1. Active monitors are always (well, 99% of the time) better than
passives. (Actually 'active' monitors should be called 'powered' since that is what is
Why are powered monitors better?
a. Built-in amps are invariably better
suited since they were designed and trimmed SPECIFICALLY to power the drive units.
b. Powered monitors are in fact called 'active' because they most often have electronic
('active') crossover filters as opposed to passive, coil/capacitor based filters. Active
filters are WAY superior: far more exact and lossless. There is such an animal as a
powered monitor with passive filters, but you'd be fairly hard pressed to find one these
c. Powered monitors do not rely on balancing impedance between amp and speaker
since this is internal.
d. They are also far less susceptible to blowing since they
generally have built-in limiters to cut at overload.
2. There is no
reason in the world to go for fancy high-end monitors. There are a large number of very
good monitors out there with familiar and unfamiliar names on them - like Event, Tapco,
Mackie, KRK, Fostex, Yamaha, Tannoy etc.
The sound/quality difference between
these and the really fancy names is so small these days that it is a moot point for anyone
but the pure pro - the kind who has a mixer 3 meters wide and doesn't care what kit
I have in the last 3 weeks seen two big tests in different magazines of
smaller (5-7 inch) nearfields: In both, pro engineers/producers blind-tested monitors and
were almost embarrassed by the results
ONLY follow your ears.
And get powered actives. Driving them
balanced straight out of the mixer is best.