Passive vs. Active Soundbars

Passive vs. Active Soundbars
Passive vs. Active Soundbars

We have explained Passive vs. Active Soundbars along with a comparison chart. There are two common types of soundbars in the market, passive and active. However, active soundbars are more common nowadays as they have a built-in amplifier inside to produce sound.

There is no need for an A/V receiver to be connected to the active soundbar. The electric component (TV, Video player, cable box, etc.) is attached directly to this soundbar. Passive soundbars, on the other hand, consists of speakers only, without any sound amplifier circuit.

Comparison Chart for Passive vs. Active Soundbars


Passive Soundbar

Active Soundbar

Sound Quality

It has high-quality sound.

It has moderate quality sound.


It is more flexible.

It is less flexible.

Receiver or amplifier

It does not have an amplifier or receiver in it.

It has an amplifier or receiver inside them.


Its installation is a tough job.

It is easy in installation.


Large in size.

It is small in size and adjustable anywhere.


It is costly.

It is price friendly.


It has a future-proofing quality.

It does not have future-proofing quality.

Connection with other speakers

It can adjust to other speakers.

It cannot adjust to other speakers.

Setup Convenience

It is less convenient.

It is more convenient.

System Complexity

It has more complexity.

It has less complexity.

Active and passive, they both have multiple speakers, which produced high-quality sound. The significant difference is about the amplifier and receiver.

If someone wants easy installation, then he must have to go for active soundbars because they have an amplifier in it, that’s why it’s installation is feasible. It is easy to install and budget-friendly.

Someone can obtain the best sound system in his money range. Furthermore, active soundbars don’t make your room messy with wires. As they are easily adjustable and comfortable in set up, that’s why they don’t have more wire systems.

On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the high value of sound, not only high quality but as well as the more smooth and more crispy sound. Then you just have to go for the passive soundbar. Because these are a little high in rates than active soundbars, but their quality fulfills all the prices.

If you want to connect your system with other devices or if you have more devices at home. In this regard, passive is the best solution. Furthermore, it has flexibility in up-gradation. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on up-gradation because it is very flexible for it.

You should select the soundbar according to its desire and need. If they have large room theaters and can afford the best quality sound system, then they must go for the passive soundbar whereas, if someone does not like the wiring system while it wants a low price system, then it must have to go for an active soundbar. The choice all depends upon one’s preferences.

Positioning and size are the essential elements while selecting the soundbars. Honestly speaking, if you buy the sound system bigger than your TV, then it will look quite boring and odd. Your sound system should be according to the size of your television. It will look cool if it is smaller than your TV.

Purchasing a soundbar should not mean that you are allowed to make your home theater congested or boring. For a passive soundbar, you must have the proper place and arrangements. So in this way, you can enhance the looks of your home theater in a better way.

What is a Passive Soundbar?

Passive soundbars are similar to traditional speakers. It requires an external amplifier or A/V receiver to be connected the same way as a conventional speaker. It is also called a non-powered home theater system. It does not have advanced technical processes like digital signal processing and digital inputs.

The separate connections for producing sound provide a variety of options for various audio formats. The best blend between subwoofer and soundbar can be obtained using multiple crossover settings available.

The setup requires good knowledge to manage proper connections. It also becomes more complicated and does not provide us with all in one smart design, as in the case of an active soundbar system.

Nevertheless, these are more efficient when it comes to sound quality. It is because the separate placement of the amplifier and DSP give more natural sounds. Although it also comes with a trade-off as passive soundbars are on the higher end of the price spectrum in the market. These soundbars are better than TV speakers.

Passive Soundbars come in channels

It comes with three separate channel options, which are left, right, and center. They can also produce stereo sounds, and the passive crossover components split the audio sending them directly to the speaker drivers.

You can create a surround sound effect with a greater number of speakers using higher-end models. External speakers can also be connected with it, which gives more flexibility.

Advantages of passive soundbars

Most people tend to focus more on features, even if the budget exceeds. It is a good approach as you are going to build your home theater system only once.

Best audio production: To get the best audio output, each channel should be connected to a separate amplifier or receiver. It also provides the option to blend the audio output of your system. Therefore, you can always push your sound system to the limits and get the most out of it.

The power needed for the speakers can be better optimized by choosing a compatible amplifier for your soundbar. As your soundbar provides multiple independent options that make up the system, you are always free to increase the output level of sound by upgrading the components. You should also know the differences between a 2.1 and 5.1 soundbar.

More flexibility: External speakers can also be connected to these soundbars providing more variety and range to the system. A separate amplifier or receiver gives better quality and more options to our sound system.

It helps create more complex and high-end sounds in the media room, which are not possible on normal systems. The greater the number of channels in the soundbar, the more speakers can be connected to our soundbar. Consequently, more depth can be created by adjusting each speaker individually. They deliver surround sound even in a small room.

You can get smoother, crisper, and richer sound effects by using a dedicated amplifier. It also provides flexibility to replace the left, right, and center speakers on demand. Hence, these provide more degree of freedom to experience a variety of captivating sounds.

You can upgrade your speakers whenever you want due to easy replacement options in your system. You can adjust this according to the shape, size, and dimensions of your home theater room.

Quality of sound is best: These always provide the best raw quality of sound for its price range. Therefore, they are often recommended when sound quality is the major deciding factor. If you want to experience much smoother and crisper audio, these are the right choice for you.

