Searching for the best powered speakers that won’t break the bank? Check out our top picks for affordable audio bliss in 2023!
As technology advances, so does the quality and affordability of audio equipment. One of the latest trends in home audio is powered speakers. Unlike traditional speakers, powered speakers have built-in amplifiers, eliminating the need for a separate amplifier or receiver. This not only saves space but also reduces the cost and effort of setting up a quality sound system. In this article, I will introduce you to the world of powered speakers, discuss their benefits and key factors to consider when choosing them and provide you with a list of our top picks for the best powered speakers.
Introduction to Powered Speakers
Powered speakers, also known as active speakers, are a type of speaker system that has a built-in amplifier. This means that you don’t need a separate amplifier or receiver to power the speakers. Instead, all you need is a source of audio, such as a smartphone, turntable, or computer, and you’re ready to enjoy high-quality sound.
One of the benefits of powered speakers is that they are compact and easy to set up. You don’t need to worry about matching the power of your amplifier to your speakers, which can be a complicated process. Powered speakers are also versatile, as they can be used for a range of audio applications, including hi-fi systems, gaming, and music production.
Benefits of Using Powered Speakers
There are several benefits to using powered speakers. First and foremost, they can be more affordable than traditional speakers. Because powered speakers have built-in amplifiers, you don’t need to purchase a separate amplifier or receiver, which can save you hundreds of dollars.
Another benefit of powered speakers is that they utilize less space than traditional speakers. Because the amplifier is built into the speaker cabinet, powered speakers take up less space and are easier to move around. This makes them ideal for smaller rooms or people who want a transportable audio solution.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Powered Speakers
When choosing powered speakers, there are several key factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to consider the size of the speakers. Larger speakers generally produce better sound quality but can also take up more space. You also need to consider the type of audio you will be playing through the speakers, as some speakers are better suited for certain types of audio, such as modern genres vs. acoustic music.
Another critical factor to consider is the power output of the speakers. The power output is measured in watts; the higher the wattage, the louder the speakers can go. However, it’s important to note that higher wattage doesn’t always mean better sound quality, as other factors, such as the speaker’s design and materials, also play a role.
Finally, you need to consider the connectivity options of the speakers. For example, some powered speakers only have one input, while others have multiple inputs and can connect to various audio sources, such as Bluetooth, RCA, and optical. Others may have built-in WiFi streaming that connects directly to online music services.
Our Top Picks for the Best Powered Speakers Under $1000:
Best With Built-In Streamer: SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speaker Pair ($899)
What we love: Impressive clarity (especially in the midrange), Wide Soundstage, Excellent Focus, Good dynamics for its size, Tons of inputs and streaming options
What to think about: No phono input, Needs a sub to really rock the house
The SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speaker Pair is an audiophile-grade powerhouse with a built-in multi-room streamer that should please many a music listener. With a powerful 200-watt (50 watts x 4) amplifier, 192kHz/24-bit DAC, and precision-tuned digital crossover, it provides dynamic sound with deep bass and pristine clarity. In addition, it streams lossless High-Resolution audio wirelessly via WiFi, utilizing the DTS Play-Fi app, Apple Airplay 2 for iPhones and iOS, and Chromecast for Android phones and other devices. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled (AAC and aptX) for quick connections.
In addition to its use as a hi-fi system, it can also be used as a superior sounding soundbar replacement, as it connects directly to a TV via HDMI with ARC/eARC. Furthermore, with line level, optical, 3.5mm AUX, and ethernet inputs, it can accommodate additional devices. Plus, a subwoofer output allows for even deeper bass tones. The only thing it’s missing is a phono input.
The SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speaker Pair is an unbeatable choice for those who are looking for high-quality sound and an impressive range of features for not a whole lot of money. It’s the perfect choice for the audiophile who wants tons of clarity, a wide soundstage, and plenty of focus. If you like bass that rocks the house, SVS has many subwoofers that match up perfectly.
- Frequency Response: 42Hz – 25kHz (±3 dB)
- Dimensions: 11.61″ (H) X 7.09″ (W) X 8.96″ (D)
- 1” Aluminum Dome Tweeter
- 5.25″ Mid-bass Driver
- Dual Class-D Power Amps for Discrete Driver Bi-amplification
- 200 watt (50 watt x 4) RMS Power
- Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC and aptX
- 3.15” wide Front Panel OLED display
Best Sounding: Triangle Borea Active BR03 BT Bluetooth Active Bookshelf Speaker Pair ($799)
What we love: Clear, Warm, and Detailed, Deep and Punchy Bass, Excellent Build Quality, Ease Of Use
What to think about: No USB Input
The Triangle Borea Active BR03 BT is a powerful all-in-one Hi-Fi system that offers versatile use. It provides ease of use with its high-definition Bluetooth aptX Low Latency music streaming, a phono input to connect a vinyl turntable, an optical input for a TV screen, and a SUB output for a subwoofer association. It integrates a Class-D amplifier with an output of 2×60 Watts RMS and is equipped with an EFS fabric dome tweeter combined with a 16.5 cm midrange/bass driver.
