How to Pick: Active Speakers or Passive Speakers?
If you want to fill a room with sound then your speakers will need power in order to do what they are made to do. There are 2 ways to do this. Either the speaker can be connected to an amplifier [Passive] or the speaker can have the amplifier built in [Known as Active or Powered]. See the Guide Below:
Passive: [MIXER] à [AMPLIFIER] à [PASSIVE SPEAKER]
Active: [MIXER] à [ACTIVE SPEAKER]
You will notice that in general Passive Speakers are much less expensive than Active Speakers as well as much lighter. Keep in mind that to make a true price comparison you must include the cost of an amplifier as well as the cost of the additional cables you will need to connect a Passive system.
Another important consideration is that you must be very careful to properly match up your power amp to your speakers. Things can get very confusing when trying to navigate the technical jargon sea of Ohms, Watts, RMS, Program, etc. If your amp doesn’t match your speakers properly then you risk damaging your speakers. Even worse, you may suffer from the dreaded drop out that happens if your amp overheats and shuts itself off to protect itself from damage. While the amp will likely be up and working again after 15 minutes of cooling off …you may not be working there again due to the music being shut down for 15 minutes!
The alternative is to go with Active Speakers. The 2 biggest advantages are:
- The built in amp is perfectly matched to the speaker resulting in optimal efficiency. This usually adds many years of life to both the speaker AND the amp.
- Since the amp is perfectly matched you will get the best sound quality possible out of the speaker.
So what is the downside? Some DJ’s and Sound Engineers have argued that if the amp dies in an Active Speaker then you lose the amp and the speaker. The flipside of this is that if you are using 2 powered speakers and one goes out you can keep the show going with one speaker since they run independently of each other. When using a Passive System, if your amp goes out then your whole system is likely down. If you already own a power amp then the cost of Passive Speakers would be substantially less vs. the cost of Powered Speakers.
Whichever way you decide to go - the Pro’s at MusiciansBuy will be happy to help you put together the perfect system for your needs. You can reach us at 1-877-778-7845 to get started today!
Crank it up!