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. Now before going further deep down, Let us look what is the best passive soundbar right away. Check the video review below --
( Video Review ) Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50 Is Undoubtedly The Leader :
When selecting the right passive soundbar for your home theater or audio setup, only 3 factors should primarily rule your buying decision. Period. No other factors are more important than these 3 technical factors. We analyzed and selected the best products, considering these 3 factors for a passive soundbar. Learn about these 3 factors here --
The Most Important 3 Factors for Passive Soundbars --
- Number of Channels ( More the better ).
- Surround sound capability.
- Connectivity options ( i.e. -- Bluetooth, AUX, Wi-fi, HDMI etc ).
To know all the factors in details before buying read our buying guide at the end of the article.
We tested and short-listed few quality passive soundbars. These products can complement your home theater systems and active speaker setup. Check the top 2 passive soundbar for ready reference below. For detailed individual product specification, read the product description later.
The Best Of The Best Passive Soundbar List For 2019 :
Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50 Passive Soundbar :
Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50 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.
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.
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.
Definitive Technology XTR-SSA5 Ultra Slim Surround Speaker Bar :
Definitive Technology brings to you the latest in soundbar technology with its ultra-shallow XTR-SSA5 soundbar. This slender passive bar is the perfect companion for your ultra-slim flat screen TV. It has a minimalistic design that compliments most modern living rooms. Its low-profile construction enables it to fit neatly under a TV screen without being too conspicuous. The XTR-SSA5 soundbar is engineered with 10 active XTDD drivers and 3 aluminum dome tweeters. It offers 5-channel surround sound minus the hassle of rear satellite speakers. The XTR-SSA5 passive soundbar uses advanced Spatial Array technology to create an illusion of sound emanating from five separate speakers in different corners of the room. SAT does not reply on bouncing sound waves off of walls, floors and ceilings. Therefore, it is independent of the room size and layout and works in almost all kinds of space settings. The result is amazingly full spectrum space-filling sound that totally envelops the viewers from all sides. For the ultimate home theatre experience with the widest sound dispersion, we recommend the Definitive Technology XTR-SSA5 Ultra Slim soundbar. It is great for watching action packed and sci-fi movies with plenty of special sound effects. The speaker bar has a lustrous black sheen. The cabinet is made from aircraft-grade extruded aluminum with stiffing channels and ribs. This makes the body more rigid and free of distortions and vibrations. Magnets of the drivers protrude from the back panel for better space optimization and a special heat conducting gasket seals the enclosure and magnet junctions to prevent over-heating. The bar is both wall and shelf mountable and includes all the necessary mounting hardware. Dimensions of the XTR-SSA5 passive soundbar are: 45” x 1.6” x 5.2”. It weighs 15 lbs and its frequency response is 60Hz to 30kHz.
Key features of Definitive Technology XTR-SSA5 Ultra Slim Passive Soundbar :
- Ultra-shallow passive soundbar for flat panel TV.
- Spatial Array technology.
- 10 drivers, 3 aluminum dome tweeters.
- Aircraft-grade extruded aluminum body.
- Wall and shelf mountable.
