Powered Vs. Unpowered Speakers

by Gavin Fletcher

The main difference between powered and unpowered speakers is the presence or lack of an amplifier. When purchasing speakers you want to consider what you can sacrifice, money or convenience, when deciding between speaker types.


Power speakers, also called active speakers, have built-in amplifiers. Unpowered speakers, or passive speakers, do not have amplifiers and will need to be connected to an external amplifier.


Powered speakers will require their own power source. Trying to find a power source for all the equipment may be a hassle. Powered speakers have a power cord and a wire that goes to the sound source or mixing console. Unpowered speakers only have one wire that goes to the sound source or mixing console.


Something to consider when deciding on speaker types would be costs and ease of transport. Unpowered speakers typically are cheaper than powered speakers. They also are easier to move around because they usually don't weigh as much as powered speakers.

About the Author

Marky Mark began writing professionally in 2006. His articles have appeared on news sites such as GBMNews.com and Blackpower.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Vanderbilt University and has been teaching 9th grade English since 2007.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera speaker image by CraterValley Photo from Fotolia.com