Difference Between Active & Passive Sound Systems
The Fundamental Difference Between Active & Passive Sound Systems is that active systems have amplifiers built into either the speakers or the mixer. Active systems are generally used for small to medium applications. Passive systems are popular for large format events.
Pros & Cons: Active Sound Systems
- Shorter setup times, which are important for any professional setup.
- They take up less space for transport, which is important for those with small vehicles.
- Designed with portability in mind.
- Can be difficult to service, as the built-in amplifier boards are specific to each model of speaker.
- They require 2 cables (power and signal), which can be a detriment if they are set up far apart from each other.
- Often more expensive and lower powered than similar passive speakers. Less bang for more buck.
Pros & Cons: Passive
- Cheaper to build as you can combine many different models and brands of speakers and amplifiers. An inexpensive system can start with almost any set of passive speakers and almost any power amp.
- If an amplifier fails, it can be exchanged with almost any available amp.
- Amplifiers can be used for different combinations of speakers.
- Spare equipment can be replaced onsite if something fails in the field.
- Passive speakers and rackmount power amplifiers tend to be more rugged and durable.
- Consequently, they are typically larger and heavier.
- More equipment to transport and hook up. More individual pieces to buy and monitor.