Best Passive Soundbar In 2018
There are two types of speakers. Active and passive. Active speakers are those that come with built-in amplifiers. They are also known as powered speakers and can be directly connected to a mixing board. Passive speakers, also known as non-powered home theater receivers, are traditional speakers that need external amplifiers or AV receivers. They lack digital signal processing and inputs. But passive speakers have a lot of flexibility. You can select your own amplifier and receiver, decode a large number of audio formats, connect more number and type of sources and experiment with various subwoofer and soundbar settings.
Why I needed a passive soundbar ?
I was looking for a soundbar for my flat television. During my search, I found couple of really good active soundbars. I finally purchased this product. But frankly speaking, I was looking for something more. I wanted a sound solution with better amplification and bigger bass. I understood that to get the perfection, I need something which is more flexible as a sound system. A passive soundbar is a perfect fit in this situation. It does require an external amplifier and also lacks digital signal processing. But I did not care for that. I know, I need to feed it from external amplifier but the amount of flexibility it adds to my home theater system and studio is enormous. Finally I was sure that I need a passive soundbar system to complement.
How I selected the best passive soundbar for my home theater ?
Selecting the best product was quite easy for me, because I knew what I am looking for. I did not want it to eat up my space. So, it should be wall mountable. The soundbar should be a precision system to produce clear and precision sound effects. Flexibility to add subwoofer or other sound system options for enhanced experience. I focused on these areas and finally choose the awesome passive soundbar for my personal use. Check the passive soundbar which I loved and finally bought.
During my search, I visited multiple stores, talked with few buyers and checked quite a lot of products personally. I made a neat list of top 9 passive soundbars for your home theater and television. You can go through the following list before taking the final buying decision.
The Best Of The Best Passive Soundbar List For 2018 :
Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50 Passive Soundbar :
This passive soundbar is a 5 channel 3D surround sound non-powered home theater receiver. The 3 front channels – left, right and center – include tweeters that are positioned in front of the corresponding drivers. Definitive Technology has named this specially engineered tweeter-midrange driver alignment ‘Axially Aligned’. This arrangement helps project high precision sound to make it more exact and life-like. The Mythos SSA-50 is equipped with Spatial Array technology which enhances the 5 channels to produce room-filling surround sound. This advanced technology focuses sound on specific positions for better spatial presentation of the 5 channels. This produces the illusion of sound coming from five different speakers placed in different parts of a room. Spatial Array technology does not require sound from the soundbar to be reflected off of walls to create theater-like sound. This means you can use the Mythos SSA-50 in any room irrespective of its size, shape or layout. The soundbar also comes with Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) technology which provides double support or surround points to the speaker cones. BDSS drivers promote precise frequency response and linear cone motion by suppressing cone resonance. The Mythos SSA-50 is made of aircraft-grade aluminum. It has damping technology which improves surround sound effect. The soundbar is fitted with pure aluminum ceramic-coated dome tweeters for smooth and unmatched detailed sound. The SSA-50 is black in color and can be placed on a table and wall-mounted. Product dimensions are: height-5.38 inches, width-46.25 inches and depth-4.24 inches. It weighs 34 lbs.
Key features of the Mythos SSA-50 are :
- 5 channel surround sound passive soundbar
- Spatial Array technology
- Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) technology
- Damping technology
- Wall and shelf mountable.
Klipsch Gallery G-42 Passive Soundbar :
The Klipsch Gallery G-42 is a one-piece cross-over 5.1 channel home theater speaker system. It is a passive soundbar that functions as a receiver as it does not have internal receivers. This is a big advantage because it means you won’t have to buy a separate receiver. Also, built-in amplifiers that soundbars generally come with aren’t very powerful. Therefore, the Klipsch Gallery G-42 does away with them completely. Instead it uses advanced horn-loaded speaker technology to produce stunningly clear sound and sound effects. The soundbar has 3 Tractrix horns with 1 inch titanium dome tweeters. This produces superior audio that emphasizes on depth and detail of vocals and dialogues. The design of the tweeters is specially engineered to project more volume per watt than the standard flush-mounted dome tweeters. The flared horn keeps ceiling and floor distortions in check and makes sound more realistic by projecting the sound beams with greater precision and sharper imaging. The dynamic 1 inch tweeters are designed for left, right and centre channels. The Klipsch Gallery G-42 also has four 3.5 inch long-throw IMG high-output woofers, two for the centre channel and one each for left and right channels. The soundbar can also be paired with other Klipsch Gallery speakers to create room-filling surround sound. It has a frequency response of 65-24000 Hz. The Klipsch Gallery G-42 has a beautiful slender glossy black body. It can fit anywhere and hardly takes up any space. You can place it under your flat-screen TV or on any flat surface like a shelf or a table top. It hardly takes up any space and blends in with the aesthetics of the room. It can also be mounted on a wall if space is an issue. The dimensions of the Klipsch Gallery G-42 are: height-6 inches, width-42 inches and depth-2.4 inches. It weighs 12 pounds. The G-42 does not have a strong bass support. Hence, we recommend pairing it with a subwoofer.
