Best Megaphones

Updated July 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

19 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
129 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best megaphones

Last Updated July 2019

If you have an important event coming up – one that involves a large number of people like a family reunion, awards ceremony, sporting event, or rally – you’re going to want your voice to be heard. With the right megaphone, you can amplify your voice with ease.

When it comes to shopping for megaphones, however, there is a lot to consider. If you’ll be using a powered megaphone, you’ll want one with a detachable microphone that has enough wattage to let your voice be heard. Additionally, a loud sound effect, like a siren, can come in handy when you need to quickly focus the attention of the crowd.

If you already know exactly what you want in a megaphone, consider one of the highly rated products in our matrix. If you want to do a little more research about the different features of megaphones before you buy, keep reading our shopping guide.

The shape of a megaphone focuses and directs sound waves so the people you are talking to can clearly hear what you have to say.

Megaphone or bullhorn?

Before we get too deep into discussing megaphones, we need to clarify something. What is the difference between a megaphone and a bullhorn?

A megaphone is a large, cone-shaped device that is used to direct and amplify the voice. A bullhorn is an electronic megaphone. As a result, bullhorns can be much smaller because most of the amplifying work is done through electronics. They also tend to be heavier, and they have a number of features that enhance user experience.

For the purpose of this guide, we will refer to the two simply as megaphones and powered megaphones.

Key considerations

Distance

Both a megaphone’s shape and its power determine how far away you can hear it. Before purchasing, check to see the distance that the megaphone you are considering can cover. If you are a football coach and players can only hear you 50 yards away, that’s not the right megaphone for you. If you are a cheerleader, you want every row of fans to be able to hear your rallying cries.

Wattage

In a powered megaphone, the wattage denotes the amount of power. Most megaphones are between five and 50 watts. The higher the wattage, the louder your megaphone will be. However, higher wattages drain power more quickly, so look for a megaphone with a good balance of power and duration.

Size and weight

Holding a megaphone up to your mouth for extended periods of time can quickly fatigue your arm muscles. The larger and heavier it is, the less time you will be able to use your megaphone. If you are only occasionally calling out short phrases of encouragement to players on the field, almost any size or weight will do, but if you will be speaking for an extended period of time, you’ll definitely want the lightest model that can do the job.

CAUTION

Depending on the time of day, using a megaphone may violate local noise ordinances. Additionally, some locations may prohibit the use of amplified sound without a permit.

Features

Detachable microphone

One solution to a heavy megaphone is having a detachable microphone. With this feature, you only hold up the microphone to your mouth, which is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Additionally, having a detachable microphone means that you will be better able to make eye contact with the people you are talking to.

Siren

Almost all powered megaphones come with a siren feature that can be used to quickly get people’s attention. Some models come with a wide variety of sounds and even short tunes that can be broadcast at the touch of a button.

Record and playback

If you will be using your megaphone to offer repeated instructions, having record and playback functions is invaluable. You can say what you need to once and repeat it as needed just by pressing a button.

Auxiliary input

Some megaphones have a 3.5 mm input, so you can plug in other devices. Others are Bluetooth-compatible. If you want to use your megaphone as a speaker, you will need this feature. That said, the sound quality of a megaphone is not ideal, so expect some degradation in even the best models.

Waterproof

If you are a lifeguard, swim coach, or boater, you will need a megaphone that is waterproof.

Portability

Some megaphones have a foldable handle and a wrist strap that facilitate carrying and storing the megaphone when not in use.

Other features

If you’ve thought of it, chances are that a manufacturer has, too. Two of the most common bonus features on megaphones are a built-in bottle opener and a flashlight.

Megaphone prices

Inexpensive megaphones, in the $12 to $15 price range, have up to 30 watts of power and may feature a siren. These megaphones are typically smaller models that have a limited broadcast range.

For $15 to $30, you can find non-powered, cheerleading-type megaphones and powered models with an increased range. If you would like a powered megaphone with a detachable microphone, you will need to look in the $30 to $50 price range.

If you have budgeted more than $50, you can get it all: 50 watts of power, a detachable microphone, and a siren as well as record and playback functions. Be careful, however, because there are a few slick-looking megaphones in this higher price range that don’t actually have much to offer.

EXPERT TIP

When you are speaking to a crowd, it’s important to have eye contact. Using a powered megaphone with a detachable microphone is your best bet.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

It’s better to get a more powerful megaphone as it can always be turned down if it’s too loud.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

You might be considering purchasing a megaphone for an upcoming event like a family reunion but wondering if the investment is worth it. After a day of making announcements and starting relay races, will you ever use that megaphone again? Luckily, there are many situations that call for a megaphone.

  • Coaching: If you coach any type of team or lead an exercise group, a megaphone can be an invaluable device for reaching participants and saving your voice.

  • Large group instruction: Any time you have a large gathering of people, someone will need to be the loudest voice to make leadership easier.

  • Directing: When leading a group of talented individuals who are running lines, singing, or playing musical instruments, you need a device that can quickly grab their attention and deliver direction.

  • Protesting: You’ve got your permit for peaceable assembly. Now all you need is a megaphone.

  • Parenting: If you are at a park, playground, or even in the front yard and one of your children is about to do something unwise, a megaphone can get your voice there immediately to help curtail the undesirable activity.

  • Lifeguarding: If you have a job as a lifeguard, a megaphone is an excellent way to get the attention of someone who is engaging in unsafe behavior.

  • Camp counselor: Whether you are giving instructions at morning flag or going on a hike through the woods, a megaphone is a handy tool that can deliver announcements and help keep order.

  • Class trips: If you are a teacher or a chaperone on a class trip, a megaphone is a handy tool that can help rein in your overstimulated charges.

  • Boating: Using a megaphone when out on a lake can be an effective way to communicate with other boaters.

Other products we considered

Since there are so many uses for megaphones, we want to offer you just a few more options to make sure you find the best one for your needs. For instance, the Wembley Handheld Megaphone is a battery-powered megaphone that is great for sports fans because the handle has a built-in bottle opener. The Champion Sports Megaphone features a siren as well as a wrist strap. It’s lightweight and broadcasts at a strong but not too powerful volume at maximum level. The Pyle Megaphone has a nifty 50 watts of power, a siren, and a 10-second record function. Additionally, this unit has an auxiliary input that allows the megaphone to function like a speaker. If you want a traditional megaphone, the Kiefer Plastic Megaphone is a highly rated, durable, waterproof, plastic megaphone that has a plated metal mouthpiece and a metal handle for ease of use.

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, technically a bullhorn is a powered megaphone.

FAQ

Q. How far does a megaphone’s sound travel?
A.
Every megaphone is different. The length and shape of a traditional megaphone determine how well it works. If you have a powered megaphone, the wattage is what determines its range. Under optimal conditions, a 50-watt megaphone can be heard approximately a half-mile away.

Q. How loud can a megaphone get?
A.
You need to be careful when using a megaphone because some models can average 100 decibels, which is comparable to the volume level of a motorcycle or chainsaw. The piercing siren sound can be as loud as 120 decibels on some megaphones. This packs as much wallop as a thunderclap.

Q. How does a powered megaphone get power?
A.
Most models have a rechargeable lithium battery pack or take D batteries. When purchasing a powered megaphone, research how long the battery’s charge lasts. A megaphone that can't make it through your entire event might not be such a great value.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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