Powered or Passive Speakers for Turntables?

Powered or Passive Speakers for Turntables?
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Having a reliable turntable and a collection of vinyl is great, but when it comes to getting sound you need to get the best speakers for turntable available. The first question that appears “What should I get?” – It is necessary to mention that there are two major types of solutions – powered and passive.

Therefore the question transforms into “Should I get powered or passive speakers?” It is necessary to mention that there are all-in-one solutions, but people claim that they can damage your records since the amount of the force applied to a stylus is too much. Therefore, using an extra solution may be a good idea.

Every audiophile expects stunning sound from speakers, so they should be powerful enough to fill a room with the warm sound that you get with a turntable and nothing should distort the output sound. The differences between powered and passive devices are:

  • Powered speakers have an amplifier built-in. Usually, it is a high-grade component that avoids any sound distortion and is quite powerful
  • Passive speakers do not include an amplifier and they need an additional solution to provide you with sound

Powered speakers

Many audio equipment manufacturers offer various powered models, which may have additional ports to give you more freedom. Some models of the powered speakers for turntable may have a phono pre-amp. Since such assemblies already have an amplifier built-in, you do not need a separate discrete pre-amp. Therefore, you need just connect everything up and start enjoying your favorite music. The whole process is simple:

  • Connect the cables (ground and RCA ones) that comes from a turntable to speakers
  • Check if all the switches are set correctly – you need set it to “phono”
  • Plug speakers into power outlets

That is how simple it is. All the ports are labeled so you will have no troubles at all.

Passive speakers

Since passive speakers for turntable do not have a built-in pre-amp, you need to use an extra solution. Therefore, the process is a bit more complex, since we add an extra component. However, passive models have an advantage overpowered ones – such setup is more flexible (you can easily change a pre-amp or speakers to find a better model) and it may produce better sound, which is crucial if you use a turntable.

The process of connecting everything up is not very complex:

  • Connect RCA cables of your turntable with a pre-amp (some models of turntable have grounding, which should not be ignored)
  • Use RCA cables to connect the pre-amp with an amplifier
  • Connect speakers with the amplifier

That is it. We have one more component, but it does not make the whole setup a lot more complex.

What should you choose and why?

Many audiophiles claim that passive models are better since they output clearer sound and the output sound quality is crucial for people who use turntables. Moreover, such setup is very flexible – you can change various components easily, you can replace an amplifier or speakers easily.

Nevertheless, powered solutions are a complete solution, so you do not need to add anything and it is crucial if you have space limitations and you do not want to deal with various cables. Moreover, many manufacturers constantly modify their equipment so modern active models produce clear sound as well.

If you want to be sure that you get crystal-clear sound – use passive speakers. If you do not want to deal with cables – powered models are for you.