Active vs. Passive speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-02-2013, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Its my understanding that 'active' is powered and has built-in amp while passive is not - a layman's view
But is there an advantage of active over passive? Does the source matter?
If the source is 'digital' mp3 type files vs. cd or records/discs, would active speakers perform better?

Ex: Sonos Playbar is pretty impressive . Also, before you say it, its a zillion times better than Bose, so not comparing them
Why are these speakers so popular nowadays? I see Focal coming up with Easya, Dynaudio trying out with Xeo. Just saw a Kef presentation and the presenter pointed to an iphone as one of the reasons they built an active speaker

Thx!
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-02-2013, 10:35 PM
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Many active speakers have active crossovers, which can be higher quality and more efficient than passive crossovers. It mainly depends on the speaker, though. There are many good and bad active and passive speakers. Great power amps handle passive crossovers better than bad power amps.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-03-2013, 01:05 AM
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This has been covered.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1483121/are-active-speakers-better-than-passive-speakers-in-sound-fidelity-and-performance

But it is harder to judge the newer speakers coming out such as the Sonos Playbar, etc. as most active speakers are geared more towards the professional recording market.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-03-2013, 12:27 PM
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My Orion3 speakers are quad-amp active, but the crossover and amp are outboard, not built-in.

Active speakers are more power efficient.

But they don't really sound any better or measure any better than passive speakers.

And if the amp is built into the active speakers, it will be more of a hassle to fix if the amp malfunctions compared to an external amp.
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