Powered speakers show audiophiles are confused

17 of 23 speakers in my studio and home theater systems are internally powered. My studio system is all Genelec and sounds very accurate. I know the best new concert and studio speakers are internally powered there are great technical reasons to design a speaker and an amp synergistically, this concept is much more important to sound quality than the vibration systems we often buy. How can an audiophile justify a vibration system of any sort with this in mind.



One on the BIG tradeoffs is budget. If I have $$$ to invest in a speaker/amp/cable chain I think active will be preferable on a value for SQ basis.

Another BIG tradeoff is convenience and a one box solution is very convenient (although you do need additional outlets).

Another BIG tradeoff is risk. When I get an active speaker I know what it will sound like. When I get a passive speaker I have to risk picking an amp and amps can get expensive then I have to risk getting a good speaker cable (if you believe those matter).



Amps are the same? Where did anyone say that? Sounds like you are pulling in a different argument io you don’t have to listen to these ideas anymore.

In this thread we have good examples of both onboard and outboard amp active systems. Its NOT about amplifiers! It is clear you too have fallen victim to high end amp marketing,

Active is NOT about where the amp is, it’s about where the crossover is!


Why do I feel like I am standing at the end of the dock arguing that you really won't fall off the end of the ocean?  


@invalid --

... In theory they are better but in practice I haven’t heard a powered speaker system I have really liked, I’ve heard a few active systems where the passive crossover is bypassed that sounded good, but not one that the speaker manufacturer provides the amplification.


I never said passive was better than active, what I said was I didn’t like the sound of the powered speakers that I have heard. I do like active systems that I can pick the amplifiers and not be stuck with what comes with the speaker.

You are one of the very few around here that actually distinguishes between a bundled, active speaker setup on the one side, and an active system as separates on the other - not least as an individual that has experience with both of these scenarios sonically.

Notwithstanding the specifics of your context I find your observations interesting and to have merit, because it points to your actual experience as a consumer preferring the scenario that, certainly to some manufacturers of active speakers, is the theoretically inferior one. There are countless examples of this for sure, but at the end of the day it’s what meets the ears of a given individual and what he/she prefers, while also putting into question what the advantages of a bundled active solution amount to when viewed in its totality as a design vs. an active system of separates; does the bundled solution encompass every speaker principle, design and size? No. What’s the core benefits of active vs. its claimed more intricate pairing of drivers and amps of bundled active, and to which degree do they matter in the broader scheme of things?

Remember, we’re essentially comparing active vs. active here, and both sides have degrees to which they can, more or less successfully, be matched as a complete setup. I too (with an active-as-separates system) have looked into the importance of a uniform dispersion pattern at the crossover, and achieved it, while having a narrower dispersion pattern overall for less room interaction. Headroom galore with ultra low distortion via prodigious air displacement area and high sensitivity. 20Hz extension at war volume (i.e.: +125dB capacity). Amps by choice and matched by ears with the same topology used throughout for better coherency. Measurements to aid active filter settings, all done from the listening position in my listening room.

Your context experiencing active systems as separates is likely different, and yet you’ve found them to be preferable compared to any active, bundled speakers you’ve heard. Certainly in your case, what’s all the intricate matching of bundled really worth, in whatever specific iteration as such, when what meets the ears can’t stand the test?

So now all amplifiers sound the same.

Definitely not, but as I’m sure will be pointed it’s more about their implementation.