Passive Soundbars – What Are They?

We’ve often heard how passive soundbars can bring home theater installations to life and take the entertainment environment to unprecedented heights. However what exactly is it? The variety of options accessible can be overwhelming for some individuals, and it will be considerably more difficult to make a decision if you have no idea what it is or how it operates.

A passive soundbar is comparable to a standard soundbar, except its channels require an amplifier to function. Regardless of the fact that they have a more difficult and costly setup process, many individuals still use them since they generate higher audio quality than most current Hi-Res audio system alternatives.

For most individuals, the sheer amount of passive soundbar options available might be daunting. That’s without even considering the several different sound equipment options accessible to you. So, let’s take a closer look at it so you can learn everything about it before you invest big bucks on one.

Passive Soundbars

Passive Soundbars: A Beginner’s Guide

Passive soundbars, similar to many other soundbars, include speakers that are proportionate to the amount of channels they handle. There are a variety of passives that really can generate stereo audio, but those with right, center, and left channels are the most common.

You may generate a surround sound impression with extra speakers if you choose the higher-end ones. You can also use speakers that aren’t part of your soundbar setup to expand your possibilities.

A passive soundbar is just that; it’s not that different from other speaker options available. So, to assist you decide whether or not you should get a passive soundbar for your audio system, let’s go over the benefits and drawbacks.

Differences Between a Passive Soundbar and Center Channel Speaker
From Home Theater DIY

Advantages of Passive Soundbars

It’s easy to go crazy when setting together a home entertainment system and choose the one with the most capabilities. After all, you’ll only be building it once, therefore why not go all out? That’s not entirely true.

Because of the benefits of passive speakers, you’ll be a little less likely to really require high-end soundbars. The following are among the benefits of adopting passives in your modern home.

Sound Output

Passive soundbars include individual channels that can link to an amplifier or receiver, allowing you to combine the audio in your home theater. As a result, pushing your audio equipment to its boundaries and extracting more juice from it is easier.

All you need is a suitable amplifier for your soundbar, that will drive your speakers for enhanced sound. You’ll never be limited by your soundbar’s capabilities, enabling you to push your audio system to new heights.

Audio Quality

Passive soundbars are almost usually the best value for money when it comes to pure audio quality. If audio clarity is a big consideration for you, a high-end soundbar is the way to go. Your sound will be more clearer and sharper than the other options you’ve considered.

Audio quality will be difficult to value because the differences in output are often so slight that the price difference isn’t warranted. If you only have a tiny media room, an entry-level passive soundbar will suffice to offer you with thrilling audio.

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The flexibility of passive soundbars is among the most persuasive reasons to choose them. External speakers can be connected to the soundbar because they require receivers or amplifiers to function, allowing you to generate more sophisticated tones for your modern home.

You may tweak each speaker independently to generate greater depth if your soundbar does have sufficient channels to handle multiple speakers.

A separate amplifier allows you to swap out the right, center, and left speakers as needed, resulting in a richer, sharper, and clearer sound.

When you utilize a passive soundbar, you’re not limited to the speakers that came with your audio system. You may switch up the speakers you utilize, or even update them if you think your current speakers aren’t powerful enough.

Disadvantages Using Passive Soundbars

Notwithstanding their remarkable quality, output, and versatility, they have three major drawbacks: installation, difficulty, and cost.


For many individuals, installation is a major concern, and it extends beyond the difficulty of selecting an amp that pulls out the best in your soundbar. If you choose passive speakers for your audio systems, don’t anticipate a plug-and-play solution.

It will require a lot of preparation and implementation to link the receiver or amplifier, soundbar, and speakers. You’re better off to use other speakers if you’re searching for a configuration that can be completed with a few easy adjustments.

And besides, instead of going through the experimentation stage of soundbar installation, it’s easier to acquire high-end sound setups that are truly plug-and-play.


Because passive soundbars require receivers or amplifiers to function, you’ll have to select more choices to finish your auditory space.

If you really desire to get much more out of your soundbar, you’ll need an amp that works with it rather than against it. Apart from compatibility and power, the amount of channels an amp can handle is another something to consider.

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It’s simple to select one that will send signals to multiple receivers linked to each speaker, but it can rapidly drain your money account.

If you choose a wireless arrangement, the price of setting your audio system will increase even more. This is why, notwithstanding their excellent audio quality, many individuals avoid utilizing passive soundbars.


Let’s take a look at the most prevalent agreement in any commodities pricing today. If you’re just seeking to improve the speaker on your TV, a passive soundbar might not be the best option.

Passive soundbars are more costly than active soundbars, that may seem contradictory due to the fact that passives don’t have amplifiers.

