QSC CP12 vs K12 – Which Is Better? (2022)


From the invention of the first electronic speaker by Johann Philipp Reis in 1861 to the creation of the first prototype loudspeaker in 1921 until today’s modern loudspeakers, it is amazing how technology evolves through time.  The audio and music industry has greatly benefited from the discovery of active loudspeakers.

Although active loudspeakers are usually heavier than passive loudspeakers, because of their built-in amplifier, a setup of passive loudspeakers and a must-have amplifier will still weigh more than an active loudspeaker with its built-in amplifier. This is why many love buying active loudspeakers.

QSC is one of the leading manufacturers of active loudspeakers globally. They are offering their entry-level and mid-tier 12-inch loudspeakers in the market; the QSC CP12 and QSC K12, respectively.

Deciding which of two you should purchase is really a difficult decision to make, that is why we are going to help you make the right choice.

Sound Quality

QSC CP12

QSC CP12 12-Inch Compact Powered Loudspeaker

The QSC CP12 is an entry-level 2-way full-range active speaker under the QSC’s Compact Powered Series. It is equipped with a 12″ woofer, a 1.4″ compression driver, a 1000W Class-D amplifier module, and a digital signal processor.

Audio specification of the QSC CP12:

QSC CP12 Specifications
Configuration Active 2-Way
Total Power Capacity 1000 Watts
Amplifier Power Rating LF: 800 Watts
PeakHF: 200 Watts Peak
Amplifier Class Class-D
HF Driver 1 x 1.4” / 35.6mm Compression Driver
LF Driver 1 x 12” / 305 mm Woofer
Frequency Range (-10 dB) 47 Hz to 20 kHz
Frequency Response (-6 dB) 49 Hz to 20 kHz
Maximum SPL 126 dB
Coverage Angle 75 degrees (conical)

The QSC CP12 is equipped with Directivity Matched Transition (DMT) that matches the angle of the woofer and the horn to ensure consistent, high-quality sound across the entire coverage area. 

The Intrinsic Correction techniques integrated into the DSP provides a smooth power response, resulting in accurate performance in a wide range of acoustic spaces with little or no EQ.

The QSC CP12 is loud enough to cover a small to medium venue. It pushes out 126 dB, which gives it decent volume. The powered speaker also has a wide frequency range of 49 Hz to 20 kHz and a 75° coverage for an excellent bass rumble and treble end.

The QSC CP12 has an excellent bass extension for a 12-inch speaker. The CP12 is a great monitor speaker and can also be used for instrument reinforcement or small PA.

Amazon gave an average score of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars for its totality as an active loudspeaker. They also gave a perfect score of 5 stars out of 5 stars for its sound quality.

Overall, the QSC CP12 is a high-quality active speaker that can produce excellent sound quality. It is a versatile speaker that can be used in any event, band shows, DJs, houses of worship, public address, etc.

You will feel satisfied with its impressive sound quality.

QSC K12

QSC K12.2 Active 12' Powered 2000 Watt Loudspeaker

The QSC K12 is a mid-tier 2-way full-range active speaker under the QSC’s K Series. It is equipped with a 12″ woofer, a 1.4″ compression driver, a 2000W Class-D amplifier module, and a highly sophisticated digital signal processor.

Audio specification of the QSC K12:

QSC CP12 Specifications
Configuration Active 2-Way
Total Power Capacity 2000 Watts
Amplifier Power Rating LF: 1800 Watts PeakHF: 225 Watts Peak
Amplifier Class Class-D
HF Driver 1 x 1.4” / 35.6mm Titanium Compression Driver
LF Driver 1 x 12” / 30.48 cm Woofer
Frequency Range (-10 dB) 45 Hz to 20 kHz
Frequency Response (-6 dB) 50 Hz to 20 kHz
Maximum SPL 126 dB (Continuous)132 dB (Peak)
Coverage Angle 75 degrees (conical)

The QSC K12 is also equipped with a Directivity Matched Transition (DMT) that provides for matched LF and HF coverage across the entire listening area, eliminating unnatural ”dead” or ”hot” frequency zones.

The QSC K12’s digital signal processor has an intrinsic correction feature resulting in speakers behaving equally well across the entire sound field.

