7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Church Sound System

01.24.21 09:42 PM By Alex
When you go to a church, do you consider the production that goes behind putting on a successful service? The lights, the audio, and all the visuals modern churches are producing are just more reasons why your church needs the best systems possible.

Now, you might be thinking, "why do I need an audio system?"

Keep reading to discover why you need an audio system and seven factors you should consider when choosing your church sound system.

In this article:

​Why You Need An Audio System

Churches are centered around listening to the Word and worshiping. How can you do that if your congregation can't hear well? 

What each church has to say is massively important and shouldn't be muted by poor quality sound. Continue reading to see the seven sound system components you should consider when improving church audio. 

​Do Your Research

The first step in any process is researching. It is smart to look at other churches and decide what you like and dislike about their production process.

This will help you narrow down what you need to implement at your church to take your sound system to the next level.

Do you like loud live music that makes you feel like you're in the heart of a concert? Or are you more into the soft acoustic environment that feels like you're sitting around a campfire?

These are questions you can ask yourself to discover what equipment you need to look for to improve church audio.

​Establish Your Sound System Budget

This might be a given but still important nonetheless. Your budget will help you decide what options are viable and what are just too far of a stretch.

Speaker systems can range depending on the size of your space. For example:
  • Small rooms $100 to $9,000
  • Medium rooms $10,000 to $50,000
  • Large rooms $100,000 to $1 million

Your sound system budget doesn't have to be huge, you can get by with a few hundred dollars, but you need to establish one to see what you can do.

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​What Does Your Venue Require?

Your venue can determine a lot when it comes to establishing your sound. A venue that has a lot of hard surfaces reflecting sound will have different needs than a space filled with sound-absorbing materials.

Hard surfaces that reflect sound could be sheetrock walls, glass windows, tiled floors, wooden non-cushioned pews, vaulted wood ceilings, beams, and columns.

Materials that will absorb sound could be but aren't limited to heavy drapery, carpeting, and chairs with cushions.

Different types of venues have different sound requirements, so it's essential to establish which you have.

​What Type of Audience Do You Have?

The size of your audience is crucial to your church sound system. You don't need equipment for a 2,000 person mega-church if you have a small and quaint community.

Think about your congregation. Are they the mega-church type? Or are they a smaller, more intimate crowd?

Worship MD notes that your congregation and its needs will directly correlate with your tech team and the equipment they will need to manage.

Smaller crowds probably require more straightforward equipment, and vice versa.

​Distinguish Your Tech Team

Who is going to manage your new sound system? It's time to look at your existing team members and decide who can do what and if you need to add to your team.

Church Sound Tips gives some great examples of how to train your team and different instances to consider.

You will also need to train your newly established tech team. You can consider church tech conferences nearby, and even present it to church leadership as worth having the conversation about building training into the budget.

Your training needs to include various pieces of equipment, what they are for, and how to use them. An example of what you would train for is listening carefully to the preacher/musicians to adjust the sound accordingly.

Always train your tech team in case something goes wrong, and you aren't there. Also, always consider pulling more experienced members higher up in the ranks to help others out.

Your team is a massive aspect of your sound system. They help set up, execute, and maintain, so give them the acknowledgment they deserve.
A church volunteer manages microphones and cables

​Sound Equipment, Wires, and Cables

Equipment can be intimidating, we know. Thankfully if you're not sure where to start or what you need, there are services out there to help you out.

ALTA Systems provides several resources targeted at churches to help them succeed, including:

  • Audio systems
  • Lighting systems
  • Video systems
  • Visual media

If you're looking for general info on what sound equipment, wires and cables you might need, we're here to help with that.

According to Church Sound Tips, two important equipment pieces you need to know are your PA system and mixing desk/soundboard. They say, tuning a PA system is using system EQ to optimize the system to its surroundings also, that your mixing desk/soundboard is one of the most important pieces of equipment.

If you have questions about these two things, turn to resources like ALTA Systems to talk to an engineer or YouTube videos to help ensure you are selecting the right equipment.

​Create a Plan

Your plan is essential to take all of the things you established above and implement them in your church.

Your plan should include:

1. The equipment you have and need
2. Your monthly or yearly budget for the church sound system
3. A list of your tech team
4. Your scheduled soundchecks

Regular sound checks and rehearsals will become a weekly occurrence to ensure everything is running smoothly and according to plan. You don't want in-the-moment tech mishaps during service.

Your plan is where you'll turn for your next steps in improving your church sound system.
Line Array Speakers in a large Church

What's Next?

Once you've considered all the different elements that go into improving church audio, it's time to discuss your options.

You can look to different service providers, research on your own, or find an expert within your church. There are resources everywhere you turn, and you just have to know what you're looking for.
If you consider all seven of these recommendations, you're on the right track.

If you've decided to take the next step now, check out what we can help you with when it comes to upgrading your church sound system.