They say that music is food for the soul. This is evident in our homes, where everyone owns a sound system; it’s evident in any occasion, whereby music is undeniably the heart of the event. However, no matter how much you love the tunes, or how good the DJ is, if the speakers are not of optimal quality, you won’t like it. With the advancement in technology, sound has drastically improved to be clearer and better at louder volumes. Speakers have come to evolve from traditional powered speakers and now, the more preferred, passive speakers.
Contrary to active speakers which require you to connect a cable to each speaker, passive speakers work differently. There’s no need to run lots of power cables to every speaker in the system. This saves you lots of time when setting up your sound system and creates less mess. And there’s more. Using modern amplifiers, you are able to create new presets or modify current ones, optimizing them for a specific stage or room. Amazing, right? So whether you are looking to start a dance club, or addressing a crowd, passive speakers would be perfect for you.
Of the many passive speakers out there, you are bound to be spoilt for choice, some of these may claim to be passive, but they might not exactly fit the complete description. To help you make an informed choice, we have reviewed some of the best passive speakers out there.
Top 10 Passive Speakers of 2020 Reviewed
1. Behringer Eurolive B210D Active 200-Watt 2-Way PA Speaker SystemBest 200-Watt 2-Way Passive Speaker
This first speaker comes as a single stand-alone unit. However, it proves not to be underestimated. The Behringer Eurolive B210D Active 200-Watt 2-Way PA Speaker System will deliver to you enough power and clarity in sound to handle the most demanding PA applications out there. With its exceptional class-D amplifier, the unit gives you the promise of 200 watts of power and punch in its peak, despite its light weight of 19 pounds. The class D amplifiers from the nurseries strive to give you optimal efficiency while maintaining low temperatures, meaning you can use it all day long without the worry of overheating.
The B210D is also extremely flexible; you can connect a variety of signals to it and use a pair for your main system, or put them down on the side as stage monitors. If you want to address the public, feel free to connect a microphone and address away.
The Eurolive loudspeaker series comes with an in-built signal processing mechanism designed to optimize the quality of your sound. With an intelligent crossover and equalizer, the B210D’s limiter design will ensure that your speaker never experiences the risk of an overload. How it works is, the more you raise the volume, its crossover and equalizer correspondingly decrease the bass frequencies, preventing any distortion or muddiness. Its limiter, on the other hand, ensures that your audio is always noise-free as it prevents the clipping of input signals.
Also included in the package is a 1.35-inch tweeter and 10-inch full-range drive. It also comes with a strong ABS cabinet that has handles for easy portability and is mountable in case you want to raise your sound.it also consumes very little power. Perfect for vocals, violin, and acoustic guitars on stage at loud sound levels
- Has limiter to protect your sound
- Clean sound with raised volumes
- Consumes little amounts of power
- Might pick up noise from radio
- Clip danger light comes to life at half volume
2. JBL JRX215 Portable 15″ 2-way Sound Reinforcement Loudspeaker SystemBest 15-Inch 2-Way Passive Speaker
JBL has always come proven exceptional when it comes to the quality of their sound machines. This next mega blaster is no different. The JBL JRX215 Portable 15″ 2-way Sound speaker gives you not only professional performance, but it offers it to you at the most affordable price. The device has been crafted to be the perfect depiction of efficiency and power. This is especially achieved by its progressive transition high-frequency waveguide, which ensures that the frequency is as smooth and least distorted as possible. It also guarantees an overall coverage control. Using its 2.5-inch diameter ribbon voice coil, the JBL is able to deliver a more cross-sectional wire region than the basic round-wire designs.
For more durability, the speaker utilizes the most advanced mechanical fasteners and adhesives to seal its rugged outer enclosure. This in turn, also gives it an all superior low-frequency performance. The JBL comes equipped with inductors with huge cores and high voltage capacitors, which allow it to handle large amounts of power without saturating.
The unit also features JBL 2414H-C 1’’ polymer diaphragm compression driver that gives you the ultimate high-frequency response and enhances its reliability. All in all, if you are looking for a detailed, quality, long-lasting speaker, you needn’t look any further than this baby. The JBL JRX215 will get you feeling like you are front row in a live concert.
