Connecting powered speakers to an amplifier, mixers, or DJ controllers is quite straightforward and might like a simple task. But, is it possible to connect powered speakers to amplifiers?
Technically yes, it is possible to connect powered speakers to an amplifier. But it is recommended not to do so because it might damage your music equipment. The best option is to connect amplifiers to passive speakers or just use powered speakers directly with the audio source.
However, answering your question is important; hence we have given a brief walkthrough of what amplifiers active and passive speakers mean. It will help you understand the connection between speakers and amplifiers.
This article will explain everything you need to know about how to connect powered speakers to amplifiers. We also included some easier and safer alternatives by which speakers can be connected to an amplifier.
ACTIVE SPEAKERS AND PASSIVE SPEAKERS
As you have certainly seen, speakers are separated into two main categories: active and passive. Active speakers are fitted with their amplifier module as standard. Passive speakers require an external amplifier. These two models have their characteristics and specifics, so it’s hard to tell you which one will be better. It all depends on the application you are going to make of it.
Let’s start with active speakers! These models incorporate an amplifier, which allows them to be used directly without any difficulty. The power of this amplifier module is tuned to match the components of the speaker perfectly, so you don’t have to worry about their proper functioning.
In addition, it is easier to connect an active speaker to a second active speaker using a signal cable. All you have to do next is connect the power cable to a power outlet!
Many DJs and party leaders are just starting to equip themselves with an active system comprised of two active full-range speakers. The term wideband means that the speaker can transmit the entire sound spectrum from treble to bass through the mids.
The amps are already integrated, and no additional amplifications are necessary. The components are adapted to work together, and the connection is straightforward.
Make sure your amp is delivering a little more power than your speakers theoretically accept. Your amp then has to work less to provide adequate power. To summarize, the maximum power that the amplifier can deliver should be slightly higher than the allowable power of the speakers.
Passive speakers are models without an amp. To function properly, you will therefore need a suitable external amplifier. Passive speakers are often used in fixed installations, but they are also popular with DJs and sound engineers who want to put together their systems.
With passive speakers, it’s essential to pay attention to the power balance between your speakers and the amp.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACTIVE SPEAKER AND PASSIVE SPEAKER
The active speakers are originally equipped with their amplification module and are an excellent choice for beginners because of their versatility. For passive speakers, you need to use an external stereo receiver or amplifier to produce sound if you want to connect it with your turntable or record player.
Therefore, it is not possible to connect your mixer, smartphone, computer, or other sound sources directly to a passive speaker. In addition to a built-in amplifier, active speakers often have various inputs to which you can plug different sound sources.
An amplifier is designed to amplify an electrical signal to obtain sufficient power to operate a loudspeaker located in a PA enclosure. Since the signal from a sound source such as a microphone, electric guitar, or turntable is usually too weak to output directly to speakers, you will need an amp to amplify it properly. Note that if you are using passive speakers, then you will require a power amp. Active speakers are already integrated with an amplification module.
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT CONNECT POWERED SPEAKERS TO AMPLIFIERS DIRECTLY
Why should active speakers not be connected with an external amplifier? This is a tricky part; note that both your amplifier and active speakers have the power individually. So when you connect Powered Speakers To Amplifier, it will multiply the power resulting in damaging the device.
Note that Overpowering will lead to disaster. Therefore, the golden rule one should keep in mind while working with audio equipment is – “Never plug a power amp into an active speaker.”
This is what happens: The excess of power from the powered amplifier output reaches the input of the active speaker. Overloading the active speaker inbuilt amplifier with this power can cause it to blow up. So if you don’t want your brand new acquisitions to get fried, then always keep the golden rule in mind: POWER + POWER = DISASTER.
ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO CONNECT POWERED SPEAKER TO AMPLIFIERS
As mentioned before, an active speaker does not require an external amp. You can, therefore, directly connect your sound source to it. Don’t get upset! It is possible to connect powered speakers to an amplifier physically, but you need to know the proper way to do it.
Do you want to connect several sound sources at the same time? In this case, check how many and what type of connectors the speaker offers. However, it is recommended to use a separate mixing console. There are various alternative methods, but here we will show you two scenarios.
Connecting With Mixers With Built-In Amp
Mixers are used to combine multiple inputs signals into a single output. Most controllers/mixers have RCA (tulip), XLR, or 6.35mm jack outputs.
These outputs are stereo, which means there are separate connections for the right speaker and the left speaker. If you’re mixing at home, a pair of active monitors is a good choice.
Usually, mixers and DJ mixing consoles display the same outputs: XLR, 6.35mm jack, and RCA. The larger the table, the greater the number of outputs. Compact models often have a single 3.5mm mini-jack connection, while larger models offer many connection possibilities.
If the mixers have an integrated amp, then check the user manual to see whether it has any balanced non amplified output port. Modern consoles usually have an Un-amplified line output port that can be used to plug in the active speakers.
Connecting Active Speakers Using SpeakOn Cables
A SpeakOn cable is a special type of connecting cable invented by Neutrik that excels at connecting amplifiers to powered speakers. This cable is specially designed to work with high-voltage audio devices and can never be mistaken for any other usage.
The most common usage of this cable is whether it’s a huge PA system or a bass amp, or any loudspeakers, you can use this SpeakOn cable to connect the amplifier and speaker, and the result will always be enhanced.
Connecting USING A CROSSOVER
Another alternative option is to use a crossover. A crossover (also called a cutoff filter) is a device used in sound reinforcement to separate two frequency bands of an audio signal.
It allows you to direct the bass specifically to the subwoofer (s) and the rest of the sound spectrum to the satellite speakers. A crossover ensures efficient use of the amp’s power and allows you to get clear sound. It is essential for every configuration consisting of passive subwoofers.
It is a good option, especially when you want to connect more than one amplifier. Use the crossover device to connect amplifiers and the powered speaker. It acts as an interface between the amplifier and speaker.
Some amps already incorporate a cut filter, and in such cases, they do not require an external crossover.
Even though it is possible to connect powered speakers to amplifiers, we won’t recommend doing it. It is unwise to connect them due to the fact you might end up damaging your audio equipment. You can either connect the amplifier with passive speakers or connect your powered speaker to a receiver. This helps you to avoid damaging your equipment, thereby saving the repairing cost if something goes wrong.