Top 5 Best Passive Soundbars (Tested & Reviewed by Experts in 2024)

A passive soundbar is no different than the regular one, except they need an amplifier to current the channels to perform. It will operate exactly as the other soundbars; only you need to connect it to the external amplifier or receiver to work at its full potential.

Among many other benefits of getting the best passive soundbar, it is the best option to get if you upgrade your TV and other devices frequently because you can get the speaker-compatible amplifier and enjoy powered sounds with the old soundbar.

So, it can be a one-time investment for years, and it has to be the best one. We have tested the 5 perfect passive soundbars for you that have an excellent frequency spectrum, decent connectivity sources, and subtle horizontal/vertical sound dispersion capacities.

Check out our top picks with a detailed review.

List of the Best Passive Soundbar in 2024

1. Polk Audio Signature Series S35 Soundbar

Polk Signature Elite ES35

The Polk Audio S35 is a decent soundbar with a slim profile and extraordinary sound reproduction that can bring life to your entertainment sessions. We tested it after a tremendous amount of requests and were pretty impressed.

It produced distortion-free sound with games and music, so anyone with different music taste can enjoy every moment of the content playing or watching.

Polk Audio soundbars are famous for crisp and clear sound, and Polk patented power port technology ensures you feel the cleaner and low-frequency bass for impactful listening.

Thanks to the center channel, it can produce room-filling sound without compromising vocal clarity. While testing, the dialogues were transparent and solid despite the content.

It may have an unusual design like the typical soundbars, but it is unique yet powerful. The soundbar features a 4-way speaker with a Dynamic balance acoustic array to widen the sound stage and optimize the audio delivery for well-balanced surround sound.

In addition, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatibility further expand the listening experience.

This is our top pick for stunning sound recreation, appealing design with glass finishing, and portability. The dual power port for the effortless bass and amplifier pairing gives you a seamless connection process.

However, you may face a little trouble while controlling the device because it does not come with dedicated remote control.

• Thumping bass
• Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
• Bold appearance
• Portable profile
• Stunning clarity
• No remote

2. KEF HTF7003 Soundbar

KEF HTF7003 Soundbar

If you plan to set up a home theater setup and looking for a minimalistic but powerful speaker, KEF HTF7003 fits the requirement.

It doesn’t look different from the other passive soundbars on the market, but the sides’ glossy finish and oval shape give it a modern touch, and we were impressed by the low-key catchy profile.

The driver distribution inside the spacious body is surprising. It contains 0.75 bass drivers for every two channels that produce fulfilling, rich, and bass-full sound output.

The power handling capacity is up to 100W, which is excellent for the compact soundbar. Also, the frequency response of 120Hz to 22kHz with a max SPL of 106dB suggests getting loud enough to entertain a large audience.

The stereo dynamics are decent, and there are no harmonic distortions at the max volume so it can go well for movies and heavy music streaming. Also, the gold-plated terminals at the rear end ensure secure and stable connections with the speaker wires, and no noticeable mess is created.

KEF HTF7003 comes with a table stand and mounting brackets for a flexible setup, and its fine design compliments the home décor. Also, another pleasing built-in function of the device is automatic sound customization according to the content and room acoustics for a healthier listening experience.

Hence, considering the full-range directional sound and portable design, this passive soundbar is ready to hit the room.

• Dual bass drivers
• Stable and secure power ports
• 100W of power output
• 106dB max SPL
• No controlling source

3. Klipsch RP-440D-SB Soundbar

Klipsch RP-440D-SB

Klipsch RP-440D-SB is a decent 3-channel passive soundbar with a maximum power output of 200W per channel. The total audio output was compelling and engaging enough to keep us hooked on the content. 

The bar is only 5.44kgs in weight and only 6inches high, making it a relatively versatile bar for your houses and workstations. The unboxing was smooth, and setup was like a piece of cake with only a power cord.

Klipsch can be relied on for high-frequency sounds while improving the dynamics and imaging. The 90X90 Tractrix Horn also enhances the frequency response and extension, making the sound more enriching and detailed for casual or heavy listening.

The slim profile of the bar perfectly matches today’s flat-panel TVs and is a powerful and dramatic upgrade to its built-in speakers. At the same time, accompanied by the latest amplifier to provide channel support, it can turn the tables and turn your space into an entertainment hub.

Moreover, to make it feel like home, it comes with a mounting bracket set that allows horizontal and vertical placement, and the glass base gives a steady base for it to perform at its full potential.

The sound reproduction with deep bass gives you a sense of moving sound that feels like a live concert. The maximum frequency response of 65Hz to 25kHz at the sensitivity level of 92dB is sufficient to entertain a large audience, but it can be more exciting while playing fast-action games.

The extraordinary sound clarity delivers every vocal with subtle precision for higher understanding. The center channel works to purify the dialogues even with the bass reflex drivers working along.

However, it is quite expensive for the bar, and the built-in functions are relatively limited. Still, it can be a reasonable addition to the home theater setup.

• Dome linear travel suspension tweeter
• Multiple placement options
• Connects with regular speaker wire
• Low bass response
• Great sound clarity
• Expensive

4. Dayton Audio BS41 Soundbar

Dayton Audio BS41 Soundbar

If you want a soundbar that works with 5.1 or 7.1 stereos, invest in the Dayton Audio BS41 soundbar with stunning looks and a sturdy body to fit in home and work studios.