- Quality, durable make
- Optimal high-frequency performance
- Great sound quality
- Are quite heavy
- May need at least 250-watt amplifier
3. Yamaha DXR15 Powered Speaker CabinetBest High Power Passive Speaker
For years on end, Yamaha has been re-known for the impeccable quality of its musical instruments like guitars and pianos. This is perhaps why you’d be rightly justified to give any of their sound products the benefit of the doubt. The Yamaha DXR15 Powered Speaker Cabinet comes in as one of Yamaha’s latest in their line of pa speakers that are powered by Class D.As a result, the sonic depth and clarity these speakers produce is simply astounding. The speakers are housed in compact ABS enclosures that are both durable and strong enough to handle the speakers 1100W of power. The beautiful design on the DXR15 also makes it a cool household item.
Speaking of concerts, the efficient design of these speakers makes it ideal for any live performing musicians. They have an in-built 3 channel mixer as well, which will give you sound reinforcement comparable to an entire PA system. Another thing you’ll notice about these speakers is the consistency of balance all through, despite the volume decrease or increase. This can be attributed to Yamaha’s intelligent D-Contour multiband compressor, which makes sure that the system retains its sonic integrity throughout.
Thanks to its extremely precise 48-bit DSP, the unit is able to optimize phase relationships and frequencies to eliminate any crossover distortion. This basically enables the speaker to maintain clarity in frequencies close to their crossover points. The resultant effect is better overall sound and a smooth response at the crossover frequencies.
- Outstandingly thorough sound quality
- Balanced sound despite rise in volume
- Beautiful design
- Relatively pricey
- Plastic casing makes it a little vulnerable
4. PRORECK Club A 4X4 Passive Line Array Speaker SystemBest Passive Line Array Speakers
This next item is perfect for you if you are working on a budget, The Proreck comes not as one, but as a 2 array line of speakers, and as if that’s not enough, each of the two has four identical speakers. And you get all this at what may actually seem like a throw-away price.
The speakers feature a total of eight militants and eight corresponding tweeters, each designed to give louder brighter sound. Furthermore, each array speaker features a 4ohms output, meaning in total, you’ll get up to 8 ohms.
The make is also durable quality plastic, and will comfortably rest on a 1 3/8 inch diameter speaker stand. The loudness of these speakers makes them ideal for addressing any gathering, whether it’s a wedding, church, class teaching, or as an addition to your personal home theater system.
- Fairly cheap
- Amount of speakers makes them very loud
- Good for vocals and mid to high frequencies
- You may need to supplement with a subwoofer for better bass
- Harsh frequency when the volume gets too loud
5. QSC E110-BK 10″ 2-Way Passive LoudspeakerBest 10-Inch 2-Way Passive Loudspeaker
The QSCE110 stands tall as a Hercules with a sound output that is as furious as a woman scorned. The 2 way beast of a speaker boasts of 10-inch die-cast frames and a 2.5’’ voice coil that will literally knock your eardrums out but in a good way. The speaker itself is kept secure in a multipurpose enclosure that would rest comfortably in any stage monitor or serve the function of a PA system. The QSC E110 incorporates the Directivity Matched Transition(DMT) design from QSC that gives it a wider 85-degree coverage. If you choose to use it as a stage monitor, the speaker would best be angled facing 55 degrees up, which would allow it to fit near a performer on a crowded stage.
WTH 300 watts of continuous power, the E110 will effortlessly give you professional quality output sound. It will perform at its best using any quality power amplifiers; however, with the e-series entertainment system out there, you got options. Any sound enthusiast will tell you how most modern technology uses digital signal processing (DSP), for an enhanced performance, which is what you get with the E110. With a wide range of settings, the loudspeakers can be fine-tuned to wide ranges of applications, making this system ideal for dance music, karaoke, and stage monitoring as well as live sound reinforcement, even without the need for subwoofers.
The E110 is also well designed, with rugged tour-grade painting, and a foam-lined perforated steel grill that enhances the sound quality as it protects the inner speaker. The speaker comes available in U-Style yok and has an M8 rigging kit if you want to install it permanently.
- High output
- Comes with foam-lined steel grill for durability
- Sound suitable for stage and public address
- May not be suitable for large rooms
- A bit of distorted sound when the volume gets too high
6. Seismic Audio – Pair of 15″ PA DJ SpeakersBest 15-Inch Passive Speakers
With every purchase of the seismic audio speakers, you get two 15 inch pas DJ speakers. And what does this mean if not louder, more evenly distributed quality sound? Each unit of this PA speaker operates under 350 watts of power, meaning an overall 700 watts for the pair. Equipped with 1.5 inches of titanium tweeter drivers, and a frequency response of up to20kHz, these speakers will ensure that you always have amazing sound, whether it’s the lows, or mids, or highs.
