Size and design
For the most part, self-powered loudspeakers are compact and manageable in size.
The higher the quality of sound and power, the greater the dimensions. However, even in the medium and high ranges, several of the speakers on our list do not exceed 20-25 cm in depth and height by 15 cm in width.
Are you looking for amplifiers to place on a desk or shelf? If the space you have is scarce, choose amplified speakers oriented to PC or computer, they are ideal at the size level.
In aesthetics, manufacturers opt for retro designs in medium-toned wood and matt or glossy polycarbonate panels. You will also find speakers with more minimalist finishes, to adapt to any room.
2.0 or 2.1?
Another way to save space is to opt for a system of amplified speakers 2.0, the most common.
We advise you if you are looking for a faithful sound and you are going to dedicate them to everyday uses (without great demands) or to listen to music in which serious tones are not predominant.
For movies, series or electronic music, heavy metal, hip-hop or, simply, if you prefer a gimmicky result with enhanced power, it is worth investing in a 2.1 system: a pair of speakers accompanied by an external subwoofer.
Even if you have limited space and / or budget, you have affordable and compact 2.1 speakers, such as the Logitech Z333.
As we have already mentioned in the case of other sound equipment, most self-powered loudspeakers that you can find in the market, will cover your needs at the power level if you are an average user.
A higher power is interesting only if you need to fill sound large rooms (above 30 m²) and / or for events with a generous audience. In those cases, not only should you choose powerful speakers (with at least 50 W of RMS power), they should also be of a high range and not generate distortions when raising the volume.
How to really know the power of amplified speakers? Although the data of the manufacturers are not always the most reliable, the one you are interested in is the RMS power. This value measures the nominal power that the speaker can withstand before it is damaged.
The basic connections and that you will find even in self-powered loudspeakers below 50 euros are those of 3.5 mm. As a universal audio input (for a PC or laptop, tablet or smartphone, mini-stereo, turntable, etc.) or as a sound outlet (for example, for other speakers). It is important that you bear in mind that the 3.5 mm jack will not always support the headphone connection and you will have to check it in each particular case.
In amplified speakers of medium-high range, you will already find RCA connections (to which you can connect practically any device, especially the specific sound), 1.8 mm output for subwoofer ¸ USB port to play audio files and even reader for memory cards.
The more you expand your budget, the more connectivity possibilities you have at your fingertips. Also wireless, such as Bluetooth connectivity, indispensable if you tend to listen to music or consume content on your mobile or tablet and want to pair them with the speakers without wires.
Do you already have in mind the features you need in your speakers? Ready to choose yours?
We propose 9 of the most interesting self-powered loudspeakers that we have found on the market today.