I love answering questions from people about recording, especially one like todays on such an interesting topic.
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I’m looking for a good pair of monitors based on what I’ve been reading.
However, as I was searching for a good brand and reviews and all that, I found out about passive and active monitors.
I read that with passive I would need an amp but actives do not need that since they supply their own power.
Multiple sites mentioned that both are the “schnitzel” and I just gave up researching. Joe, what is your recommendation?
Originally, all studio monitors were passive.
You would buy a nice power amp, and run cable from the back of that into a pair of passive monitors.
Now, you’ll only find a handful of passive monitors.
The overwhelming majority of studio monitors out there today are active, meaning (like you said) they have the power amp built in.
I prefer active monitors for three reasons:
1. Since almost all of the studio monitors are active, you have plenty of choices.
2. Since the amp is built-in, you know that it is matched perfectly with that speaker. You don’t have to worry about matching a power amp to a set of speakers.
3. They’re just easier to use – no need for an amp, speakers, and all the cables to connect them all to your recording equipment.
There’s nothing wrong with passive monitors. Pair them up with a good amp, and you’re in great shape.
However, there just aren’t as many options. I can count on one hand the various passive models out there that I am aware of.
However, I could go on for days listing out all the different active monitors.
Good luck, Krem!
Joe Gilder is a Nashville based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner.