For years the consumer audio market was mostly populated with passive loudspeakers. A select few companies, such as the U.K.-based Meridian and Linn Products went a different direction with their products by offering professionally influenced active loudspeaker solutions.
Since the early 2000s, active or powered speakers have grown exponentially more popular due to the explosion of wireless whole-house audio companies that are headlined by Sonos.
These days there is a range of active speaker products available. There are soundbars, floorstanding speakers, bookshelf speakers, center-channel speakers, and all-in-one stereo speakers that are all now easily attainable for homeowners through a wealth of dealer channels.
Of course, there are the powered subwoofers that most people think of when it comes to active speakers, but these products have been popular since home theater’s beginnings back to the 1980s.
Separating subwoofers from the rest of the active loudspeaker category, streaming media has driven increased demand for these products. The electronics industry has responded by developing a greater selection of active speaker products that can be applied to a greater range of applications to meet any number of homeowner requirements.
Some of the applications modern active speakers address include two-channel, stereo music listening, whole-house audio, home theater and the most traditional application of these products: music production.
Consumer Audio’s Leading Brands Offer Active Speakers
With the rapid development of wireless network technologies driving a new era of loudspeakers that can be set up for single zone listening or as part of a whole-house audio system, today’s most recognized home audio companies now offer active speakers.
Some of those brands include Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, JBL and Yamaha, which all provide a selection of products.
In addition to the traditional consumer audio companies that incorporate active speakers in their product line, the crossover of pro audio companies that offer consumers powered products includes KRK, PMC, Dynaudio, L-Acoustics and Genelec.
Taking a closer look at some of the active speaker products available, here are 19 powered loudspeakers that include all-in-one speakers, center-channel speakers, nearfield monitors and floorstanding solutions:
- Bowers & Wilkins
- Leon Speakers
- PSB Speakers
- Theory Audio Design