Martin Logan Motion SLM X3 Ultra Slim 3-Channel Passive Soundbar :
The Martin Logan Motion SLM X3 is a 3-channel passive soundbar with ultra-high-end electrostatic loudspeakers. It is from the Motion Series of affordable and compact sound systems by Martin Logan. It has left and right stereo sound, and a dedicated centre channel. It works brilliantly with flat-screen TVs and home theatre systems. The SLM X3 features three 1-inch x 1 ½ inch Folded Motion tweeters and six 4-inch extra-slim fiber cone woofers. Each channel has one tweeter for high frequencies, and two woofers for midrange and bass frequencies. The thin accordion-like pleated tweeter diaphragms squeeze sound to create excellent high notes while the beefy woofers deliver best-in-class mid-bass sound. For crossovers, the bar has a 3000 Hz crossover with custom air core coil and low DCR steel laminate inductors, polyester film capacitors in series, and low DF electrolytic capacitors in parallel. Frequency response of the Motion SLM X3 is 120 Hz to 23 kHz and sensitivity is 83 db. It is compatible with 4-, 6- and 8-ohm impedance receivers. The device has an extremely slim profile. It is best mounted to a wall but can also be placed on a shelf or table if required. It comes with a wall mounting bracket and necessary screws and bolts. There are four-way keyhole slots that allow installation very close to the wall. For shelf placement, there are 2 kick-stand feet. The Motion SLM X3 weighs 13 lbs. It is 48 inches wide and 6 ¼ inches tall. Since it lacks built-in amplifiers, it has a slender cabinet. When combined with the wall mount and the magnetic grille, it has a total wall protrusion of 1.83 inches. No other soundbar in the market has such a slim enclosure and the Motion SLM X3 really nails discrete mounting. It complements your flat screen TV and blends well with your home décor. The cabinet has a glossy black painted finish. It has an acoustic suspension or sealed enclosure for maximum bass output. There are three sets of binding post terminals, one for each channel. The drivers are held in place by a solid black anodized brushed aluminum baffle. The soundbar needs to be powered by a receiver. You can add a powered sub and extra bookshelf speakers if you like. The product has a warranty of 5 years.
Key features of Martin Logan Motion SLM X3 Ultra Slim 3-Channel Passive Soundbar :
- Ultra-slim 3-channel passive soundbar.
- Total wall protrusion 1.83 inches, acoustic suspension enclosure.
- Three 1-inch x 1 ½-inch Folded Motion tweeters, six 4-inch high-excursion fiber cone woofers.
- Wall and shelf mountable, 3 pairs of binding post terminals, 120 Hz to 23 kHz frequency response.
KEF HTF7003 Passive Soundbar :
The next amazing shallow-profile speaker bar for TV is the 3-channel KEF HTF7003 passive soundbar. It combines great looks with the unparalleled audio performance that KEF is known for worldwide. The speaker bar has a stylish slim profile designed particularly for flat panel TVs with screen sizes of 32 inches and larger. Its thin body remains close to the wall to match the depth of your flat screen TV. The KEF HTF7003 is built with two powerful 2-inch woofers and one 19mm high fidelity driver per channel for the best home audio experience. This arrangement is repeated thrice across the front section of the speaker bar for the widest sound projection in all directions. Needless to say, audio quality and feel is top notch. The soundbar manages to convey the realistic vibe of live music and emotionally charged dialogues completely unaltered to the viewer. It offers the most realistic cinematic experience that is sure to transport you to the scene taking place on screen. That is the beauty of the KEF HTF7003 soundbar. The speaker bar has a heavy duty metal enclosure in a smart black color. It is slender and oval shaped. The front panel is elegantly curved to give the speaker bar a suave look. The device has easy installation and comes with a wall mount bracket and counter top stand. Dimensions of the product are: 3.1” x 30.9” x 2.4”. It weighs 6 lbs.
Key features of KEF HTF7003 Passive Soundbar :
- Passive soundbar for flat screen TV.
- Suitable for screen sizes of 32 inches and more.
- 3 channel speaker bar.
- Six 2-inch woofers, three 19mm tweeters.
- Wall and table top mountable.
- Oval shaped bar.
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 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.
