3 Tips for Choosing the Ideal Megaphone

Megaphones can provide powerful sound reinforcement and amplification during your outdoor events, no matter what season it is!

Whether you’re paging cousins for dinner at a family reunion, rallying kids at summer camp or leading your congregation at a church gathering, the right megaphone helps amplify your voice so you can be heard by all.

How can you be sure your megaphone fits your event?

Here are 3 tips for choosing the ideal megaphone for your event:

1. Decide How You Will Use Your Megaphone

Megaphones (also known as bullhorns) are instantly recognizable by their distinctive conical or bell shape.

Because of the acoustic properties of this shape, megaphones and bullhorns focus sound waves and enable them to travel long distances. Powered megaphones add a microphone, amplifier and loudspeaker to further project sound in a narrow area that can stretch for hundreds — even thousands — of feet.

Despite their range, megaphones project sound in a tight arc that is ideal for audiences in a space deeper than it is wide, or for groups of people on the move.

Think about how your audience will be distributed. Will the crowd be mostly stationary? Will they be spread over a wide area? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you may need a PA system suitable for outdoor events.

If, however, your audience will fill an elongated area such as a football field, or will be moving from place to place, the megaphone is a better bet.

2. Choose a Megaphone That’s Big Enough for Your Crowd

In general, powered megaphones run from 5 watts up to 50 watts. This may not sound like much compared to PA systems, which often deliver hundreds of watts of power, however, even megaphones with low wattage can be heard hundreds of feet away.

Still, a compact megaphone designed for indoor venues won’t be big enough for a large outdoor crowd.

A great option for midsize outdoor events, including ones at schools and churches, is the AudioLinks’ 10-watt megaphone with recording function, which can amplify sound up to half a mile away.

You should also estimate the shape of the area your outdoor crowd will occupy. The more people you have, the more watts you’ll need; if your gathering will cover a large area, your power requirements will also increase.

If you need to cover a large area, try the Amplivox 25-watt megaphone with a detachable wired mic, which you can use at outdoor athletic events and auditoriums.

When in doubt, it’s always best to overestimate your power requirements. It’s better to turn down the volume on a megaphone that’s too big than to push a small megaphone beyond its capabilities.

3. Consider Other Megaphone Features You Might Need

Will you need other ways to drive your message home? Here are some other features to consider:

Alarms: When you need to get the crowd’s attention, an alarm is not only more noticeable than your voice alone, but is also louder.

Recording: Some megaphones record and loop a short message for repetitive playback. This feature can be a great help if you’re frequently repeating an announcement.

Portability: Check the megaphone’s weight to make sure you’ll be comfortable carrying it, and also consider convenient shoulder and wrist straps.

Detachable microphones: Detachable microphones allow you to move the horn away from your face so you can project in different directions without moving around. They also allow you to lift the horn high above your head for additional range.

Clear megaphone bells: A clear bell means you’ll be able to see where you’re going if you can’t hold the megaphone over your head — an essential feature for events on the move.

Don’t assume that more expensive is better, or that cheaper is worse. Determine your megaphone needs before you buy, and shop based on those needs. Your audience will thank you!

Need help deciding which megaphone is right for you? Call our staff of experts at 407-757-3326 or email us for more information.