The QSC K12 produces clean highs and mids, and its low-end thump is hefty. It has a 75-degree axisymmetric field, which means you can get an even distribution of sound that fills small and medium-sized venues.

The QSC K12 is very powerful for a 12” speaker. Considering it has a peak power of 2000 Watts, this means it can play in a room with a floor area of more than 2000 square feet and have a crowd of more than 200 people.

Amazon gave an average score of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars for its totality as an active loudspeaker. 

The QSC K series has earned the reputation to be one the best sounding loudspeaker line, and the K12 is proof of that. QSC K12 is one of the best sounding loudspeakers for 12-inch sizes. No question about that.

Build Quality

QSC CP12

The QSC CP12 is a compact active speaker but has superior build quality and long-lasting reliability. It has an ultra-slim design, and it is incredibly lightweight. It’s easy to load, carry, lift and deploy in a wide range of portable and installed applications.

Build specifications of the QSC CP12:

QSC CP12 Specifications
Enclosure Type Bass-Reflex Loudspeaker
Mounting 2 x M8 Bracket Point1 x 1.4” / 35 mm Pole Socket (Bottom)
Handles 1 x Top
1 x Side
Construction Material Metal Grille, Polypropylene
Dimensions 20.3 x 13.8 x 12.7” / 516 x 350 x 323 mm
Weight 30.3 lbs / 13.7 kg
Grille 18 Gauge powder-coated steel

The amplifier used in the QSC CP12 can deliver ample burst and continuous power for the loudspeaker’s matching transducers. Its convection cooling design provides heat dissipation, even in extreme climates, while contributing no additional background noise.

Using highly sophisticated dynamics processing, it is able to protect the drivers from damage and the performance from distortion. It results in a highly accurate and musical sound that maintains full signal integrity, even when pushed to high SPL.

The QSC CP12 speaker weighs in at about 13.7 kg. Although it is light and compact, it still has an integrated handle on top for easy transport. This active loudspeaker also comes with a polypropylene enclosure, which is a highly durable material that can handle the rigors of the road. It also has an elegant appearance that looks great in a wide range of applications.

The QSC CP12’s speaker grille is made of powder-coated steel. It has a monitor pitch of 55° and can also be used as a floor monitor or as usual on a speaker stand. In addition, the QSC CP12 is also equipped with a 35mm high-pole socket.

The website Amazon gave an average score of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars for its lightweight.

All in all, the build quality of the QSC CP12 is outstanding. All of the internal components used for this active speaker are high-quality. All the materials used in building this speaker is solid. You can rely upon this speaker to work for a very long time.

QSC K12

The QSC K12 represents the best-in-class 12-inch speakers for today’s demanding audio professionals. The QSC K12 build quality has been one of its positives, as this speaker is built to last.

Build specifications of the QSC CP12:

QSC CP12 Specifications
Enclosure Type Bass-Reflex Loudspeaker / Floor Monitor
Mounting 2 x M10 Fly Point1 x 1.38” / 35 mm Pole Socket (Dual Angle, Bottom)
Handles 1 x Top
1 x Side
Construction Material ABS Thermoplastic, Metal Grille
Dimensions 23.7 x 14 x 13.8” / 602 x 355.6 x 350.5 mm
Weight 39 lbs / 17.7 kg
Grille 18 Gauge powered-coated steel

The QSC K12’s digital signal processor is equipped with a GuardRail protection feature that serves to protect both the amplifier module and performance from unnatural and destructing clipping.

The QSC K12 is solidly built and well protected. An impact-resistant ABS core helps protect the speaker, and it also has a front grille with a cloth lining for further protection. It also comes with high-quality aluminum handles.

Amazon gave an average score of 4.9 stars out of 5 stars for the quality of materials used in building the QSC K12, and they also gave an average score of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars for its durability.

The QSC K12 is really a beast loudspeaker. It can take a fall and still function without having any damage. Its build quality is really impressive, a trademark of the QSC K Series loudspeakers.

Controls

QSC CP12

QSC CP12 12-Inch Compact Powered Loudspeaker

The QSC CP12 has plenty of control and connectivity options. You can find a contour rotary switch in its rear panel for setting preset DSP filter contours for common sound reinforcement applications.