KEF HTF8003 Passive Soundbar :
The KEF HTF8003 is a 2-way bass reflex passive soundbar. It has 3 channels- left, right and centre. Each channel comprises of a 3-way speaker system containing a KEF Uni-Q® driver with a 3-inch bass/midrange driver combined with a 5/8-inch tweeter, a 3-inch woofer and a 3-inch auxiliary bass radiator. KEF uses a unique driver configuration that places the tweeter at the acoustic center of the bass/midrange driver. This concentrates the audio and creates a single focused audio source. The sound is evenly disbursed throughout the room and every spot is a sweet spot. The soundbar reproduces sound within a frequency range of 70 Hz to 22 kHz. It has an impedance of 8 ohms and sensitivity of 87 dB. SPL is 106 dB and crossover frequency is 2.8 kHz. The device is non-powered. It needs to be connected to a receiver for powering the loudspeakers. It has a power handling of 100 watts and produces surprisingly rich audio. Excellent for watching movies and listening to music, the HTF8003 can also be paired with bookshelf speakers to create surround sound. The bar is 37.8 inches wide, 4.7 inches high and 3.1 inches deep. It matches flat-screen TVs with a screen size of 42 inches or larger. It can be stood on a table or media console, or mounted to a wall. It comes with a table stand, rubber feet and wall mounting brackets. The cabinet is made of aluminum and sports a glossy black finish. It has a bass reflex design for extra bass. It weighs 13.2 lbs and has an internal volume of 4.6 liters. There are 3 sets of gold-plated spring post speaker terminals, one for each channel. Please note that banana plugs are not supported by this model. The soundbar has a warranty of 5 years. The box includes the passive soundbar, wall-mount bracket, 2 metal kick stands, 2 rubber feet, 2 threaded posts, hex key, wall-mount template and an installation manual.
Key features of KEF HTF8003 Passive Soundbar :
- 3-channel passive soundbar with 100 watt output.
- 2-way bass reflex design, aluminum cabinet.
- Wall + shelf mounted, table stand, rubber feet, wall brackets included.
- Each channel consists of :
- One KEF Uni-Q® driver with 3-inch bass/midrange driver & 5/8-inch tweeter.
- One 3-inch woofer.
- One 3-inch auxiliary bass radiator.
Dayton Audio BS41 41″ LCR Speaker Bar :
The Dayton Audio BS41 passive soundbar is a formidable 3-channel non powered soundbar for flat screen TVs. It is equipped with three 4-inch woofers and three 5/8-inch tweeters and has a max power output of 150W with 100W RMS. It is compatible with stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 channel receivers. When paired with a 100W AV receiver, the Dayton Audio BS41 passive soundbar generates room-filling audio with loud thumping bass thanks to the high excursion 4-inch speakers. The sound is crisper with extended treble and smoother midrange. This passive soundbar can be used with a subwoofer or without. Either way, its sound output is noticeably better than most centre channel speakers and bulky bookshelf speakers. It precisely reproduces TV talk show audio and music of all genres. The speaker is black in color with a smooth front panel. It blends well with the décor of most modern houses. The bar can be mounted on walls, shelves and table tops. It is unobtrusive and sits pertly under most flat panel TVs. Frequency response of the device is 50Hz to 22kHz. Its dimensions are: 5” x 41” x 3.8” and it weighs 18 lbs. Please note that if you are pairing the Dayton Audio BS41 with an external subwoofer, set the AV receiver and sub crossover to 80Hz if you want the sound to mix well and increase the low-distortion dynamic range. If you’re not using a sub, the best way to achieve dynamic range and bass extension is a 60Hz receiver crossover setting.
Key features of Dayton Audio BS41 Passive Soundbar :
- 3-channel non powered soundbar for TV.
- Three 4-inch high excursion woofers, three 5/8-inch tweeters.
- Max power 150W, RMS 100W.
- Low profile design.
- Wall and shelf mountable.
