Amplifier Specifications Buying Guide

If you are looking to increase stereo system signal power, then an amplifier is what you need. The same goes for a musical instrument, sound playing device, or a home theater. Amplifiers are designed to make sound louder and more powerful without losing the quality. It helps to get a little knowledge on amplifiers before purchasing to increase your chances of landing the most suitable one. You can use basic tips and research so that you avoid buying mistakes when selecting it.

When buying an amplifier, it is really not enough to listen to sound input alone; the specification sheet should be evaluated if you want to end up with a good quality and reliable amp for that matter. Even when going through amp reviews, these are the specifications that you should look out for to help your decision making process.

Sound quality – You might be looking for more power, but sound quality should definitely be prioritized. This is because it directly results in loudness that is perceived. Consider the total harmonic distortion when looking at the amplifier sound quality and also signal to noise ratio. Amps that have distortion levels below 1% are great choices because it is hard to tell the difference in when perceived. Higher percentages will only give you poor sound quality at high and low volume levels.

Amplifier power – Highest power is what most buyers look for but it should not overshadow the sound quality. Amp power is usually in watts per channel and Hz frequency. The specifications might be a little complex for a buyer considering that some manufacturers can give misleading reports. It would be wiser to use expert reviews when determining the power of your amplifier so you do not end up getting a unit that will not do you justice. Check average power quotes over peak power when making your determination.

Noise levels – Signal to noise ratio is the correlation between background noise and sound signal levels. Amplifiers do produce background noise that is unwanted and it therefore helps to check that your preferred amp produces minimal noise. Choose a ratio that guarantees you minimal noise perception, even at low level signals.

Dynamic headroom – It is expressed in dB and represents the output power ability of the amplifier at high levels in short periods. It impacts sound effects and music peaking and amplifiers that are able to double the power output are better. Those falling in the 3dB dynamic headroom can multiply the power output by four. Amps that have low dynamic headroom imply reduced impact because they end up compressing high peaks to fit in their headroom levels.

When matching your amplifiers and speakers the more power the better the results you will get. Amplifiers intended for two speaker system should have a power rating that is 50% more than that of the speaker RMS power rating. It also helps to know about amplifier classifications before you set out to choose the perfect one for your intended use.