Product listings for Passive Speakers
Questions and Answers on Passive Speakers
Listed below are some of the common questions we are asked, and their answers:
what is a passive speaker?
The difference between active and passive speakers is how they are powered.
Active speakers require a mains power connection and an input signal connection
A passive speaker is designed to be used together with either a powered mixer or separate power amplifier to make it work.
Inside each speaker cabinet you will find one or more loudspeakers. Depending on the design these will include Tweeters for high frequencies, Drivers for mid range frequencies, and woofers for low frequencies. There may also be a circuit to split the incoming signal to the appropriate speaker.
The design of the cabinet also makes a huge difference to the quality of the sound produced by the complete speaker.
Wooden passive speakers naturally give a warmer richer sound than moulded speakers.
They are called passive speakers because they are only connected to your amplifier and never directly to a power supply.
Each speaker is given a power rating by the maker. The power rating should not be exceeded otherwise damage to the speaker or connected equipment may occur.
The speaker's user guide will give the recommended power of a suitable power amp. If you are buying your loudspeakers from us please ask us to suggest an amplifier if you require guidance.A full range passive pa system for live events including music will typically include:
- Tops for high frequencies and Mid range loudspeakers, or, full range cabinets.
- Subs for frequencies below 125Mhz.
- Signal processing such as crossovers.
- Suitable amplifiers.
what types of passive speaker are there?
We define a portable speaker as one designed to be carried from venue to venue. Usually the speaker internally is no more than 8" diameter. This is because larger cabinet sizes are more transportable than portable.
Passive PA speakers
A PA speaker will have been designed for easy suspension either from hanging points or via mobile speaker stands. Many also have carrying handles to aid in transportation from venue to venue. PA Speakers are designed in various sizes and formats to suit venues from small meeting rooms to concert halls
An installation speaker is designed for permanent installation. They may use their own brackets for mounting, and it may have binding terminals instead of speakon connectors.
Stage Monitor speakers are designed to provide an audio relay to the presenters or performers on stage. Studio Monitors are designed to provide the studio engineer with audio foldback.
Monitor speakers can be pole mounted or floor standing
active vs passive speakers?
As a general rule we prefer to use passive speakers for all permanent installations and for use inside marquees or at outdoor events.
- Less physical boxes to carry
- Simple to set up
- Good for travelling speakers
- Professional Active sytems with Tops and Subs are very good
- Require Mains power connections
- Cheap systems can be hissy
- If the amps blow the whole speaker is dead
- Safe to use outside
- Your choice of amplifier
- Use speakers together for large systems or separately for small ones
- Do not need mains power
- They do need amplifiers or Powered Mixers
How to connect passive speakers to amp?
As a general rule we prefer to use speakon connectors for all connections between speakers and amplifiers, or speaker to speaker.
Speakon connectors are the industry standard connector for all professional touring speakers and amplifiers.
Binding post connections rely on clamping bare wire tightly, they are easy to short circuit and for this reason we would only use them for fixed installations.
Some speakers and amplifiers still use jack connections, we do not recommend them as they are the most common cause of issues with poor quality sound.
If you are making your own speaker cables use 1.5mm cross section 2 core flexible cables up to 200w power, for up to 500w or longer cables use 2.5mm flexible cables, over this use 4.5mm or greater.
We can supply you with professional speaker leads or lengths of speaker cable
Do not connect or disconnect speakers while the amplifier is turned on.