What You Need For Your Audio Equipment List

Whether you’re producing music for film or looking to upgrade your recording studio, an accurate audio equipment list is a must. Learn what pieces you need to get started with this guide.

Also called an audio mixer or mixing console this combines and processes audio signals and routes them to your front of house sound system, stage monitors and external effects units.


Speakers transform electrical signal energy into mechanical energy that produces air motion, which in turn creates sound. Speaker systems can be designed to perform in a variety of environments and applications. Their performance is determined by a complex combination of magnetic, acoustic, mechanical and materials science theory, subjective perception of timbre and sound quality, high-precision measurements and experiments, and sometimes by the use of anechoic chambers.

A loudspeaker’s rated power is the level of sustained (or continuous) or maximum short-term output it can manage without being damaged or producing excessive distortion. It is often reported as Continuous Program Power Handling, though it is also frequently referred to as Peak, or occasionally RMS.

Sensitivity is the output level at one frequency the speaker can reproduce with a specified input, typically measured in dB SPL at 1 meter from the source in a non-reverberant environment. Other measurements include impulse response; harmonic and intermodulation distortion; acoustic dispersion, or directivity (horizontally, vertically, and spherically); impedance; and small-signal and large-signal output characteristics.

The most common form of speaker driver is a full-range driver that can reproduce an audio signal across a relatively wide range of frequencies, from low to high, without the assistance of other drivers. This type of driver is commonly used in public address, home stereos, televisions, small radios, and even computer speakers.

When multiple speakers are used in a system, a filter network called an audio crossover separates the incoming audio signal into different frequency ranges and routes it to the appropriate driver. A two-way system typically includes a woofer and tweeter, while a three-way contains a woofer, mid-range, and tweeter. Speakers can be further classified by their baffle or enclosure type, the number of drivers in the system, and their crossover frequencies.


The microphone is the device that starts the chain of sound production. Without a good mic, even the best speakers and electronics won’t produce an optimal sound. The microphones translate vibrations in air into electronic signals that can be recorded or broadcast. Microphones come in various forms, with different features depending on the use.

Some microphones are omnidirectional, picking up sound from all directions. Others are directional, such as shotgun microphones that focus on a specific area of the room. Some are designed for a specific type of sound such as vocals, speech, or music. They are also designed for specific types of communication such as two-way radios, public address systems in concert halls or other events, and for recording purposes.

There are several types of microphones, including dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones. Dynamic microphones, the most popular type, have a simple design that includes a magnet wrapped around a coil of wire. When the diaphragm inside vibrates, it cuts through the magnetic field and electrically induces current in the coil. The resulting electric signal can be amplified and sent to speakers.

Ribbon microphones are an older form of microphone that is still used in some applications, including some broadcast and recording studios. They have a very sensitive diaphragm that can pick up sounds from a wide area, but are also vulnerable to moisture and other environmental factors.

All microphones must be protected from damage by being stored in a case when not in use, and by following proper stage etiquette such as not talking over your mic or removing it while people are speaking. They must also be tested periodically, and repaired or replaced if they are dropped (most of them come in foam-padded cases to reduce this risk) or damaged by any other means such as water, fire, or heat.


Often overlooked by event planners, lighting and audio equipment can be critical for the success of an event. Also referred to as AV (audiovisual) equipment, this can include everything from a microphone and speaker at a PTA picnic to multi-million dollar sound mixers, video switchers, lighting rigs, and other visual equipment used in large or small scale AV events. Similar to lighting operations, there are a number of safety risks associated with installing and operating AV equipment. These include the potential for falls from heights while rigging speakers and audio equipment as well as electrical hazards related to cable management.

Cases & Boxes

The right cases and boxes ensure that your equipment is protected during transport. They can be used for both air travel and driving to gigs and events. Depending on your event type and venue size, you might need a range of different cases and bags.

Microphone cases come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Getting the right case for your microphones makes them easy to carry and protects them from damage. Some have foam linings designed to keep your mics in place and prevent them from getting damaged. Other cases are designed to be used with boom poles and feature convenient storage for mic accessories like power cables and mic clips.

You’ll also need other types of gear bags for storing and transporting your audio equipment. These can include laptop carrying cases that offer a soft protection while keeping your computer accessible during setup and tear down. For your turntable, you might want a case with separate compartments for the dust cover, cartridge, and platter to protect each component individually.

If you need to ship your equipment, be sure to get cases that meet ATA standards (Air Transport Association). This indicates that the case has been designed to protect equipment in transit. Rack cases are also available and allow you to store complete systems, such as amplifiers, in one portable unit. These cases are often made from wood or a lighter weight polypropylene and have flexible sizing options to hold all your gear.

Having the right audio visual equipment makes it easier to create an appealing presentation and attract audiences to your business event. It also helps you accommodate different audience sizes in a variety of venues and provides flexibility for your presenting schedule.