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    Active Vs Passive Speakers

    Active Vs Passive Speakers

    Many people new to hi-fi and home cinema are under the impression that
    loudspeakers simply need to be attached to source devices in order to
    work. That is, attach your speaker to a CD player or television and presto:
    They playback the signal. But in reality, it a little more complicated than
    that. The differences between Active and Passive speakers can then get a
    little confusing.

    Active loudspeakers contain more than just loudspeaker components.
    Within the speaker cabinet sits an amplification unit capable of processing
    an incoming audio signal and sending it on to the drivers. Passive
    loudspeakers, on the other hand, only contain the speaker components —
    drivers, crossovers, etc. — for playing a signal already amplified by an
    external device.

    Passive Speakers
    In the hi-fi and home cinema scene, the question of active vs passive
    speakers is usually decided in favour of passive speakers. Finding the
    right combination of amplifier and loudspeakers was part of the fun and
    many hi-fi enthusiasts have very particular ideas about what makes a
    good amplifier. For this reason, speaker manufacturers have offered their
    high-end stereo and home cinema speakers as passive components.

    One advantage to the combination of passive speakers with separate
    amplification units is flexibility. Should a new and better AV receiver or
    amplifier come onto the market, it’s possible to simply change the
    amplification unit without tossing out the whole system. It’s also easy with
    this system to expand from a 5.1 to 7.1 system. Bi-wiring and “double
    stereo” setups also require the use of a separate amplifier, someone one
    can easily add if the amplification is separate.

    Active Speakers
    Unlike passive speakers, active speakers do not require additional
    amplifiers or AV receivers to work. Everything needed for playing back a
    signal fed to the speakers from a source device is contained within the
    enclosure. This does mean, however, that in addition to a cable attached
    to the source device, the speakers will require either battery power or
    mains power connection.

    Active-passive combination
    The active-passive loudspeaker combination is a pair of speakers in which
    one speaker is active and the other is fed by the amplifier of the active
    one. However, such combinations are usually referred to as active
    loudspeakers so that it is clear that no separate amplifier is required.
    Strictly speaking, however, it is an active-passive combination. This
    combination is very common. So when you talk about an active speaker
    pair, you often mean an active and a passive one.
    In contrast to a separate loudspeaker-amplifier combination, an active-passive
    constellation benefits from the perfectly tuned technology. This is
    especially an advantage for people who want it as uncomplicated as
    possible.

    Conclusion: Active vs passive speakers
    • Passive speakers are easier to find in the hi-fi and high-end range
    • Active speakers are popular for portable use as well as with Wi-Fi and
    • Bluetooth speakers
    • Passive speakers offer more flexibility in terms of creating bespoke
    • speaker/amplification solutions
    • Active speakers are good options for smaller homes, because of this
    • more hi-fi varieties are being offered
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