More Thoughts on Active Loudspeakers

To Doug Schneider,

While they will never appeal to the sort of audiophiles who already own multiple amplifiers and cables and enjoy swapping them around, I believe that self-powered speakers will become an increasingly important market niche, especially among younger enthusiasts who appreciate quality sound but don’t have room for or want to be bothered with a bunch of heavy components. Besides the obvious convenience, I see a couple of reasons for this trend:

Class-D amplification has matured in recent years to the point it is actually capable of sounding decent above the subwoofer range. The modules are compact, light, and run cool -- ideal for installation in speaker cabinets.

DSP-based crossovers offer the designer far more control over both frequency response and phase than either passive circuits or op-amp-based active analog units, again in a compact and cool-running package. Recent active speakers from Dynaudio and Kii, and now a powered version of the KEF LS50, are capable of delivering true time-aligned, transient-perfect performance with ruler-flat frequency response. You can count on one hand the number of passive speakers that do the former, and they are often compromised in both linearity and efficiency.

Brian Pearson
United States

I agree! . . . Doug Schneider