Active Speakers

Active speaker

Active speakers vs. passive speakers

In speakers, the difference between active and passive is that an active speaker contains a built-in amplifier, whereas a passive speaker requires an external amplifier. Active speakers are generally easier to set up because the audio source can be connected directly to the speakers, instead of having to connect the audio source to an amplifier, and then connect the amplifier to the speakers.

All of our sound systems use active speakers to keep the setup as simple as possible.

Speaker components

12″ woofer (bass speaker)

The woofer is the part of the speaker that provides the bass and most of the mid-range. If a speaker only had a woofer and no tweeter then the music would be just as loud, but there would be no clarity.

PA speakers generally come with woofers ranging from 8″ to 15″. The smaller 8″ speakers are fine for speech but when it comes to music they lack the power to produce the full frequency range required for good quality music playback.

15″ woofers provide the most bass but increase the size and weight of the speaker. These are better for bass heavy music but for most pop music and anything 1980s or earlier you won’t hear much of a difference between 12″ and 15″ speakers.

After testing many types of speaker we decided that the 12″ woofer equipped models that we stock are the best all-rounder for parties and weddings.

1.33″ compression driver (tweeter)

Whilst a compression driver might sound complicated it’s just the technical name for one of the 3 main types of tweeter. These are:

  • Dome
  • Piezo
  • Compression driver

Dome tweeters are usually found in Hi-Fi equipment. They produce very clear sound but can’t handle high power, so they aren’t used in DJ speakers.

Piezo tweeters are the cheapest (and nastiest) type of tweeter and are found in very low end DJ speakers. They can produce loud sounds but they sound very harsh. They’re actually used in most burglar alarm sounders, so that should give you a clue about how they sound.

Compression driver tweeters are the type found in most DJ speakers as they can handle high power whilst producing sound with plenty of clarity. This is the type of tweeter used in our hire speakers.