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An amplifier, in its most basic form, is an electronic device for increasing the amplitude of electrical signals. It’s used primarily for sound reproduction. It can increase the voltage, current, or power of a signal. When talking about Hi-Fi components, you will typically be talking about an integrated amplifier, which combines a preamp and power amp, typically for 2 channel stereo sound. The integrated amplifier has inputs for devices such as a turntable, CD player, or network player. It powers passive speakers since those speakers don’t have their own power supply.
An integrated amplifier not only powers speakers, but lets you select your audio source and control volume. A stereo amp handles two channels. An AV receiver is an amplifier plus a built-in tuner that also processes video signals and routes them to their intended displays. An AV receiver has the ability to power from 5 to 15 channels, delivering enveloping surround sound. All receivers are technically amplifiers, but not all amplifiers are receivers.
If you are looking for a single unit that handles both audio and video sources, you will want to look at an AV receiver. But if you don’t need an AV receiver and just need a way to hear your turntable or other hi-fi gear, then get an amplifier. An integrated amplifier is generally smaller in size. Many audiophiles will say that a dedicated, integrated amplifier will take your sound stage from “OK” to brilliant.
You don’t need an amplifier for your soundbar, so long as it’s an active—or powered—soundbar. You also don’t need an amplifier if you have an all-in-one speaker, like Denon Home speakers, that have their own built-in amplifier and power supply. Just plug it in, connect using the HEOS app, and play!
You should consider two key factors when deciding how much power you need from your integrated amplifier—the size of your space and the size of your budget. Good audio in a larger space requires bigger speakers and more power to drive them. Then find the option that gives you the most power you can afford.
We have been pushing the boundaries of premium audio for over a century at this point. This means we’ve been able to put together several integrated amplifiers that do far more than just meet your needs. They’re packed with features, detail, craftsmanship, and passion. They’ll enhance every part of your audio experience for years to come.