Speakers Types Explained

At this age of live sound we have reached a point where 2000 watts is the industry standard for a full-range powered speakers.  Since digital processing chip technology has been integrated  into powered speakers, wattage has significantly increased and continues to do so each year.


There are several types of speakers but essentially there are powered and passive speakers.  


Next we will explain the different types of



  • Passive Speakers: Do not have a built in power amp
    • Needs External Power from a power amp
    • Best when no power outlets available
    • Best when running high wattage systems
    • Each system is only as good as its amplifiers


  • Powered: Do have a built in power amp
    • Plugs into a wall outlet
    • Great for any environment
    • Low to no user error
      • Powered speakers are easier to use because there is no need to pair a power rating with an external amplifier
    • Has the ability to  plug an instrument or even a phone directly into a powered speaker



  • Line Array: Come in both powered and passive
    • Line array’s are a speaker design
    • Line array’s create a fan or a c shape
    • The shape helps evenly disperse sound amongst the front, center, and back rows.


  • Monitors: both powered and passive
    • Monitor in audio engineering is, a speaker that a musician, singer, or pastor uses to hear themselves
    • Also referred to as floor wedges


  • Subwoofer: Both Powered and passive
    • Used to reproduce pure bass!
    • In a typical live sound setting 18-21 inch subs are used



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