
Dynamic processing is one of the best ways to maximize output without sacrificing sound quality. The D Series' built-in circuitry automatically adjusts program content, allowing the loudspeaker to operate at extreme levels. It accomplishes this by reducing bass output slightly as you approach the limit of the transducers. This frees up LF amp and transducer resources, so that higher overall volume can be realized. It's like having a tiny soundman inside each cabinet constantly monitoring and changing output parameters. By making subtle changes to the crossover frequency and the audio content, the system is able to crank out more sound — without the slightest hint of distortion.

Massive Power to Size Ratio
Cutting-edge technology and high-fidelity speakers are not all it takes to get your message across — you need power, and lots of it. At the heart of each EUROLIVE D Series loudspeaker are two high-current amplifiers with a total output of 550-Watts for the B212D/B215D and 200-Watts for the B210D/B208D. They're capable of driving the speakers to their maximum with no distortion — and without speaker damage, thanks to active internal protection circuits. Put simply, they will astound you with their massive punch, smooth mids and articulate top-end!

Which Speaker do I Need?
As you've probably noticed, we make these active loudspeakers in four different woofer sizes. Which one is right for you?
Well, let's start with your application. Is it spoken word in a hotel ballroom? Hard rock in a park? A folk singer or a drum 'n' bass DJ? Loud enough for an 18-year old or loud enough for your grandmother? A huge auditorium or a tiny club? Physics are physics and a 15" low frequency transducer has almost 40% more surface area with which to move air than a 12". A 12" has 30% more area than a 10", and a 10" has 35% more than an 8". So the easiest answer is "Whether to choose one speaker cabinet over another depends on your bass requirements." If you're addressing a small meeting, or demoing the latest "slice-o-chop-o-vegamatic" at the swap meet or county fair, the B208D might be all the speaker you'll need. But if you're providing disco to the masses at a standing room only nightclub — or you just need to crank it up louder, then the B215D may be a better choice.
As you can see, "Bass requirements" isn't quite as easy an answer as it sounds. The larger a room's cubic volume, the more energy is required to achieve a given level of bass. In other words, when playing the same tune in a big room versus a small room, big room = less bass; small room = more bass. Confused yet? We suggest that you consult your BEHRINGER dealer for more advice on this subject, which is also a good time to do a listening test —against their competition and against each other. Judge for yourself. And then own BEHRINGER with money to spare.

Active 550-Watt 2-Way PA Speaker System with 12" Woofer and 1.35" Compression Driver
High-power 550-Watt 2-way PA sound reinforcement speaker system for live and playback applications
Ultra-compact and light weight system delivers excellent sound even at extreme sound pressure levels
Revolutionary Class-D amplifier technology: enormous power, incredible sonic performance and super-light weight
Internal switch-mode power supply for noise-free audio, superior transient response and very low power consumption
Integrated sound processor for ultimate system control and speaker protection
Extremely powerful 12'' long-excursion driver provides incredibly deep bass and acoustic power
State-of-the-art 1.35'' aluminum-diaphragm compression driver for exceptional high-frequency reproduction
Ultra-wide dispersion, large-format exponential horn
Ultra-low noise Mic/Line input with Volume control and Clip LED
Dedicated 2-band EQ for perfect sound adjustment
Additional Line output allows linking of additional speaker systems
Versatile trapezoidal enclosure design allows different positioning:
- Stand mounting with 35-mm pole socket
- Tilts on its side for use as a floor monitor
Ergonomically shaped handles for easy carrying and setup
High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction ensure long life
Conceived and designed by BEHRINGER Germany