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REVIEWED
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REVIEWED: QSC K8.2
I remember sitting in a bar in London a few years ago and eulogising over the quality of the sound system the music was coming from. As they say, every day is a school day.

I was supposed to be having a day off from anything DJ or music related, just sitting enjoying a drink and something to eat. But there I was, straining my neck to see what speakers they were – they were that good. Well, it turns out the speakers were in fact QSC K12.2s… it really was a WOW moment.

So, when I was asked if I could review the QSC 8.2 speakers in all their impressive 2000W of power, I jumped at the chance. Firstly, because I was keen to find out if they are as good as I remember the K12.2s being; and secondly, I could see the benefits they offer for live streaming and studio work whilst in lockdown.

The first thing I noticed is the QSC K8.2’s great build quality and classy aesthetic finish. They’re made from a rugged ABS construction, meaning they will easily cope being loaded in and out of a van or car every weekend, and it’s hardly surprising that QSC also offers a six-year warranty. While they aren’t the lightest 8” speaker I’ve carried, that’s testament to the engineering on the inside and the materials used in their construction. Lifting two together when loading in or out of a gig is going to be no problem at all, especially with the carry handle conveniently located on top of the cabinet.

The addition of two mounting holes gives you the option of mounting either straight onto a pole or tilted 7.5-degrees towards the audience. Coupled with the option to use the speaker as a floor monitor, this makes the K8.2 ideal for musicians, clubs/venues, DJs, event production and installs.

Being part of QSC's updated line of K.2 series speakers, the K8.2 offers the same high standards and audio quality, but with a few notable improvements.

The main changes are the increased power to the LF driver, the max SPL (Sound Pressure Level), and the improved low-frequency extension, all of which add even more value to the original K8.2's design. The extended bass allows the K8.2’s smaller 8" LF driver to pump more bass, without compromising its mid-range clarity, resulting in a balanced, great sounding speaker.

My favourite thing about these speakers can be found on the back panel. The LCD screen allows you to access the DSP and to customise the sound from a selection of pre-sets, as well as giving you the ability to create your own pre-sets that are then saved as ‘scenes’ for various conditions and situations.

You can return to these saved ‘scenes’ in the future, making this a handy feature for DJs who repeatedly play at the same venues and don’t want to adjust the sound from scratch every time.
Even just using the factory pre-set options gave me vast choice, but I absolutely loved playing around and fine tuning it to get the sound with which I was happy.

A pair of balanced combo XLR/F plus 1/4-inch TRS connectors with independent gain control are provided. The first is equipped with selectable MIC/LINE (microphone or line) level input while the second offers selectable HI-Z/LINE (high impedance or line) level input, specifically for musical instruments.

Both inputs are connected directly to a pair of XLR/M throughput connectors so that the signals can be daisy-chained to another audio device. A 3.5 mm TRS input jack with independent gain control is also provided for connection of sources such as smart phones, computers, and MP3 players.

In addition to the two throughput XLRs, a line-level output with the mixed signal from all inputs is also provided. An optional security cover (K-LOC) may be installed to prevent unauthorised tampering of settings.

Sadly, for obvious reasons, I couldn’t test out the K8.2s in a live gig situation. However, after warning my neighbours, I did put them through their paces in my studio. I’m pleased to say that they sounded as good as I remember that day a few years ago – and I never got a single complaint from the neighbours, which can only mean they enjoyed listening to them too, doesn’t it?

Pros

These are great sounding speakers with clear mid-range and nice lows. They’re easy to use and convenient to carry / transport.

Cons

Without gigging live in a large venue, it’s obviously unfair to talk about lack of volume and head room. I’m assuming that in a larger space the K8.2 could lack the required power, but surely the K10.2 or K12.2 would be the preferred choice for most DJs anyway?

Overall

These K8.2s sound great – it’s quite amazing what QSC has managed to be achieve from such a small speaker. Their size and weight makes them easy to transport, yet nothing has been compromised in terms of sound quality. The built-in DSP means they’re easy to set up, and you can achieve the exact sound you want depending on the environment or venue.

If you are looking for well-designed, engineered-quality speakers that will work fantastically in most environments, then look no further. For live streaming and studio work, the K8.2s are ideal, but I’d be just as happy taking them on the road for my smaller gigs of 100 people or less. They will have no problem getting loud in a reasonably sized room, though adding a sub (or two) to the setup is also an option.

For small acoustic acts or musical duos, you wouldn’t need anything more than this and the K8.2s also work well as floor monitors. Simply switch to floor monitor mode and place the speakers where you want them.

Sadly, we just can’t get out and play to a crowd at the moment, but when we can, I really would love to give them another go. Would I buy a pair? Most definitely, I love them. QSC, I tip my hat to you!


Specifications:

- LF Driver: 8" Cone
- HF Driver: 1.4" titanium compression driver
- Amplifier: Bi-amplified Class D
- Output Power Peak: 2000W (1800W LF, 225W HF)
- Output Power Continuous: 1000W (900W LF, 112W HF)
- Frequency Response: 59 Hz - 20 kHz (-6dB) | 55 Hz - 20 kHz (-10dB)
- Maximum Peak SPL: 128dB
- Enclosure: ABS Thermoplastic with 18 AWG Steel Grille
- Mounting: Pole, Floor Wedge, Flown
- Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line), 1 x 1/8" (aux stereo in)
- Outputs: 2 x XLR (thru), 1 x XLR (mix out)
- Controls: 3 x Gain Knobs, DSP Controls, Power Switch
- Dimensions: 17.7" × 11" × 10.6"
- Weight: 27 lbs (12kg.)


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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 106, Pages 90-92.
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