This basically means that they will live up to any expectations when it comes to church events, clubs or DJ gigs. They are also great for other situations involving many people such as schools or MC events. With every purchase, you also get 2 speaker cables.
For easy handling and portability, the speakers come with pre-installed pocket handles and a metal grill to enhance its overall quality and durability. The input terminal has to ¼ inch nuts that allow for daisy-chaining. The speaker also has 1.5-inch stand mounts on its bottom, so you can easily mount them if the need arises. With the overall price over value, you won’t get any better product out there.
- Comes with 2 speakers for even sound distribution
- Price is relatively fair
- Can get really loud
- The customer service is a bit inefficient
- A bit heavy because of the size
7. Behringer Eurolive b212xl 800-watt 2-way pa speaker systemBest 800-Wat 2-Way Passive Speaker
Perhaps the first thing that stands out most about the Behringer Eurolive b212xl speakers is their unique trapezoidal shape, which makes them perfect for a wide array of applications. You can either mount them on any standard speaker poles or place them vertically on top of that typical subwoofer. You can even have them laid sideways as an onstage monitor wedge. With their extraordinary frequency response and fidelity, these speakers remain to be a favorite among instrumentalists and vocalists alike.
Each loudspeaker that comes with 800 watts of power capacity, with an extremely powerful, twelve-inch long excursion frequency, the unit has 1.75-inch diaphragm high-frequency compression drivers, with extra overload protection circuitry, that makes them able to withstand the most extreme limits. The speakers also feature parallel inputs meaning you can connect as many speakers as your amp can handle, they also come in a variety of colors to choose from, black white or off the wall, the choice is up to you and your interior designer.
With their high-end transducers, these speakers will blend perfectly with any application, they will flawlessly perform with every element to guarantee you true professional results, ultimately producing those detailed mids and clear highs. Besides all that, the speakers are also relatively lightweight, meaning you can easily lift and transport them to wherever. The Beringer sounds exemplarily great and comes to you at a really affordable price.
- They come as a pair which means louder sound
- Cheap for the number of speakers and sound quality
- Good clarity in the mids and highs
- Best fit for a small space
- Tend to be a bit wobbly on a mount
- You may need an additional sub for quality lows and bass
8. Electro-Voice ZLX15P 15″ 2-Way 1000W Full Range Powered LoudspeakerBest 1000W Full Range Powered Loudspeaker
As far as bars go in the world of electronics go, this next speaker from Electro-voice definitely exceeds it. With a creatively designed, rugged enclosure, this baby is made to deliver pro-grade audio. With the ZLX15P, clear, high-quality sound is guaranteed, even without the need of a subwoofer. Creatively designed for portability, the speaker will fit perfectly in your car, so whether you are a DJ, or traveling artist, this product from electro-voice, will have you well covered. Its modern design also makes it good as a mains or stage monitor.
In the heart of the exceptionally compact system lies a Class-D amplifier, that is both lightweight and efficient. It powers a 15’’ woofer and a 1.5’’ titanium compression driver, with an overall total of 1000W. This works all together to deliver a deep lower response and those crisp, clear highs you’d expect from any high-end speaker. The 15’’ makes it loud enough to support larger space applications like live performances for large audiences or addressing a public gathering. Featuring its robust build, the ZLX15P will live through a small tornado.
The speakers feature their unique, split-baffle design that enhances driver time alignment to give a superior sonic impact. They will rest comfortably on a pole, or you can set it up wedge-style on the floor. It comes with a variety of settings, too, that will prevent muddying depending on the position you choose. Mount it on the wall with a bracket set, and it will automatically prevent a buildup of excess bass that would overtake your mix. The EV allows you to get control of your speakers with preset EQ curves for clubs, live speaking events, book readings and more. With this, you can fine-tune it to give you the best sound for each occasion.