Contour presets of the QSC CP12:

  • Default
  • Default Ext Sub
  • Dance
  • Dance Ext Sub
  • Floor Monitor
  • Speech

Control and Connectivity Options of the QSC CP12:

QSC CP12 Specifications
Audio I/O 2 x Combo XLR-1/4”
TRS Mic/Line Input1 x 1/8” /
3.5 mm TRS Aux Input
1 x XLR 3-Pin Mix Output
Digital Signal Processing Voicing Modes
Controls Gain (2 knobs)
Mic Boost Yes

The QSC has two XLR inputs with separate gain controls for line input, mic/line inputs, and it also has a 3.5 mm stereo input for connecting music players. All its inputs sum together automatically.

The QSC CP12 also has LEDs to indicate the limiter action, power, and when the +25dB mic boost mode is engaged. Finally, its rear panel has a loop through XLR output for sending the line signal to another CP Series loudspeaker.

The QSC CP12 has excellent control and connection options for its price and considering that it is an active compact loudspeaker. The presets are very helpful when the speaker is used in different venues.

QSC K12

QSC K12.2 Active 12' Powered 2000 Watt Loudspeaker

Just like the QSC CP12, the QSC K12 also has plenty of control and connectivity options. Like CP12’s design, you can find a contour rotary switch in K12’s rear panel to set DSP filter contours for typical sound reinforcement applications including Live, Dance, Monitor and many more.

Control and Connectivity Options of the QSC K12:

QSC K12 Specifications
Audio I/O 1 x Combo XLR-1/4”
TRS Female Balanced/Unbalanced Mic Line Input
1 x Combo XLR-1/4”
TRS Female Balanced/Unbalanced Hi-Z Input
1 x 1/8” / 3.5 mm TRS Female Unbalanced Aux Input
2 x XLR 3-Pin Male Thru/Output1 x XLR 3-Pin Male Mix Output
Controls Power
3 x Level Rotary encoder (push)
2 x selection buttons
Display Monochrome LCD Display

The first two connections of the QSC K12 are combo jacks that support XLR and TRS. This allows you to connect a range of equipment including top DJ controllers. These are also XLR outputs to link to other speakers.

For the QSC K12’s inputs, the first is for a mic line or line sensitivity. The second input is for line sensitivity or high-Z, which is ideal for instruments. Mix output is also via one XLR connection

The QSC K12 is equipped with an LCD screen to help you navigate to your preferred preset. It also allows you to fine-tune your favorite presets. It can also save your information like your preferred settings, and you can lock it to prevent others from fiddling with it.

Overall, its control and connectivity options are great for the price you are paying. 

Price

QSC CP12

The QSC CP12 is an ideal loudspeaker for small to medium size events, and its price does not really break the bank. It also has several features that would be very helpful in different settings and a loud volume suitable for most performances.

Amazon gave an average score of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars as the reviewers consider that buying a QSC CP12 is an excellent investment.

Its price is really a steal for all the QSC CP12 has to offer.

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QSC K12

The QSC K12 is maybe a little bit expensive for the others who have a limited budget, but for all the impressive build, great sound quality, and control options, the totality of the speaker offers an excellent value for its price. 

Amazon gave an average score of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars as its reviewers consider that buying a QSC K12 is an excellent investment.

Purchasing the QSC K12 is really an excellent investment, and you will never regret it.

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Pros and Cons:

QSC CP12

Pros:

  • Compact and powerful loudspeaker
  • Excellent build quality
  • Flexible input options
  • Useful DSP presets for different settings
  • Beautiful aesthetics

Cons:

  • Mix out only, no thru
  • Limited user controls
  • A little pricey for those who have only limited budget

QSC K12

Pros:

  • Sound is powerful, accurate and clear
  • Excellent build quality
  • Preset EQ settings offer more fine-tuning of sound
  • Versatile and portable
  • Loud, but still produces a balanced sound
  • Lightweight and easy to transport

Cons:

  • A little bit expensive
  • Handles easily get hot in the sun
  • No deep bass function

Which is Better?

The QSC CP12 and QSC K12 are both great active loudspeakers with impressive build and sound quality and plenty of control and connectivity options. In the end, I’d still prefer the QSC K12 because it is more powerful, which is better for larger venues, and it has an LCD display for choosing the presets.

If you’re after something a little more compact but still packs a punch, check out my JBL Xtreme 2 vs Xtreme 3 Review.

Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

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