Monitor Audio SB-4 Passive Soundbar :
The Monitor Audio SB-4 is a 61 ½ inch 3-channel soundbar. It is more than 5 feet wide and is designed with larger screens in mind. It is perfect for slim-panel TVs with a screen size of 70 inches or more. The SB-4 produces high-resolution audio that matches the high-resolution video of your HD TV. It consists of 3 separate driver arrays. The left and right channels each have a single 1-inch dome tweeter, two 4-inch mid/bass drivers and one ABR or auxiliary bass radiator. The centre channel has the same configuration, plus an extra ABR. The soundbar features single through-bolt driver fixing which provides mechanical de-coupling and better mid-band clarity. The through-bolts also serve as rigid cross bracing to create a non-resonant enclosure. The racetrack-style ABRs supplement the mid/bass drivers and further boost bass output and power handling of the soundbar. The woofers and tweeters are made of a special ceramic coated aluminum magnesium alloy called C-CAM. This alloy is highly rigid and lightweight, allowing the drivers to respond quickly to the audio signal for greater clarity and precision. The tweeters also have an extra layer of anodized gold coating for smoother high end notes. The crossovers use polypropylene capacitors and low-loss laminated steel core inductors. The cabinet of the Monitor Audio SB-4 is made of premium MDF. It has internal bracing for more rigidity and less resonance. It has a wraparound acoustically open black cloth finish with solid brushed aluminum end trims. The rear side has a low-profile terminal panel with gold-plated binding post terminals. The SB-4 is designed to fit SANUS TV mounting systems. It includes silicone rubber feet for table top placement. A wall mount bracket with cable-hole access, easy pre-alignment and template installation is also available for sale separately. The soundbar needs to be paired with a home theatre receiver for power and media input. It can also be teamed up with a powered subwoofer if you desire extra bass or if the room is large. Frequency response of the soundbar is 70 Hz to 30 kHz, impedance is 8 ohms and sensitivity is 87 dB. It weighs 26.44 lbs, is 61 ½ inches wide, 5 13/16 inches tall and 3 5/8 inches deep. It has lifetime warranty.
Key features Monitor Audio SB-4 Passive Soundbar :
- Passive 3-channel soundbar with C-CAM drivers.
- Internally braced MDF enclosure, suitable for 70-inch TVs and larger.
- Custom-designed to fit SANUS TV mounts, other mounting options also possible.
- 3 sets of gold-plated binding post terminals.
- Left and right channel consist of :
- One 1-inch tweeter.
- Two 4-inch mid/bass drivers.
- One ABR.
- Centre channel has all the above plus an extra ABR.
Monitor Audio SB-3 Passive Soundbar :
The next best non-powered soundbar is also by Monitor Audio. It is the SB-3 passive soundbar and it is low-profile bar for 60-inch and larger flat-panel TVs. It is a 3-channel sound system for home theatre and satellite speakers. The Monitor Audio SB-3 has big sound. It features three distinct speaker arrays for left, right and centre audio. The left and right channels each have one 1-inch gold dome tweeter, one 4-inch mid-bass driver and one ABR or auxiliary bass radiator. The centre channel has one 1-inch tweeter, two 4-inch mid-bass drivers and two ABRs. The tweeters and mid-bass drivers are made of C-CAM, a special ceramic-coated alloy of aluminum and magnesium. The combined RMS output of the soundbar is 100 watts. It has a frequency response of 80 Hz to 30 kHz, nominal impedance of 8 ohms and sensitivity of 84-87 dB. Maximum SPL is 104 dB and crossover is 80-120 Hz. The soundbar needs to be connected to receiver for power and input. It has 3 pairs of gold-plated binding post speaker terminals, one pair for each channel. The cabinet is made of high-quality MDF and is internally braced for added rigidity. It sports a black wraparound cloth grille and brushed aluminum end caps. It is capable of being mounted to walls as well as installed on flat surfaces like media consoles and tables. It has built-in silicone feet for firm placement. The wall-mount brackets are sold separately. Dimensions of the device including the feet are: width 51 7/16 inches, height 5 13/16 inches and depth 3 11/16 inches. It weighs 20 lbs. You can hook up the SB-3 with an external active subwoofer if you want that extra low end slam. Warranty period of the product for parts and labor is lifetime.
Key features Monitor Audio SB-3 Passive Soundbar :
- 3-channel passive soundbar with C-CAM drivers.
- Left and right channels have 1 tweeter, 1 mid-bass driver, 1 ABR.
- Centre channel has 1 tweeter, 2 mid-bass drivers, 2 ABRs.
- MDF internally braced enclosure, seamless cloth grille, 100 watt RMS output.
