The Difference Between Active and Passive Speakers

Modern acoustics – the ability to reproduce music (live music in particular) in good quality, which is provided by a high-tech design, the most thought-out main element – the electrodynamic head, in other words – the speaker.

Choose a particular model of the AU among a large variety of options is quite difficult, because you need to take into account a lot of nuances. One of these is the presence or absence of a power amplifier in a particular model. The presence of such an element in acoustics classifies the equipment as an active type. If in the equipment there is no element of the amplifier, then this speaker is called passive.
Let’s deal with all the subtleties of the device of active and passive acoustic systems, with their structure and capabilities.

AS activity: design and operation principle, advantages and disadvantages
We will try to describe as fully as possible the advantages and disadvantages that exist both in one type and in another. The difference between active and passive systems will allow a potential buyer to decide on a choice based on their specific goals.
Active acoustic systems are those equipment in which a pre-installed power amplifier is pre-installed by the developer. In passive same AS, there is no such equipment, it is usually bought additionally.

In an active-type speaker, an amplifying module is selected at the design stage of a specific model, i.e. the developer pre-picks up such equipment, which is most effectively combined with all the elements of the system. Therefore, the end user of an active type of speaker can not be bothered by the choice of a separate amplifier.
Modern models can also be equipped with dual amplifiers, which are installed simultaneously on the low-frequency and high-frequency drivers of the speakers. This provides even more sound quality for acoustics.

In the same amplifier, the so-called DSP-processor is introduced, into which all the necessary settings are already set in advance. Therefore, the user can only connect the speakers to the equipment – and enjoy high-quality sound.

Advantages of using active speakers:

  • High quality music sound even at not high loudness;
  • Mobility of system use, as their bodies are light enough and can be easily transferred from place to place;
  • It is much easier to use the pre-installed power amplifier;
  • Even at large distances, there is no loss in power, which simplifies operation at large concert venues;
  • Active speakers are very good at dealing with long and heavy loads.


  • Additional switching means are required to connect the system: a signal-type cable and a network cable;
  • In the event of a breakdown of the built-in amplifier, there may be problems with its repair and replacement;
  • Usually, even in the most expensive models of acoustic systems, a budget variant of the amplifier is built in.

Among the disadvantages additionally, we can distinguish the following: if an exercise using acoustics takes place in an open space, in the event of rain, it will be very difficult to protect the equipment.

Passive speakers: the pros and cons, the main points of the device.
The design of this type of speaker system is now easier to understand. If the amplification module is installed in active models, it is not in the passive modules, respectively. In other words, passive speakers are a classic variant of the speakers in which one or more electrodynamic heads are installed, as well as filters for low and high frequencies.
Without a power amplifier to use them (especially in professional music events), it makes no sense. On the one hand, you should additionally puzzle over which module to pick. On the other hand, owners of this type of speaker have a good opportunity to purchase a really high-quality amplifier.

If acoustics is equipped with three bands, i.e. three electrodynamic heads are installed in it, then you can not leave the purchase of additional equipment. In the three-way system will need to additionally install a crossover, for DJs – additional controllers and other equipment.
On the one hand, the presence of a passive speaker system is an additional financial expense. On the other hand, it is an opportunity to adjust the acoustics more subtly and to your own taste.

Advantages of using passive speakers:

  • Simplified switching with other equipment: only one speaker cable is needed to connect the speakers;
  • In the case of rain, a passive speaker is much easier to protect from precipitation than active systems;
  • The user is given the opportunity to independently choose a quality and necessary amplifier;
  • Passive speakers can be more finely tuned to their personal musical, sound preferences.


  • Higher weight parameters: The speaker is thus less mobile;
  • Setting up the system


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