Anyone know of any articles/videos etc regarding the use of active/powered monitor loudspeakers in HT?

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glock339

Audiophyte
Hi as above dose anyone know of any articles or videos etc regarding the use of active/powered monitor speakers in home theatre as I've searched everywhere I can think of for them but can't find anything?

Ive seen & read a few reviews including those by Audioholics where it's been said powered speakers have reached the point where they can be used & may start playing a larger part in the HT hobby in the future, which I found quite interesting & would like to learn more about but as I say I can't seem to find any further info on the subject.

Cheers.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
There isn't a whole lot more to say. You can use a good powered speaker in a home theater system. You just need a pre-processor with good outputs and features. The advantage is that it is more efficient since there are not crossover losses, and you get more speaker for your money because they don't have to deal with passive crossovers. The disadvantage is that you need to plug every speaker into a power outlet.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Field Marshall
The German speaker manufacturer Caton has fairly recently introduced active versions of their various speaker series.

 
G

glock339

Audiophyte
here isn't a whole lot more to say. You can use a good powered speaker in a home theater system. You just need a pre-processor with good outputs and features. The advantage is that it is more efficient since there are not crossover losses, and you get more speaker for your money because they don't have to deal with passive crossovers. The disadvantage is that you need to plug every speaker into a power outlet.
This is basically what I was presuming, it was just the fact that I couldn’t find a sausage online in regards to examples of people who’d done it etc made me think I must be missing something.

The more speaker for your money is one of the things which particularly interests me, separate plugs is not an issue at all for me really.
 
G

glock339

Audiophyte
The German speaker manufacturer Caton has fairly recently introduced active versions of their various speaker series.
I’ll check them out as I’d only really heard of the ones recently reviewed by AH. I’ve still got to finish renovating the house before I can start on the cinema room its self so probably looking at around a year before I’m ready to buy the speakers so plenty time to ponder over it yet.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Field Marshall
I’ll check them out as I’d only really heard of the ones recently reviewed by AH. I’ve still got to finish renovating the house before I can start on the cinema room its self so probably looking at around a year before I’m ready to buy the speakers so plenty time to ponder over it yet.
There are some of us that have Canton speakers and we like them, especially those with the ceramic tweeter. I've posted measurements of various (passive) Canton speakers in some Canton threads. I don't know if any member has the active ones.

Edit: Fix ambiguous sentence.
 
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MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Full Audioholic
Heya,

It's not much different, you still need a pre-processor to send them signal, so its not eliminating wires (yet).

I think the big leap will be good wireless active speakers. Sure you still have to power them, but in a pre-made space you cannot alter, there's more likely to be outlets than there are spaces to run/drop audio wire cables from ceiling into walls, etc. So its just another way to clean things up. But emphasis on good wireless.

We're getting there. Think about subs. They're basically active speakers and you still need to send them signal, but wireless is there.

There are wireless active speaker systems pushing this frontier.

What are you trying to setup?

Very best,
 
G

glock339

Audiophyte
What are you trying to set up?

Thanks for the reply.

I have a lot of work to do on the new house before I can start work on the HT so nothing is set in stone but just off the top of my head I was thinking was active speakers for a 7.4.4 system. Small budget unfortunately so probably looking at around the £250 to £350 each range for the speakers, some sort of DIY subs, plus processor.

Usage will be almost entirely movies with very little music listening.

The room is a loft space with vaulted ceiling so probably a nightmare acoustically speaking but it’s all I have to work with & I suppose at least I’ll have the eves spaces to run & hide all the cables etc.
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Full Audioholic
Heya,

Well, since you need a processor (receiver/AVR) it would be to your financial disadvantage to attempt to get active monitors. You will not build 11 channels surround with 4 subs on a budget receiver, that requires at least a $1.2~1.5k receiver/AVR and it would have to have pre-amp output to feed out to your monitors. Since you are already bound into this, to get 7.X.4, you will save a lot more money by getting passive speakers to let the AVR power; just get efficient ones and this will help with budget on speakers; again since you're wanting 11 channels (11 separate speakers: Front L& R, Center, Side & Rear Surrounds, Front and Rear Atmos Pairs). The only inexpensive way to do this would be to drop down to 5.1, no atmos, and get a $300 receiver/AVR and passive speakers. But if you're set on 7.X.4, you're looking at $1.2~1.5k minimum for an AVR/receiver that has the processor to do this. And no non-AVR processor exists for under $2.5k that will do 11 channel processing.

So basically I would drop the active speakers idea from this based on your plans, as you're just throwing money away doing that since you will already need/have a receiver with amplifiers for this purpose if you buy a processor for surround/atmos.

Very best,
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Here is a good discussion between Gene and Matthew about the advantages and disadvantages of powered speakers, it is very informative if you don't already know a lot about active designs:
Here is another discussion concerning a slew of powered speakers that Audioholics had recently covered:
 
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G

glock339

Audiophyte
Here is a good discussion between Gene and Matthew about the advantages and disadvantages of powered speakers,
Funnily enough those videos are exactly what got me thinking about them :), to be honest they are the only bits of info I've been able to find as any other reference to active speakers seem to be for 2 channel music listening hence why I thought I'd start asking around.