Key features of the Klipsch Gallery G-42 are :
- One-piece cross-over soundbar.
- Equipped with advanced horn-loaded speaker technology.
- Minimizes ceiling and floor reflections through sharper imaging.
- More volume per watt than regular flush-mounted dome tweeters.
- Wall mountable.
Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-42 Passive Soundbar :
The Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-42 is a 5.1 channel single piece surround sound speaker system. It is best suited for TV measuring 42 inches and upwards. If you do not wish to use rear channel speakers, this soundbar is the best choice for experiencing a truly immersive home cinema experience. The SSA-42 is built with Spatial Array. Spatial Array produces 3 dimensional imaging for multi-channel and stereo sources. This advanced technology optimizes sound dispersion and spatial presentation of the 5 channels. It produces the illusion of sound emanating from five separate high-output speakers located in different parts of a room. You can also connect the SSA-42 to a multi-channel receiver and subwoofer to get enhanced surround sound. Spatial Array technology does not require sound waves to be bounced off of walls to create surround sound effect. Therefore, the Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-42 can function perfectly well in any room as it is not dependent on the size, shape or layout of the room. The SSA-42 is equipped with Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) technology which provides dual support points or surrounds to the speaker cones. This unique design lowers distortion, suppresses cone resonance and creates a more linear cone motion for greater output. The older version of the Mythos SSA-42 had some technical issues due to the position of the tweeter in front of the driver. The latest version has removed this problem by providing housing and venting for the tweeters. The Mythos SSA-42 is made from aircraft-grade extruded aluminum. It comes in two finishes: glossy black and brushed aluminum. The soundbar is wall and shelf-mountable. Product dimensions are: height-4.25 inches, width-40 inches and depth-4.25 inches. It weighs 22lbs.
Key features of Mythos SSA-42 are :
- 1 channel one-piece soundbar
- Spatial Array technology
- Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) technology
- Wall and shelf mountable
Dayton AudioBS36 36-Inch LCR Passive Speaker Bar :
The Dayton AudioBS36 is a powerful 36-inch passive soundbar that combines left, center and right channel speakers in a single cabinet. It is the perfect speaker bar for plasma and flat-screen TVs. It has a minimalist design and blends in effortlessly with the décor of any room. If you wish to beef up your TV’s audio system but your house has space constraints, the Dayton AudioBS36 is just the soundbar for you. It hardly occupies any space and can easily be mounted on a wall or on your TV/audio system cabinet. The Dayton AudioBS36 LCR Speaker Bar is fitted with long-excursion woofers. These high-performance woofers deliver resounding sound effects and impactful bass which is a far cry from the tinny sound produced by TV speakers. The soundbar has three 3 ¾-inch paper cone woofers and three 5/8-inch aluminum tweeters. It has a frequency response of 100 to 20,000 Hz. The Dayton AudioBS36 speaker bar has a gorgeous glossy black lacquer finish. The package includes a pair of rubber feet for mounting the device on flat surfaces like table tops. The dimensions of the soundbar are: 4 ¾ inch height x 36 inch width x 4 ¼ depth. It weights 14.2 lbs. For room-filling surround sound, we recommend pairing the Dayton AudioBS36 with a couple of SAT-BK satellite speakers and a powered subwoofer.
Key features of Dayton AudioBS36 LCR Speaker Bar :
- 36-inch passive soundbar ideal for flat-screen TVs
- Long-excursion woofer for dynamic sound effects and deeper bass
- Paper cone woofers and aluminum tweeters
- Stylish glossy black lacquer finish
- Wall and table-mountable.