- Built-in silicone feet, wall and cabinet-top mountable, wall bracket sold separately.
Klipsch Heritage Theater Bar :
The Klipsch Heritage Theatre Bar is a passive soundbar with real-wood finish. It combines sonic performance with classy good looks. It is made from furniture-grade wood veneers and is available in two styles: American Walnut and Satin Black Ash. A rail mounting system is built into the soundbar for hassle-free wall mounting. It goes with the included wall mount cleat and enables low-profile wall placement. A magnetic removable grille lets you choose between a showstopper look and a discrete sound system. The main attraction of the Klipsch Heritage Theatre Bar is its Tractrix Horn-Loaded technology and titanium tweeters. It has spun cerametallic woofers that are extremely rigid and lightweight. They do not break easily and last a lifetime. The titanium tweeters have a custom-made Linear Travel Suspension design for greater high-end accuracy and lower distortion. Each of the 3 channels of the soundbar has a ¾ inch titanium diaphragm compression driver mated to a 90ᵒ x 90ᵒ Tractrix® horn, plus a pair of 4-inch black cerametallic woofers. The tweeters and the woofers work to produce the cleanest, most natural sound possible. The gadget have a frequency response of 95 Hz to 20 kHz +/– 3 dB, –10db @ 75Hz. It has a sensitivity of 92dB @ 2.83V/1M and nominal impedance of 8 ohms. Maximum continuous sound output is 108 dB. Nominal power handling is 75 watts and peak power handling is 300 watts. Being a passive soundbar, the Heritage Theatre Bar needs power and input from a receiver. The enclosure is sealed. It is made of MDF and features a black knitted grille cloth. Separate spring-loaded input terminals are available for the three channels. The device is 49 ½ inches wide, 6 ¼ inches high and 4 inches deep. It weighs 26 lbs. It is a perfect audio companion for a 55-inch (and larger) TV. You can also throw in a powered subwoofer and extra satellite speakers to create your own surround sound system with extra bass. Warranty period is 5 years.
Key features of Klipsch Heritage Theater Bar :
- 3-channel passive soundbar with built-in mounting rail.
- Tractrix Horn-Loaded technology, Linear Travel Suspension titanium tweeters.
- Spun cerametallic woofers, furniture-grade real-wood veneers.
- Sealed MDF enclosure, spring-loaded input terminals, removable metallic cloth grille.
Polk S35 Classic Brown Walnut Slim Center Passive Speakerbar :
The Polk S35 is a multi-purpose home theatre system with versatile installation. It is capable of vertical and horizontal placements on shelves and walls. It has a non-resonant bass-reflex MDF (Medium Density Fireboard) enclosure with anti-diffraction magnetic grilles that have negligible acoustic interference. The S35 is a passive soundbar. It can handle up to 150 watts. It is fitted with six 3-inch mica-reinforced polypropylene Dynamic Balance® mid-range cone woofers and a single Terylene high-res dome tweeter. It has a frequency response of 53 Hz to 40 kHz which is huge. Most soundbars only go up to about 20 or 25 kHz on the higher side. Sensitivity of the gadget is 88 dB and impedance is 8 ohm. Plus, it has Polk’s signature Power Port technology which enhances the bass effect. All in all, you can expect the sound to be deep, rich and full of delightful nuances. If you are looking for a home theatre system with high-resolution stereo surround sound and flexible placement, this is the product for you. It has a sleek cabinet that fits snugly under a TV. It is 24 7/16 inches wide (placed horizontally), 4 3/16 inches high and 6 1/8 inches deep. It has a classic brown walnut finish. It weighs 14 lbs. The S35 has a pair of 5-way gold-plated binding posts (speaker inputs) and a 2-way crossover array. It has keyhole slots for mounting it to walls. The box includes the soundbar, an attached grille, four rubber feet with adhesive, a wall-mount template and a quick start guide.
Key features of Polk S35 Classic Center Speakerbar :
- Passive soundbar with six 3-inch woofers and one dome tweeter.
