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REVIEWED
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REVIEWED: Powerwerks PWPRO 15
By Carl Hirst.
2020 was of course, very different for me. A combination of working on house conversions (I’m fortunate that I’m a qualified electrician and have been able to use this to keep going) as well as driving a van for a well-known supermarket helped to pay the bills, but its hardly event life is it? So, I was delighted to get my hands on a pair of Powerwerks speakers for test – it was a good excuse to shake the dust and cobwebs from all my kit in the warehouse!

In all honesty, I hadn’t ever heard of – let alone seen – Powerwerks speakers before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, some research led me to discover that the brand is one of over 70 distributed by JHS, who I definitely had heard of. JHS was started in 1965 by husband and wife team, John and Madge Hornby-Skewes, as a seller of small accessories.

Now JHS specialises in providing just about every conceivable item anyone needing sound equipment could possibly want. Powerwerks systems and speakers are designed in the US, and the quality of design in its range is due to their engineers’ expertise, totaling over 100 years in sound production!

The Powerwerks Pro series range features three different speaker sizes, with 10-, 12- and 15-inch drivers, and are designed to offer big punch in small, portable packages. I had the 15-inch versions. With their impressive high power of 1000W peak with maximum 125dbspl at one metre, 40Hz to 20KHz frequency response, and 2.8KHz crossover, I had more than enough power to wake the neighbours at my unit! Especially when a certain Mariah Carey track came on.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. However, it’s that time of year, and lets face it, probably the only chance I would get to play it out loud in 2020! I did also get into one of my venues' function rooms, although clearly it wasn’t set for an event due to ongoing restrictions. This gave me a chance to properly play the speakers in an environment we would normally expect to hear them in. (Mind, I didn’t dare play Mariah there – I’d have been lynched!)

The speaker cabinets are made from medium density fibreboard, perfect material for damping out unwanted energy and vibration, and have a solid construction, with rubber feet on one side enabling them to be used as monitors. They have integral twin M8 threaded inserts for easy installation and/or mounting, which is a handy feature. There is also a 35mm top hat, a carry/lifting handle, and the entire cab weighs in at 24kg.

In terms of control, the panel on the cabinet’s rear features three channels, two with combo jack inputs – which accept microphone or line level audio signals from ¼” TRS or mono connection, or balanced XLR cables – and one for an auxiliary cable or Bluetooth connectivity. Each of the two input jack channels has switchable music/voice EQ, as well as microphone/line gain with individual level control.

On the third channel there are Bluetooth ‘enable’ and ‘pair’ buttons, a volume control and an auxiliary input. When an auxiliary cable is plugged in, the system automatically disables the Bluetooth function. Finally, you have a master volume control, XLR line out and power input.

The first test I ran was using the Bluetooth receiver. This didn’t drop out at all when walking from one end of the yard outside my unit to the other, which is around 100m. This is very impressive, as Bluetooth speakers I’ve used in the past haven’t performed this well.

So, what’s the sound like? Well, the sound these speakers gave once set up was extremely clear, crisp and consistent. All the usual high tones you would hope to hear are present, and they reminded me of a surround system at home, in that they didn’t get louder as you got closer to them. The quality remained at all levels. In fact, the more I turned up the volume, the better they sounded, and there is a very good feel to the bottom end.

Whilst my test in the venue was in an empty room, I know these would be great speakers to use in a room full of happy dancers or Christmas partygoers – oh, hang on! I know, it would have been lovely to have used them at a proper event. I’d have been interested to hear the sound in a ‘true’ environment, and even better, perhaps by complementing the already strong bass with subs. This would likely be much more than I’d need for some of the events I do, but it’s always better to have too much than not enough, and it’s good to have that power when you’re in larger rooms with big crowds without having to resort to using alternative speakers.

I really like these speakers. They have great functionality with a brilliant sound and, at the price point, are an excellent mid-budget option but with an expensive feel. A great all-round, easy-to-use system with cracking quality.

Powerwerks is definitely a brand to watch, as they have a solid range of speakers available and I honestly think the quality will ruffle some of their competitors’ feathers! As with all speakers, I would always recommend testing them for yourself at your local retailer, as everyone’s taste is different and you will get a better understanding of what you truly want from the sound you produce.

I hope everyone maintains high spirits as we look ahead to this year. Stay safe everyone, we will get through this!
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 105, Pages 86-87.
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