Do Active Speakers Need A Preamp?

- Mar 23, 2020-

A streaming player, a pair of active speakers, how good to listen to music! But toss is human nature, especially lovers. Many friends will ask if active speakers need a preamp. This needs to be briefly explained.


In the analog era, the output level of the sound source is not high, about 1V. If it is directly connected to the power amplifier, the impedance mismatch will cause the various indicators to be greatly reduced. The subjective listening feeling, especially at low volume, is very bad. The stage amplifier plays a role of signal selection, amplification, and matching the front-end and rear-end impedances. In an excellent sound system, the pre-stage plays an important role in adjusting the tone of the system.


In the digital era, the audio source equipment can achieve single-ended 4V level output and the indicators are excellent. Directly driving the rear stage is completely competent. This is one of the reasons I recommend "digital broadcast + active". However, this authentic method is still not used by many people, and many of the various music productions are of poor quality; there is also a point that many of the analog audio output in digital sound sources use digital volume control , Some dynamics will be lost at low volume. Adding a preamp at this time can adjust the tone, sound direction, and fuller performance at low volume.


Personally, when setting up a “digital broadcast + active” sound system, you can ignore the pre-stage first, especially the digital broadcast with pre-output and analog volume control. Basically, this can already satisfy most people, In most cases, there is a need for music appreciation. If you can often only listen to music at a low volume, or have higher requirements for the sound of the system, you can purchase another preamp at this time. It should be noted that the circuit of the preamp is simple, but the high-quality preamp is expensive, and the sound performance has a lot to do with the matching of the front and back ends and the subjective experience of the listener. Therefore, it is best to actually audition when buying.