Being the audiophile and technophile that you are, you obviously crave to experiment with many things with your tech and sound equipment because why not? Who doesn’t want that extra clarity in their musical experience?
You probably own a powered speaker that already does the job since it mostly has everything built in to play your desired sound but you also equip a powered mixer. Now clearly you are now wondering if you could plug in the powered mixer with the powered speakers and if it is safe or not. This clearly requires a discussion because proceeding without proper knowledge and caution might lead to ruining your components.
That is why I am here to guide you on this query.
Can you Use Powered Speakers with a Powered Mixer?
A powered mixer has a built-in amp installed in it and so do powered speakers. The issue actually comes down to the amplification. If I had to answer you in short, no, you cannot use powered speakers with a powered mixer because a powered speaker already has an amplifier installed. A powered mixer will send an amplified signal to an already amplified signal that the speaker is producing which could potentially ruin the speakers and decline its lifespan.
The general cue is to use passive speakers with your powered mixer because a passive speaker doesn’t have everything built in. You now may be wondering what exactly are active, passive, and powered speakers. I’ll get to it in a while.
So, now you are aware that you in general cannot drive powered speakers with a powered mixer. But, if you truly want to make it then I believe you either should get a mixer that has conversion switches where you will be able to change the outputs from active to passive. This is the easier method. Now, if you don’t have a mixer where you can change the switches then you need to go through a more technical process. Which is bypassing the amplifier of your speakers which would make it passive and making it suitable for the powered mixer.
How to use powered speakers with a powered mixer?
For the technical process, if you know the methods well then it really won’t take much time and understanding to do it. I certainly learned while skimming through YouTube videos.
- A Screwdriver
- Wire Stripper
- First and foremost should be to get your amplifier wires or the mixer wires separated
- Open the backplate of your speaker’s woofer with the screwdriver. Be careful to open up the backplate screws, not the screws for the plugs.
- Locate the main plug of the speakers as well as the control panel plug. Take those two plugs out.
- Now, locate the input cables of the installed amplifiers. Take the plugs out. It can be a red or black cable.
- Your job is to connect the main speaker cables with the plugs where those red or black cables have been installed. The cables and the plugs will vary depending on your speakers.
- You need the plier to take out the screws of those plugs and then take cables suitable to the plug of the main cable.
- The cables may need to be adjusted with a stripper to connect them to the main plug. Install the backplate of the speakers.
- I also need to mention that it is best to tape the red and black cables of the installed amplifier so that it doesn’t get damaged in case if you need to go back to a powered speaker in the future.
This should be enough, your speaker is now a passive speaker and you should be able to connect it through a powered mixer without any harm. But, bear in mind that your warranty will be void if you approach this method as you require to take out some of the core cables.
To understand: What is the difference between active and passive speakers?
Now as I have mentioned before you still might be a bit unsure about what is active and passive speaker since you already own a speaker which does mostly everything on its own.
I’ll keep it simple for your clarity,
An active speaker is a type of speaker that built amplifiers and an active crossover that works around line-level signals whereas a passive speaker is the type of speaker which doesn’t have built-in amplifiers and requires external amplifiers to work as well as a crossover network that works around amplified signals.
In terms of convenience, Active speakers are better because you will have everything pre-installed and it doesn’t have a lot of cable arrangements but in the case of passive speakers you need a lot of cable management, an external amplifier, and a mixer.
But, in terms of pricing and better experience, Passive speakers are the go-to option as it is cheaper and you will more freedom in adjusting your sound since you have an external amplifier to work around.
You also may be wondering if powered and active speakers are the same or not. The answer can be said that All Active speakers are more often than not powered speakers but all powered speakers cannot be active speakers. It is because a powered amplifier has a built amplifier but the crossover isn’t active, unlike an active speaker it has a built am as well as an active crossover.
If you cannot: How can you play with a powered mixer?
From the discussion above, you can now clearly comprehend that the whole requirement of getting a powered mixer is to connect it to your through Passive speakers because the mixer that has an amplifier installed will allow it to perfectly function.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a mixer even a requirement if you have powered speakers?
For a powered mixer, no it is definitely not a requirement for powered speakers because a powered speaker already has amplification. But, if you had an analog mixer or a digital that doesn’t have an amplifier installed then surely you need to get one for your powered speakers.
What to do if I use a passive setup and my mixer doesn’t have an amplifier?
A typical analog mixer won’t have an amplifier installed to it unless you get powered mixers that is analog mixers with an amplifier. You most likely need to get an external amplifier. You’ll have three departments in your system. An amplifier, your speakers, and your mixer.
Should I get active, passive, or powered speakers?
For the casuals, who just want to connect and listen, they should get active speakers or powered speakers depending on their needs and how they want to change up things in the future.
And, for the audiophiles definitely passive speakers because that will give them the opportunity to be more creative with the sound, giving them room for all kinds of adjustment.
Thus, I hope I have made sense in what I want to guide you in this issue because I am a technophile and I like to be innovative with my gadgets as well. You clearly had a spare powered mixer with you and it was getting wasted so why not try to use it? So, evidently being cautious you had this query which is why I have asserted these methods where you can and cannot.
For the general users, it is rather a hassle because you either need to get a new mixer or go through a lot of technicalities that would kill your warranty of the speakers. If your speakers are getting old and you have a lot of spare time then I would definitely recommend you to make your speakers from active to passive. Otherwise, I personally don’t think it is worth it because you could potentially ruin the speakers which will force you to get new ones.
Hence, I hope I have assisted you with my guidance, I expect you to be there for someone in this same issue. Thank you and it has been fun!