Passive or Active Subwoofer




Basically, an active sub has its own power supply. A passive sub draws power from the amp. In a quality home cinema product you really can;t tell the difference and so passive is by far acceptable and puts up a good fight against an active sub. Often actives can provide a stronger ooomph in quick loud bangs if you get my jist and many argue passive subs can be better than active so really it doesn't matter!


Well-known Member
I beg to differ :) An active sub is by far the better of the two generally. Passives do get the job done with all in one systems but cannnot compete with active subs in a seperates system but the price also reflects that. I've heard quite a few passive subs in all in one systems and none of them can match any of the active subwoofers I heard (even many very cheap ones).
If your looking to start out on the hc trail your first choice will to be to decide your budget and whether you want an all in one or seperates system. You can also buy all in one speaker packages that have active subwoofers too The amp and decoder are usually housed in the sub as is all the connections- you just connect your dvd player to it and away you go.
I'd recomend a seperates sytem though as that will give you more choice and flexability. Seperates have an upgrade path should you wish to improve your system gradually whereas an all in one will have to be completely replaced if you get frustrated with it's limitations.


Well ive got my heard set on that one in the link i posted above so i am expecting it to perform as its the best from LG at 200 quid. I just hope i get a good eumph when crashes and stuff isa on the dvd movies and hopefully off freeview tv with the dolby prologic 2. (not as good as true surround but should be better than normal tv speakers lol). All in all i want the sound to come from different places (surround sound) and to have a nice boost in bass when required im not looking for magic like expensive systems but i do want at least a decent sound thats smooth and crisp, and from what them specs are like in the link above i think i will get all i want from the all in one (link above)....

Just woundering in this topic what are the main differences in sound from passive or active sub and is there any real noticable difference to the average bloke whos starting out in home cinema.


Well-known Member
Nothing wrong with passive but top end home cinema systems with very high output obbviously would use an active sub and therefore an active sub has slightly more status but in reality at the bottom end of the market either can be good or bad. I personally prefer passive as you haven't got standby consumption, theres no risk of the sub automatically going into standby if the film only occasionally uses bass. Your also immune to subwoofer buzz or hum related to the speaker picking up transformer noise.

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