PreSonus is a name that first made its way into the audio world in studio equipment, with recording interfaces, preamps and controllers. However, many of you may not have known this, but over the years they extended their range to studio monitors and from there, grew the speaker offerings in both size and power to meet the demands of professional sound reinforcement applications. The latest offering in this range is the AIR12 from PreSonus, which delivers quality audio at great volumes whilst still remaining portable.
The heart of the AIR12 powered speakers from PreSonus is the combined amplifier system. They have employed a Class D power amplifier for the 12” low frequency driver in order to supply plenty of power and keep the weight down. However, for the 1.35” high frequency driver they have instead chosen a Class A/B amplifier to produce a more natural sound high frequency response that isn’t brittle and glassy as can be the case with Class D amplification in this area. The result is a warmer, more natural sound, which still has plenty of air to it, hence the name, AIR12. And, let’s hand it to PreSonus for this, they have advertised these drivers as 500 watts and 200 watts respectively and rated the continuous power for each, and haven’t felt the need to plump up the ratings with a peak power to make these speakers appear more impressive. You don’t need to meddle with the statistics to impress; you just need to deliver great sound with plenty of volume, which is exactly what the AIR12s do.
The AIR12s are equipped with a simple digital audio signal processor that makes it easy to customize your sound. There are a range of pre-sets for DJ application, band use, acoustic instruments and general speech. EQ controls let you boost or cut by 10 dB to compensate for variations in the room. On the rear, it is all pretty simple, with just two combination XLR/TRS inputs taking two microphone or line level inputs, with a mixed output on XLR. They are built into a sturdy box which has pole mounting and M10 fly points for installation purposes. The cabinet allows for the speakers to be angled on the floor and used as a wedge, and with rubber coated handles on both the top and the sides, it is easy to get about with these. Perfect for any musician or group when portability, volume and sound quality are all essential. For those of you who thought PreSonus were just the guys that made blue coloured audio interfaces, you might want to get out more often, and while you’re at it, check out the AIR12 powered speakers, they’re not bad at all.
Hits and Misses
Combined Class D and Class A/B power amplifiers Big sound with warmth of a wooden box Portable and easy to install
Just not well known enough…yet