How to power passive speakers without an amp

Passive speakers

A passive speaker is one that does not have an internal source of power. These types of speakers draw power from a different component such as an amplifier or video/audio receiver. They do not have internal amplification. When connected to an audio source (like PC), passive speakers cannot produce effective sound. To we explain how to power passive speakers without an amp, there are several factors you need to understand. These will help you set up a simple system at home with a good sound that you can enjoy.

Factors to consider when connecting a PC to passive speakers

When powering a passive speaker, you want to achieve a great sound with a modest home system such as a PC. You need to consider 2 major things when coming up with an effective setup. To start with, you need to consider the size of the speaker. The speaker should be large to produce better sound. The large speaker is ideal because you are not using a subwoofer or amp. It will generate sound that will be enough for the system to work effectively. Secondly, use a passive speaker with 8 ohms or 16 ohms. Remember, you are connecting the system via headphone port. Keeping the passive speaker in the range of 8-16 ohms prevent the risk of damaging output. A passive speaker of 4 ohms might end up damaging the jack of the headphone.

Powering passive speaker without an amp

All you need to do is connect the passive speaker to the PC using the headphone jack. The first step is to measure speaker wire that will connect to the power source, according to where you wish to place your speaker. Consider an extra wire due to any changes you may want to make in speaker location. Remove 0.5 inches of plastic coating on either end of the wire to expose the wire itself. Use wire strippers to do this. You can also use scissors. Connect the speaker wire to the terminal on the speakers. Terminals are mostly circular or tab connections. Tabs are basically holes for wire, colored either black or red. Press the plastic open and insert the wire. On the other hand, circular ones have colored connectors that are turned anticlockwise to reveal terminal underneath.

Connect another end of the wire to the terminal of the power source. The black (negative) and red (positive) terminals connect to the same side of speaker wire on power source and speaker. Mostly, speaker wire has identification to help in identifying each side. Although passive speakers are supposed to be used with an amp, it is still possible to power them without it. You don’t have to run a passive speaker to the amp for it to work. You might only be requiring a PC listening place at home where you don’t need powered speakers.


For set up of others types. Connecting the passive speaker to a PC at the home, you may require an amp to achieve excellent sound. Passive speakers cannot amplify power into loud volume. They cannot generate adequate power to produce enough sound. To get power, connect the speaker to a power source for amplification. You can use amplifiers, powered mixers or powered speakers.