Definitive Technology Mythos XTR-SSA3 Passive Soundbar :
The Mythos XTR-SSA3 is a one-piece 3 channel ultra-slim speaker passive soundbar ideal for flat-screen ultra-thin televisions. Its most unique feature is its dynamic anodized Aluminum dome drivers built with advanced XTDD technology. Definitive’s XTDD sound technology combines years of acoustic knowledge and sophisticated computer programming to rectify defects in shape of the drivers to maximize sound dispersion and widen the frequency range. The Mythos XTR-SSA3 soundbar has six 3 ½ inches XTDD mid-bass anodized aluminum drivers and three 1 inch pure aluminum dome tweeters. It produces crystal clear dialogues and vocals so you don’t miss a single word of your favorite movies and shows. The Mythos XTR-SSA3 combines the left, right and center speakers into a single enclosure. Each of the 3 channels comprises of a pair of 3.5 inch woofer-midrange drivers and one 1 inch tweeter. The soundbar has a frequency response of 60-30000 Hz. It also has 3 pairs of 5-way binding posts. The Mythos XTR-SSA3 is a non-powered home theater receiver. It lacks built-in amplifiers. The soundbar has a glossy black finish and is built with aircraft-grade space-efficient extruded aluminum that is resonance-free and extremely rigid. The design is minimalist and the shape is slender and sleek. It can easily fit in front or under your flat-screen TV. The dimensions are: height-5.25 inches, width-43 inches and depth-1 5/8 inches. It weighs 10 lbs. It is both wall and table mountable.
Key features of Mythos XTR-SSA3 are :
- One-piece 3 channel passive soundbar
- Drivers with XTDD technology
- Wall and table mountable
- Made with aircraft-grade aluminum
Klipsch RP-440D SB Passive Soundbar :
The Klipsch RP-440D SB is a 3-channel passive soundbar. Its USP is its ultra slim build and it is specifically designed to be paired with the latest ultra-flat LED TVs entering the market. The Klipsch RP-440D SB houses left, right and center channel speakers inside a single compact unit. It is built with Reference Premiere Horn Loaded Acoustic Technology for enhancing precision and focus of sound. The soundbar is fitted with three 1 inch horn-loaded titanium dome Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) tweeters. These LTS titanium tweeters optimize dynamics to make the resulting sound more nuanced and detailed. The Klipsch RP-440D SB also has four quad 3.5 inches spun copper cera-metallic cone woofers. These special light-weight woofers maintain rigidity of the soundbar cabinet in order to minimize distortions and cone breakup. The Klipsch RP-440D SB produces dynamic and detailed sound with its box speakers. It has 90 x 90 Tractrix Horn for optimizing high-frequency response and dynamics and imaging. The soundbar is black in color and has a smart matte finish. The wrap-around magnetic grille on the front lends it a smart sassy look. The soundbar can be mounted on a wall or placed atop a shelf or table. The package includes a glass base for placing the soundbar on flat surfaces. Measurements of the device are: height-6 inches, width-42 inches and depth-2 7/16 inches. It weighs 12 lbs.
Key features of Klipsch RP-440D SB are :
- 3-channel ultra-slim single unit passive soundbar.
- Reference Premiere Horn Loaded Acoustic Technology.
- Horn-loaded titanium dome Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) tweeters.
- Spun copper cera-metallic cone woofers.
- 90 x 90 Tractrix Horn.
- Wall and table mountable.
Niles CSF48P CSF48P/48″ Passive Soundbar System :
If you are looking to upgrade your flat-screen TV’s sound system with a sleek soundbar, we recommend you try the new Niles CSF48P Cynema Soundfield passive soundbar system. It is an amazing 3-channel wall-mountable surround sound speaker bar that not only has great features but also saves a lot of space. The Niles CSF48P incorporates the pioneering Cynema Soundfield design which provides adjustable speaker spacing for the left, centre and right channel speakers. This allows you to place the self-contained speaker modules on any existing wall stud configuration without having to drill or modify the studs. The soundbar installs flush below your flat-screen TV and the three speakers can be moved along the rails to get the best placement for optimum surround sound. The soundbar is equipped with a trio of passive sealed and self-contained loudspeaker modules, each of which has one 1-inch silk dome tweeter and two 2-inch x 3-inch poly cone woofers. A unique feature of the Niles CSF48P is its removable metal magnetic MicroPerf grille which can be painted to match the color of your walls or home theatre cabinet. This makes the soundbar hard to notice and almost invisible at first glance. Additionally, the unobtrusive and flat appearance of the fully assembled soundbar gives it a chic minimalistic look. The speaker modules smoothly tuck down and into the wall to save space and blend in with the décor of the room. The Niles CSF48P has a frequency response of 65-25,000 Hz and handles 100W power per channel. The speaker bar is not powered (does not include amplification) and therefore you have the freedom to pair it with an amplifier of your choice. The Niles CSF48P comes with 10-year warranty against manufacturing defects. The dimensions of the grille are: 48 inch width x 5 ¼-inch height. The dimensions of the cut-outs are 45 ¼-inch width x 3 ¾-inch height. Dimensions of mounting depth are: 3 ½-inch from inner drywall face with added 3-inch inside wall clearance below the mounting rail at the bottom. The soundbar weighs 25 lbs.
