A home entertainment setup is all about the sound source. Arguably, speakers are the most important component of any home theater. Many audiophiles spend years—and a lot of money—fortifying top-notch home entertainment systems capable of redefining the listener’s experience.
When picking your speakers, you might find yourself stuck between two choices: active and passive speakers. Not all experts agree upon each type’s benefits, making things harder. We’re here to discuss the strengths of each, matching your lifestyle with its best options.
The Active Speaker
Active speakers contain a variety of crossover components. These components split the system’s frequency audio signal band across lower parts—into low, mid and high-range noises. These noises are sent into individual speaker drivers, each designed to handle them. Active speakers are powered via an amplifier. Typically, a separate power source is needed to ensure top quality.
Often, active speakers which’re suitable for a home entertainment system have additional amplifiers within the speaker enclosures. An active speaker system can pack an active crossover and several amplifiers backing different drivers.
Active Speaker Advantages
Active speakers benefit from high convenience. You won’t need to carry around additional amplifier racks to get them working. Active speakers are great for live events, parties and backyard celebrations. When combined, several active mains, a monitor and subwoofers can create a high-powered musical experience. Active speakers can adequately fulfill a home theater’s needs, too, without requiring too much effort.
Active speakers additionally provide incredible sound quality. High-end active speakers, in fact, have high-quality presets to optimize all sounds. Users can get consistent sounds, and they often choose active speakers for such performance perfection.
Active Speaker Disadvantages
Active speakers, while relatively easy to install, have several cording requirements. You’ll need to run a power cord to each speaker, maintaining a direct line of contact. This can result in having many active speakers chained together. While microphone cables can reduce feedback noise—due to their quad-cable design—many cords can reduce overall sound quality.
If one of your amplifier modules stops working, you might lose an entire speaker. Because an active speaker system requires intensive wiring, you’ll need to pay attention to each component.
The Passive Speaker
A passive speaker system contains several passive crossover components. These components split the system’s audio signal, sending each wave into the system’s loudspeaker drivers. All audio signals are driven by individual amplifiers, and the system’s components consist of capacitors, resistors and inductors. Each splits the signal, sending frequency parts into the system’s drivers.
Today, most speakers are passive. A passive speaker doesn’t contain a built-in amplifier, and it needs to be directly connected to one via a normal speaker wire. Its speaker level signal must be amplified to deliver sufficient noise.
Passive Speaker Advantages
Firstly, passive speakers are favored for their signal and power distribution. You won’t need to run power cables across multiple speakers—just one speaker cable. This time-saving quality qualifies passive speakers as top-quality home theater options. Passive speakers have about half as many cables as alternative sound systems. You only need to connect power to your system’s amplifier racks.
Passive speakers also offer incredible processing control. By using modern amplifiers with fully integrated loudspeaker controllers, you can modify presets, optimize sounds and maximize factory preset qualities.
Passive Speaker Disadvantages
Passive speakers, while accessible, require external amplifiers. Typically, a small sound system is connected to two subwoofers and two main speakers. Because this is a high number of amplifiers, home theaters can get cluttered quickly.
Which is Right for You?
Any speaker system which features its own power amplifier can be connected directly into a digital source. For this reason, active speakers are popularly used alongside mp3 players, mixers and simple theater designs. They can also be hooked into electronic turntables. Passive speakers, meanwhile, may be a better choice if you want more control over your sound power distribution.
Your overall sound is determined by the speakers themselves, external power amps and their combination. Even if you’re establishing a sound system to amplify musical instruments, your home theater’s overall layout matters. Both active and passive speakers are useful. Your personal preference, at the end of the day, will determine whether they’re used appropriately.
If you want a simple solution for your home entertainment setup that offers great sound with a built in amplifier and speakers, the all-in-one Fluance AB40 Soundbase makes for a great option. It fits conveniently under your TV while also giving you Bluetooth and aux-in connectivity.
If you want complete control over your sound to achieve a perfect surround sound experience you can look at a Fluance Signature Series Home Theater System.
Signature Series Hi-Fi 5.0 Home Theater Speaker System With Bookshelf Speakers
With a focus on sound excellence, every detail has been measured, tested, and perfected to recreate even the finest audio details with crystal clear accuracy.