Sometimes, it is difficult to notice the difference between the sound quality. When the output of two different soundbars is barely noticeable, you must go for the less expensive soundbar. Although, the sound quality is an essential factor, and it is hard to put a price on quality.

However, going for an inexpensive system puts less pressure on the pocket, which nobody minds. Therefore, if you have a smaller media room and you want good sound quality with reasonable pricing.

Disadvantages of Passive Soundbars

More complications: For working properly, they need an amplifier and receiver, and for getting more from a soundbar, you must get the amplifier. The amplifier should be work in a proper way with the soundbar, and its performance should not be overcrowded.

Moreover, the channel number is also required, which will help the transfer of signals to the various receivers. These numbers of channels will be connected to the speaker, but it will be quite costly. The installation cost of the sound system is high, and people move towards wireless set up.

Installation issue: Installation is the biggest issue in the soundbars, and it is not about the plug or play system, but it is quite a complicated system to install. The amplifier and receiver’s wiring interrelation is time taking, and it will need more organization or implementations.

Thus, if you want to rely on a secure connection system so you must go for another speaker system. It is best for high ending sound with a plug and play system, but if you can sacrifice the installation issue.

Expensive: These are costly than active soundbars, but passive is better than the active. These have a deficiency of only one component, which is an amplifier.

Furthermore, these are more focused on sound, whereas power is why they are way better than active. Generally, if people only want to improve the quality of default speakers, then they should not go for these.

What is an Active soundbar?

Active soundbars have multiple different speakers that are used to divide into channels. Generally, they work the same as passive soundbars, but they have more speakers. They may have or maybe not having the surround sound capacity; also, they go up in multiple methods.

Advantages and disadvantages of Active soundbars

Advantages of active soundbars

Have receiver: These have the receiver or amplifier in them. Because of this, you can get the digital sound system from a single piece of tool. These soundbars are extremely helpful for the setting of a complete surround sound system. This system is only possible by attaching it with different speakers.

The users who do not have much time for receiver setting, they can also go for this soundbar. You will only connect the soundbar with your TV, and after that, you will plug-in power. By simply plugging it into power, it will start its working.

Easy Setup: These are very convenient in their setup. You don’t need to take tension about its setting. Its setup is quite easy and quick. Also, you don’t need to buy any additional amplifiers for its setting. You can also attach a pico projector with this setup.

Less complicated: These are less complicated, and they are effortless to adjust. They can adjust anywhere and anytime, as they have a low wiring system. You don’t need to go for a large system of wiring. Furthermore, if you have a small space, then it is the best choice to purchase.

Easy Installation: The wiring system is simple, so their installation is quite easy. Those who do not want to hire the people for installation must go for these because anyone can do its installation by itself.

Less expensive: These are less expensive as compared to passive soundbars. They are not so heavy on the pockets for the users. Everyone can buy them in their budget.

Disadvantages of active soundbars

You cannot connect other speakers: You simply can’t connect it to the other speakers. This connection will be as a center channel speaker, which is not mentioned in most of the cases.

This connection shows that you must have two amplifiers. Speakers will not interfere with each of them, and audio quality will not be lost from the equipment. This action shows that these cannot be connected to the other speakers.

When to use a passive soundbar over the active soundbar

No doubt, passive soundbars are expensive than active soundbars. But if you want to purchase in your range, then this problem can be resolved. Let’s have a look at the preference of the passive soundbar system.

Future-Proofing: This allows you to future proof for the more parts of the sound system. It means that you don’t need to rely on the only one component of the soundbar. Instead, you can replace according to your need or demand.

You can easily replace any part of the passive soundbar, whereas this quality does not exist in the active soundbar. And it is the major plus point of the passive system.

This sound system will work for a longer period. Also, if you have a proper sound system along with the best receiver and various speakers, then a passive soundbar is the best option. Then you can easily upgrade its different parts one by one even without different compatibility problems.

But when you invest all of your money on one expensive soundbar, your soundbar will be on risk. Because if one thing is damaged, all your setup of the active soundbar will be useless. And all your money will be wasted. Also, there are different insurance policies for the recovery of your equipment, but it needs extra charges as well.

Adjustable with other speakers: It is one of the best qualities of a passive soundbar. Whereas active soundbar does not work, whenever it connects with other speakers. The separate amplifier or receiver will give you better sound than the system, which has an amplifier in it. That’s the reason a passive soundbar is the best option to consider.

Cheaper: These are only low in cost when you have an amplifier. If you have any receiver or amplifier, then it will be cheaper for you. It will be a great addition to your home theaters, also at a low price if you already have any receiver or amplifier.

Superb sound quality: The sound quality is more smooth and best than any other speaker. No one can deny it from it, and people normally attract it because of this quality. Usually, people buy a sound system to enhance the best quality.

And if you will not get the quality sound, then your purpose of buying the system will not be fulfilled. Thus, this is the main reason to choose a passive soundbar over the active soundbar.

Many people suggest not buying any type of soundbar when you want something that will be well-matched with other speakers for your home theater. Well managed and positioned speakers, along with suitable prices, will give you the best and higher quality sound for your traditional home theater.

Moreover, the soundbar is a trendy and one of the higher level selections for your home theaters. When you want to save the space along with the best quality and reasonable prices, then the soundbar is the best option to buy. Through this, you can easily upgrade the TV sound.