Why Active?

Active loudspeakers differ from passive loudspeakers in that the component that determines which drivers (Tweeter, Midrange and Woofer) get which audio frequencies is an electronic crossover placed directly between the preamp and the power amplifiers. This is contrary to passive loudspeakers where the crossover is typically built directly into the loudspeaker. In an active loudspeaker, each driver is powered by an independent amplifier channel, as opposed to a passive crossover where only one amplifier channel powers all of the drivers in the speaker.

A key advantage to placing an electronic crossover (Bryston BAX-1 Active crossover) between the preamplifier and the power amplifier is signal level. In an active system all speaker control (crossover slopes, crossover points, gain etc.) is performed at low signal levels, whereas passive crossovers operate at high signal levels. Manipulating and adjusting signals at low levels using the Bryston BAX-1 Digital crossover is far more accurate than attempting the same with high signal levels. Examining the frequency response, the crossover slopes, and the required volume levels per driver, reveals that the digital active crossover provides much more accuracy than the passive option.

One important aspect of the Bryston Active System that is critical to its performance is that each loudspeaker model and BAX-1 Digital Crossover combination is optimized using the factory anechoic chamber, utilizing over 300 measurements. This ensures that the software controlling the active digital crossover maintains the optimal ‘Sound Power Response’ for each Bryston Active Speaker Model.

The overall benefits of an active system include increased flexibility of filter shapes, the ability to make fine-grained adjustments resulting in improved on and off axis response (these are often competing objectives in passive loudspeakers), direct coupling of the loudspeaker to the driver (avoiding losses inherent in passive crossovers), and higher SPL with lower distortion.

The Bryston Active Loudspeaker System combines decades of research into acoustics, electronics, amplification, and state of the art components to recreate your recordings with stunning realism. A superbly designed active loudspeaker system can bring higher resolution and dynamic control to your audio system. The differences are far from subtle and the Bryston Active Loudspeaker System takes the performance to the next level.

Active Advantages:
  • Efficient use of power
  • Superior direct coupling of drivers to the amps
  • Accurate sound power and listening window
  • Higher SPL's with lower distortion
  • Improved on and off axis response
System Components:
  • 2x Active Loudspeakers (either the Model T or Middle T)
  • 1x BAX-1 Digital Crossover
  • 2x 21B³ Amplifier (or equivalent amplification via 3 channels of amplification per speaker)


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Latest News
08/01 - New Active Speaker System (more)

08/01 - New BP-17³ Preamplifier (more)

06/26 - Active Speaker Cables from Straight Wire (more)