The ultra-slim soundbar hosts three woofers and three tweeters that deliver a power output of a max of 100W each at a frequency range of 40-22,000 Hz. These stats were enough for us to get this device in our lab.

Besides, we loved how the soundbar could get loud and deliver ground-shaking bass without an external subwoofer. Also, the dialogue delivery is worth noticing, so you can use this bar as the ideal centerpiece for the home theater setup. 

When used with a medium to high-powered AV receiver, it brings life to parties. However, if you want more power and excitement to make the most out of it, connect an external subwoofer and see the frequency level decrease for the bass depth.

This passive sound bar is worth considering for music listening, TV watching, and even gaming with an easy setup and quick installation.

• Simple plugins
• High-frequency range
• Incredible power handling
• Loud and clear sound projection
• Pure, clean, and deep bass
• None

5. Martin Logan Motion SLM X3

Martin Logan Motion SLM X3

Martin logan motion is another passive soundbar with a three-channel system and a power output of 140W, enough to fill small rooms like our testing lab.

It has a slim, elegant design with a black matte coating that grabs attention but does not distract you while streaming TV. We liked how the connectivity ports are smartly placed with easy access.

The attractive design easily blends in any environment and starts performing with full confidence. However, it is very important to connect the right receiver to give it a powerful push for exceptional performance.

Calling it the recommended passive soundbar would do justice to its built-in driver placement, including six mid-range drivers and three folded motion tweeters.

Its crossover frequency range is about 3,000 Hz, and the typical frequency response ranges from 120 to 23,000Hz. It was loud enough to shake us from within and bang our windows when played at full volume.

Though it delivers high-resolution sound with clarity and necessary crispiness, you can still widen the soundstage by connecting a wireless subwoofer or rear speaker.

It can complement the TV sound alone and improve its projection while watching any content. The content clarity never seems to compromise despite the volume level and context of the content.

In addition, the connectivity ports are quite sophisticated, individually marked as the right, left, and center channels to eliminate any possible confusion.

Also, the easy wall mount frame wouldn’t cause any problems during the connection process, and the basic ergonomics with tilt would help you get the most out of the device.

• Easy wall mounting
• Long but slim design
• Balanced treble performance
• High-frequency responses
• A little complex to get along

Best Passive Soundbar 2024 Buying Guide

Best Passive Soundbar infographic

Many people still don’t know the difference between active and passive soundbars, so they end up getting the sound system they can’t handle to operate.

The basic difference between active and passive soundbars is that passive one needs an external amplifier or receiver to make the channels work. However, active soundbars have a built-in amplifier that powers the channels without any external interference.

Both types of soundbars are equally potent and set a heavy soundstage for music, games, and regular TV watching. Nevertheless, passive soundbars produce more raw audio with noticeable tuning, perfect clarity, and ground shaking bass with built-in woofers.

In addition, passive soundbars are usually considered the center piece for the home theater systems because they improve the vocal reproduction of content and deliver the sound that moves you. So, investing in the passive soundbar is worth every penny you spend on it.

Do I Need a Wireless Subwoofer?

Passive soundbars have multiple built-in woofers and tweeters that deliver deep and heavy bass to shake you while playing music. The placement of woofers is also pretty discreet, so it throws low frequencies from every side and blends with the other equipment smoothly.

So, that may eliminate the need for any external subwoofer. Still, if you would like a heavy sound system setup and have something exciting in mind, check out the best subwoofer for soundbar and try exploring more avenues of music.

Receiver Connectors

Passive soundbars must come with a couple of receiver connector ports at the rear panel that helps you choose the right amplifier according to the bar model and its requirements. Many passive soundbars feature one connector, but we have seen and reviewed soundbars with individual ports for left, right, and center channels.

Read also: Best Settings for LG Sound Bar

Frequency Levels

Frequency responses of the soundbars always set the bar high because the sound volume and its quality matter.

Thus we mentioned passive soundbars with high-frequency ranges like Klipsch RP-440D-SBfeatures 65Hz to 25kHz at 106dB max SPL, and Dayton Audio BS41 has a frequency response of 40Hz to 22,000Hz etc.

Also read: Best Settings for VIZIO 5-1 Soundbar

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Best Passive Soundbar?

Martin Logan Motion is a 3-channel passive soundbar with a maximum power output of 140W, hence known as the best passive soundbar in the market. The frequency response of 120-23,000Hz with premium clarity and detailing is also surprising from the compact body.

Can I use a soundbar as a passive speaker?

Technically a passive soundbar can be used as a center speaker in heavy sound systems like a home theater. It gives the pleasure of raw sound quality with perfect tuning and excellent clarity.

What does a passive soundbar mean?

The passive soundbar needs an external amplifier to power the channels so they perform how they supposed to be. They have built-in woofers for the required bass, but you can always connect an external one with the powerful receiver to make it a home theater.

Are Vizio soundbars active or passive?

Vizio has a collection of active and passive soundbars, and you can get one according to your preferences. The passive soundbar has connections at the rear panel to pair a receiver because it needs one to power up the built-in channels.

Bottom Line

Active or passive soundbars have one thing in common-producing the best quality audio to provide an immersive listening experience.

The operating criteria are a little different with a built-in or external amplifier which depends on the usage and individual preferences. Though active soundbars are perfect for regular streaming or improving the typical speakers, passive soundbars can be a game-changer for home theater or heavy sound systems.

This article introduced you to the best passive soundbars with premium built and superior sound performance.

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