The sound quality of the Triangle Borea Active BR03 BT is exceptional, delivering a rich and detailed sound image with a powerful bass, superbly controlled by the integrated electronics. In addition, the speakers are easy to position on dedicated speaker stands or furniture, making them ideal for both living room and dedicated listening room setups.
The Triangle Borea Active BR03 BT is an outstanding all-in-one Hi-Fi system. It offers powerful audio performance, a range of input and output capabilities, and easy setup and positioning. So if you’re looking for both a sweet and dynamic-sounding, no-fuss Bluetooth Hi-Fi system, the BR03 BT is a perfect choice.
- Sensitivity: 90 dB/W/m
- Frequency range: 47 Hz – 22 KHz (+/- 3 dB)
- Power handling: 2 x 60 W
- Nominal impedance: 8 Ω
- Minimum impedance: 4,2 Ω
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, SBC, and AAC audio
- Input: AUX mini-jack 3.5mm, Optical Toslink, Coaxial, RCA (LINE/PhonoMM)
- Output: Subwoofer
- Dimensions: (inch) 206 x 360 x 314 mm
- Weight: 14,2 kg
Best Budget Option (w/USB Input): Q Acoustics M20 Bluetooth Speakers HD Wireless Speakers Music System ($499)
What We Love: Plays with colossal scale and clarity, Excellent dynamics with good punch and slam, Hi-Res USB DAC, Nice looks
What to think about: No Phono Input, Gets a little compressed on tracks with weighty bass (may need a sub)
The Q Acoustics M20 Bluetooth Speakers HD Music System is an all-in-one home audio solution that delivers powerful, immersive stereo sound for music, movies, and gaming. This system features aptX HD Bluetooth connectivity for wireless streaming of high-resolution equivalent audio ( to 24-bit/48kHz) and native 24bit/192kHz compatibility via a USB connection to a computer. Plus, it has an array of inputs to connect game consoles, TVs, turntables, set-top boxes, CD players, and portable music players.
The M20 also features Q Acoustics’ award-winning internal P2P (Point to Point) technology, which eliminates cabinet distortion and achieves precise stereo imaging. It also uses a 22mm decoupled High-Frequency Driver to create a wide even dispersion of stereo sound. In addition, it has a mid-range driver of 125mm (5.0in). The power output is 2 x 65W.
In short, the Q Acoustics M20 Bluetooth Speakers HD Music System is a great all-in-one home audio solution for music, movies, and gaming. Surprisingly, such an advanced system, which includes a USB DAC, excellent Bluetooth, and Digital and Optical connections, is available at such a low price.
Power output: 2 x 65W
Continuous Power output: 2 x 32W//4Ω (<1% THD) – THD (at 20W//4Ω) <0.2%
S/N ratio: (aux, A-Wtd) 81dB
Sub out: (100Hz, at 32W main channels) 380mV
Optical & USB rate range: 24bit/192kHz
Mid-range driver: 125mm (5.0in)
Tweeter: 22mm (0.9in)
Crossover frequency: 2.4kHz
Freq resp: (free, -6dB) 55Hz – 22kHz
Bluetooth specification: V5.0 – aptX, aptX HD aptX Low Latency, SBC, AAC
Dimensions: H/W/D 279mm x 170mm x 296mm (11inches x 6.69inches x 11.65inches)
Weight: Amplified speaker – 5.5kg 12lb 2oz + Passive speaker – 5.1kg 11lb 4 oz
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Powered Speakers
- What is the difference between powered and unpowered speakers?
Powered speakers have a built-in amplifier, while unpowered speakers require a separate amplifier or receiver to power them.
- What are the benefits of using powered speakers?
Powered speakers are more affordable, easier to set up, and take up less space than traditional speakers. They also eliminate the need for a separate amplifier or receiver.
- What factors should I consider when choosing powered speakers?
You should consider the size of the speakers, the type of audio you will be playing through them, the power output, and the connectivity options.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Powered speakers are an excellent option for people who want high-quality sound without breaking the bank. They are more affordable, easier to set up, and more compact than traditional speakers. They also eliminate the need for a separate amplifier or receiver. When choosing powered speakers, it’s essential to consider factors such as size, power output, and connectivity options. Our top picks for the best powered speakers include the SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speaker Pair, Triangle Borea Active BR03 BT, and Q Acoustics M20 HD Bluetooth Speakers.
If you’re looking for an affordable, high-quality audio solution, powered speakers are worth considering. With the right set of powered speakers, you can quickly enjoy all your favorite audio content with crystal-clear sound.
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