Key features of Niles CSF48P Passive Soundbar are :
- Passive soundbar with Cynema Soundfield engineering.
- 3 self contained speaker modules for left, right and centre channels
- Flexible speaker adjustment, work on any stud configuration.
- Paintable metal magnetic MicroPerf grille
- Super-flat and inconspicuous appearance
- Uses silk dome tweeters and poly cone woofers
- Wall mountable
Monitor Audio SB 2 High Performance Passive Soundbar :
The Monitor Audio SB 2 passive soundbar combines theater quality sound with low-profile futuristic design. It is the perfect companion for your modern flat-panel TV. Designed to go with TVs measuring 50 to 60 inches, the Monitor Audio SB 2 has sufficient range and volume prowess for small to medium sized rooms. For larger spaces, we recommend clubbing it with a subwoofer to experience reverberating surround sound. The Monitor Audio SB 2 has a complete MDF construction for distortion-free audio. It has a single cabinet with internal bracing for extra rigidity. The cabinet houses the left, center and right channel speakers in three separate driver arrays. Each of these speakers consists of an individual 4-inch C-CAM (Ceramic-coated Aluminum/Magnesium) mid-bass, a 1-inch C-CAM gold dome tweeter and a sealed Auxiliary Bass Reflex (ABR). The Monitor Audio SB 2 has a super-fine acoustically translucent cloth grille covering the front and top panels, and a brushed aluminum finish on the side panels. The device is both wall and cabinet top-mountable. It comes with two inconspicuous silicone feet for placing it on flat surfaces. The soundbar has a frequency response of 90Hz to 30 kHz. The cabinet dimensions are: 5 11/16-inch x 43 11/16-inch x 3 ½-inch. The device weighs around 16 lbs.
Key features of Monitor Audio SB 2 Passive Soundbar are :
- Passive soundbar best suited for flat-panel TVs with display sizes of 50-60 inches.
- Separate driver arrays for left, right and center speakers.
- Full MDF construction for greater rigidity and distortion-free sound.
- Uses individual C-CAM mid-bass, C-CAM gold dome tweeters and ABR per section.
- Low-profile design.
PSB Imagine W3 :
The PSB Imagine W3 is a single-piece multi-channel passive soundbar with 3D sound. It is a top-end soundbar in its category offering immersive front-of-room solution to all your audio needs. It is packed with power and has a formidable size and built. The final voicing of the soundbar was performed in the famous National Research Council in Canada where it was developed after extensive research on listener preferences. The soundbar is ideal for flat-screen TVs. The device consists of left, right and center channels. It is fitted with speakers from the state-of-the-art Imagine Series by PSB. There are 3 separate speakers in all. Each of the speakers comes with its own internal enclosure. The sound produced by these advanced speakers is highly detailed and crystal clear. The soundbar has a frequency response of 90-23000 Hz. The Imagine W3 is built with three 1 inch ferrofluid cooled titanium dome tweeters, four passive bass radiators and four 4 inch ceramic/clay reinforced polypropylene woofers. The response is tuned by Linkwitz-Riley crossovers. The soundbar also has three sets of gold-plated spring-loaded post connectors. The Imagine W3 can be placed on a flat surface as well as mounted on a wall. It has 2 small feet to help it sit atop a table top or shelf. The soundbar is black in color and has a high gloss finish. The body is made of solid aluminum to optimize internal volume and strength while minimizing the bulky external contours. Its dimensions are: width-46 inches, depth-3.1 inches and height-5.5 inches. It weighs 15.43 lbs.
Key features PSB Imagine W3 are :
- Advanced Imagine Series speakers
- Aluminum cabinet body for better internal volume
- Linkwitz-Riley crossovers tune response
- Gold-plated post connectors.
- Wall and shelf mountable.
For a comprehensive active soundbar solution for your television, check this. For sub $200 soundbar for your TV, check this list. If you have any confusion on soundbar vs home theater what will be best for you, then read this comprehensive study.