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Active speakers vs. passive speakers, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

2021-05-01 18
Maybe when everyone buys speakers, they are the first to consider "passive" speakers, because they have a player, Amp, and a complete system. But for those who are new to audio and start to play from "zero", in fact, "active" speakers have their advantages. Although "passive" speakers are the mainstream, there are many diehard fans of "active" speakers. What are the reasons? If you exclude the differences in materials and design of high- and low-level equipment, what are the advantages and disadvantages of "active" and "passive" designs alone? Yinping Mall will give you a brief analysis.

Active speaker

"Active speaker" means that the speaker has a built-in crossover and amplifier circuit, and it can produce sound only by connecting the power supply and inputting the music signal. Many studio monitor speakers and engineering professional speakers are active speakers, but don’t think that Active Speaker is synonymous with your professionalism, because the common and commonly used computer speakers, Bluetooth speakers, etc. are actually “active” Speakers.

Advantage 1: No need for later stage, simple system

One of the major advantages of active speakers is that they do not need to be connected to the rear driver, and can play songs by inputting audio. It is most suitable for friends who want a simpler sound system. Only the "player" and the "speaker" can be integrated. system.

Advantage 2: Save space

In addition, the active speaker does not need to be connected to an amplifier, so it can save a lot of space for equipment. It is quite suitable for the CAS system or desktop audio system that is very popular in recent years.

Advantage 3: Complete package, "guaranteed" sound quality

Since the speaker itself has a complete drive circuit and is equipped with decoding and partial sound, plus the audio interface input, the sound floor of active speakers will be more "stable", unlike passive speakers that are more affected by cables and amplifiers.

Disadvantage 1: Speakers need to adjust the volume independently

In the design of some active speakers, the output of the left and right channel speakers needs to be adjusted independently, so it will be a little troublesome to adjust the volume, and the left and right speakers must be coordinated and then fine-tuned.


Active speakers vs. passive speakers, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?


Disadvantage 2: Need to connect power cord and signal line

Although the active speaker does not need one Amp, in addition to the signal line, each speaker needs to be connected with an additional power cord for power supply. If the speakers are placed far away, the connection will be more troublesome.

Passive speaker

The most common two-channel speakers are "passive" speakers. Contrary to "active" speakers, they don't have a built-in amplifier circuit and need to rely on the output of a rear stage or a combined machine to drive the sound. Compared with traditional active speakers, which are mostly bookshelf design, passive speakers have a variety of styles, such as floor space, bookshelf, satellite, etc.

Advantage 1: More flexibility in tuning

Due to the need to connect an amplifier to drive, the sound bottom of passive speakers will be greatly affected by the connected equipment and wires. Sometimes the same set of speakers will appear to be heard by others and heard from the same place, and the feeling is completely different. However, in disguise, there is more flexibility in tuning. You can use the characteristics of signal lines and amplifiers to supplement or enhance the performance of the speakers.

Advantage 2: Only need to connect the speaker cable

Although it is necessary to connect an amplifier, in contrast, passive speakers do not need to be connected to an additional power cord, and only need to be connected to the amplifier with a signal line, and the latter can be directly driven to produce sound.

Advantage 3: Bi-Amp, Bi-Wire diversified connection combination

Some passive speakers can support Bi-Amp and Bi-Wire connection methods, and enhance the performance of the speakers through wire connection and additional post stage.

Disadvantages: need to be promoted by a later stage

Since passive speakers are too diverse, with different specifications, designs, and materials, if you want to talk about a common shortcoming, you need to connect an amplifier to drive it, requiring additional equipment and space.

to sum up

I have many friends who have switched to active speakers in recent years, mainly because they are convenient enough to simplify the desktop audio system and are suitable for connecting to a computer to play CAS. However, the combination and playfulness of passive speakers does have a unique appeal, and it is more suitable for traditional audio systems. It would be great if there were a set of each of the two.
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