Inside Denon

3 Signs Your Speaker Setup Needs an Amplifier

There's nothing more frustrating than painstakingly piecing together a speaker system, only to have sound quality that dips well below your expectations. Whether you're a film fan enamored with the idea of creating a high-quality home theater system or a music lover looking to capture every detail buried within a recording, subpar audio performance is unacceptable.

You don't necessarily need to scrap your setup and start fresh to achieve the high level of audio fidelity you demand from your speaker system. You may just need a little help from a powerful amplifier. Watch out for these three tell-tale signs that your setup is in dire need of an amp for speakers.

1. Your speaker system isn't loud enough

The most obvious red flag to look out for is a sound system's inability to achieve an acceptable volume level. If you crank your volume knob to the max setting and the audio still isn't loud enough — at least not without sounding horribly distorted — that's a dead giveaway that there could be a power issue affecting the sound quality.

A good amplifier—like the PMA-600NE—uses signal power with maximum efficiency, achieving a high signal-to-noise ratio. That is, the level of the audio signal is significantly higher than the accompanying signal noise. It can also decode Hi-Res Audio ALAC, FLAC and WAV lossless files up to 24-bit/192-kHz, along with DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz tracks (SACD) lets you enjoy each note exactly as the artist intended.

A great amplifier will provide excellent sound quality at any volume—all with minimal distortion.

2. Sound quality suffers when you play music directly from your computer

In the age of Apple Music and Spotify, playing or streaming music from a desktop computer has become commonplace. In fact, it's the preferred music format for many music lovers out there. That said, digital audio runs the risk of producing audio with subpar quality due to noise.

Denon amps don't have this risk, as they provide optimal audio quality when listening to the latest and most advanced digital file formats, and even support high-resolution audio playback.

An integrated amplifier like the PMA-600NE includes a phono equalizer that supports playing from sources with a MM cartridge. This phono equalizer has high gain, and unlike loops in other circuit board patterns, which cause adverse effects on sound quality, the simple, straightforward design significantly improves sound.

The PMA-600NE also delivers 70 Watts of power-per-channel, while also offering compatibility with the widest range of speaker types and impedances for operational stability.

3. Audio fidelity dips when using headphones

The best way to really immerse yourself in a song is to completely cut out distractions or peripheral noise. In those moments, nothing short of a pair of high-quality headphones will do. But, if you notice sound quality issues — even while listening with premium headphones — you may need an amplifier.

The PMA-600NE features a dedicated amplifier circuit with a high-speed, ultra-low-distortion wideband op amp, along with a final output stage for the ultimate sound quality. It includes an adjustable headphone impedance control to accommodate low, medium and high impedance headphones for the broadest support possible.

If you're running into sound quality problems with your speaker system, a high-performance amplifier could be the answer. See all the latest industry-leading equipment from Denon to meet your home audio needs.