In general, passives sound nicer than actives since they focus on audio output instead of power. A passive soundbar will provide the maximum performance for your modern home if you want the finest sound setup. However, it may be a reach for average consumers who are merely trying to update their standard speakers.

How to Choose the Right Speaker for Your Setup

You typically have three options when it comes to selecting the ideal speaker for your home entertainment system; a center channel speaker, a passive soundbar, and an active soundbar are the three types of soundbars available. All three speakers are able of creating high-quality audio, however the sounds they can create differ.

The option you choose will be determined by the configuration you want to establish and the audio quality you want to achieve. So, in order to better recognize the differences between any of these speakers, you must compare and contrast them.

Passive Soundbars Vs. Active Soundbars

Both soundbars are able of creating high-resolution sound and feature numerous speaker channels (right, center, and left). The receiver or amplifier is the major distinction between an active and a passive soundbar.

An active soundbar comes with an amplifier, making it simpler to set up and operate. If you’re going to utilize it in your modern home, you may create a virtual surround audio effect with just one device.

To get the sound clarity you want for your audio setup, you don’t need to make complicated connections. Additionally, you will not be required to use several speakers, that can be scary for first-time clients.

Additionally, a passive soundbar lacks a receiver and amplifier. You’ll need a second device to obtain the audio volume you want for your home entertainment system.

What is a Passive Soundbar? Passive vs. Active Soundbars - The Home Theater  DIY
From Home Theater DIY

Than a fitted amplification, passives typically prioritize audio quality, letting you to listen to actual high-definition music. Passives are often a superior choice if you’re comfortable working with different connectors and wiring.

Another distinction is the price. Interestingly, active soundbars are less expensive than passive soundbars, notwithstanding the fact that they are plug-and-play audio systems. And that’s before we even contemplate the price of the amps and other wires required for the link.

Passive soundbars, on the other hand, are more prospective than actives since they allow you to change specific parts of your systems rather than depending entirely on its functionality.

You don’t have to depend on one element for your audio setup when you use passives. This implies you won’t have to pay as much to repair the speakers, amplifier, or other items as you would to buy a new one.

Your audio system is solely reliant on one element with actives. As a result, if it begins to break down, you’ll have to purchase a new soundbar. You’ll also have to start over when it comes to setting up and designing your modern home.

Passive Soundbars Vs. Center Channel Speakers

When it comes to center channel speakers and passive soundbars, many consumers are perplexed. Passive soundbars are frequently mistaken for lengthy center channel speakers. However, the audio level that each can generate is vastly different.

Both speakers have quite distinct options, so you need think about the setup you’re attempting to build before selecting which one is preferable.

The sound output is the fundamental distinction between a passive soundbar and center channel speaker. A passive soundbar works well as a stand-alone system. It features right, center, and left outputs, however if that isn’t quite sufficient your modern home, you can attach additional speakers to add richness to your sound.

Center Channel Speaker vs. Soundbar for Home Theater
Soundbar (above) Vs Center Channel Speaker (below) (From HTA)

Furthermore, a center channel speaker has only one channel: the center channel. It can generate dialogue and some ambient noise, however if you would like a more complex sound signal, you’ll need to link it to many speakers.

It complicates the procedure, making the configuration you’re attempting more difficult to attain. When done properly, though, it can produce superior sound than a passive soundbar.

Recommendations For Selecting a Speaker

Although all three alternatives will work effectively with most audio setups, the decision can be difficult for many individuals because they need various settings and setups. Here are a few easy recommendations to assist you pick which one is best for your modern home:

A passive soundbar is ideal if you want to:

  • You want to be able to upgrade your audio system without breaking the bank.
  • You want to listen to actual high-definition music that is crisper and sharper.
  • You want a portable speaker that operates with a wide range of gadgets.

An active soundbar is a great option if you want to:

  • You’re seeking for a less expensive method of achieving surround sound enhancements.
  • You would not want to cope with difficult installation and configuration.
  • You don’t want to cope with a tangle of connecting cords in your modern home.

A center channel speaker is an excellent choice if:

  • When watching programs, videos, or movies, you don’t require surround audio.
  • You’re confident in your ability to set up complicated speaker arrangements.
  • You want as much flexibility as possible when it relates to the speakers you can operate.


A passive soundbar is a great alternative for folks who want a freestanding speaker that doesn’t require a lot of connections to operate. Even though it costs a little more than active soundbars, it gives you more options for improving your audio systems.

Use a passive soundbar for your modern home if you’re seeking for a solution to achieve the ideal arrangement and don’t mind the extra cost of purchasing and installing one. It contains the ideal mixture for most settings, and it’s not nearly as difficult as you may imagine!

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