TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
16 Digital Signs You’ll Be Thankful You Didn’t Install
It's the time of the year to give thanks. Here are 12 epic digital signage failures you can be thankful you haven't witnessed on your projects — we hope!
 2 of 5
Times Square's Biggest, Most Expensive Digital Billboard Dwarfs All Others
Times Square's 24 million LED pixel screen being touted as the world's largest high-definition digital signage.
 3 of 5
Take CI’s State of the Industry Survey
It only takes a minute! Help CI take the industry's pulse and participate in research for our annual State of the Industry Report to come in 2015.
 4 of 5
Electrosonic Named 2014 Integrator of the Year
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, Electrosonic's leadership has its eyes on ensuring the firm lasts at least another half-century.
 5 of 5
Crisis Averted: How 2 Firms Came Back from the Brink of Disaster
SVT and Altel Systems share their tales of tumble and turnaround to help those who may face the same problems prepare for the worst.
Pros & Cons of Powered, Passive Speakers
A look at the pros and cons of powered and passive loudspeakers in church audio.

Article


August 17, 2011 | by Mark Helms

One of the most common questions from church clients is whether they should purchase powered or passive loudspeakers. This is, of course, entirely dependent on the situation.

The long and short of it is that CIs need to think about the application. I love using powered loudspeakers for portable church systems since there are fewer cables to lug around, and I’m strong enough to manhandle them on and off poles.

I’ve seen portable setups become semi-installed setups because the people using the system were not able to move the speakers. I tend to prefer the use of passive loudspeakers for installations, but there are many cases where powered models are much more practical.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of powered and passive loudspeakers in church audio.

Powered Loudspeakers

Pros:
Predictable. The amplifier is matched to the loudspeakers, and the factory has tested it.

Negates the need for an additional equipment rack for amplifiers. All components are in one convenient package. They can be connected directly to a mixer or sound source.

Reduces audio quality loss and level loss over longer cable distances, due to the differences between balanced audio wire and loudspeaker wire.

Often the amplifier is tuned to the loudspeaker, so little to no equalization is necessary.

Setup can be more simple and easier to understand for people unfamiliar with sound systems.

Cons:
Portable powered loudspeakers require more lifting power. Installed powered loudspeakers usually require additional rigging and support in the room.

In installed situations, amplifier service must be done at the loudspeaker location.

Passive Loudspeakers

Pros:
Flexible. Allows for potential upgrades without replacing both the amplifier and loudspeaker.

Gets signal from standard loudspeaker wire rather than needing both XLR and power cable.

Lighter weight. Generally simpler to rig in an installation and easier to lift for portable systems.

Service of the amplifier and loudspeaker is more straightforward. The amplifier is easily accessible, and either component can be exchanged for a temporary one.

Cons:
More gear to keep up with, and the amplifier(s) must be located relatively close to the loudspeaker.

More potential for signal loss over long distance.

The amplifier needs to be matched to the loudspeaker for proper sound quality and volume.

This article was republished with permission from ProSoundWeb.

About the author

Mark Helms is a systems designer at Church Audio Video, a company that specializes in the design, installation and support of high-quality and affordable custom audio, video, lighting, broadcast and control systems for worship facilities.
View all posts by Mark Helms
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources



Recent comments

I am rather disappointed in the content of the article as well… to suggest that 4K resolution will in…

Posted by B. Bauman on 2014 11 24 · commented on
'5 Awesome Applications for 4K Video Projection'.

Are you sure that Almo is the first to offer these services? SYNNEX has been offering installation services…

Posted by Josh Aldridge on 2014 11 21 · commented on
'Almo Pro A/V: Installation as a Service?'.

RPM-AVS has been providing these services to the leading integrators in the US for over twenty years. After…

Posted by Rodney Milner on 2014 11 20 · commented on
'Almo Pro A/V: Installation as a Service?'.

Do you see WHY tuition is so high in college? It has nothing to do with better education and everything to…

Posted by Follow N Money on 2014 11 18 · commented on
'University of Oregon Builds Football Performance Center for Champions'.