Powered Speakers vs Passive Speakers?

Powered Speakers vs Passive Speakers?
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With the rising growth and global evolution in the music industry, music has become increasingly popular amongst people of all ages and so is the usage of speakers. Whether it’s a child, a teenager or a man approaching old age, everyone tends to use the type of speaker that suits them well. However, to find the right fit for your music preference, you first need to compare powered speakers vs passive speakers.

Usage of speakers on a larger and more professional scale gives the user a choice between a wider variety of models and brands. Of course, better equipped and highly functional speakers are preferred.

Similarly, for entertainment purposes, it is imperative to make the right selection of speakers. This is where the choice between powered and passive speakers comes in.

Powered Speakers vs Passive Speakers Comparison

Let’s start our comparison with learning the basics of powered speakers first.

Powered Speakers

In simple words, powered speakers are loudspeakers that come with a built-in amplifier. The advantage of having a built-in amplifier means that you can connect it directly to the mixing board. Powered speakers are also known as self-powered speakers, as well as active speakers.

The category of powered speakers is based solely on crossover components or systems. These systems work to split the frequency band in a powered speaker. The frequency range is split between a range of low, high, and sometimes, mid-range which is then further channeled into individual speakers to handle these split frequencies.


Active speakers possess a diverse range of qualities, but are they perfect for you? The following are the reasons why powered speakers are great:

  • Compactness

Everybody wants to use something which is user-friendly, and an upside of using powered speakers is its simplicity. Powered speakers also prove to be easier to move around since there is no added difficulty of carrying an external amplifier with the loudspeaker. This makes the whole sound system super compact to be used.

  • Easy to use

Using powered speakers eliminates the hassle of going through setting up equalizer curves, crossover frequencies, and limiter thresholds. Due to their ease of use, they can quickly be moved around as well.

We can keep them anywhere like bookshelves, table tops, etc. Therefore, more often, these types of speakers are readily used for home theater systems.

A user always looks for better-suited options that can not only fill up space but also provide entertainment at the same time. Powered speakers do the same.

  • Reliable

While buying any product when a person is willing to spend money, it’s always the number one priority to have something sustainable that will last long. For buying something that the person will use so often, it is good to have chosen something wisely. Powered speakers offer fidelity when linked with multiple amplifiers and active crossovers.

  • Good Sound Quality

Powered speakers come with a more neutral sound which tends to be flatter. This is achieved by adding equalization to suit each driver’s response.

  • Easy to Set-Up and Cost-Efficient

Since there is a built-in amplifier system in most of these powered loudspeakers, it proves to be less costly than passive speakers. There is no trouble of setting up limiters, equalizers, and crossovers. All of this saves money on the cabling department too since there is no extra wiring to each component.


Where there is a list of advantages of using powered speakers, there are also certain drawbacks of using these speakers.

  • Heavy

Firstly, since the amplifier is inbuilt, it does surely make it compact but proves to be a little heavier than passive speakers.

  • Complicated Cabling System

Another disadvantage is the complex system of cabling in active speakers. These speakers require two types of cables: an AC power cable and an audio signal cable. Hence, you need to supply electricity to both the cables separately.

Passive Speakers

The name of this type of speakers is quite self-explanatory. Passive speakers have separate external amplifiers. These external amplifiers draw in power for the speakers to work.

Passive speakers have crossover components which are separate from the loudspeaker itself. They work to split the frequency signal.

As such, the transmission of each frequency band can be done directly to the loudspeaker drive. The external amplifier brings about transmission of separate audio signals.


Will the additional amplifiers make the passive speakers better than the active type? Here are the reasons why passive speakers are great:

  • Compatible with Most Amplifiers

Firstly the upside of using powered speakers is that there is a wide range of amplifiers that can be fixed with the speaker. The user can make a free choice about the type of amplifier they want to use any time. That means whenever they feel they need to swap the current amplifier for a new one, they can do it.

  • Lightweight

Passive speakers prove also to have a lighter weight since they do not have an amplifier fitted inside them. These means they are more suited to move around and carry.


The problem with passive speakers is:

  • Hard and Time-Consuming Installation

The main setback a user might face while installing and purchasing a passive speaker is that it proves to be costly. As many other devices are being installed together, this creates a lot of mess. These speakers require the installation of limiters, equalizers, and crossovers.

Now added to this there is a lot of cabling involved which increases the wiring cost. It takes up loads of electricity too since so many wires are involved in connecting the different devices.


As mentioned above, both types of speakers have certain pros and cons. The choice to make between passive and active speakers will then solely depends on the usage and approach of the person buying it.

It would not be fair to claim one type of speakers is superior over the other since we cannot do justice to either that way. The only purpose of speakers is to provide us with good sound. However, to meet the unique needs of consumers, both types of speakers are designed differently.

You can choose speakers depending on the type of sound it has to provide and if it matches your music preference. That being said, we are sure after reading our detailed powered speakers vs passive speakers comparison, you already have a good idea which one is a better option for you.

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