There's a whole host of factors that need to be considered when you're looking at speakers, but one of the most important is whether to go for powered or unpowered. It's an easy enough distinction to understand: powered speakers (sometimes known as 'self-powered speakers') have built-in amplifiers, while unpowered speakers must use an external amplifier.
Both have their own pros and cons, but here are just four reasons you should consider a powered speaker like a QSC 10-inch speaker.
1. More Direct Power
An unpowered speaker will need to get power through an external power amplifier, which means you'll need to run wires from speaker to amp and then plug in the amp itself. Having to go through additional set-up can be a pain. It's much easier to connect your own player or even instrument directly to a powered speaker. You'll also have an easier time if you're somewhere that doesn't have too many outlets.
2. Perfectly Matched Relationship
It should go without saying that the amplifier inside a powered speaker will be perfectly calibrated to match the output of that speaker. With unpowered speakers, things are different. The sound you end up with is going to be a combination of the speaker and an independent external amplifier. This means you'll have to ensure there's a proper combination between the two to ensure your set-up runs properly. It's hard to get a perfect match even when you use the same external amp all the time. If you keep changing, you'll never know quite how things are going to sound until you start playing music.
3. Reduced Line Loss
You want as short a cable as possible between the amp and the speaker drivers to make sure the amp is able to deliver crisp and accurate sound — essentially, you want to reduce line loss. As you might have guessed, using a powered speaker is one of the best ways to make that possible since having the amp fitted internally drastically reduces the length of cable required.
4. High-End Appeal
You can find powered speakers and unpowered speakers made to high specifications, but you'll probably end up limiting your high-end options by sticking with unpowered. The truth is that powered speakers remain popular and fashionable because the best units put out by most manufacturers tend to be of that kind. If you want to shop for the best possible sound setup, it's a good idea to zero in on powered speakers.