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Do Powered Speakers Need An Amp?

Speakers

Powered speakers do not need an amp. Connecting your powered speaker to an amplifier is one of the surest ways to damage it. To understand why your powered speaker does not need an amp you first need to comprehend what powered speakers and amplifiers are. 

Powered Speakers Explained

Powered speakers are speakers that have an in-built amplifier. In other words, they are self-powered and can be directly connected to your device of choice. 

They are sometimes referred to as active speakers even though they technically mean different things. This is because not all powered speakers use an active signal. An active speaker has different amplifiers for each driver unit in the speaker. A powered speaker, on the other hand, has a single amplifier built into the speaker’s framework. 

Moreover, powered speakers use the same electric flow path as passive speakers. Therefore, all active speakers have powered speakers, but not all powered speakers are active ones. 

There are different types of powered speakers and you can visit here to see the options to choose from. Powered speakers have become really popular for a number of reasons including:

  • Cheaper. Even though the initial cost of a powered speaker may be more than its passive counterparts, you will not need to add an amplifier, which makes it cheaper in the long run. 
  • Easy to set up. Since powered speakers already come set, all you will need to do is plug it in and play. 
  • Portable. Though some speakers are quite heavy, there are still portable as you are only moving one piece of equipment. In addition, you can find speakers that fit the palm of your hand making them easy to move around with. 
  • Inputs. With powered speakers, you can play your music or movie using any device just by connecting to it with a cable, via Bluetooth, or WiFi. 
  • Eliminates cable clutter. Powered speakers do not require several cables that all need to be connected and therefore give a clean and finished look. 
  • Take less space. Powered speakers can be placed anywhere as they usually take less space. 

Amplifiers explained

An amplifier is a piece of electronic equipment that intensifies the power, current, voltage, and signal of another device. The amplifier’s job is to receive the input signal from a device such as your TV, laptop, or mobile making it louder for you to hear without straining your ears. 

Passive speakers- speakers that do not come with an integrated amplifier-need an amplifier to boost the sound signal coming from the device.  

How do Powered Speakers Work?

The amplifier in the speaker has been perfectly made for that speaker. This eliminates the need to match an amplifier to a speaker, making it an ideal option. 

Powered speakers usually come with a line input that you can use to connect your source. The inputs are usually the XLR inputs, ¼” inputs, ⅛”, or 3.5mm inputs. 

Powered speakers made for computers may only have the 3.5mm, and not the left and right line-in interconnect ports. You may need to purchase adapter cables that interconnect the red and white cables on one end and the 3.5mm on the other end. 

In addition, newer models come with digital options that allow you to connect using USB or wirelessly using Bluetooth and WiFi. In this case, a transmitter included in the package connects to your source. The transmitter’s work is to send the signal from your source to the speaker. 

Once you connect your source, the sound will be loud enough without the need for an external amplifier. 

Amping Your Powered Speaker

Taking into account what we have said above, never connect your powered speaker to an amplifier. If you do so, you will basically be connecting one power source to another. The results? Disaster! 

Nonetheless, people are creative and there is always someone with a workaround. I know there is information out there with various options such as connecting your speaker to an amplifier that has a LINE-level analog output. 

However, be wary, especially if you have not understood the instructions well or you have no idea what they are talking about. Chances are you will end up destroying your speaker and amplifier.

Powered speakers have a power output and not a power input and you cannot use this to connect to an amplifier. 

How Can I Boost my Sound?

Boosting your sound is probably the main reason you would want to connect your powered speaker to an amp. Unfortunately, the safest way to boost your sound is to get another powered speaker with the specifications you desire.

In fact, this is one of the main disadvantages of a powered speaker and the one that gives passive speakers the upper edge. 

You will need to replace the whole speaker if it does not produce the quality of sound you want or is damaged. With a passive speaker, all you will need to do is replace the amplifier.  

If you are yet to get a speaker, use his information to make an educated decision.


More on this topic:

How to Install Home Theater Speakers

How to Install Home Theater Speakers 

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