I want to buy monitor speakers, but I don't know if I need passive or active ones. Since the passive studio monitor speakers are cheaper, I would like to buy them, but I don't know if they would run well with the UR 12 from Steinberg.

Does anyone has experience with this subject or can at least help me with my decision?

2 Answers 2


In order to run monitors or any other kind of sound amplification, you need a power amplifier and a loudspeaker.

A "passive" monitor is just the loudspeaker. "Active" monitors have a power amplifier built-in.

That's why the passive monitors are cheaper — you can't connect them directly to the cinch (RCA) outputs of your audio interface and expect them to make any noise. You'd need to connect your interface to an amplifier (like the one inside an active monitor), and then connect the loudspeaker to your amplifier.

  • 1
    Cinch = RCA = phono.
    – Tim
    Jul 11, 2016 at 8:54

The UR 12 "line output" is meant to drive an amplifier. It doesn't have enough power to drive speakers directly.

Note, the UR12 also has an output that is meant for driving headphones.

Whether you buy passive speakers and a separate amplifier, or active speakers with built-in amplifiers, is up to you.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.