Do Speakers Use AC or DC?

If you are setting up a sound system or a surround sound arrangement for your home theater, you might have realized that there is a lot of knowledge that you need about speakers and how they operate. One of the most common questions that people have is whether or not speakers use AC or DC current. AC and DC currents are different because of the electrical charges that make the current flow in different directions for each type.

All speakers produce AC current. This AC current is provided to the speakers via the amplifier. The amplifier will likely run on a DC power supply, but that is not the current type that is being sent to the speakers. Speakers are always qualified as AC devices due to this conversion that happens between the current going into the amplifier and the current being sent to the speakers.

What is AC Current?

AC Current reverses its direction repeatedly. AC stands for alternating current. DC stands for direct current, and this kind of current does not alternate. Speakers come in two different types, active and passive. The passive speakers will draw power from an amplifier, while the active speaker style will be an all-in-one unit with an amp built in. 

Both active and passive speakers count as AC devices. They do not use DC power to operate. The amplifier will still need to convert the DC current so that the speakers can be used on the AC current. If DC current were to be applied to speakers, this could cause the voice coil to overheat. This could damage various parts of the speaker rapidly, which is why it is always a good idea to be sure that your speaker wiring and your overall system are set up correctly.

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As an added confusion, speakers can come in different shapes and sizes and might require different voltages to be used correctly. Amplifiers are made to match the needs of the speakers, or you will need to get speakers that can be used with the amplifier that you already own due to the voltage requirements of your speakers. The impedance of the speaker will need to fall within the range of the amplifier. This is usually 4 ohms, but it can also be 8 or 16 ohms.

Speakers Use AC Current

Speakers use AC current, and they cannot be connected to DC current without suffering damage. This is why you need to have an amplifier in your sound system. The amplifier runs on DC current, and it converts this current to AC current so that your speakers can be used with the rest of the sound system. Always make sure that your speakers and your amp are made to work together, as there are various voltages that speakers might require. You will also want to know if your speakers are active or passive when you are setting up any kind of complete sound system.

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