What is an active speaker, and what is a passive speaker? What is the difference between active speakers and passive speakers?
Also known as "active speakers". Usually refers to speakers with power amplifiers, such as multimedia computer speakers, active subwoofers, and some new home theater active speakers. Since the active speaker has a built-in power amplifier circuit, the user does not need to consider the problem of matching with the amplifier, and it is also convenient to directly drive with a lower level audio signal.
Also known as "passive speakers". Passive speakers are ordinary speakers that we usually use without power amplifier circuit inside. Although passive speakers do not have amplifiers, they often have crossover networks and impedance compensation circuits. Active speakers are usually marked with parameters such as the output power, input impedance, and input signal level of the built-in amplifier.
The difference between active speakers and passive speakers
The main difference between active speakers and passive speakers is whether the speakers have a power amplifier. Summarized as follows:
1. In terms of power amplification
Passive speakers do not have a built-in power amplifier circuit and must be connected to an external power amplifier to work. The active speaker is externally connected with a built-in power amplifier circuit powered by a power supply, which has sufficient power and can work when the power supply and signal input are connected, without the power amplifier.
2. In terms of output sound
The integrated sound card has nothing to talk about for the average user in terms of output. The integrated sound card mainly relies on the software debugging of the driver to output sound effects, while the independent sound card is only required for special sound effects to be targeted for purchase, or it is more high-end Has hardware-level debugging capabilities. Therefore, the integrated sound card can also meet the requirements of the vast majority of users. If there is no special requirement, don't buy an independent sound card, and waste money.
3. Market positioning and consumer groups
Active speakers are now mostly used in the field of computer multimedia, and in some occasions with special needs (such as electronic keyboard speakers). Generally, these speakers have low output power, and the volume cannot be turned on very high, and they are not too good on the circuit of the power amplifier. Pay attention to, it is a simple sound system; passive speakers are formal speakers, with high power and good sound quality, but the product is large and bulky.
In addition, the price of passive speakers is much more expensive than that of active speakers. In terms of effect, passive speakers are better, but passive speakers are used in many conditions, which is a bit troublesome. Active speakers can be used as long as they are properly connected to the audio cable, data cable, and power supply. For ordinary users, it is completely OK to use active speakers for listening to music and watching movies.
The main difference between active speakers and passive speakers in power amplifier:
Active speakers mainly use integrated circuits as power amplifiers, and the amplification methods are mainly Class A, B, Class B, Class C, and Class D (B, C, D, the higher the efficiency is, the greater the distortion, and the greater the efficiency. Class A is less than 50%, Class B is less than 70%, Class C is more than 85%, and Class D is more than 90%. For example, a Class A power amplifier with an output power of 50W, consumes more than 100W, not much to say, and it belongs to the radio category. ......), its advantage is that the circuit is simple, the peripheral components are few, and debugging is basically unnecessary. The disadvantage is that the sound is dry and hard, especially when it is connected to a computer or CD source, the digital bit is heavier.
Passive speaker amplifiers usually referred to by enthusiasts usually use transistors, field effect tubes, and electron tubes as power amplification components. There is only one advantage: less distortion, warm sound, and good amplifiers are more beautiful and stylish, which can be considered an advantage. There are many shortcomings.
1. Because of the pursuit of sound quality, the power tube is usually set in the non-distortion area, and the efficiency is very low. Usually good transistor power amplifiers are usually pure Class A power amplifiers. A few work in Class A and B. Needless to say, the electronic tubes are so many. Incandescent bulbs are not energy-saving yet.
2. The heat is large. Every power amplifier over 50W is a small electric heater, usually the small heat sink of multimedia speakers can't meet the heat generation.
3. The line is complicated. Usually the circuit of attack and amplifier is much more complicated than that of active speakers, just look at the size. It not only includes amplifier circuits, feedback circuits, and protection circuits. To ensure sound quality, relays, large transformers, large-capacity capacitors, and various compensation circuits are used even for sound source switching.
4. Trivial debugging. All power amplifier tubes of the attack amplifier must be strictly paired, including the left and right channels, so as to reduce distortion and the difference between the left and right channels.
Active speakers use integrated circuits as amplifying components, so they can be blindly adjusted, and only the cabinet design and speaker unit can be used to adjust the listening experience.
Because of the use of different pipe fittings, the manufacturer’s circuit design ideas, and the sound comparison of the amplifier, the attack and amplifier sounds designed by different manufacturers have their own characteristics, such as Japanese hard, British warmth, Nordic rigor, The tactfulness of Italy and the roughness of America.
Three, box sound
Low- and mid-range speakers have a box sound. Good speakers will make you unable to feel the speakers. Passive speakers have more or less sound-absorbing cotton. For cost considerations, active speakers either have no sound-absorbing cotton or very little. Another reason is that the sound-absorbing cotton is too much, and the heat dissipation of the power components in the box becomes a problem. In addition, there is an amplifier circuit in the speaker, so the volume of the left and right speakers will be different, and the sound will also be different.