Floor Monitor and Stage Monitor Buying Guide

There are many types and variations of floor monitors or stage monitors available.  Choosing which one is right for you depends on many factors, but more important than any other is what you will be monitoring with it.  Will you monitor only vocals or vocals and instruments?  What frequency range will those instruments inhabit?  Is it a bass guitar or kick drum?  Both need more low range response than most other instruments.  Keyboards are a full range instrument.  If you are monitoring a keyboard, you’ll want to determine how important monitoring the low range will be to how the keyboard is being played.  DJ and Karaoke performers will be sending full range signals, in the form of prerecorded songs, through their monitors.

Determining what frequency ranges you need to hear through your floor monitors helps you make the decision on which size speaker will suit you best.  The larger the speaker, the lower frequency it can produce.  For instance, the Seismic Audio SAX-15M-PW has a 15” speaker and can reach as low as 55 Hertz.

Next, the area that needs coverage should determined.  Coaxial designs, such as the Seismic Audio X-PW series we just examined, will offer a wider coverage area and serve very well as a general purpose floor monitor.  Designs that utilize a horn will allow the higher frequencies to cut through a higher stage volume.  Once again, the Seismic Audio X-PW series offers a horn beside having a coaxial woofer design.  It gives you the best of both worlds.  The Seismic Audio Fault Line Series Floor Monitors offer bullet-proof titanium horns to cut through the loudest stage situations.

Finally, it becomes a choice between passive and active monitors. 


Passive monitors represent the traditional way of doing things.  This type of system is easy to connect requiring only a single line to be attached that carries both signal and power.  The cable run can go for long distances with little to no effect on the sound.  If you are using a simple monitor mix and already carrying an amp rack for you mains and subs, passive monitors can be the easiest solution to intergrate.  Passive monitors are less expensive, in general, and can work flawlessly for years and years if operated within their limits.  Take a look at the Seismic Audio SA-15MT to see how you can get more for less with passive floor monitors.

It is important to note that passive and active monitors will use different cables.  Passive monitors will need speaker cable.  Speaker cable is designed to carry amplified signals.  The thickness of it is measured in AWG or American Wire Gauge.  It is commonly referred to just as gauge.  You will typically see them offered between 12 and 16 AWG.  The smaller the number, the thicker the cable.  The more power you are sending, the thicker the cable you need.  Also, running longer distances should make you step up to the next larger gauge.  Speaker wire can be finished with nearly any connector.  The most common are ¼” TS, Banana and Speakon.  Watch this video to learn more about these connectors.

  • FL-15MP - Premium 15" PA Floor Monitors with Titanium Horns
    $349.99
    $174.99
    In Stock

    Model #: FL-15MP (15" PA Monitor) Pro Audio 15" Speaker in each Monitor Floor Monitor is 400 Watts RMS at 8 Ohms 7 ply birch plywood / Titanium Horn Driver

  • SA-12MTSingle - 12" Floor / Stage Monitor Wedge Style with Titanium Horn
    $179.99
    $134.99
    In Stock

    Model #: SA-12MTSingle (Floor Monitor) Wedge Style Stage Monitor Loaded with 12" PA speaker 200 Watts RMS / 8 ohms Titanium Compression Horn Driver


  • SAX-10M - Compact 10 Inch 2 Way Coaxial Floor / Stage Monitor with Titanium Horn
    $359.99
    $199.99
    In Stock

    Model #: SAX-10M 10 Inch 2-Way Coaxial Floor Monitor Compact Design 200 Watts RMS / 8 Ohms Titanium Compression Horn Driver


  • SA-10MX 10" Floor Monitor with Titanium Horn
    $169.99
    $124.99
    In Stock

    Model #: SA-10MX (Single) Loaded with a High End 10" Speaker Titanium Horns / Pole Mount for PA Speakers 150 Watts RMS / 8 ohms per PA Monitor




An active, or powered, monitor has a power amplifier built into the cabinet.  A passive monitor must be connected to an external power amplifier to produce sound.  There are advantages to both designs.  Active monitors allow you to perform without an amp rack.  You also get consistency and reliability from the matched speaker and internal amp combination.  Both the Faultline and XPW series are active.  So are the PW series wedge monitors shown in this video.

One more advantage for the average working musician is that active monitors will come with volume and tone controls built into the cabinet.  If you are your own sound engineer, this lets you make adjustments quickly and easily even in the middle of a performance without leaving the stage or turning your back on the audience.

Active monitors need balanced cables.  Balanced cables add a ground wire inside the cable in addition to the usual positive and negative wires plus shielding that helps RF noise.  This is needed because the non-amplified line level signal required by active monitors is much more susceptible to this interference.  The most common balanced cables are ¼” TRS and XLR (microphone) cable.

There are a lot of factors to consider when picking out the right monitor for you.  Still not sure?  Contact our experts at 877-347-6423 and let them help you make the best decision. Browse our selection of PA/DJ and live sound floor monitors here.

  • SA-15MT-PW - Powered 2-Way 15" Floor / Stage Monitor Wedge Style with Titanium Horn
    $399.99
    $229.99
    In Stock

    Model #: SA-15MT-PW (Active Floor Monitor) Powered Wedge Style Stage Monitor Loaded with a 15" PA speaker / Loudspeaker 350 Watts RMS / 8 ohms Titanium Compression Horn Driver

  • FL-15MP-PW - Premium Powered 2-Way 15" PA Floor Monitor with Titanium Horn
    $479.99
    $264.99
    Only 10 left! Order now!

    Model #: FL-15MP-PW (Powered PA Monitor) 15" Loudpeaker in each Monitor Each Floor Monitor is 400 Watts RMS at 8 Ohms 7 ply birch plywood / Titanium Horn Driver


  • SAX-15M-PW - Powered Compact 15 Inch 2 Way Coaxial Floor / Stage Monitor with Titanium Horn
    $699.99
    $349.99
    Only 7 left! Order now!

    Model #: SAX-15M-PW Active 15 Inch 2-Way Coaxial Floor Monitor Compact Design 300 Watts RMS / 8 Ohms Titanium Compression Horn Driver


  • Spectra-6P - Active 6 Inch Studio Reference Monitor
    $299.99
    $139.99
    Only 10 left! Order now!

    Model #: Spectra-6P Active 6 Inch 2-Way Studio Monitor Powered Reference Monitor 75 Watts RMS / 8 Ohms Each




Seismic Audio - FL-12MP-PW Active 12 Inch PA/DJ Floor Monitor


Seismic Audio - SA-10MT Powered 10 Inch PA/DJ Floor Monitor