Active vs Passive PA Speakers (Explained)

The two terms, active vs. passive, are a bit confusing, right? So, back up a bit, and let’s see the difference between active vs passive speakers. An active speaker comes with a built-in cabinet with an amplifier. You can use them as pro audio speakers, active bookshelf speakers, and ceilings. They are also used in consumer audio for Bluetooth and subwoofers as well as home audio.


While a passive speaker works when connected to an external amp through a speaker wire. It required an external power for functioning. If you are a homie, then passive speakers are rightly made for you. Both speakers seem the same, but you can see the difference while configuring their crossovers. Which is the best? It all depends upon the purpose you are using it.  Have a deep look over the top brands and advantages/disadvantages of both active vs. passive speakers.

Best Active vs. Passive Speakers Brand

Both active and passive speakers perform their work well within their parameters. Feel free to add one of both brands to your inventory.

Best Bookshelf: Edifier R980T 4″ Speaker (Active Speakers)

“Refined wood & good price.”


Our Rating:

What we liked:

  • Efficient speakers
  • Flared bass reflex enhances bass
  • Manufactured with a wooden accent to minimize resonance
  • Convenient to all devices

Check Price on Amazon

The Editor R980T active bookshelf speakers pack amazing features at a low price with little pairs of compact-size speakers. This elegant speaker is made up of fiber wood with wood veneer. Its bottom logo and mesh are of fine quality. Its controls and all input features include bass level knobs, master volume, and RCA inputs.

Best DJ: Rockville RSG12 Audio PA Speaker (Passive Speakers)

“New technology-based & broad range of frequency.”


Our Rating:

What we liked:

  • Tackle all reflexes
  • Wholesome reasonable product
  • A great powered mixer of sound
  • Adjustable, loud bass as woofers

Check Price on Amazon

Rockville RSG12 passive speakers include good-quality components. Its equipment is highly advanced in technology, that’s why it is expensive to buy. It features multiple inputs, a tapered shape, and a broad frequency response range for an easy and convenient setup.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Active vs Passive Speakers


The good point of using active speakers is that you don’t have to carry an additional load of amplifiers. It made it convenient for its users to take only monitors and mains. Also, it has wide-area coverage to the daisy chain. You can use signal cables for speakers or even send signals through wireless by using the wireless system or monitor system.

The sound quality of active speakers is epic due to its presets that optimize components and good quality of speakers. Enjoy the consistent sound, gig to gig.

Are you looking for the benefits of passive speakers? Take a look at its great advantages signal and power distribution. Passive speakers use speaker cables instead of power cables to supply power to each speaker. It is handy and consumes less time for settlements. Instead of many cables, it uses run power for amplifiers.

Additionally, you can execute passively with the processing control menu. It uses modern amplifiers with a loudspeaker controller. It allows users to create new presets and modify or optimize them for a particular stage or room.


One of the active speaker’s primary disadvantages is power distribution, which means you need to run a power cord in addition to the signal cord, which means running double cables. Linked cables become low due to high capacitance that cuts frequencies from signals. You can use microphone cables to lower this phenomenon.

If the amplifier module stops working, it means you will lose a speaker completely. In such a case, you need a spare amplifier.

Passive speakers come with the single drawback of power for which users have to carry amplifiers. Many amplifiers are required to provide power to its four monitors, two subwoofers, and two main speakers. These amplifiers weigh 200lbs approximately of truck space.

Adding speakers, connections, and speaker cables to the passive speaker’s daisy chain, resistance will build up that can distort audio quality.

For concerts use the system of passive speakers with 10 amplifiers.

Quick Comparison of Active vs Passive Speakers

Let’s dive into their unique features.

Active SpeakersPassive Speakers
RMS Power400W500W
Impedance12 Ohm8 Ohm
Sensitivity75 dB99 dB
Frequency85 – 2 kHz45 – 22 kHz

Frequently Asked Questions {FAQ}

Q. Which produces better sound, passive or active?

A. Both are perfectly designed for their purposes. Passive speakers have amplifiers inside them with small drivers that create clear, balanced sound and allow the speaker to generate louder volume. At the same time, active speakers provide better overall sound bass.

Q. Can I use active as a passive speaker?

A. No, you can’t use active as passive because, in this modern world, the full-band output is used to connect multiple speakers that lack active speakers.

Q. How much intense sound does a passive speaker produce?

A. If you are wandering a speaker for a small room, where space is small, and you don’t need high sound production, use a passive one. It is less bulky and smaller than active and produces less intense sound.

Q. Is an amplifier is must to use with active speakers?

A. They don’t require an extra amplifier as it is already installed in it. Moreover, you can hook them with different sources without using a separate amplifier.

Our verdict

We have provided you with information regarding active vs passive speakers with their usage, merits, and demerits. Hopefully, you are now aware of their differences and top brands with their features as a plus point. By remembering their usage and worth, prefer the one that suits you.