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Attention: Incorrect cables are often used to connect loudspeakers.

Customers often buy active speakers and order speaker cables for them (seems logical at first glance).
But that is WRONG.

Active speakers do not need speaker cables, they need instrument or microphone cables.


Only the fine sound signal s transmitted from the mixer to the active speaker. The amplifier output stage is located inside the speaker when the speakers are active. Since all active speakers are equipped with XLR sockets, it is essential that you use XLR cables. This avoids any interference (interferences in the cable), as the transmission is symmetrical.

With passive speakers this is completely different. Here you have to use loudspeaker cables. The sound signal from the power amplifier is brought through the cable to the loudspeaker. This is a relatively high power current that must drive the membranes of the loudspeakers. This means that a loudspeaker cable must contain two thick copper cables through which the power can flow unhindered to the loudspeaker cabinet.

If you have cables, but are not sure whether they are speaker or micro cables (may look the same at first glance), unscrew the plugs and check the cables inside the plug. If you detect two thick copper cables without shielding, they are speaker cables for PASSIVE BOXES. If instead you see only one or two thin cables with a shield, they are cables for ACTIVE BOXES.

For active speakers it is recommended to use only instrument / microphone cables with XLR connectors.

In addition, the cables with XLR connectors (from us) always contain symmetrical cables. These are less sensitive to interference than single-core unbalanced cables. Since new active boxes are usually equipped with combination sockets, you can also use cables with jack plugs. However, there is always the danger that when unbalanced cables are used, the interference signals are not extinguished.

How long can cables be?

The longer the cable, the more power is lost, so do not use unnecessarily long cables! If possible, cables up to 10 metres long should be used, alternatively 20 metres. Especially high losses occur with loudspeaker cables. The longer the cables are, the better the quality should be. Better could be said: Use copper cables with a thicker cross-section! Then you will have less losses.

One more hint! With speaker cables for passive speakers, the cables should be of the same length.