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This month we’re talking about the difference in Powered and Non-Powered (Passive) speakers.
In all sound systems there are four components to make the application complete. The four components include the source, the mixer, the amplifier, and the loudspeaker cabinet. The source can be defined as a microphone, acoustic or electric guitar, keyboard, CD player, smart phone, or tablet. The mixer is designed to control the volume and tone of the source to various output (speaker) locations. The amplifiers propose is to raise the output signal of the mixer to allow the loudspeaker to be heard. The loudspeaker cabinet consists of a speaker, horn, tweeter, and a digital frequency dividing network also known as a crossover. This simply separates the low frequencies from the high frequencies.
In practical applications there is essentially three or four different ways to put a sound system together. The first way would be to have separate components, meaning a non-powered mixer, a powered amplifier, and a passive loudspeaker. The second way is to have what is known as a powered mixer, in this case the mixer and amplifier is housed in one component. It is connected to a non-powered (passive) loudspeaker. The third approach, which is becoming more popular, is to have a non-powered (passive) mixer with powered (active) loudspeakers. With the active speaker the amplifier and crossover is contained in the loudspeaker cabinet. in some insistence the powered (active) speaker will have additional inputs and outputs, as well as equalization and preset equalization models.