Active vs Passive Subwoofer: Understanding the Difference

You cannot underestimate the value of a powerful and balanced audio output and here the subwoofer plays a key role. It is designed to provide you with a deep and immersive boost while you are listening to music, games, and movies. 

You get two types of subwoofers – Active Subwoofer and Passive Subwoofer.

Confused! Which one to choose? Here, we are about to explore the difference so that you can make an informed decision while buying one.

What is an Active Subwoofer?

Active subwoofers come with dedicated amplifiers and have a unit within them. Thus, you do not need an external amplifier, saving you money and it is also quite self-sufficient. It comes with volume and crossover controls, which are easy to access. Often, these devices also have an equalizer which helps to adjust and optimize the sound based on your preferences. You can easily connect an active subwoofer with audio sources by installing and setting it up all by yourself.

What is a Passive Subwoofer?

Passive Subwoofer has an external amplifier and it can include only loudspeakers which do not have a built-in amplifier. Thus, you also need to work on the setup process and also might have to send a few bucks. You also get the opportunity to choose an amplifier that meets the specifications such as power and audio quality.

Difference Between Active and Passive Subwoofers

The core difference is the presence or absence of an amplifier – the active subwoofer has a built-in amplifier whereas the passive subwoofer needs an external amplifier. An active subwoofer is budget-friendly, cost-effective, and easy to install when compared with a passive one. 

While using the active subwoofer, you do not need to go through any consultation with anybody while configuring the amplifier, but in the case of the passive subwoofer, you do need help. However, a passive subwoofer has more flexibility and can adapt to your specific need for audio setup, but still active subwoofers remain a personal favorite of the audiophiles.

Which one Should You Choose – Active or Passive Subwoofers?

You need to make a decision based on your personal requirements and preferences. If you want a ready-to-use solution, then go for the active subwoofer but if you prioritize flexibility, then a passive subwoofer would be an ideal choice. If you are somebody who enjoys powerful yet low-frequency audio, the active subwoofers would be suitable. 

Also, if you have a small room or area for the sound system, then go for an active subwoofer and it would provide balanced and immersive sound. However, if you have a large room, suppose a conference room, then go for a passive subwoofer which would provide optimal performance.

Do Ceiling Speakers Need a Subwoofer?

No, Ceiling speakers do not need a subwoofer. However, if you want to improve the audio experience and fill the gaps in low frequencies, then a subwoofer can be an ideal choice adding depth to the music.

What are the Factors to Consider while Choosing a Subwoofer?

While choosing a subwoofer, you need to think about the wattage, power, size, sensitivity, frequency, ports, powering functionality, material used, installation process, and placement area.

Which is a Perfect-Sized Subwoofer?

If you are looking for a subwoofer to install in your small home theater, then an 8 to 10-inch subwoofer would be sufficient as it provides a balanced bass and also does not occupy too much space.

Parag Banerjee
Parag Banerjee

Parag Banerjee is an experienced Search Engine Optimizer. He has a wide knowledge of Google Updates, Analytics, and many others. He studied Computer Application from Techno India.

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