Cheers!
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Why do you need an article or video? As long as you have an appropriate processor/avr with a set of pre-outs and the ability to string up the extra/different wiring, what's to know particularly? Many already use a powered speaker in the form of a sub. Altho in my house an all active system would definitely strain the number of available AC outlets, tho.....it;s older and challenged in this way.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Funnily enough those videos are exactly what got me thinking about them :), to be honest they are the only bits of info I've been able to find as any other reference to active speakers seem to be for 2 channel music listening hence why I thought I'd start asking around.

Cheers!
I suppose one other disadvantage is that for many active speakers, they don't have corresponding horizontal center speakers that can fit in a slot under a TV in a console shelf. They are pretty much all bookshelf speaker sized, although there are exceptions but those exceptions tend to be pricey.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I suppose one other disadvantage is that for many active speakers, they don't have corresponding horizontal center speakers that can fit in a slot under a TV in a console shelf. They are pretty much all bookshelf speaker sized, although there are exceptions but those exceptions tend to be pricey.
But can often be purchased as singles otoh....as opposed to some pairs of bookshelves.....
 
G

glock339

Audiophyte
And no non-AVR processor exists for under $2.5k that will do 11 channel processing
Yes I have only had a quick look at processors & have seen ones like you say for around £2,300 or more here in the UK so thought that would be about the cost.

I suppose what I could really do with knowing is what would option would give the best results, I'm just plucking these examples out of thin air but hypothetically would people go for:

Setup 1: 11x Processor for £2,300 + 11x Kali Audio LP8 Active speakers for £2189 TOTAL £4,489.

Setup 2: AVR receiver for £1,500 + 11x passive speakers but use the £800 cash saved on processor towards them so £2,989 TOTAL £4,489

Any thoughts on these, or better suggestions?

Thanks again.
 
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G

glock339

Audiophyte
Why do you need an article or video? As long as you have an appropriate processor/avr with a set of pre-outs and the ability to string up the extra/different wiring, what's to know particularly?
Just because it's not something I've ever done, or heard, or seen or have any info on whatsoever so I like to try & do some research before dropping thousands of pounds on stuff.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Yes I have only had just a quick look at processors & have seen ones like you say for around £2,300 or more here in the UK so thought that would be about the cost.

I suppose what I could really do with knowing is what would option would give the best results, I'm just plucking these examples out of thin air but hypothetically would people go for:

Setup 1: 11x Processor for £2,300 + 11x Kali Audio LP8 Active speakers for £2189 TOTAL £4,489.

Setup 2: AVR receiver for £1,500 + 11x passive speakers but use the £800 cash saved on processor towards them so £2,989 TOTAL £4,378

Any thoughts on these, or better suggestions?

Thanks again.
I would say that using LP8s as surrounds might be overkill depending on the size of the room. You could save a few quid by using LP6s for surround speakers.

The thing about the Kali speakers is that nothing really challenges them for what they do around their price point, except for some other active speakers. Passive speakers can't match that performance, and the equivalent passive speaker system that could will need a hell of an amplifier. An AVR can't get you the kind of dynamic range that an 11-channel Kali speaker system would have.

Something else: what are you going to do for subs for a system like this? You are going to need some beefy subs to keep up with the Kali speakers.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Just because it's not something I've ever done, or heard, or seen or have any info on whatsoever so I like to try & do some research before dropping thousands of pounds on stuff.
Sometimes you just need to be a ground breaker :) Not much to know really, except in choice of appropriate gear. You can also use an avr as a processor with equivalent specifications (see the technical reviews at audiosciencereview.com for example of various avrs vs pre-pros) fwiw.
 
G

glock339

Audiophyte
I suppose one other disadvantage is that for many active speakers, they don't have corresponding horizontal center speakers that can fit in a slot under a TV in a console shelf. They are pretty much all bookshelf speaker sized, although there are exceptions but those exceptions tend to be pricey.
The speakers would definately be going behind the screen so I guess the horizontal thing wouldn't be an issue for me. As for larger sizes the Kali LP8s seem a good size & got a pretty good review on AH plus they can be bought for £199 each in the UK.


I'll be honest & hold my hands up though because of work & lack of space for a HT room I've been out of the hobby for nearly 15 years & just slowly getting back into it so this is all new to me!
 
G

glock339

Audiophyte
I would say that using LP8s as surrounds might be overkill depending on the size of the room. You could save a few quid by using LP6s for surround speakers.
Think you could possibly be right on the overkill (if there is such a thing :p), it's hard to give the correct dimensions as like I say its in a roof space but it has a 5 metre front to back by 8 metre wide floor. However the vertical space is in the triangular shape of the roof with it's highest point being aprox 2.7m so most of the 8 metre wide floor space is tucked away in the eves so really theres more like 5m x 4m of usable floor space that you can actually stand up in if that makes any make sense!



Something else: what are you going to do for subs for a system like this? You are going to need some beefy subs to keep up with the Kali speakers.
Ah man I haven't even had a chance to start looking into those yet, the Mrs keeps making me work on the stupid house renovations when all I want to do is plan my HT out but yes I was definately thinking beefy!;) Never built a sub in my life so correct me if I'm wrong but thinking I could possibly build the cabinets with a sloped back (if I can figure out the maths!) so the back of them could fit into the wasted empty floor space in the eves. I was also thinking I could also fit some pretty thick acoustic absorbers in these wasted spaces, without going overboard on them obviously.
 

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