The so-called active speaker refers to the power source that drives the speaker inside the speaker, and vice versa is a passive speaker.
This power source is what we call a power amplifier every day. The power amplifier is a device that amplifies the power of the audio signal to drive the speaker. At present, many power amplifiers include decoding, Bluetooth, pre-level signal processing and even audio file management (USB plug-in card) functions. Therefore, many fully functional active speakers are already equivalent to a highly integrated audio system. The passive speaker is just the electro-acoustic conversion device of the audio system. Here is a brief description of their characteristics based on 2.0 speakers.
One. Shape and structure.
Active speakers are divided into main box and auxiliary box. The main box can be regarded as a speaker with a power amplifier or even a complete sound system. The main box will have a set of power amplifier outputs to drive the sub-box, and the sub-box is a passive speaker.
Passive speakers are very simple. They are two speakers. The speakers include speakers, crossovers, and binding posts, but nothing else.
two. Speaker interface
The signal source interface of active speakers can be regarded as an audio analog signal input port in a narrow sense, and various digital signal interfaces in a broad sense. Even a USB plug-in card can be regarded as a signal source. Of course, these signals need to be decoded and digital-to-analog conversion, but the ultimate goal is to convert them into analog audio signals and send them to the power amplifier.
3. Which kind of sound quality is better?
This question is a question that many friends particularly want to understand, but it is not a very good question. To answer this question, there must be many preconditions.
The situation of precondition one:
For the same active speaker, if the main box amplifier is removed and replaced with a passive speaker, the sound quality will usually be a little better. Since the speaker's built-in power amplifier will take up a certain amount of space and generate heat, these factors have a slight impact on the sound quality. Of course, some active speakers will slightly enlarge the main cabinet to compensate for the space of the power amplifier, and the effect of space is eliminated, leaving only the effect of temperature. The effect of temperature on sound quality is minimal. Although it exists in theory, no one can hear it.
The situation of precondition two:
If we only consider the feasibility of the design, since the power and volume of the internal power amplifier of the active speaker are limited, the upper limit of the sound quality of the passive speaker is higher than that of the active speaker.
Active speaker wiring is less than two power amplifier cables (speaker cables) than passive speaker systems, and does not require the placement of the power amplifier. Relatively few wiring, low placement space requirements. But active speakers also have disadvantages. For example, the power amplifier is broken and difficult to repair.
Fives. Flexibility and upgrade.
The sound system composed of active speakers is basically inflexible. If you want to upgrade or are not satisfied, you can only replace the whole set.
The biggest feature of passive speakers is their flexibility and upgradeability.
Passive speakers can change the power amplifier or speakers at any time to adjust the performance and characteristics of the entire system. For example, a set of passive boxes cannot meet your own requirements, you can add another set, and use the extra boxes to set up a home theater.
six. to sum up
Active speakers are relatively simple to use, occupy a small space, but cannot be upgraded. If there is a problem, it is inconvenient to repair, and the upper limit of sound quality is lower than that of passive speakers.
Passive speakers are flexible to use, easy to upgrade, and have high playability, but they take up more space and have a higher upper limit of sound quality. With the popularity of digital power amplifiers (digital power amplifiers are an order of magnitude smaller than the previous equivalent power amplifiers), the inconvenience of the space occupied by the power amplifier has been very small.
Seven. How to choose
Your personal opinion depends on your tolerance for the sound quality of the speakers.
If you are too lazy to toss, even if the sound quality is not satisfied with the purchase, it is acceptable. Active is more suitable, otherwise passive is more suitable.
As for the space factor, if it is the limit space, the active will be better, otherwise the difference will not be much.