Buyer's guide

Projector speakers: How to get the best sound!

Whether with active, passive or wireless speakers

Good audio is at least as important as a good picture! But: A good projector does not automatically mean that the sound is good enough. The number of projectors with a good loudspeaker is manageable. It is therefore advisable to use an externalprojector speaker or a soundbar. These offer better audio quality than built-in speakers and can also be placed freely in the room.


Are you looking for a good projector speaker?

Basically, there are two types of projector speakers: active project or speakers and passive projector speakers. Active projector speakers are often used in classrooms and meeting rooms, while passive projector speakers are more commonly found in home the atres.


The active speakers are supplied with power separately via the mains. The audio signal of the projector is usually fed in via a 3.5 mm jack cable or a stereo cinch plug (red / white).


A passive projector speaker is connected to a stereo or AV receiver. From there, the loudspeaker is connected to the respective AV or stereo receiver via a loudspeaker cable. The picture is transmitted, for example, via an HDMI cable from the AV receiver to the projector. When combined with a stereo receiver, the image must be routed directly from the source to the projector.


Which speakers are suitable as active projector speakers?

All commercially available active speakers with a 3.5 mm jack input or stereo cinch connection (red / white) are suitable as active projector speakers. They are supplied directly with mains voltage. A power supply unit is built into one of the two speakers. The second loudspeaker of the stereo set is supplied with power and the audio signal via the loudspeaker with internal power supply unit.

If you want to mount an active projector speaker on the ceiling, make sure that the cable between the two speakers is long enough or replaceable. In a conventional solution, the cable between the active speakers is about 2 m long, which is often not long enough for a larger room.

The active projector speakers should be installed to the left and right of the screen or to the left and right above thescreen. This depends on the conditions of the room. This ensures optimal stereo sound. To connect an active speaker to a projector, your projector needs a 3.5 mm audio output or a stereo cinch output. However, the 3.5 mm audio output is the more common audio output of a projector in this case.


Where are passive projector speakers used?

Passive projector speakers are mainly used in home theatres, as this solution offers the best audio quality. However, they can also be found in large conference rooms, auditoriums or lecture halls.

In home cinema, passive speakers are used for 5.1 or 7.1 surround systems. However, they can also be used as a stereo system with two speakers. In addition to the speaker, an AV receiver (complete home theatre setup) or a stereo receiver (music & sound) is required. Support for common surround sound standards such as Dolby and DTS simply gives you an intense sound experience that takes your home cinema or conference room experience to a whole new level.

Advantages of passive loudspeakers

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Passive loudspeakers have the advantage that a loudspeaker cable can be laid in different lengths from the receiver to the loudspeakers and to the subwoofer for an optimal installation. Especially in larger rooms, auditoriums or lecture halls, an installation with long cables is necessary.

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The speakers do not have to be supplied with power separately. However, in this case the costs for the AV receiver must be added. The cost of a passive projector-speaker solution is therefore often higher than that of an active solution.


The passive projector speaker is connected to the AV receiver or stereo receiver via a speaker cable. The audio source can be connected to the receiver via an HDMI cable or a stereo cinch or 3.5 mm jack cable.


To what extent is a soundbar suitable as a projector speaker?

A soundbar is an exciting alternative to classic projector speakers. They are characterised by their slim and elegant design. Thanks to their compact design, they blend harmoniously into the living room and office environment and are easy to install.

With their user-oriented functions, they ensure intuitive operation and a smooth home cinema experience.

Despite the many advantages, there is one drawback: a soundbar cannot produce true surround sound like a multi-channel speaker system. However, some soundbars are able to produce virtual surround sound, simulating surround systems. Soundbars can often be connected wirelessly or by cable to a separate subwoofer. This further enhances the sound experience. In addition, more and more soundbars are compatible with Dolby Atmos and/or DTS, the most common sound formats for three-dimensional audio.

Therefore, a soundbar is an excellent low-cost alternative to surround systems for your own home cinema.


What are the advantages of a projector with integrated loudspeaker?

A projector with an integrated loudspeaker is easy to use. No separate speakers need to be connected to the projector.

In this case, the projector is connected via an HDMI cable and the image and sound signal is sent to the projector. Especially when you are on the road with the projector, this solution is a preferred way to provide the participants of the presentation with image and sound. However, many projectors have an internal loudspeaker with poor sound quality. The reason for this is that speakers with too much power generate too many vibrations and cause the projector to move slightly, which in turn has a negative effect on the projected image. If you still need a built-in speaker, make sure that the projector has at least a 10 watt mono speaker.

projector manufacturers are increasingly opting for a mono solution for internal speakers. These are often multimedia and entertainment projectors rather than projectors for presentations.


Connecting projector speakers wirelessly

Wireless speakers are becoming increasingly popular. They are connected to the tablet or notebook via Bluetooth.

Smartphones, tablets and the like have a Bluetooth interface. projectors, on the other hand, are rarely equipped with Bluetooth. Accordingly, the selection of devices with which the projector's loudspeaker can be connected wirelessly is small. Projectors that offer this option receive their image and sound signal via HDMI. The sound is then extracted and sent to the Bluetooth speaker via the Bluetooth module in the projector. To ensure that sound and image are reproduced synchronously, the devices often rely on the aptX standard, which is suitable for transmitting high-resolution audio content.

Everything you need to know about projector speakers

Active projector speakers have their own power supply and therefore do not need a separate amplifier. They are often easier to install because they can be connected directly to the beamer. Passive speakers, on the other hand, require an external amplifier or receiver to amplify the audio signal. They are often more powerful and offer better sound quality, but may be more complicated to set up and are often slightly higher in price.
The positioning of the speakers depends on the type of speakers and the size of the room. As a rule, they should be placed to the left and right of the screen for optimal stereo sound. If ceiling mounted, make sure the cable between the two speakers is long enough or interchangeable.
Choosing the best projector speakers depends a lot on your individual needs. Some of the leading brands on the market are Denon, Yamaha and Dali. Each of these brands offers different models with different features and functions. You should base your decision on factors such as sound quality, Dolby and DTS support, value for money and customer service.
When choosing a soundbar, you should first make sure that it is compatible with your projector. Also look for audio quality and whether it offers virtual surround sound if you want it to. Other factors may include design, size, a separate subwoofer and price. Some soundbars also offer features such as Bluetooth connectivity and built-in voice assistants.
Connecting a soundbar to a projector is similar to connecting other speakers. Normally, you connect the soundbar to the projector via an audio cable that plugs into the audio output of the projector and the audio input of the soundbar. Some soundbars can also be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth if the projector supports this function. In this case, you must add the Soundbar as a device in the Bluetooth settings of your projector.
How speakers are connected to a projector depends on whether they are active or passive speakers. With active speakers, you simply connect the audio cable (usually 3.5 mm jack or stereo cinch) from the beamer to the speaker and supply the speaker with power. With passive speakers, you need to connect the speaker to an AV or stereo receiver, which receives the audio signal from the beamer and passes it on to the speakers.
Projectors with built-in speakers can be a practical solution, especially when mobility or lack of space is a factor. However, built-in speakers often cannot deliver the same sound quality as external speaker systems. If you want high quality sound, you should connect an external speaker or soundbar.
Tobias Berg and Oliver Stenzel - contact persons in Purchasing and Sales - write on glass pane

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