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Vanatoo Powered Speakers

What are Powered Speakers?

Simply put, powered speakers are speakers that have an amplifier integrated into (or built into) the speaker enclosure. Some powered speakers have one single channel amplifier per speaker. With these speakers you need to plug each speaker into the AC wall power and you need to run the left channel signal to one speaker and the right channel signal to the other. Many of the monitor speakers used by audio studios today are built this way.

Other powered speakers have a two channel amplifier integrated into one speaker (a.k.a. the active speaker). The other speaker (a.k.a. the passive speaker) has no amplifier built into it. Only the active speaker needs to be plugged into the AC wall power and both the left and right channel inputs are connected to the active speaker. The active speaker is connected to the passive speaker via standard speaker wire.

Why use Powered Speakers?

One advantage to powered speakers is the compact, clean implementation with minimum wiring. As an example, using the Vanatoo Transparent One speakers you can add music to any room in your home simply by placing the two compact speakers in an optimal location, connecting the two speakers to each other using standard speaker wire, connecting the active speaker to the AC wall power and connecting your favorite MP3 player to the active speaker much the same way you would connect a pair of headphones. That’s it, you’ve got great music with only two speaker boxes and your MP3 player.

Another advantage to powered speakers is that when the amplifier is “married” to the speakers we can match the amplifier to the speakers. This matching process can be as simple as making sure the amplifier is sized correctly for the speakers to implementation of a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) to condition the input signals.

Are there any disadvantages to Powered Speakers?

The only disadvantage is that some people like to mix and match amplifiers and speakers.  When the amplifier is married to the speaker this is not possible.

What makes the Vanatoo Transparent One powered speakers different?

There are a number of differences between the Vanatoo Transparent One (T1) powered speakers and most other powered speakers on the market today. First is the number and type of inputs the T1 accommodates. Not only does the T1 accept analog inputs as most powered speakers do, it also accommodates three types of digital inputs; Coax, Optical, and audio USB which are all able to receive HD audio.  This means you have more choices in how you will connect to the T1s and that you have the option of using the higher quality inputs offered by the digital inputs.

Another big advantage to the T1 speakers is that the integrated amplifier is a Class D amplifier.  The Class D amplifier is much more efficient than the Class AB amplifiers used in most powered speakers today. This means that not only does the amplifier consume less power, but it also runs cooler which serves to extend the life of the product.

Still another big advantage to the T1 speakers is the embedded Digital Signal Processor (DSP). The DSP is basically a computer that is programmed to meticulously match the input audio to the speaker drivers so that they output a near flat frequency response across the full speaker range. What this means to you is that the speakers are very “transparent” or in other words the speakers are tuned to neither add or subtract from what the artist intended you to hear, it just faithfully reproduces what was intended to be played. This matching of the amplifier to the speakers is much more difficult and much more costly to do if the amplifier and speakers are purchased separately.

With the unique features of the digital inputs, Class D amplifier, and DSP the Transparent One speakers are a perfect fit for your digital music as your music can stay in the digital domain all the way from your hard drive to the final speaker drivers in the T1s.

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