The primary role of the speaker in the audio system is producing an audible sound. There are two common types of speakers, active and passive. Today many brands make passive speakers.
You’ll need a subwoofer or standalone amplifier to set up the passive speaker. Before setting up your speaker, you have to know whether it’s active or passive.
The best way to find out is by checking the speaker’s back. Active speakers usually have dedicated power sockets, while passive speakers have audio leads. This article is a step-by-step guide on connecting passive speakers to a mixer.
How to Connect Passive Speakers to Mixer
Unlike active speakers, passive speakers need a couple of extra pieces of equipment. Here are the most crucial components of equipment you’ll to for a successful setup.
- Power amplifier: 1
- Microphone: 1
- Passive speakers: 2
- Mixing desk: 1
- 3.5 mm jack (RCA lead): 1
- XLR lead: 1
- Female XLR (1/4 inch jack lead): 2
- Speak on (speak on lead): 2
In addition, you should ensure the amp and the speaker’s power rating match. The power amplifier used in passive speakers is quite different from that used in active speakers. It includes some extra leads that are lacking in the active system.
The power amplifier has outputs connected to speakers’ inputs; the new leads connect the mixer to the power amplifier.
Connecting The Passive Speaker To The Mixer
- Firstly, you have to set up the power amplifier and the mixing desk. Connect the mixing desk’s MAIN OUT L and R into the power amplifier corresponding inputs. The type of lead you use depends on your outputs and inputs.
- You then connect the speaker’s input to the power amplifier output using the speak-on leads. After a successful connection, your signals should be able to go through it.
In the passive and active setup, you have to power on the mixer first, then the amp.
Powering off is reversed; you start with the amp and then the mixer. It helps prevent any damages to the speakers or amplifier.
The Difference Between Active And Passive Speakers
Today the manufacturers are flooding the market with both active and passive speakers. It is excellent to know the differences between the speakers before purchasing to avoid confusion.
The simplest explanation is that active speakers have built-in amplifiers while passive speakers depend on the external amplifier for power. The other fundamental differences are the frequency band split and audio signal amplification. Here is more information about the active and passive speakers.
Active Speaker Systems
The active speaker’s setup is standard studio monitors and professional concert audio equipment. In this setup, the audio is amplified after splitting the frequency bands.
Each driver has its amplifier; it’s not only one amplifier that does all the work. The amplifier and the active crossover have a small design to fit the speaker cabinet.
The configuration of the active speaker increases the amplifier’s efficiency in selective frequencies. Therefore this increases the volume precision and efficiency.
Passive Speaker Systems
The powered mixer or external power amplifier is responsible for signal amplification in this setup. After amplification, the speaker drivers divide the signals into several frequency bands good for reproduction.
The crossover network is located in the cabinet and splitting the amplified signals into various frequency bands. The passive speakers are so popular in the hi-fi world; therefore, you might own one.
Before pairing the passive speakers and the amplifier, you must ensure they are compatible. The power rating and impedance of the passive speakers and the amplifier should be the same. Or else you might not get great sound or risk blowing the passive speakers.
How Speakers Work
Both active and passive speakers transfer electrical energy to mechanical motion. The rate at which the speaker plays (soft or loud) depends on the cones’ vibration intensity (big or small).
The small speakers feature small cones known as tweeters, while the bigger speakers have larger woofers. The woofers move slower than tweeters, making them perfect for offering lower frequencies.
Is It Possible To Power Passive Speakers Without An Amplifier?
The amplifier intensifies the audio signals. It transforms weak audio signals into louder and clear sounds. The passive speaker lacks the amplification system and thus cannot produce enough sound.
To maximize the full potential and get quality sound from passive speakers, you have to connect them to mixers or power amplifiers.
When setting up the passive speaker and the amplifier, it’s advisable to use generative cables. The cables allow the speaker to produce an excellent quality sound that is audible.
Factors To Consider When Setting Up Passive Speakers To Source Components (Without Amp Or Subwoofer)
The speaker size has directly affected the loudness of the sound. If the speaker is large, it will produce a louder sound. Now that you are not using the Subwoofer or amplifier, you should buy big speakers to get great results.
The impedance rating is also known as the Ohm rating. The Ohm is simply the unit for impedance or electrical resistance. Impedance refers to the resistance from the speaker against applied current or voltage.
The standard speakers usually have an impedance rating of between eight to sixteen Ohms. If you want to connect the PC to passive speakers, you should select speakers with an 8 or 16 Ohms impedance rating.
You will get better audio output; if you use a speaker with a rating of 4 Ohms, it will destroy your headphone jack.
How To Connect Two Passive Speakers
Connecting to passive speakers is relatively straightforward. You need to plugin your passive speakers to a mixer, receiver directly to an amp or amp combo.
Plug the two passive speaker wires into two separate correct ports using a home theatre system. The ports are usually the front left (Front L) or front right (Front R).
The speakers usually come with a user’s manual, which can help you set up the speakers. If you are a DJ or a DJ-type setup, the best way to connect them is by plugging the speakers into a mixer or amplifier.
As mentioned, the primary purpose of the amplifier is to increase the power amount from the wall outlet. It ensures the speakers have enough power and play excellent and clear sound.
Is It Possible To Connect Any Speaker To A Receiver?
There are different speakers types, including passive and active speakers, subwoofers, etc. The good thing is all the speakers can connect to the receiver. Almost all speakers can plug into the home theatre receiver in-home theatres since it has ports for them.
However, you need to know the difference between passive and active speakers. Plus, you need to know the speaker’s impedance. The active speakers can blow if you plug them in standard ports.
The active speakers come with built-in amplifiers and thus do not need extra power to offer loud sound. The speakers will surely blow if you plug them in a receiver. You only need to plug the active speakers in the pre-out ports.
How To Connect Old Speakers To New Receivers
Most people have old speakers which are still in perfect condition. You may want to plug them in your latest receiver model but are unsure whether they are compatible or not.
However, there is no big deal when dealing with speakers or receivers despite the year of manufacture. The whole speaker will seamlessly plug into the new receiver. You do not need any unique additions such as cables to plug them in.
All you need to do is ensure the old speakers are plugged into the correct receiver ports. You can read the user’s manual to learn more about making the connection. The old speaker should have two cables connecting it to the receiver.
How To Connect Passive And Powered Speakers?
The most important things you need to know are the technicalities involved in passive and powered speakers. Firstly you need to check the power requirement and impedance of the speakers.
The information is usually on the user’s manual, or you can check it online from the specific brand official website. After confirming this, you need to acquire a wire with the right length and gauge.
Precisely, you can measure the distance and prepare the connectors and wires needed. The speakers’ wires are easy to prepare; strip the cables using a wire stripper, scissors, etc. You then connect the cables to the terminals of both speakers, ensure to connect them to the correct terminals.
Connecting the passive speaker to the mixer is relatively straightforward. It is also a vital part of setting up your PA system. However, there are several things you need to know before doing the setup. It would be best if you understood how the speaker functions etc.
You also have to ensure the passive speakers and the amplifiers have the same rating. If the amplifier power rating is too high, it can blow up your speaker, and if the amplifier rating is low, it can blow.