6 Questions to Answer Before Buying a Sound System

When you’re building a sound system for your church, there are many questions you should ask:

1. Will Your System Be Portable or Permanent?

A church is more than a building. At Sweetwater, we’ve seen congregations meet in all sorts of unique places—community halls, roller rinks, pizza parlors, bowling alleys and more. A church in Las Vegas even met in a casino! If this describes your situation, you’ll need a portable solution. That said, if you meet in a dedicated space such as an established church building, you’d be better served with a permanent installation.

2. What Shape Is Your Room?

Your church’s sound system needs to direct sound to where people will be and away from walls and ceilings. You need speakers that match the size and geometry of the room. A long, skinny room with a high ceiling will require a different approach than a short, wide room with a low ceiling.

3. What’s Your Worship Style?

Ranging from traditional to contemporary, your sound system will have different requirements depending on the worship style of your church. If you’re just amplifying the pastor’s message, you can get by with a small system with good vocal intelligibility. But if you’re also reinforcing a large choir or a worship team with modern electric instruments, your system needs to be able to reproduce all the instruments’ frequencies. And if your church has multiple worship styles, you’ll need a scalable solution.

4. Who’ll Be Running Your System?

Often, you’ll have untrained volunteers running sound, so user-friendliness is a necessity. Your system must be designed to match the skill level of the team tasked with operating it.

5. What’s the Wireless Environment of Your Room?

Some church congregations consist of 50 people, others have over 50,000. The larger your wireless system, the more complex it is, and compatibility with local broadband availability is always an inconvenience.

6. What’s Your Budget?

It doesn’t matter how great a sound system is spec’d for you if you can’t afford it. It’s also a wise idea to future-proof your system. Buy a system that will continue to meet your needs in the future—it will save you money in the long run.

To learn more about sound systems and specific equipment recommendations, go to Sweetwater.com.


Founded in 1979, Sweetwater is the No. 1 online retailer of music instruments and audio gear in the U.S. The company is respected as the nation’s leading retailer serving musicians and technicians. With 80+ Sales Engineers dedicated to the worship community, free tech support, free two-year warranty, and free shipping, Sweetwater is an ideal resource for musical instruments and technology for worship. For more information, visit Sweetwater.com.