Avtive and passive mixers - what's the difference?

Non-Powered mixers are just mixers - that's it. They need to be connected to either a PA amplifier or directly to active (powered) speakers.

Powered mixers have an amplifier built in to them. This mixer is then plugged directly into the main PA passive (non-powered) speakers.

What should we get?

There is no straight answer to this as both choices are perfectly OK. However the benefits/disadvantages are: 

  Pros Cons

Non Powered
(Passive)

  • More flexibility in the power amp choice
  • Less cost if upgrading
  • Cheaper repairs
  • None
Powered
(Active)
  • Simplicity
  • Precludes the use of a snake if the mixer is placed at the back of a hall.

 

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