- Amplifiers and external, so you can customize your sound
- Comes with EQ presets for more adaptability
- Lightweight for easy portability
- Could use extra padding
- The return policy is unreliable
- Bass response tends to fall sharply below 60Hz
9. Rockville SPGN108 10″ Passive 800 Watt DJ PA Speaker Lightweight Cabinet 8 OhmBest Lightweight 10-Inch Passive Speaker
Featuring what might as well be the most unique design on our list is the Rockville SPGN108. Its beautiful shape is not only meant to serve the purpose of aesthetics because the speaker’s equalization is actually centered cabinets design properties, as well as other specific driver parameters. They, in turn, allow the sound dispersion patterns to match the woofers and compression horn, which ultimately delivers an optimum sound distribution. This means clear, all-natural sound in both peak and lower volume levels. With this fine product from Rockville, you are constantly assured of clear high frequencies and good bass.
The SPGN108 are lightweight, weighing less than 16 pounds, featuring 800watts at peak power. They are made with a 1.35’’ titanium compression driver for high frequencies and a 10inch low-frequency transducer with an additional 2-inch aluminum coil that will handle extreme power at high temperatures.
The speakers also feature a composite chassis that is both injection-molded and rigid to handle any unwanted standing waves and resonance in the cabinet. The hard, rugged make of its cabinet allows it to handle extreme impact, so it will easily power through everyday use. The speaker also has a mounting socket at its bottom; therefore, you can mount it on a pole, and with its trapezoidal shape, you can lay it on the side if you want it as a stage monitor instead.
- Small and compact for personal use
- Lightweight makes it easy for carrying around
- Cheap for its value
- Don’t offer a ton of bass
- Speaker connections need an adapter to use
- Might not be suitable for large audiences
10. Mackie THUMP15 Thump Series 15-Inch Powered LoudspeakerBest 15-Inch Powered Passive Speaker
The Thump series from Mackie is known to be top of the list as far as affordability premium quality is concerned. So even though it ironically comes last on the list, the Mackie Thump15 is still very highly recommended. Delivering chest-thumping 1000W of power, these thump boosted speakers are fitted with the best built-in mixers out there, coupled with speaker-specific modes that will leave your set you sounding amazing faster than ever. A simple 300-watt amp will handle the 15-inch high output woofer of the speakers, as well as a 1.4-inch horn-loaded tweeter.
With a crossover circuitry and built-in time alignment, the two drivers on the Thump15 work to produce maximum performance. This means, besides delivering crisp, clear sound at high volumes, you also get some pretty decent bass with this beast. Mackie even went the extra mile and incorporated a subsonic filter to keep safe from over-excursion, rest circuit, or any thermal shutdowns.
Thump15 is also equipped with some other handy features like a 2 channel input mixer, which has independent volume controls, meaning you can use it without the need of a separate mixer. The mixer itself is made with Mackie’s Vita preamps that feature wide Z technology, which enables it to handle microphone, line-level and instrument signals. It comes with an EQ contour with up to 4 speaker modes that are suitable for different occasions, like Live, for bands, Monitor, for when you use it as a floor wedge, music, for playing back recordings and Sub, for when you use it with a subwoofer.
The cabinet on the Thump15 is made by tough polypropylene material that will make it last at least a couple of decades; it has four handles for easy movement, and a perforated grill to shield the speaker. It has a pole insert as well, so you can mount it, and additionally, features an angled design if you choose to use it as a floor monitor. With all this, plus their lightweight and high durability, these speakers carry on the Mackie’s legacy and will definitely serve you long and well.
- Awesome bass
- High quality, really durable cabinet material
- Very light for its type
- The EQ knobs are a bit large, susceptible to damage
- The power cord has no storage compartment
- Tend to sound off in high temperatures
How to Choose the Best Passive Speaker: The Ultimate Buying Guide
Passive speakers are loved by many people because they are lightweight and easy to set-up. Unlike its counterparts, the active speakers, these systems save you time and create little mess. Instead of having power as well as a signal cable, these speakers have only one cable. Additionally, they are safe when used near water. They can hold up in bad weather, unlike their powered counterparts. These speakers are designed with very few components and are likely to last longer with very minimal maintenance.
Are you looking for a good passive speaker to buy? If so, then you need to be very careful while making your choice. The following are some of the factors you ought to consider.
Size of the passive Speaker
The size of the speaker you buy depends on the space where you are going to use it. For large spaces with high ceilings, floor standing speakers are the best. From these, you will get clear sound, which when combined with a strong bass makes for a good listening experience. Besides, they can stand tall in your space without looking out of place.
Small bookshelf speakers are the best for small rooms such as the home office. You can buy a pair of these and also get a mid-bass driver and tweeter, just like the floor-standing speakers of the same brand. So, you should expect the same sound quality. However, bookshelf speakers can be placed in many places including tabletops, mounting on walls, or on stands. To ensure you have some bass, including a subwoofer in the system.
Consider Your Listening Style
Everyone loves music at a certain volume level. It could be you like cranking it up or you like modest volume levels. If you like loud music, you should buy large floor-standing passive speakers so as to enjoy your music. However, if you like your music at a little lower volume level, get a speaker that can provide you with that. In that case, you should buy a pair of bookshelf speakers. They can provide the perfect background music while you attend to other activities in your home office. So, it really matters how you like listening to your music.
What Specifications Should You Consider?
Apart from how the speakers stand in your home, it is important to pay attention to some key specifications, which determine the quality of sound you get from your system. The following are the things that make or break a good speaker, and to which you should pay attention:
- Frequency Response: In a passive speaker, the frequency response is measured in hertz (Hz). It indicates the tonal range of a speaker. They are usually given in terms of two numbers with the first indicating the deepness of the bass and the second one the highest frequency. As such, speakers with a wide frequency response tend to produce a fuller sound than the rest.
- Speakers also have sensitivity ratings: This effectively tells you how effectively the speaker converts power into volume. Passive speakers with a high rating tend to play at higher volumes, at given amounts of power. This is usually stated in terms of decibels (dB) for every watt of power. Thus, a speaker with a high sensitivity rating can easily work with a low-powered amp and produce great sound.
- Power Handling: Most passive speakers come with a recommended power range. With that, you will have a good idea about the power of the amplifier you should use. You will see two numbers, with the lower one representing the recommended minimum wattage and the upper one the maximum wattage recommended for the speaker. Pay attention to this to avoid having a mismatch between your speaker and amplifier.
- Impedance: This refers to how much resistance a speaker can provide to an amplifier. However, it is not easy to pinpoint a speaker’s impedance, given that it keeps fluctuating as you continue playing music. Yet, every speaker still has a nominal impedance rating when it comes to the manufacturer. It will be stated in terms of ohms.
- Speaker Materials: Speaker drivers may be made from rubber, plastic, paper or metal. The materials come with different sonic properties and may be used in different types of speakers. For example, soft materials like silk are used in tweeters since they produce a smooth sound. A good speaker material will give you efficient movement while providing distortion-free sound.
The Diameter of the Cone Size
The diameter of the speaker cone is important since it determines where and how you can use it. If it is for a small room, then a diameter of 8 inches is good enough. Such a speaker will be compact enough to enable you to put it on a shelf or tabletop. For larger rooms, speakers with 10 to 12 inches will do just fine. Anything higher than that and you have a speaker that is perfect for use with a public address (PA) system. For example the 15-inch speaker, which is great for larger settings. It has woofers to support the sound.
Is The Passive Speaker Portable?
How easy a passive speaker is also really matters and can affect your decision to buy or not to buy it. Usually, passive speakers are lighter than powered ones. However, within that category, you might find huge and heavy speakers. If you are looking for a speaker to carry with you from place to place, it will have to be lightweight. But portability depends on many more factors than just the weight. It also has to do with the size and handles. When it comes to size, a passive speaker should be able to fit into a van for you to carry it.
The System has to be Reliable
In a demanding situation, speakers need to be highly reliable. That means that the speakers shouldn’t break down nor any of its components malfunction. But how do you know that a speaker is reliable? It should have a sturdy and strong built and enclosure. The materials for making the parts should be of the highest quality. Also, the handles need to withstand the lifting of the speakers when moving them from one place to another. That way, you can be sure that it is going to last for a long time to come.
What Is The Price Of The Speakers?
This is perhaps the most important factor that will determine whether you buy passive speakers or not. After all you can only buy speakers that you can afford. While affordability is important, the quality of the speaker is equally significant. For a passive speaker of high quality, you will pay anything between $400 and $1000. However, you need to shop hard to find a good-quality speaker at the right price.
Whether you are buying a speaker for use at home or a commercial setting, it should be of the right quality. It is important that the speakers have most if not all the qualities discussed in the buying guide. That will ensure that you get the highest sound quality when you finally start using the speakers. Don’t forget that the price also matters. However, it shouldn’t be the only consideration you use to buy the speakers.