- Power Port technology, Dynamic Balance drivers, non-resonant bass-reflex MDF enclosure.
- 53 Hz to 40 kHz frequency response, 5-way gold-plated binding posts.
- Can be installed vertically and horizontally, wall and shelf mountable, 2-way crossover.
Saga Luxury Edition The Knight Soundbar :
The Knight is a premium surround sound speaker bar from the Saga Luxury Edition line of audio systems. It is a 3-channel soundbar with distinct left, right and centre channels. When clubbed with an A/V receiver, surrounds and a subwoofer, it produces breath-taking home theatre sound. The Knight is a two-way-firing soundbar suitable for 46 to 52-inch flat-screen TVs. It is equipped with four 4-inch injection-molded metallic anodized drivers with rubber surrounds. They crank out bass so hard-hitting, you don’t just hear it, you feel it. The bar also has three 1-inch metallic anodized ultra-wide dispersion tweeters. They project sound to the remotest corners of the room. Anodization makes the drivers and the tweeters acoustically more robust. The Knight soundbar has a sleek vented cabinet with a high gloss finish. It has a removable grille that pops on and pops off in a snap. It is unobtrusive and rests pertly under the TV. The soundbar has all its ports on the top panel to keep sound pressure within the cabinet to a minimum. The bar has gold-plated screw terminals to enhance durability. Since the bar is passive in nature, it needs an external amplifier. The manufacturers recommend 60 to 135 watts amplification per channel. Frequency response of the speaker bar is 70 Hz to 23 kHz, impendence 8 ohm nominal/channel and sensitivity 88dB @ 1W/1M. The soundbar is wall and table top-mountable. It has ¼-inch mounting holes for attaching mounting brackets. For standing it on table tops, the bar has firm slip-free rubberized feet. The bar is 39.75 inches wide, 5 inches tall and 4.25 inches deep. It weighs 19 lbs.
Key features of Saga luxury edition passive soundbar :
- 2-way 3 channel passive soundbar with surround sound.
- Four 4-inch injection-molded metallic anodized drivers with rubber surrounds.
- Three 1-inch metallic anodized ultra-wide dispersion tweeters.
- Removable grille, gold-plated terminals, wall-mountable.
- Suitable for 46-52 inch flat-panel TV.
Atlantic Technology FS3 Passive Soundbar Speaker System :
Another highly rated full spectrum sound system is the Atlantic Technology FS3 speaker bar. It is a passive soundbar with left, right and centre channel speakers in a single ultra-compact housing. Each channel comprises of two 3.5-inch CPP woofers and one 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter with extra-wide dispersion. The drivers are held in place by a dense resonance-free mounting plate that is fixed to a corresponding cutout in the frame of the speaker’s grille. This allows the sound waves to project outwards seamlessly without any obstruction from the inner blunt surface of the grille frame. In other words, the soundbar’s unique design greatly reduces diffraction of sound and ensures unbeatable intelligibility. When coupled with a high-grade crossover network, the FS3 produces the most expansive sound with crystal clear clarity and deep bass. If you are a movie buff and enjoy watching movies at home, this is the sound system to go for. It promises the most stunningly natural audio for a life-like cinema experience. The Atlantic Technology FS3 soundbar has a slim low-profile design. It is suitable for pairing with flat screen LCD and LED TVs with 42 to 65-inch screens. It has versatile mounting and can be affixed on a wall or placed on a table top or shelf. The package includes mounting hardware for installation. The gadget is suitable for rooms measuring up to 2500 cubic feet in volume. The FS3 passive soundbar has a sleek black cabinet and is available in matte and glossy black. Dimensions of the speaker are: 42” x 4.8” x 3”. It weighs 15 lbs.
Key features of Atlantic Technology FS3 Passive Soundbar :
- Passive soundbar for flat panel TV.
- Suitable for TV with 42 to 65-inch screens.
- 3-channel slim-profile soundbar.
