August 13, 2012

Help Desk: Active vs. Passive Speakers


The UniqueSquared Help Desk is back and this time we are covering the difference between active and passive speakers.  A lot of people have been asking us what the difference is between the two and what are the advantages that each speaker type can provide.  Well check out our video below to get all the answers.

Video Transcript:

Hello, my name is Chris welcome to the UniqueSquared Help Desk.  Today we are talking about the difference between active speakers and passive speakers, otherwise known as powered and unpowered speakers.

Let’s begin with what makes it an active speaker?  Well it has an amplifier built into the back.  You can just power this thing on and hook it up to your mixer or instrument or even a microphone for that matter and you got sound coming out of it.

This is a passive speaker.  It doesn’t have an amplifier built in, you can’t just plug it into your mixer and have sound come out of it.  You’ve got to hook it up to a powered amplifier first, which is what I have here.  So passive speakers are better suited for permanent installations where you don’t have to break down your amplifier and your speakers.  You can just run your wires from your speakers to your amp and leave them.  I’ve seen them in houses of worship and nightclubs usually.

The other reason that passive speakers are nice is that it really lets you fine tune what sort of pairing you want to do between your amplifier and your speaker, so if you really care how your sound is going to sound, you have all the control in the world to make it sound exactly how you want it to sound.

Now the problem with this setup comes with people who don’t really know what they are doing. It’s very easy to fry your amp and blow out your speakers.  That’s what makes the active speaker really nice, that and a few other things.  If you are a mobile DJ or are traveling band and you don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of all the set up that comes with your amplifiers and speakers, you can go with your active speaker and you have your amplifier built in.  Just throw it up, plug it in and you’re ready to play.

Now that being said you’re not going to have the ability to fine tune what amplifier you match with what speaker but at the same time if you are new to the whole amplifier speaker combo thing, this is perfect for you because you will never fry your amp, you’ll never blow out your speakers because the manufactures have already set up this amplifier to work with this speaker and be efficient at it too.

So there you have it.  That is the basic rundown of the differences between passive speakers and active speakers.  For all the best prices in pro audio gear be sure to check out and my name is Chris I’ll catch you guys next time.