Q about a HTIB, Active/Passive Sub, etc.


Standard Member
Hello all.

I know questions about active vs. passive subs have been asked in the past. I understand the basic concept, and am just looking for a bit more clarification.

The home theatre package I'm looking to get has a passive sub. The package is the Samsung HW-D650S, for $500. I think it's a decent buy, and a decent receiver (correct me if I'm wrong).

Receiver-Based 5.1 Channel Home Theatre System - HW-D650S - Home Theatre Systems - Home Theatre | SAMSUNG

Now, the main thing making me take pause is that a few places where I read about a passive sub, it says that this type of sub requires the purchase of an external amplifier.

I just want to be clear.... I'm not going to be "missing" anything out of the box, correct? The external amplifier IS the receiver that I'm getting in the box? I've read the instruction manual, and it shows the sub connecting to the receiver with 2 wires, the exact same as the other 5 speakers.

So again, just to confirm, the sub will hook up just like the other speakers, with no extra parts needed? I just got a bit confused because every article talked about having to purchase an additional part, but that's presumably because they weren't referring specifically to a HTIB, right? Then I started reading about hooking the sub into the front L/R speakers, and it all started making my head swim. Again, the attaching of a sub to the L/R channel, I'm assuming, was something else, and not going to apply to me? I just want to make sure I'm not making some massive mistake buying a passive woofer.

FYI, i'm in quite a small living room, and upgrading from the Xbox 360 branded Pioneer HTS-GS1.


It's one of those systems that doesn't have a receiver or a blu-ray player... it's all contained in the SUB... the inputs, speaker connections, everything. Is there any reason to think that the bass in this new system will suck, just because it's passive? Or am I okay? Again, I'm not an audiophile, and I'm not looking for anything super high end. I just want to get a bit of an upgrade.

Any thoughts on this massive ramble would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading,


Edit: Just some info on my motivations for upgrading. I like the idea of a proper, stand alone receiver, the additional HDMI and optical inputs are a bonus, I heard this sytem does a good job of levelling the audio volume during movies (mine does NOT), and it's my last component that needs to be changed to black ; )
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Distinguished Member
Samsung are not known for making good AV receivers so not sure how much (if any) of an upgrade it will be over your current system. The samsung will come with all you need for it to work. Talk of additional amps is around using a passive sub with a normal AV receiever that needs an active sub. The front L/R channels is also nothing to do with this system so no need to worry about that.
Personally I would look to get a proper separates system instead of the Samsung and one by a well known AV receiever manufacturer. An active sub does give sound quality gains as it will take some of the pressure off the receiver since the bass is handled by its own amp.


Standard Member
Thanks. Yeah, I figured the box should have everything it needs to work. I was just overthinking it...

The couple of systems I've looked at all had passive, so I figured I might just look at it as an investment, and I could always upgrade the Sub later.

Whatever I buy, I'm not expecting to be blown away, sound wise. I'm actually quite happy with the sound of my current system. As I mentioned in my edit though, I would definitely like better audio leveling. I certainly don't want a downgrade. I'm tied to my local Futureshop (Canadian Best Buy) due to gift cards, so my choices are somewhat limited.

Thanks again for your thoughts.
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