- Six 3.5-inch CPP woofers, three 0.75-inch silk dome tweeters.
- Wall and shelf 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.
What is a Passive Soundbar ?
A soundbar is a great way to upgrade your TV’s sound. It replaces the thin factory-installed speakers of your flat-panel TV and makes the audio more robust and dynamic. A soundbar may be active or passive. An active soundbar comes with built-in crossover components and an integrated amplifier. A passive soundbar needs to be connected to an external A/V receiver and amplifier. An active soundbar offers a comprehensive solution for your audio needs. It houses all the sound components in a single enclosure. A passive soundbar, on the other hand, offers unbeatable scalability. You can club it with any crossover setting and sound management system. You can experiment with different speaker-amplifier combinations and add as many amplifiers as you want. You can also upgrade or downgrade your system as you like with minimal hassle. In short, a passive system gives you the freedom to work your sound system any way you want. Plus, it is inexpensive and generally doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
A soundbar is a sound system with an array of speakers inside a single slender cabinet. An active soundbar has built-in amplification and digital signal processing. It is more or less self-sufficient and does not require additional support, other than maybe a subwoofer. A passive soundbar does not have internal amplification and digital signal processing. Its drivers need to be powered by an external amp or AV receiver. It is not a single-unit system and requires the support of additional devices. To work a passive soundbar, you need to have a fundamental understanding of how sound systems work. Passive bars tend to have a complicated set-up and if you don’t have some basic knowledge about them you might feel a little lost. You can add any amplifier/receiver you like, and connect with more number and types of sources. You can decode a large number of audio formats, and play around with different crossover settings to get the best soundbar-subwoofer combination. If you want to try out a different bar-amp combo, just get the right amp and crossover settings that suit your requirement, and make the switch. You won’t have to buy a brand new sound system to do this. Passive soundbar are also a cheaper option if you already have an amplifier. While pairing a passive bar with an amp, note their power ratings and impendences. You want to make sure they are compatible if you don’t want to be stuck with bad audio. While they have their advantages, passive soundbars are not without drawbacks. For one, they can be quite cumbersome and difficult to manage, store and transport. As they involve multiple devices and lots of wires, they occupy more space and have a cluttered look.
Know how before selecting a Passive Sound bar for your audio setup :
While buying a passive soundbar, take note of the speaker configuration and capacity. Keep in mind how you wish to set up the bar in terms of receiver, amplifier and additional speakers. Look for the appropriate inputs and outputs, number of channels, sound technology, etc that will support your set up. Also consider your TV’s screen size. The soundbar must match the TV in width or it can be a tad smaller. If it is longer and sticks out of the edge of the TV screen, it will look odd. Furthermore, you need to plan ahead where you wish to install the soundbar, and accordingly choose the right size, color and shape.
Buying Guide :
Before you choose a passive soundbar, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions. Number one – how many channels do you want ? Soundbars offer anywhere between 2 to 9 channels with additional channels for subwoofers. We would advise you to at least get a 3-channel system with left, right and center speakers. If you want surround sound, you will need a bigger soundbar with 5.1 or more channels.
Look for advanced sound technology like virtual 3D surround sound that create the illusion of sound coming from different speakers in different parts of the room. Also find out what connections your existing devices support and accordingly buy a compatible soundbar.
Check for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AUX and HDMI capability. HDMI facilitates video pass-through to your TV and serves as an additional audio option. So if your TV has HDMI capability, also get a soundbar that has the same.
One important factor is the placement of the soundbar. Consider where you are going to mount the system. Is it going to be a wall, a table, or media console? The soundbar must support the installation you have planned. Also, take into account the size of the room as the size and power of the bar must be proportional to it.
Your TV’s screen size is a factor too. Get a bar that complements the size and look of your TV. The bar can be a few inches shorter than the width of the TV but it must not be longer. That’ll look odd. If you already have an amplifier, check out soundbars from the same brand first. If they are from the same manufacturer, you have a better chance of getting the perfect fit and the best sound possible.
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.